Change in NCAA Tournament Format

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Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:36 pm

Championships Cabinet approves format change for women's soccer


Jun 18, 2010 7:28:45 AM

By Greg Johnson
The NCAA News

The NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet approved a recommendation to change the women’s soccer championship to a 1-1-2-2 format beginning in the fall of 2011.

The cabinet, which met Tuesday and Wednesday in Indianapolis, decided to adjust the format so that the first round will be conducted at 32 on-campus sites followed by the second round at 16 on-campus sites the next week.

The third round and quarterfinals of the championship would be contested on the same weekend at four non-predetermined campus-based sites.

Originally, the proposal called for these matches to be played at four predetermined sites, but cabinet members had concerns about attendance when the host institution is not participating in the event, as well as concerns about staffing the event over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Women’s College Cup semifinals and finals would continue to be played the following weekend at a predetermined site.

The Division I Women’s Soccer Committee believes this format change will enhance the student-athlete experience by allowing more teams to host first-round matches. Committee members also feel that more first-round sites will help mitigate travel challenges by keeping teams closer to their home campuses in the first round.

Previously, the Division I Women’s Soccer Championship had a 2-1-1-2 format, meaning that the first and second rounds occurred on the first weekend of the tournament. Sixteen on-campus sites had four-team pods for first- and second-round competition. Eight sites were used for the third round, and four on-campus sites hosted quarterfinals the following week.

Under the previous format, the women’s soccer committee also had concerns about the lack of time that teams – many of which are coming off conference tournaments the prior week – had to prepare before competing in two matches the next week.




Until the actual change is published, It remains to be seen just exactly what parts of the proposal were accepted and what the site selection criteria are for the third and fourth round weekend sites.

The original proposal included wording about favoring sites that had good fan support and/or sites that would enhance women's soccer.

If that was thrown out and the travel rules are still in effect, it probably means all or most sites will be in the East, as schools are closer together. we are only talking 16 teams here, so that probably means most teams in the West will be outside the 400 mile limit, so western teams would fly East to areas where there were two teams within the 400 mile radius.

For instance, last year the round of 16 included UCLA and Portland, two teams separated by about 820 miles. this news release also doesn't say if the strict seeding normally applied in the later rounds hold true, or if proximity will be the deciding factor in grouping.

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here was the agenda item that was voted on

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:58 pm

Tournament Format.
a. Recommendation. That the current 2-1-1-2 format of the Division I Women’s Soccer Championship be changed to a 1-1-2-2 format beginning in 2011.
b. Rationale. The current format currently provides for the first and second rounds to be contested at the same site with 16 sites hosting the weekend immediately after selections. From those 16 sites, the advancing institutions move to play a single match the following weekend in the third round at eight sites. The quarterfinals are then contested in the third weekend with a single match at four sites. The quarterfinal winners advance to the semifinals and championship at a predetermined finals site. The proposed format would provide for a single first round match contested at 32 sites. From there, the second round would also include a single match at 16 sites. Those institutions advancing to the next round would play at one of four campus-based, predetermined sites for the third and quarterfinal round on the same weekend. The four remaining institutions would advance to play in the semifinals and championship at a predetermined finals’ site.
The new 1-1-2-2 format contributes to the growth of NCAA soccer and enhances the student-athlete experience by allowing many more institutions to host the first round. Additionally, with more sites in the first round, the women’s soccer committee can help to mitigate travel challenges by keeping institutions more proximate to their home campuses in the first round.
Moreover, in allowing for four predetermined third/quarterfinal round sites, the women’s soccer committee can strategically place matches in areas of the country that are either targeted for growth of soccer or currently embrace soccer and would provide a meaningful experience for the student-athletes. NCAA staff will also work with the hosts to ensure operational excellence and marketing efforts are strategic and impactful. Additionally, this model allows for the addition of television in the future, as well as potentially corporate champion and partner activation.
c. Estimated Budget Impact. In order to control costs, it is recommended an administrative stipend of $3,000 be provided to hosts of the first round, as well as the second round. In order to reward those sites that market and promote the preliminary round, it is also recommended the revenue share be changed to a 70/30 split with 70 percent to the NCAA. It is currently 75/25 percent split with 75 percent to the NCAA. The proposed change would net as budget neutral to the overall Division I women’s soccer operating budget.
With having more hosting sites, it is believed revenues will also increase by allowing for more local crowds and fans.
In evaluating this model, a true comparison and analysis is not possible since the bracketing process was not conducted with this model as the guide.
d. Student-Athlete Impact. The proposed change in tournament format allows for unprecedented enhancements for the student-athletes competing in women’s soccer. By having only one match in the first round weekend, as well as only one match in the second round weekend, student-athletes have a greater opportunity to play in front of larger crowds, miss less class time, travel potentially shorter distances and obtain more rest after a long season and competitive conference tournaments.

