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DIII Championships Committee plans for future

Sport committee chairs share feedback regarding potential changes

As the Division III Championships Committee sets its priorities for the next budget cycle, the division’s sport committee chairs have offered input on potential changes they would like to see implemented at championship events.

The sport committee chairs joined the Championships Committee for a portion of its Sept. 11-13 meeting in Indianapolis. When polled about enhancements they hope to see in the future, many of the committee chairs indicated interest in receiving reimbursement for ground transportation costs incurred at championship sites. This would impact teams that fly to championships and rely on buses to commute within the host city, for instance.

The chairs also noted that they would like the size of the reimbursable travel party to return to its former levels across all sports after being trimmed by 10 percent in a cost-saving measure two years ago. And they stressed the need to continue allowing brackets to expand in accordance with the division’s championships access ratio.

The chairs also indicated a need for a boost in funding for officiating at championship events, which has held steady for several years. Additionally, they asked that the Championships Committee consider building in a day of rest between the semifinals and final at team events.  

The Championships Committee will weigh that feedback as it decides what recommendations for championships enhancements, if any, to make at its meeting in February.

“Obviously, the primary factor that has to be taken into account is the availability of financial resources,” said Gerald Young, Championships Committee chair and athletics director at Carleton College. “And, of course, there needs to be a certain comfort level that these resources will be able to accommodate any increases annually. Safety and overall student-athlete experience are always key factors.”

Other actions:

  • The Championships Committee approved a recommendation from the Division III Baseball Committee to seed the teams that advance from regional competition to the national championship site in order to ensure the bracket is balanced and that stronger teams don’t meet in early-round games.

    “The Championships Committee clearly sees the merits of reseeding the final eight teams in order to achieve a more balanced road to the national championship,” Young said. “This could enhance the student-athlete experience by creating a more competitive finals site.”

    The committee also endorsed a recommendation that baseball regional tournaments start  Thursday after Monday selections, a day later than the current rule, to ensure teams have more travel and preparation time.
  • The Championships Committee reviewed the results of a 2015-16 charter travel pilot program for team sports. The program capped the cost of seats on charter flights to championship events, allowing schools more financial flexibility to purchase additional seats beyond those allotted for their travel party. In its trial year, the program proved beneficial for schools and came at a negligible cost to the division, so the committee recommended that Division III formally adopt the program. The Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee and Division III Management Council will review that recommendation in the coming months.
  • The Championships Committee also approved recommendations from the Division III Men’s and Women’s Golf Committees to alter the cut line for their respective championship events. The cut after 36 holes in men’s golf will be moved from 15 teams and six individuals not on those teams to 18 teams and six individuals not on those teams. Women’s golf, meanwhile, will implement a cut after 54 holes, trimming the field to 15 teams and six individuals not on those teams.
  • Division III wrestling added eight new programs to the sport for the 2016-17 season, and the Division III Wrestling Committee hoped to realign its regions due to the influx of new teams. The Championships Committee, though, asked that the Wrestling Committee study potential realignment options further and make a formal recommendation after the committee expands from four to six members – ensuring it is composed of one representative from each region – later this year.