NCAA Vote Gives Division III Men's Volleyball Its Own National Tournament
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 15, 2011) - USA Volleyball and the AVCA applaud the NCAA for voting on Saturday to create a new men's volleyball Division III (DIII) National Championship tournament. This is the first men's NCAA National Championship that has been added since 1985.
The vote was taken at the Division III business session at the NCAA's annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. When the results were posted a round of applause erupted from the delegation. The proposal passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 439 to 2. Overall, it is the 89th NCAA championship.
The legislation was jointly presented by Zak Ivkovic the commissioner of the CUNY Conference and Joe Walsh the commissioner of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
Until now, the only NCAA national championship tournament for which men's DIII schools were eligible was the same one in which Division I and II schools compete.
"There are many who deserve credit for this very significant moment," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Gerry Matacotta and the late Mike Ricciardi, who worked tirelessly on developing new college programs, Molten USA who consistently provided corporate support, former AVCA executive director, Sandy Vivas, and the other visionaries who dared to dream this could happen, staff at the NCAA who unwaveringly pushed the process, and USA Volleyball, who put years of staff time and organizational resources into the development of new opportunities for men and boys to play volleyball in the United States, to name a few. The result: the 89th NCAA Championship is Division III Men's Volleyball! How good is that?!"
"USA Volleyball is thrilled that the NCAA has approved this new men's national championship tournament," USAV CEO Doug Beal said. "We are proud of the role USAV has played and will continue to play in encouraging schools to establish men's volleyball programs.
"Volleyball is a vibrant, growing sport for boys and men and this will have a positive impact on high school and club programs that are already strong in many parts of the country."
Fifty-seven colleges and universities around the country now have or are planning to have DIII men's volleyball teams. Fifty were required for the creation of a DIII National Championship.
There are six conferences that support men's DIII volleyball, with more conferences expected to join. The North East Collegiate Volleyball Association has been instrumental in efforts to help grow men's division III collegiate volleyball, led by the commissioner, the late Mike Ricciardi of Ramapo College, and the conference executive director, Gerry Matacotta. Their efforts combined with those from the AVCA and USAV have helped expand opportunities for boys to be able to continue to compete in the sport they love at the collegiate level.
Since 1997, USA Volleyball and the AVCA have co-hosted the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship, which will be held this year on April 15-16 at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.
USA Volleyball has supported and encouraged DIII schools to add men's volleyball teams with its grant program, which started in 1991. Since that time, and continuing in 2011, more than $276,000 in grant money has been awarded to more than 40 schools to help them implement new DIII men's volleyball programs.
"The creation of this new NCAA championship is a historic event for volleyball and benefits current and future student-athletes," said Jeff Mosher, USAV coordinator for boys' and men's development. "It represents the continued efforts of the NCAA to expand opportunities for Olympic sports to thrive in colleges across the country. It provides an incentive for both Division III colleges and high schools to increase opportunities for men to play varsity volleyball and enhance the pipeline of athletes eligible for our national and Olympic teams."
Other quotes about the creation of a new men's volleyball Division III (DIII) National Championship tournament:
John Williams, the Director of NCAA Division III Championship: "We are very excited to start our 89th NCAA championship with DIII Men's Volleyball. This is another opportunity for more student-athletes to compete for a national championship in a sport they specialize in and achieve a DIII education."
Zak Ivkovic the commissioner of the CUNY Conference: "We are thrilled for all the student-athletes that are going to be able to compete on a level playing field and glad that all our efforts have paid off."
North East Collegiate Volleyball Association Commissioner Gerry Matacotta: "The creation of this tournament secures a place for men's Division III volleyball in the NCAA."