The Division III Championships Committee reviewed plans for its newest championship at its May 31-June 1 meeting in Indianapolis.
Assuming that current sport sponsorship holds, the Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship will debut as a nine-team field beginning in 2012. A first-round match between two teams will be played April 21 on the campus of the higher-seeded team, and then the winner joins seven other teams for an eight-team tournament (quarterfinals, semifinals and final) at Springfield College on April 27-29.
For the 2012 Division III men’s volleyball season, there are expected to be six automatic-qualifying conferences. As of this time, there are not projected to be any Pool B slots, and three Pool C berths.
Due to men’s volleyball changing from a National Collegiate championship sport to a Division III championship sport, the Bylaw 17 playing-season regulations have been changed to reflect this structure:
• The dates-of-competition limits will be reduced from 28 to 22 in the traditional segment and from four to one in the nontraditional segment.
• The nontraditional segment will consist of no more than 16 days of athletically related activity, including one date of competition, and have the same structure as baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball and women’s volleyball.
• The contest exemptions will be the same as women’s volleyball.
• The playing-season exemption for the Division III Men’s Volleyball Invitational Championship tournament will be eliminated.
In addition, the playing season will consist of 19 total weeks of practice (traditional and nontraditional season). Fifty percent of the schedule must be against Division III, in-region opponents. Student-athletes may not play on a club team during the traditional or nontraditional season, and club teams cannot be funded by an institution.
As for regional alignment, the East region will consist of the City University of New York Athletic Conference, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, the New England Collegiate Conference and the Skyline Conference. Independent institutions are MIT and Springfield.
The West region includes the Continental Volleyball Conference and the United Volleyball Conference. Independent institutions are Lancaster Bible, Rust and St. Joseph’s (Brooklyn).
The Division III Championships Committee will determine the number of teams ranked per region at its September meeting. Regional ranking numbers will differ between the East and West regions. The tentative number of teams is five in the East and four in the West.