The Division II Championships took steps to support the Life in the Balance initiative during its fall meeting, approving reduced brackets in the men’s and women’s tennis championships and a shorter tournament in baseball.
Meeting September 13-16 in Indianapolis, committee members approved a reduction in the tennis championships from 64 to 48 teams while at the same time agreeing to include regional and championship travel and per diem as part of the championships expenses. Previously, institutions competing in the first and second rounds were responsible for paying their own transportation and per diem.
The bracket reduction brings the championship ratio in tennis closer to other team sports with similar bracket sizes.
The Championships Committee also agreed to conduct the Division II Baseball Championship over the course of six days rather than eight. The number of games played in the double-elimination tournament will not change. Beginning in 2011, the tournament will begin the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and end the following Thursday evening.
Committee members also approved reductions in the number of practice rounds in the men’s and women’s golf championships from two to one.
The bracket and tournament actions are part of the division’s ongoing review of playing-and-practice-season policies and postseason practices. The Division II Presidents Council had asked for the review, which the presidents have called “Life in the Balance,” to ensure the division’s athletics behavior aligns with the balance advocated in the Division II strategic-positioning platform.
The Presidents Council charged the Legislation and Championships Committees with leading the review. The Legislation Committee helped formulate a four-proposal legislative package that will be voted on at the 2010 Convention in Atlanta.
In addition to the actions regarding specific brackets, the Championships Committee also acted on a pilot program in volleyball and basketball regarding regional formats. The committee approved recommendations from regional format advisory groups regarding how each of the eight regionals in basketball will be conducted.
Enhanced communication chain
The Championships Committee also focused on increasing communication with sport committees, meeting jointly with sport-committee chairs and introducing a liaison system for the future.
The procedure coincides with a change in leadership within the Championships Committee. Previously, the vice chair of the Management Council served as chair of the Championships Committee, but the groups agreed this summer instead to have the Championships Committee elect its own chair (Janet Montgomery of West Alabama was appointed in August).
To strengthen the communication among sport committees, the Championships Committee appointed its members to serve as liaisons to each of the sport committees. In that role, Championships Committee members would attend the sport committees’ annual meetings and participate on various conference calls (though not the championship-selection call).
The meeting with sport committee chairs served to set the stage for how Championships Committee liaisons can help represent sport-committee discussions on items that end up on the Championships Committee agenda (and subsequently, the Management Council agenda).
In other actions at the Championships Committee’s September meeting, members:
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association