The NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved expanding the women's hockey national championship bracket from eight to 11 teams.

The new bracket could be implemented as soon as next year or 2023, according to a news release on the NCAA's website.

The National Colliegiate Women's Ice Hockey Committee will meet next week to make final recommendations on the expansion format. Those recommendations will then be shared with the D-I Competition Oversight Committee and the D-I Council for final approval.

There are currently 41 schools that sponsor a women's hockey team. With 11 teams in the field, 27% of the teams will have access to the championship bracket, putting them in line with the men's side, which has a 16-team field and 60 schools.

Wisconsin is the defending national champion, defeating Northeastern 2-1 in overtime last season.