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DI competition group to review championships

Sports with fewer than 50 sponsoring schools will be examined to enhance sustainability

The Division I Competition Oversight Committee plans to take a closer look this fall at championship sports that have 50 or fewer sponsoring schools.

Men’s volleyball will be the first Division I/National Collegiate Championship sport reviewed. The other sports identified for future examination include fencing, men’s gymnastics, women’s ice hockey, rifle, skiing and men’s water polo.

The committee reconfirmed at its summer 2017 meeting in Indianapolis that the purpose of the review is to enhance sustainability in a given sport and not to undermine or eliminate a championship or implement policies and procedures that could negatively impact the student-athlete experience.

The committee adopted four overarching strategies as a framework to guide the review process: identify changes that can be made to support the sport, inclusive of regular-season competition; develop more ways to support current sponsors or encourage new sports sponsorship; review the championship format, championship season and other aspects of the postseason; and examine the finals site experience, sport sponsorship and other aspects of the event.

As part of the comprehensive review process, committee members will seek feedback from coaches associations and national governing bodies for each sport, conferences that sponsor the sports and previous championship host sites.

After thoroughly looking at the championships, the committee will determine any actions, including legislative, to assist the sports and determine the best championship formats (number of rounds, etc.).

Baseball

The committee approved a policy recommended by the Division I Baseball Committee that details how a team would advance in the unlikely event that a regional or super regional round of the Division I Baseball Championship could not be completed. It should be noted that every reasonable effort, including but not limited to moving the location of the games, should be made to complete a respective round (regional or super regional) based on the results on the field.

In regional play, the policy is:

  • Zero games played: Best seed advances.
  • One game played:  Best remaining seed without a loss advances.
  • Two games played:  Best-seeded team without a loss advances.
  • Three games played: Best-seeded team without a loss advances.
  • Four games played: Remaining team without a loss (i.e., winner of Game No. 4) advances.
  • Five games played: Remaining team without a loss (i.e., winner of Game No. 4) advances.
  • Six games played: Winner of Game 6 advances, unless each team has one loss, in which case the following will be considered:
  1. Head-to-head competition.
  2. Best-seeded team remaining.

In super regional play, the policy is:

  • Zero games played: Better-seeded team advances (a top eight national seed is considered a better seed than a regional No. 1 seed that is not a top eight national seed).

If two teams are seeded equally (for example, two No. 2 seeds), then the team with the better Rating Percentage Index following completion of the regional will advance to the Men’s College World Series.

  • One game played: Winner of Game 1 advances.
  • Two games played: Better-seeded team advances (a top eight national seed is considered a better seed than a regional No. 1 seed that is not a top eight national seed).

If two teams are seeded equally (for example, two No. 2 seeds), then the team with the better RPI following completion of the regional will advance to the Men’s College World Series.

Field Hockey

Beginning with the 2017 championship, the committee approved a recommendation by the Division I Field Hockey Committee to use video review at first- and second-round competition sites when the host is equipped to do so with experienced personnel. 

The committee noted that, with the approval of the video review opportunity, more players and coaches will gain experience with replay before advancing to the finals site.

Track and field, cross country

The committee approved a recommendation from the Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Committee regarding language refinements to the current selection process when multiple teams are tied after a review of selection criteria (head-to-head competition, results against common opponents).

The oversight committee agreed that the new language doesn’t change the selection criteria, but clarifies the intent of the sports committee to further distinguish teams under consideration for championship selection.

Wrestling

The committee approved a proposal in wrestling to allow a single alternate per weight class to attend the Division I Wrestling Championships at the respective schools’ expense.

The committee believes the request should help maintain the full field of competitors and reduce the opportunity for gamesmanship if a participant withdraws after the current Sunday deadline but before the weigh-in process takes place the day before competition is scheduled to begin.