March 11, 2010
AVCA Division III Head Coaches Committee Meeting
March 11, 2010 - 11 a.m. ET
I. AVCA Update
AVCA Spring Conference registration is now open. The spring conference will be held May 6 - 8 in Palo Alto, California. The line-up of speakers includes John Dunning, Mark Rosen, Alan Knipe, Ray Bechard, Cecile Reynaud and several other top coaches. The early registration discount deadline is April 2. Details can be found here.
The open dates forum on the Web site is now automated. This section can be found in the "Education/Resources" area of the site. Becky encouraged the committee to promote the site to all conference coaches as the primary place for DIII to find/post openings.
The AVCA is offering a 2 or 1 membership promotion for assistant coaches. College programs that have an assistant coach that renews a membership or signs-up for a new membership before July 1 can get a second assistant coach membership free. This offer is only available by submitting a paper membership sign-up form here.
The nomination period for the AVCA Hall of Fame will run March 19 - May 14. Nomination forms will be available beginning March 19 in the "Awards" area of the AVCA Web site. Nominations are considered for three years after they are submitted.
II. Community Service Initiative Discussion
When student-athletes participate in community service programs many things happen: they become aware of a group of people who have endured adversity, they become more appreciative of the gifts/opportunities they have been given, and they see in a very tangible way the good that can be done when they commit to a common cause. It is because of these profound life lessons that community service is at an all-time high for college students. In the past DIII has harnessed this enthusiasm to support the cause of breast cancer awareness with great success. Becky announced this year teams would be encouraged to find a cause close to their team's heart and raise awareness for the cause, raise money for the cause, or provide hours of service to the cause. Becky will keep track of all monies raised, efforts led, and hours served by DIII volleyball student-athletes to promote as a collective community service initiative.
Becky sent a Google form to the committee to determine if it was a document that could be used to collect the donation information from each team. She asked the committee to practice completing the form and send her comments on if the form will work for this purpose.
The committee then discussed ways to celebrate the achievements of this initiative. One idea was a "Living the Mission" award that could be a plaque or certificate given to participating teams. Another idea was to recognize the most successful teams at the championship match of the DIII tournament or at the DIII General Meeting at convention. Other suggestions included recognition in the NCAA magazine, on the NCAA Web site and a story in AVCA's e-newsletter At the Net. Some committee members felt participating in a community service initiative shouldn't be a contest and that everyone who participates should be recognized.
Some coaches have expressed a concern about the number of playing dates held over a season. In some cases DIII schools have played nearly 40 matches in a season which can result in overuse injuries and an increased amount of missed class time. These coaches believe quality over quantity creates a better experience for the student-athlete and there should be some limit on the number of playing opportunities.
Other coaches believe each school faces different issues and it should be up to the coach to decide when the number of matches played becomes too much for their players. Playing more matches gives players more opportunities to develop. In addition, a schedule can include some weaker opponents where everyone on the team will have an opportunity to participate. It was also noted that there is no quantitative data to support the argument that more playing opportunities increases injury risk. There is no legislation pending at this time to put any limits on playing opportunities.
Missing class time has resulted in a few coaches being pressured to play on Saturday/Sunday instead of Friday/Saturday. Several coaches noted that Sunday is a big study day for student-athletes as well as a catch-up day for coaches and they would be against playing on Sundays. Playing on Sunday can also create a staffing issue as it forces SIDs, trainers and other staff to work seven days a week.
The committee discussed various league scheduling formats. Many coaches on the committee said they used a single round robin and most everyone was happy with that format. The downsides of a single round robin schedule that were mentioned during the discussion include: in a league with a lot of teams every mach you play is big which creates a great deal of stress, large leagues use up many of the competition dates, and leagues with fewer teams makes scheduling weekend matches challenging at times. Some coaches mentioned their league is currently considering going to a double round robin format.
IV. New Business
Lisa Greiner attended the NCAA Convention and gave a brief update on some of the issues discussed. She noted there were no issues that will have a significant impact on DIII volleyball. Lisa attended a session she found particularly helpful on the future of recruiting that was technology focused. She will put together a report and share it with the committee in a few weeks.
Becky noted that the focus of the next call will be on the development of assistant coaches in the profession. She will invite some assistant coaches to participate in the call and discuss their experiences.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:59 a.m. ET. The next Division III Head Coaches Committee meeting will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 8.