Division II adopts Life in the Balance package and Sand Volleyball Regulations


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ATLANTA - The schools of NCAA Division II considered 16 proposals at last week's NCAA Convention in Atlanta, highlighted by Saturday's passing of a four-proposal "Life in the Balance" legislative package, as well as confirming the legislative parameters to govern sand volleyball as an emerging sport in their division.


Sponsored by the Division II Presidents Council, the "Life in the Balance" legislation aims to, according to the NCAA News, "streamline seasons and reduce contests" in 10 sports, including volleyball. The passing of this legislation reduces the number of contests in Division II from 28 to 26 per season. 


"While any legislation that reduces competitive opportunities is tough to swallow," said Kathy DeBoer, AVCA Executive Director, "the multi-sport nature of this package and the mandate from most presidents that it be supported made it impossible for individual sports to fight."


Other ramifications of the legislation include shortening the season by one week, and introducing a seven-day dead period over the winter holiday break.  Shortening the season will, in effect, eliminate one week of preseason, and, according to the NCAA News, "reduce the financial burden on institutions by allowing fall-sport student-athletes to report a week later."


"We hear that Phase Two will involve conversation about reducing non-traditional season play," said DeBoer.  "We must make sure that we share the data regarding the significant ramifications for both women's opportunities and fall team sport opportunities of any further reduction in competitions.  Unlike football, volleyball does not have team sizes that allow for meaningful inter-squad competitions in the spring.  Losing two fall competitions was difficult, losing more in the spring would put DII student-athletes at a serious disadvantage in terms of skill development."


In addition to the "Life in the Balance" legislation, Saturday's Division II Business Session featured the affirmation of legislative parameters to govern sand volleyball as an emerging sport in their division.  Regulations allowing 16 dates of competition and five equivalency scholarships were passed by the membership.  Division II will institute sand volleyball as a sport on August 1, 2010, the original timetable recommended by the Committee on Women's Athletics in July 2008.

Click here to read "DII's Balance Package: One down, One to go" in the NCAA News.


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