SVCC Conference Call Minutes
Collegiate Sand Coaches Call - Inaugural Season Debriefing
Monday, May 21, 2012
Transcribed by Kathy DeBoer, AVCA Executive Director
Participants: Nina Matthies, (Pepperdine),DI Committee Chair, Danalee Corso (FSU), Jason Kepner (CoC), Committee members, Scott Wong (Hawaii), Brian Gimmillaro (Long Beach), Kathy Gregory (Santa Barbara), Beth Van Fleet (Georgia State), Debbie Brown (Notre Dame), Rita Crockett (FIU)
Others: Keith Murlless, Official's Consultant, Dave Carstenson, Event Manager
AVCA Staff: Kathy DeBoer, Jason Jones, Ashley Beil, Brandon (intern)
At 1 p.m. ET, Chair Nina Matthies welcomed all to the call stressing that the goal for this call was to review formats for competitions, decide what to emphasize, and try to pin down dates for next spring so coaches could start with scheduling and budgeting.
Even though there were a number of successful events with a variety of formats the emphasis for varsity programs needs to be on playing dual contests. This does not limit schools to a single opponent. USC, FSU, and CoC, among others, are hosted multi-team events on a single day or a weekend where duals were played in a round robin schedule.
Kathy DeBoer relayed a conversation with the Pac 12 Network programming executive who noted that the ‘tennis-based' habit of only playing matches until a winner was determined in the 3 of 5 match format was not a good formula for coverage and he hoped Sand VB would address that sooner rather than later. Jason Kepner said that we should at least complete the set that was in progress when a winner of the dual match was determined, if not play out the match. Nina asked that we delay this discussion as it was not really an issue until the national championship in 2012 and deserved further, more considered debate.
Recommended scheduling for a dual match on two courts is flights 4 & 5, then flight 3, then flights 1 & 2. With three courts, flights 4 & 5, then flights 1, 2, & 3. Coaches should do their best to keep ‘suspense' scheduled into the event.
There was some discussion of ‘pool play' formats that involved cutting competitions to one game to either 25 or 28. These formats were used mainly to facilitate an initial sorting of pairs and manage the amount of play in large events. It was the consensus of the group that, while this might be necessary in some cases, none of these results would be used by the selection committee in determining Pairs for the national championship. Only 2/3 matches played to completion will be used by the selection committee.
Dave Carstenson mentioned that with several of his events he had seven or more schools at one site for a weekend event. This was cost-effective for the schools, and it was not possible to play each school in a dual, or to determine seedings for bracketed tourneys with only 2/3 matches, so abbreviated schedules were necessary. It was noted that at times either inclement weather or tourney size also would dictate alternate formats, but that all should attempt to schedule enough duals and bracket tourneys with 2/3 matches to give the selection committee good results.
In 2013, the first Thursday in March is the 7th. NCAA rules allow for an eight week season or the end of the school year, whichever comes first. Eight weekends after the March 7-10 weekend is the April 25-28 weekend. Numerous coaches requested that the National Championship be moved back to fall after the end of the regular season, since it is quite short. It was noted that this puts a hardship on schools that also have a men's volleyball team as the first weekend in May is their NCAA Championship weekend. It also stresses the AVCA which runs their Spring Conference at the NCAA Men's Championship. It was decided, however, that to allow Sand VB to have a full season, with a championship after the regular season, the Committee should consider moving the national championship to May 3-5. If this decision is made, selection Sunday will be April 21, 2013.
Kathy DeBoer was asked to check with Gulf Shores on their availability to host that weekend. There was a consensus from those on the call who had participated in the 2012 championship that Gulf Shores had done an excellent job and should be considered again as a site. Subsequent to the call, Kathy DeBoer had conversations with our three Gulf Shores partners - Philip Bryant, Commissioner of the Gulf Shores Region of USAV, Shaul Zizlin, Owner of the Hangout, and Billy Stone, Producer of the Alt Games for CBS Sports Network - all three affirmed their availability to run the Collegiate National Championships the first weekend of May.
There was a brief discussion about the 16 playing dates. Those schools with enough sand-only athletes to field a team in the fall were reminded that they could play up to two of the 16 dates in the fall semester. Also, as a review for those schools just starting a team, of the eight date minimum, three of the dates had to include dual matches.
The group also discussed the number of matches per day that athletes could play: three seemed like a workable number, two would be easy, and four a possibility if needed to complete an event. 15 minutes seemed like adequate rest between matches although this seemed to be strongly related to temperature. As the majority of the season is played when temperatures are cooler, sitting too long and having to ‘re-warm up' was sighted as more fatiguing in cool or rainy weather than just continuing to play. On the other hand, if it is hot, times between matches can be stretched to 20 minutes if requested by a team who has just finished playing. Matt Gage, tournament manager for the 2012 National Championship, recommended that the tournament manager and head official use good judgment and exercise some discretion on this matter, especially when excessive heat presents a danger to participants.
Since the critical issues of format and schedule for 2013 had been addressed, the call was brought to a close at 2:15 ET.