Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New Kids on the Block


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1. New Kids on the Block

new-members - Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce
July 1 is always a day of rebirth in college athletics. Budgets are replenished, vacation banks are refilled ... and colleges and universities leave and join conferences.

Here is the list of movers and shakers in Division III.

  • American Southwest: Louisiana College OUT
  • Atlantic East: Wesley OUT, Centenary IN
  • Coast-to-Coast: St. Mary's, Md., Southern Virginia OUT
  • Colonial States: Centenary OUT
  • Great Northeast: Elms IN
  • Midwest: St. Norbert OUT
  • Minnesota: St. Thomas OUT, St. Scholastica IN
  • New England Collegiate: Elms OUT
  • New England Hockey: Elmira men and women IN, William Smith IN
  • North Eastern: St. Mary's, Md. IN
  • Northern Athletics: St. Norbert IN
  • Old Dominion: Emory & Henry OUT
  • St. Louis: Iowa Wesleyan OUT
  • USA South: Southern Virginia IN



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2. Rules Committee Recap

by Greg Johnson, NCAA

"The NCAA Softball Rules Committee, which met virtually last week, proposed implementing video review and allowing coaches to have two video review challenges beginning in the 2021-22 academic year.

There would be no requirement to use the video review rule, but if approved, it would be optional for all schools, conferences and tournaments to implement.

Under the proposal, each head coach would have two challenges to initiate a review for the entirety of the game. A coach must verbally or visually indicate a challenge request before the next pitch, before the pitcher and all infielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding position and left fair territory, or before the umpires have left the field of play.

The umpire crew chief also has the discretion to initiate a review of designated plays beginning with the sixth inning of a game."

Also ...

  • With thoughts of increasing pace and flow of the game, the committee proposed allowing a total of seven charged coach-to-player conferences to occur during a game, beginning with the 2022 season.
  • To further improve the pace and flow of the game, the committee recommended a standard time between innings — 90 seconds — for all games (media or nonmedia) and allowing pitchers to throw any number of warmup pitches during this time.
  • The committee also recommended adding to the rules book that a runner will be out, including ejected, for a deliberate collision with a fielder regardless of if the fielder has possession of the ball."

>> Keep Reading

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3.  Data In, Schedules Out

Offutt School of Business | Concordia College

courtesy of Concordia College communications

"A project by a mathematics class will be used in 2022 to schedule sports for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).

Always on the lookout for projects his students can work on, Dr. Nathan Axvig, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, just happened to mention to Rachel Bergeson, Concordia’s athletic director, that his students could work on something like sports scheduling.

At the same time Dan McKane, commissioner for the MIAC, was looking for a fresh start with scheduling, Bergeson mentioned Axvig’s class to him.

“The timing was perfect, so thanks to Rachel for bringing us together,” McKane said. “We were changing our membership up with St. Thomas leaving the MIAC and St. Scholastica coming in, and it really allowed us a chance to say ‘how can we reinvent this.’”

>> Situational Awareness: "McKane sent Axvig three Excel spreadsheets: one with men’s teams, one with women’s teams, and one with dates for games. Axvig then divided the 16 students in his Introduction to Operations Management/Research class into five groups with each taking a sport: men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s hockey, and baseball and softball."

>> Quotable: “The students had to do information gathering to see which pegs fit into which holes and what are the rules of how to do that and how do we make that happen,” Axvig said. “Then you can model all those things using mathematical inequalities and equalities, and that was the type of math that I was teaching in the class.”

>> Worth Noting: "For example, to model just the first half of the season’s schedule for basketball, students wrote 1,937 lines of code with 2,365 variables."

>> The Key Stat: "Axvig noted that people can hamstring themselves by not using computer programs for tedious things they’re spending many hours of time trying to do by hand. The MIAC schedule now takes approximately three to four minutes to solve once you get the three Excel spreadsheets."

>> Read More

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4.  Comings and Goings

5.  The Brend Tennis Experience


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