Regional formats set in basketball
Sept. 16, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Division II Championships Committee has approved recommendations from regional format advisory groups regarding the conduct of the eight regionals in this year's men's and women's basketball championships.
Advisory groups from seven of the eight regions hosting regional competitions for the 2010 Division II Men's and Women's Basketball Championships have recommended staying with a format in which the top seed hosts an eight-team tournament.
The exception was in the Atlantic region, which recommended two four-team tournaments at the top two seeds.
The recommendations to the Division II Championships Committee were the second from a pilot program Division II is using to determine the best options to conduct regionals in various sports. Advisory groups from the eight regions in volleyball recommended the eight-team/one-site format for the regionals this fall.
Regional "format advisory groups" − composed of the conference commissioners in a given region, at least one member of the Championships Committee, the region's national sport committee representative and several members of the regional advisory committee − were asked to choose from among three options, with consideration of cost savings where appropriate:
One site hosting an eight-team tournament (the current format) Two sites each hosting a four-team tournament Four sites each hosting a two-team tournament The Atlantic region made its recommendation to go to the two-site option based on the rural locations of many of the institutions in the region.
A contingency plan remains in place, though, should any region face a situation in which all seven teams would have to fly to the host site. In that case, the Division II Men's and Women's Basketball Committees would have the authority to designate an alternative format.
The West region, which experienced the contingency plan last year, is recommending that if the contingency plan were to be applied for its region again this year that a four-site model be deployed. Previously, the contingency plan involved the two-site option, but the Championships Committee agreed at its September 14 meeting to allow regions faced with a contingency scenario to consider either of the two options this year based on logistics and costs.
The regional-format pilot is a result of a year-long review of regional formats in sports where the one-site-hosting-an eight-team tournament has been the norm. The Championships Committee believes giving regions the additional flexibility will lead to the most efficient business model for conducting NCAA postseason competition.
It also aligns with the committee's charge from the Division II Presidents Council to help lead the "Life in the Balance" initiative that seeks more efficient administration of Division II's regular-season and postseason competition.
The format advisory groups used travel analyses for regionals conducted over the past several years to guide their recommendations. Those analyses use software the sport committees have at their disposal to help with travel distances and costs.
The Championships Committee will review the pilot again at its summer 2010 meeting. While the pilot applies to just three sports for now, the committee may expand the concept to other sports if the effort proves successful.
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