Monday, September 21, 2020

Changing the Trajectory for Officiating


"recognizing college student-athletes who excel both on and off the field of competition."

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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1.  Changing the Trajectory for Officiating

The rapid, remarkable rise of college football official Amanda Sauer
photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire

The Division III Commissioners Association has released its strategic analysis on the state of collegiate officiating.

Over a 12-month period, more than 15,000 individuals provided input for the DIIICA Officiating Committee review. In each case, the outreach focused on recruiting (pipelines, shortages, diversity, age, training), retention (conduct, treatment, education, advancement), organizational challenges (fees/cost, review, regional differences, best practices) and strategic collaboration (with all level of amateur athletics).

Conference Commissioners have been consistently uneasy with the dwindling pool of quality officials, the advancing age of current officials, and the lack of interest or incentive among younger populations to enter or remain in the field. This growing worry led the DIIICA to take the initiative and address these alarming trends in order to potentially head-off a serious threat to collegiate athletic competitions.

The report outlines three systemic and cultural recommendations to improve the current and future state of officiating.

  1. Organizational leadership and oversight of officiating, focused on formalizing accountability on a national level. Initiating programming to communicate the human side of officiating with a concentration on diversifying the pools of officials will be critical.
  2. Continued strategic alliances, collaboration and efforts across the NCAA divisions on best practices, education as well as partnering with coaches and officiating associations.
  3. Conference engagement through addressing innovative ways to provide meaningful evaluation and training modules. Additionally, examining the financial model around officiating and addressing sportsmanship-related issues will also be on each Conference’s radar.

>> What They're Saying: "The joint venture between DIIICA and The PICTOR Group addresses the officiating crisis in Division III and has the potential to be a true game-changer for college athletics at our level,” said Joe Onderko, Presidents' Athletic Conference Commissioner and DIIICA President. “This document is historic, as it marks the first time DIIICA has funded a comprehensive study of the many complex issues resulting in a shortage in officials in many sports in Division III."

>> The Big Picture: “I encourage the NCAA and Commissioners at the Division I and II levels to continue to collaborate with Division III on this issue that we must solve together,” said Patrick B. Summers, Executive Director of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference and chair of the DIIICA Officiating Committee.. “The data provides us with clear direction on critical issues and the DIIICA’s work on a five-year strategic plan to respond and take action has already begun.”

>> Read the Report Synopsis

>> Go Deeper with the Entire Report 

2.  More Trouble at Brockport

by Randy Gorbman, WXXI

"Just a week after SUNY Brockport announced that it was suspending its wrestling program pending the outcome of investigations stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations, the college has now announced the interim suspension of the men’s soccer program.

The NCAA Division III men’s soccer program was suspended on Saturday evening pending the outcome of an investigation stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations. In addition to the team’s interim suspension, six SUNY Brockport students will receive individual interim suspensions.

Pending the results of the investigation, the men’s soccer will have to stop all team functions, including practices, workouts, team meetings, etc. The only exception to the interim suspension for the individual students as well as the entire men’s soccer team is the requirement for all to report to campus in order to take part in the college’s pool surveillance testing.

>> Continue Reading


3.  #whyD3: Kristina Williams

Lewis & Clark's Kristina Williams '13 is a Division III believer. A two-time Northwest Conference basketball Player of the Year and a WBCA All-American, Williams returned to her alma mater as head coach and continues to show young women the advantages of a Division III playing career and education.

>> Her College Years:  “I look back at it with a ton of joy. It was an awesome experience, not only athletically but also just the full college experience. I don’t think so many people are fortunate to say that they had an amazing experience. Some people really enjoy the academic side but not the other side or vice versa, and I just really feel like I got an amazing full experience at Lewis & Clark. That’s one of the reasons why I was so excited to come back and coach at Lewis & Clark."

>> The Competition: "Once you hit your real conference stride in January, you have those 16 games and you have to be ready to go every game; at home, away. To this day we have that in our conference and that’s something I talk to my players about all the time. Every night you have to be ready to play, there’s no “gimme” in our conference. To me, that’s something now in the coaching realm, I stress to our recruits all the time about how amazing it is to play in this conference. What’s fun is going out there and competing and having some real true competition."

>> The Job Search: "I wanted to focus on basketball, and I needed a little time after college to figure out what I wanted to do. I moved back to California after I graduated and I took the time to apply to about five different sport psychology master’s programs across the country. Almost kind of last minute, I came across the graduate program at Smith College, which is actually geared toward people who want to go into collegiate coaching.  I was admitted into that program and I also had the opportunity to be a Graduate Assistant for the women’s basketball coach at Smith College. I ended up going that route instead of the Master’s in Sports Psychology. Right as I was graduating, the assistant job at L&C opened up and moving back to the Portland area was something I had huge interest in."

>> What's Next: "Last thing I’ll add - I’m a very competitive person, I like to win, and so long-term is always to find ways to win Championships. I’m definitely not na├»ve to the fact that there are so many other ways to measure success, and we focus on those ways every day in our planning, but it’s fun to win and I want our student-athletes to experience that."

>> Continue Reading


Chi Alpha Sigma is the first national scholar-athlete society to honor those collegiate student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and in athletic competition. Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes college student-athletes who receive a varsity letter in their sport, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full-time semester, and earn a 3.4 cumulative grade point average. Student-athletes who compete for a collegiate club team are also eligible id the club team is overseen by the athletics department at the local chapter.
Find out more at

4. Weekend Stars

Photos by Megan Schmitz
  • Congratulations to Concordia Wisconsin junior Jordan Carlton who set a program record with a five-under-par 67 in the opening round of the WLC Fall Classic on Saturday. He bettered the old standard by two shots and went onto capture medalist honors in the tournament.
  • It was a three-set thriller between two of the best players in the America Rivers Conference on Saturday. Nebraska Wesleyan's Brooke Sailer and Wartburg's Madi Overmann split the first two sets, before Sailer prevailed in the 10-point tiebreaker, 10-8. Both were first-team A-R-C selections a year ago.

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5.  Conference Call

Today we continue our look at Division III conferences with those formed in the big 80s.
Little East Conference - Wikipedia
Conference: Little East Conference
Commissioner: Pamela Samuelson
Headquarters: North Providence, R.I.
  • Founded: April 28, 1986
  • Charter Members (5): Eastern Connecticut, Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Dartmouth, Rhode Island College, Southern Maine
  • Other Core Members (3): Western Connecticut (1993), Keene State (1997), Castleton (2018)
  • Affiliates (8): Bridgewater State (FH, TEN), Fitchburg State (FH), Framingham State (FH), Massachusetts Maritime (MLAX), Salem State (MLAX, TEN), Western New England (WSWIM), Westfield State (FH, WSWIM), Worcester State (FH, WTEN)
  • Oldest: Castleton (1787)
  • Largest: Massachusetts Boston (9,897)
  • Smallest: Castleton (1,628)
  • Championship Sports: 21
  • Longest Trip: 215 miles (Castleton to Massachusetts Dartmouth)

>> Tuesday: Commonwealth Coast Conference

>> Oops: Thanks to our eagle-eyed readers who pointed out that we did not update the longest trip in the UAA on Friday. It is 1,175 miles from Brandeis to Washington U. 

>> PreviouslyAEC |  SAA | NECC | NACC | Landmark | NEAC 
NEWMAC | AMCC | NAC | ASC | GNAC | Liberty | CSAC | Skyline 

sources: Google Maps, EADA

6.  Comings and Goings
7.  1 RBG Thing


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