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Major Proposal To Revamp The Regionals

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  • Major Proposal To Revamp The Regionals

    USTFCCCA sent out this message to coaches yesterday:

    <<Subject: Regional Realignment Update

    At last year's USTFCCCA convention, Division I track & field coaches voted overwhelmingly for one four-region realignment model to address the competitive inequities of the present regional alignments. While USTFCCCA leadership and the NCAA Division I Track & Field Committee have worked hard to bring that proposed realignment change to fruition, we have reached a dead end with four-region realignment at the level of the NCAA Championships Cabinet.

    The attached document, which was recently sent to the NCAA Division I Track & Field Committee, briefly outlines where we are now in the legislative process and how we have gotten to this point. It also offers a proposal that would create fairness in both opportunities to qualify for and opportunities to advance in the Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. After reviewing other possible plans, two of which are included in this attachment, both the Division I USTFCCCA officers and the Division I Regional Realignment Ad-Hoc Committee recommended the single site proposal contained in the attachment.

    What can we do with this information?

    Please read over the attached document and feel free to contact any of the USTFCCCA Division I Track & Field national officers (listed on our website) or conference representatives on the Division I Track & Field Executive Committee, as well as the USTFCCCA national office, with questions and/or discussion.

    What is the plan at convention?

    This issue of realignment will be discussed in the Division I Track & Field sessions at this year's Convention. The recommendation from our Division I coaches that comes out of those sessions will be presented back to the Division I Track & Field Committee and forwarded to the Championships Cabinet in time for their February 2008 meeting.

    What is the timeline for approval?

    We are on a very tight timeline. The next meeting of the Championships Cabinet is in February 2008, and agenda items for that meeting are due the first week of December, before our Convention. We have resubmitted the previous coaches' proposal to the Cabinet in order to secure space on the agenda, and we have received permission to amend that submission to include the results of our discussions and voting on the issue at Convention.

    The Cabinet's February meeting may represent one of our last opportunities in the near future to bring competitive equity to qualification for and advancement in the Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. This issue likely will not be revisited by the Cabinet in the near future. Therefore, this is a critical period for us to work to achieve some relief from the inequitable aspects of the present regional alignments.

    Can we make changes, suggestions, etc?

    Nothing is set in stone at this point, and thoughts about ways to improve the proposal are welcome. The major issue at this stage is that we have two options available: either remain in the current regional alignments as they are today (NO CHANGE), or adopt a new system in an effort to bring about competitive equity in qualifying and advancement at the Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

    Thank you in advance for your careful consideration of the attached materials!>>

    note: the "attached materials" is a 15-page PDF that I don't have the capacity to reproduce at this point, but later today it should be available on the front page.

  • #2
    This has be a hot rumor of discussion on LetsRun. The characterization I have seen there seems to have some problematic elements to it. If such a major change is going to be made within such a tight timeframe there might be real problems.

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    • #3
      I would be blown away if the NCAA instituted such a major revamp literally as the season unfolds.

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      • #4
        I've only had a chance to quickly scan the Proposal, and it's pretty radical. But I actually think I like it. Yes, of course it has flaws, but everything does.

        Basic plan would be that the Regionals and Nationals would be conducted at the same site over an 11-day period. Two sets of 4-day competitions. Here's a hypothetical caendar (* = Wed-Sat competition days)

        June 20xx
        1 2 3 4* 5* 6* 7*
        8 9 10 11* 12* 13* 14*

        The first weekend is called (drawing on basketball success) the Super 64 weekend, the second the Sweet 16 weekend.

        In all the "standard" events, each field is 64 deep (all Conference champions in automatically--this is a given--the rest qualify from the yearly list).

        For running events (most) have the equivalent of heats and quarters pm first weekend; on second weekend semis and finals.

        For field events, a rather unique 4-part system: 4 groups of 16 get 3 attempts each (not the verts), then 4 groups of 9 get 3 on the first weekend. On the second, a group of 16 gets 3, then the final is 9 getting 3.

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        • #5
          That would make a difference in the complexity of qualifying, but both to the betterment and detriment of some events. It makes sense overall, however.

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          • #6
            I hate the reliance on the lists so much, but absolutely love the 4-part field-event cutdown.

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            • #7
              The obvious downside is that regional SPECTATORS are screwed. I loved going to the Regional in G-ville last spring (Dix 19.69!), as did my fellow spectators, but we have no ability to make the trek to a national site.

              The idea sounds pragmatic AND fair, so I can live with it, but I like the idea of Regionals being . . . regional.

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              • #8
                How many rounds of a 10,000 do they run and how are you going to double the 5000/10,000 or 3000SC/5000, etc. Surely they are not going to have four rounds of the 5000, much less the 10,000. And I would love to see quarters and semis of the decathlon, much less heats....

                Are there any 'q's or are they all 'Q's (-- place only each each race or top places, plus next x fastest.

                The facilities to handle the competition are going to be substantial, especially the first weekend, with 64 x (Nm + Nw) just for competitors.

                A marks-based qualifying is going to favor the warm-weather schools, especially from the non-top tier because they will have few opportunities to compete. What is someone does 100s during the season and they are all wind-aided. What is the levelization mechanism for altitude and wind -- high demand for JRM's tool (why not, it is better than the NCAA's mechanism, although it does not extend to distances, etc)?

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                • #9
                  I did say "standard" events....

                  Steeple will be 2 races first weekend, 1 the second
                  5K and 10K will be one race each weekend
                  Multis will be 24 based solely on list (second weekend)
                  Verts will be 4x16 the first weekend, 1x16 the second.
                  At quick glance, don't see what's up w/ relays.

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                  • #10
                    PDF now linkable from the front page. (can be a slow load)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 26mi235
                      A marks-based qualifying is going to favor the warm-weather schools, especially from the non-top tier because they will have few opportunities to compete.
                      Seems many (most?) head to Mt. Sac, Penn, Drake or Texas Relays to get those opportunities. Distance runners (even from cold-weather places like Wisconsin) head to either Oregon or Stanford for their marks. Non-top tier universities will still have the same opportunities they have on their schedules today.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 26mi235
                        ....What is someone does 100s during the season and they are all wind-aided. ...?
                        NCAA for several years now has operated w/ a 4.0mps ceiling for qualifying; no "deserving" sprinter has ever been denied because of an all-windy campaign.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EPelle
                          Originally posted by 26mi235
                          A marks-based qualifying is going to favor the warm-weather schools, especially from the non-top tier because they will have few opportunities to compete.
                          Seems many (most?) head to Mt. Sac, Penn, Drake or Texas Relays to get those opportunities. Distance runners (even from cold-weather places like Wisconsin) head to either Oregon or Stanford for their marks. Non-top tier universities will still have the same opportunities they have on their schedules today.
                          You have to be good enough by the time regionals come around. The regional Qs are not an issue for anyone that has much chance of scoring at NCAAs. Then you get a head-to-head. How good with the 64th best mark be relative to the regional Q (e.g., how many qualify for regionals).

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                          • #14
                            Is this a 'TV-friendly' approach? Would they broadcast any of weekend 1?

                            Is a 3-4 day span enough recovery for NCAA-level competitors?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 26mi235
                              ....
                              A marks-based qualifying is going to favor the warm-weather schools, especially from the non-top tier because they will have few opportunities to compete. .....
                              Actually, just like it did in the (bad) old days, it favors schools with huge budgets which can afford to send their people all over the country to find proper wind/altitude/temperature/rabbits.

                              And it once again kills any incentive to have meaningful meets for most of the season; just a stead stream of time trials. Sigh. (but you take the bad w/ the good)

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