e. Championships Group Comments. The proposed tournament format would provide a greater experience for not only the student-athletes, but the fans who supported the team throughout the year by rewarding more institutions with the opportunity to play at home. Moreover, the environment for the match has the potential to be more indicative of an NCAA championship in its presentation and excitement.
While some additional expenses in the form of signage, site representatives and equipment may exist, the incremental revenue from the greater attendance will offset the increase in expense.
The national committee and new coordinator of officials will have to work hard to ensure adequate and qualified staffing of NCAA site representatives and officials, however, the infrastructure, desire and plans are in place to ensure these needs are met.
The proposed format also addresses requests from the membership to eliminate the first and second rounds on the first weekend of the tournament, which allows for greater rest, potentially less travel and missed class time and could reduce the number of flights in the preliminary rounds.

Committee Chair: Paul Bradshaw, Baylor University

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Re: Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by harryb on Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:41 pm

This should mean that we don't get shipped out in the first round anymore. It should also mean that a #2 seed doesn't have us on the road in the quarters.

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Re: Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:11 pm

Since #1's and #2's normally meet in the quarters, and since they are bundled now with the Sweet 16, it still means a #2 would probably travel in the third weekend. the first game of the weekend would be on Neutral territory, supposedly, but it will probably never be at home. So now unless the NW teams get stronger, we only get two rounds - period.

the normal thing is to go with the higher seed's site unless the new "reward the fans" clause is actually used. If they still use the travel rules, one of the other NW teams must make it to the Sweet 16. there's only 8 teams up here. How many normally make it to the sweet 16? - especially if they have to go through us?

It might mean that of the 8 teams, 4 must make the tournament. We have to beat two in the first rounds, then have one left for the Sweet 16. What are the chances of that? I'd feel a lot more comfortable if they said they would pay attention to seeding, so we don't necessarily play NW teams in the first two rounds and one would be left, or if they said that the four team pods weren't subject to travel rules. They haven't said either.

NCAA may be greedy for the gate money and invoke the "reward the fans" clause, but don't hold your breath.
Here's hoping for crass greed on their part. We may not be disappointed, but don't bet the ranch.

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Re: Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:07 pm

Perhaps we should point out that Larry Williams is on the Championships/Sports Management Cabinet. Although the non-"big" conference representatives are outnumbered, he seems to have made quite a stink about the Pilots not getting a #1 seed last year. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd love to know what he thinks about all of it. Anybody know?

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Re: Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by SoreKnees on Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:01 am

Is baseball a reasonable comparison? Don't they do groups of four at the highest seed's site?

If they go by seeding, then the only effect of this (assuming we are again a #2 seed) is going to be playing the round 3 match as a neutral-site game at UCLA/Stanford before an playing another away quarterfinal.

If they go by attendance, we'll be at home.

If they go strictly by distance, then we might have to play at an Eastern site but perhaps not against a #1 at home, which would certainly be a nice change!

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Re: Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:52 pm

NCAA baseball has 64 teams grouped into 16 regionals of four teams each. Teams are seeded 1 through 4 within each regional and there are 8 national seeds spread over the entire bracket. The bracket is set when the field is picked and the matchups are predetermined up to the College World Series (there is no "re-seeding" or moving teams around based on who is left.)

Teams bid to host the regionals and the teams who made the tournament and were selected to host are announced the day before the rest of the field. Each regional is double-elimination and held over the first weekend of the tournament. The 16 regional winners meet in eight super regionals, best-of-three series held the next weekend at one of the two teams. The eight super regional winners move on to the College World Series in Omaha.

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