April 16, 2007
Present: Jeanne Hess (Chair), Jen Bowman (NESCAC), Jolie Ward (Little East), Chad Braegelmann (Commonwealth Coast), Steve Pike (SUNYAC), Roger Worsley (Empire 8), Margie Knight (Capital), Michele Zabinski (Freedom), Robin Pietryk (Dixie), Bill Rogers (ODAC), Sam Lambert (SCAC), Kandis Schram (Independents), Jason McAden (Soutwest), Jennifer Walker (IIAC), Merry Graf (St. Louis), Deb Zellers (Independents), Wayne Chadwick (Heartland), Tammy Swearingen (President's), Deb Schulman (WIAC), Deb Kiick (CCIW), Dianna Graves (SCIAC), Mark Massey (Northwest), Danny Miller (Awards Committee), Jason Jones (AVCA)
Not Present: Paul Dill (NEWMAC), Jamie Marcoux (Great Northeast), Cathy Markowski (North Atlantic), Dave Hildebrandt (Independents), JJ O'Connell (Skyline), Lisa Gallagher (Independents), Paul Yee for Jonathan Penn (UCAA), David Shumaker (NEAC), Bridget White (NJAC), Mark Birtwistle (Pennsylvania), Harleigh Leach (Centennial), Randall Kreider (Commonwealth), Michelle Blaeser (MIAC), Ellen Dempsey (NCAC), Pam Briggs (OAC), Becky Schmidt (MIAA), Jennifer Saylor (Midwest), Rodney Pritchett (NAC), Rick Swan (Independents)
I. AVCA Report
Jason Jones started the meeting by giving an update on membership. As of April 13, the AVCA had 3,742 members which is a record high for the association. This is an increase of almost 200 members since the committee last had a conference call in February. The association has been growing at about 100 members per month although that growth is expected to slow down over the next two or three months as the off-season approaches.
As of late March, 310 out of 418 (74%) Division III head coaches were members of the AVCA. An additional 51 Division III assistant coaches were AVCA members as well. Jeanne stated that the goal for Division III was to have at least 80% of head coaches as members of the association. Jeanne asked the committee to continue promoting membership to their conference coaches when the opportunity arises.
During the February conference call the committee discussed the redesign of the AVCA Web site for this year. Jason updated the group that several changes would be made by August 10 and then more significant changes would occur prior to September of 2008. Jason also reminded the committee to take a look at the new Coaching Education section on the AVCA Web site. This section is password protected for members only and contains information on volleyball drills, articles, useful Web sites, volleyball resources and material on the CAP program. The education page is still in the beginning stages and much more information will be added in the future. Jason encouraged anyone who has a drill, article or another idea to include on the page to send it to him at email@example.com.
The contract with Athletic Link to post job openings and open dates still has not been signed. The AVCA is currently negotiating with Athletic Link and hopes to have something finalized in the near future. Members should check At The Net for updates and information on the features that will be available with this service.
The television ratings for the ESPN2 coverage of the Women's Division I Championship from Omaha was a .7. This was an increase in ratings from the previous year. The goal is to achieve a 1.0 rating as at that point the production can become profitable. ESPN holds the broadcast rights for the 2008 championship as well.
Jason asked the committee for input on a convention scholarship idea that has been proposed. The idea is that a sponsor would be acquired who would pay a certain amount to help offset the cost of a coach who would be attending the convention for the first time. The scholarship would be offered to one or more coaches (depending on the amount of sponsorship) from DII, DIII, NAIA, Two-Year, high school and club that could go toward convention registration, airfare, hotel or whatever the selected coaches choose. The goal is to help coaches who normally could not afford to attend get the convention experience. Jason asked the group if they thought the scholarship plan was a good idea and if so, what would be an appropriate amount to scholarship. The committee was in favor of the idea and suggested $500 would be helpful to pay for some of the costs of attending the convention. It was also suggested that the AVCA could post something on its Web site to help members find a roommate at convention to reduce costs.
Jason also asked the committee for feedback on AVCA coaching education initiatives and professional development. The committee indicated that currently most of their professional development comes from coaching clinics. Very little education is currently being done online or using any other type of technology. It was suggested that Web seminars could be a useful tool to bring education to coaches. The group felt that topics which could be covered in less than an hour would work best due to time constraints of coaches. An online coaching certification program could be useful as well.
During the December meeting in Omaha the committee had discussed an idea to have an AVCA Division III Web cast Match of the Week. Staff had discussions on how to make this idea work and Jason shared the process with the committee. The idea is to post an AVCA Web cast Match of the Week for each college division that wants to participate. This match would be featured on the AVCA home page with a listing of the match and a link to the Web cast. The link would be hosted on the school's server and that link would be sent to the AVCA for posting. The featured match would start on Monday and end on Sunday. It would be the schools responsibility to make sure the link worked and to provide the link to the AVCA when requested.
Jeanne suggested that a subcommittee be formed to set policy, gather information and select the featured matches. Currently, this subcommittee consists of Jeanne Hess, Dianna Graves, Steve Pike and Deb Zellers. The subcommittee will contact conference SIDs to determine if Web casting is available and then decide how many matches should be selected during the season. The subcommittee will gather this information and follow-up with the committee when details are confirmed. The AVCA will develop a document that will be posted on its Web site that contains information on how to Web cast and the requirements for production.
Jeanne asked the committee if some members would be willing to submit information and/or articles on behalf of Division III to the AVCA for inclusion in At The Net. The committee decided they did want to participate and will begin soliciting writers in the fall.
Jason mentioned that anyone who is interested in being a convention speaker could still submit an application to present and a summary of the proposed session. Technically, the deadline was April 6 but applications can still be submitted until the end of April.
III. Fall Season Initiatives for Attendance
Jeanne reminded the committee to begin working now on marketing strategies and ways to increase attendance for the upcoming season. The more people coaches can attract to watch volleyball the better for the sport. The AVCA has compiled some marketing tools to help which can be found by clicking here.
Danny Miller gave the committee an update on the challenges of the All-American selection process that was originally discussed at the December meeting in Omaha. Danny stated that making All-American selections prior to the banquet at the quarterfinals is almost impossible due to the timing. The committee selects 36 athletes (3 teams of 12) as All-Americans and the selection process occurs while play is still taking place. Many of the athletes chosen as All-Americans (particularly non-participants in the quarterfinals) do not attend the banquet which raises the question as to whether the selection process should be rushed so the athletes can attend the banquet if most don't attend anyway. The committee needs more time to make informed selections.
Danny suggested that a possible solution to this problem is to slightly change the dates of the committee calls. The nomination process would stop at the end of October and the selection committee would have their first conference call on Tuesday, Nov. 6 this year when in the past this call had been on Monday. This change allows for one extra day for the committee to do research. The committee would then make final selections on Sunday night, Nov. 11 which would allow most committee members to be back from their matches. The athletes could then be notified on Monday morning. This idea would allow the committee a little extra time to conduct research and also allow more time for committee members to participate.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m. ET. The next conference call is scheduled for Monday, August 13 at 11 a.m. ET.