December 13, 2006
Present: Jeanne Hess (Chair), Jolie Ward (Little East), Paul Dill (NEWMAC), Steve Pike (SUNYAC), Roger Worsley (Empire 8, EAA, ECAC), Lisa Gallagher (Independents), Paul Yee for Jonathan Penn (UCAA), Harleigh Leach (Centennial), Lynn Ray Boren for Margie Knight (Capital), Robin Pietryk (Dixie), Sam Lambert (SCAC), Kandis Schram (Independents), Hugh Hernesman (Soutwest), Merry Graf (St. Louis), Deb Zellers (Independents), Wayne Chadwick (Heartland), Becky Schmidt (MIAA), Tammy Swearingen (President's), Deb Schulman (WIAC), Deb Kiick (CCIW), Rick Swan (Independents), Don Flora (SCIAC), Mark Massey (Northwest), Jason Jones (AVCA)
Not Present: Jen Bowman (NESCAC), Chad Braegelmann (Commonwealth Coast), Jamie Marcoux (Great Northeast), Cathy Markowski (North Atlantic), Dave Hildebrandt (Independents), JJ O'Connell (Skyline), David Shumaker (NEAC), Bridget White (NJAC), Mark Birtwistle (Pennsylvania), Randall Kreider (Commonwealth), Michele Ide (Freedom), Bill Rogers (ODAC), Gretchen Hunt (MIAC), Jennifer Walker (IIAC), Ellen Dempsey (NCAC), Pam Briggs (OAC), Jennifer Saylor (Midwest), Jerry Angle (NIIC)
I. AVCA Board Report
Jeanne Hess encouraged the committee to be proactive in recruiting new members to the association. Whenever turnover occurs and a new coach enters a conference that is an excellent time to speak with that coach about joining the AVCA.
The AVCA is planning to redesign its Web site in 2007 and make more resources available to members. In particular, more educational resources and tools will be available. This will include drills and coaching articles that members can access by topic. Anyone interested in submitting an article or drill for the Web site should contact Cecile Reynaud at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AVCA is currently negotiating with the Junior Volleyball Club Directors Association about the possibility of partnering with the AVCA in some way. More details will be available in early 2007.
In order to change the perception of volleyball, coaches need to be more proactive in marketing the sport in their communities. One way to accomplish this goal is to make matches available via Web casts. Web casting enables more people to see the matches and helps them better understand the excitement generated by the sport. Coaches were encouraged to attend a "Web Casting for Dummies" seminar that was held during the convention.
The committee discussed the DIII Men's Championships. In order for the NCAA to run the championship there must be 50 teams competing in the sport who have maintained their program for at least two years. Currently, there are 50 men's teams competing in DIII volleyball and these teams are in the process of meeting the two-year requirement.
II. Old Business
The committee resumed the poll philosophy discussion from the November meeting. Some schools don't feel represented in the poll as the level of competition faced in conference play can leave some teams out. A document was distributed during the meeting that presented solutions to the polling issues being discussed. The key to producing a successful poll is to educate poll voters by making information available that is needed to make decisions on each team. The committee discussed the need to have both a pre-season and mid-season conference call to improve communication between poll voters. In addition, the criteria for putting teams into the poll should be clearly defined for voters before the first poll is released.
One suggestion was that the poll had too many voters and the polling process would be more efficient if each region was represented by only one voter who was willing to do the homework necessary to cast an informed vote. Another scenario would be to add more voters to the poll to expand the number of coaches who see each team play. In addition, the idea of term limits for poll voters was discussed to get more people involved in the polling process.
Jeanne reminded the committee to please participate in all surveys that are sent by the AVCA or the conferences. The surveys help gather information that is used to make decisions on the direction of the association or conference so participation is very important.
III. New Business
The committee participated in a visioning exercise to help generate ideas for things they would like to see in the future. One idea was a marketing piece promoting DIII sports to high school and club student-athletes. The message in this marketing piece would focus on letting high school and club players know that scholarships are available for good students to DIII schools. Also, the piece would highlight that students can have a good volleyball experience along with a great education. Changing the perception of the DIII experience is the key to a successful marketing campaign. The NCAA could develop this piece with help from the AVCA.
Another idea was to post a Division III Game of the Week on the AVCA Web site. Each region could have a week during the season where a match could be highlighted on the AVCA Web site and a video link could be posted. This would help promote the sport of volleyball and generate more attention for the DIII schools.
With the success of the coaches workshop held prior to the DIII Championship match in Salem, Virginia, that same idea might also be applied to drive attendance for the elite eight matches. A similar half-day workshop for coaches, parents or student-athletes could be an extra incentive for attending more tournament matches.
The meeting was adjourned at 4 p.m. CT. The next meeting will be held via conference call on Monday, February 12 at 11 a.m. ET.