The Tri-State Rugby Conference was first set-up in 2012-13 when USA Rugby encouraged universities and colleges to form conferences rather than remain part of rugby Local Area Unions (LAUs). The majority of the collegiate teams that comprised the Met New York Union became part of the Tri-State Collegiate Rugby Conference.

In 2016 the organization incorporated as a not-for-profit entity and a Board of Directors was set-up to run the conference.

Two divisions of 6 men’s teams (North & South) have the opportunity to advance from the Conference to the USA Rugby National Men’s Division II Championship. This championship is played in the fall. A further 7 teams play in the Central Division and are eligible to advance in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Championship. The NSCRO championship is played in the fall with later playoff dates in the spring.

Two divisions of 6 women’s teams (North & South) have the opportunity to advance in a Fall Championship endorsed by USA Rugby and the American Collegiate Rugby Association. In the Tri-State Conference there is a Central Division that is for emerging teams and programs that have low numbers, so the emphasis is on development.

Decisions regarding divisional alignment and the best competition format are discussed after each fall season at the Conference Annual General Meeting (AGM). Teams are required to send a representative to the AGM as decisions are made that pertain to all.