The NCAA Women’s Division I Championship is an annual college basketball tournament for women. Held each April, the Women’s Championship was inaugurated in the 1981â82 season. The NCAA tournament was preceded by the AIAW Women’s Basketball Tournament, which was held annually from 1972 to 1982. Basketball was one of 12 women’s sports added to the NCAA championship program for the 1981-82 school year, as the NCAA engaged in battle with the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women for sole governance of women’s collegiate sports. The AIAW continued to conduct its established championship program in the same 12 (and other) sports; however, after a year of dual women’s championships, the NCAA prevailed, while the AIAW disbanded.