Championships panel focuses on in-region requirement
The Division III Championships Committee took another step to give teams more flexibility in meeting the in-region competition requirement, while reiterating its belief that an in-region requirement should be applied to all sports in which teams are selected for postseason play -- including those in which individuals also are selected.
The committee forwarded to the Division III Management Council a recommendation that members of a conference -- including those whose members are in multiple regions -- be permitted to count competition against each other as in-region for purposes of eligibility for championships selection.
If approved, the action would follow other recent decisions that have given institutions more flexibility in meeting the requirement that 50 percent of a team’s opponents must be scheduled within its own region.
In addition to scheduling opponents in the defined region for a sport, institutions have been permitted to count opponents within a 200-mile radius of their campus since 2003 and opponents from within the same Division III membership region since 2006.
“By adding conference competition, it alleviates the challenge for schools in leagues that are in multiple regions, and in turn helps sports committees as they try to work through their bracketing situations and try to compare institutions from different areas,” said Jeff Martinez, director of athletics at Redlands and chair of the Division III Championships Committee.
Examples of conferences whose members are in multiple regions include the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, with 12 members in nine states, and the University Athletic Association, with members in Georgia, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The recommendation will be considered by the Management Council at its July 20-21 meeting in Minneapolis, and could be approved in time for 2008-09 championships if ultimately adopted by the Division III Presidents Council in August.
Even as it supported additional flexibility for in-region scheduling, the committee also continues to explore recommending that individual/team championships in men’s and women’s cross country, golf and tennis require teams to schedule at least 25 percent of competition against in-region opponents.
The championships committee proposed doing so earlier this year, but the Management Council asked the committee to provide more information on how the requirement would be applied at competitions.
Teams participating in individual/team-sport events often compete not only against teams from other Division III regions at events, but against teams from other divisions or non-NCAA members -- and often do not know in advance who will be competing at the event.
Noting it is unlikely that a 25-percent in-region requirement would be implemented before the 2010-11 championships, the committee agreed to solicit feedback from sports committees and conference commissioners on the viability of requiring that 25 percent of all of a team’s opponents in all such events during a season be in-region opponents. It also will consider how to monitor compliance with the requirement.
The committee hopes to make a recommendation to the Management Council no later than April 2009.
In other actions during its June 23-24 meeting in Indianapolis (subject to Management and Presidents Council approval), the committee:
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