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By Gary Brown
In addition to determining budget priorities for the next cycle, the Division III Championships Committee at its Sept. 12-14 meeting approved several requests from sport committees that do not have a budgetary impact or can be accommodated by reallocating existing funds.
Among those is continuing a waiver that allows women’s golf to meet automatic-qualification requirements with four-member teams (rather than five). That waiver has been applied for the last two years, and the Championships Committee supported the Women’s Golf Committee’s request to apply it for this academic year and 2012-13.
The waiver was applied originally because members thought women’s golf was in jeopardy of losing its AQ status if the standard was not relaxed. In fact, women’s golf sponsorship has grown slightly during those two years.
The golf committee reasoned that the additional two-year window “recognizes the value of having a standard but continues to give women’s golf more time to grow, create interest and meet the standards.” The recommended standard is based on the premise that most institutions will be able to meet it.
In addition, the Championships Committee supported the golf committee’s request to calculate the 2012 and 2013 bracket size by counting institutions as sponsoring women’s golf in 2010-11 and 2011-12 if four participants complete at least six contests or eight rounds of 18 holes. (Bracket size is calculated based on the previous year’s sponsorship numbers.) This ensures more at-large berths and strengthens the championships field.
Those recommendations must gain Management Council approval before becoming effective.
Also needing Management Council approval is the Championships Committee’s endorsement of a new format for selecting participants in the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field championships.
The proposed selection model is the same for indoor and outdoor track and field and standardizes event sizes by eliminating the participant cap.
For the outdoor championships, the standard field size would be 20 for individual events and 16 for relays in the men’s championship, and 22 for individual events and 16 for relays in the women’s championship. The recommendation eliminates the participant cap of 796 (398 per gender) as a driver of field size.
For the indoor championships, the field sizes would be 13 for individual events (15 in the women’s championship) and 10 for relays (as opposed to the current field size of 223 per gender).
The Division III track and field committee believes the new model addresses drawbacks in the current system of filling events evenly to accommodate minimums until it is no longer possible to add to all events.
Members believe by standardizing the event field sizes, the need to apply an at-large selection method for remaining positions is eliminated, along with the variance in participation numbers from one event to the next.
Because the recommendation is a selection format change, it requires Management Council review. The track and field committee, though, cited support from coaches in requesting the change.
The Championships Committee also supported a recommendation from the Division III Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Committee to have divers advance from regional qualifying meets rather than submitting videos for review by a diving selection subcommittee that consists of current diving coaches.
The swimming and diving committee is suggesting that four regional diving qualification meets be held annually, effective with the 2013 championships. The format resembles the zone-diving meets conducted in Division I. Committee members prefer a head-to-head competition rather than rely on videos, the quality of which obviously varies.
The video review system has been in place since 1998, before which there was a prequalification meet the day prior to the start of the national meet. Under the prequalification meet model, divers traveled to the national championships site to determine which divers would advance to compete in the championships over the next few days. That model was eliminated because of the additional expense institutions incurred for those divers that did not advance to the championships, as the NCAA did not reimburse for their travel or provide per diem. In addition, the divers who competed in the prequalification meet missed more class time.
The proposed qualification meets would be held on a weekend.
The Championships Committee endorsed the proposed model, especially since it is “budget neutral.” The proposed $1,000 stipend to each of the four regional host sites to defray the cost of hosting the meet is equivalent to the expenses incurred from the current video review system.
The Division III Championships Committee also reviewed requests from sport committees that do have a budgetary impact, but members did not take a position on any of them, pending further review of the budget priorities for the next cycle.
In other action at the Division III Championships Committee’s Sept. 12-14 meeting in Indianapolis, members: