D1 WOMEN’S SOCCER COMMITTEE

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by cpthomas, Feb 6, 2022.

  1. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To a great extent, the Women’s Soccer Committee flies under the radar most of the time, except when the NCAA announces the NCAA Tournament bracket. Notwithstanding this, it has the potential to play a very important role in more than just the selections. Because of that, it seems appropriate that we have a thread for the Committee. Among other things, it could be a place to advocate and discuss stances posters think the Committee should take on important issues.

    The Committee has 10 members, with at least one from each of the NCAA’ five formal regions and no more than three from any one region. Of the members of the Committee, six must represent NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools and four must represent NCAA Football Championship Subdivision schools or other Division I schools. (The FBS schools are the schools in the ACC, Big Twelve, American, Big Ten, CUSA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, and Sun Belt conferences, plus Army, Navy, and BYU.) At least half the Committee members must be athletics administrators. Members serve four-year terms, with September 1 as the beginning date of each year of service. A member may be re-appointed to the Committee if there has been at least a three-year gap since expiration of the member's previous term of service. No person may serve more than two terms on the Committee.

    Here is the Committee roster as of January 2022.

    Duane Bailey, South Region, Louisiana Lafayette, term expires September 1, 2025

    Debra Boughton, Midwest Region, Northern Illinois, September 1, 2022

    Clifton Douglass, Chair, South Region, Conference USA, September 1, 2022

    Jennifer Klein, Midwest Region, Michigan, September 1, 2023

    Scott Leykam, West Region, University of Portland, September 1, 2023

    Keri Mendoza, West Region, Cal Poly, September 1, 2025

    Matt Mott, Southeast Region, Ole Miss, September 1, 2023

    Ron Rainey, East Region, Dartmouth, September 1, 2025

    Lisa Varytimidis, South Region, Austin Peay, September 1, 2024

    Vacancy, TBD​
     
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  2. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Committee’s most recent annual meeting was August 2-3, 2021, a video conference. This is an unusual annual meeting time for the Committee, reflecting that the then most recent NCAA Tournament had been held in Spring 2022. The NCAA has published MINUTES from that meeting. Here are some interesting items from the minutes:

    For the NCAA Tournament preliminary rounds -- remember, this was in Spring 2021, the field was reduced to 48 participants, and the entire Tournament was in North Carolina -- there were "the challenges of having the championship in one geographic location but [the Committee] was pleased with the positive feedback on the format."

    On the College Cup format, "The Committee lauded the extra days of rest between semifinals and final games. The committee has been recommending an additional day of rest for the last two years. All indications are that the extra rest was well received, and an extra day remains highly desirable by the committee and the participants for rest and recovery. .... The committee continues to seek an additional day of rest between the semifinals and the championship game and would like it considered in the first available budget request opportunity, including as soon as the 2021 championships, if feasible with the host and the broadcast partner. The committee anticipates submitting this as an action item for a meeting in the near future."

    On television ratings, "The committee was pleased that both semifinals and the final matches were broadcast on ESPN2. The championship match averaged 149,000 viewers, up 51% from the December 2019 match on ESPNU. Across the semifinals and final, the Women’s College Cup averaged 100,000 viewers, which is up 52% over 2019 on ESPNU, and it was the second best viewership on record (behind 2016)."

    On the bracket structure, "The committee did not make any changes to selection criteria. The ability to pair without geographical restrictions this year compelled the committee to agree to spend more time with the first- and second-round matchups to get the best matchups in the early rounds."

    On the RPI, "The committee did not make any changes to the RPI."

    On possible season format changes, "In a joint session with the men’s soccer committee, Patricia Hughes, the new college programs officer for United Soccer Coaches, presented format concepts, including a review of the 21st Century Model that is still being discussed within the men’s college soccer community [official play in Fall and Spring, I believe], and a model extending the fall season by two weeks, including splitting the second/third rounds [of the NCAA Tournament] to separate weekends, and exploring an Elite Eight format for Women’s College Cup that is being discussed within the women’s college soccer community."​

    In addition to the above Minutes, in January 2022 the Committee published an NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Annual Report, which I suspect was sent out to coaches by the United Soccer Coaches. There is nothing new in the report, but it contains the Committee roster and information about the 2022 Tournament including dates, site, and selection criteria. This is the first time I have seen anything like it. It appears to be an attempt by the Committee to improve on communication from the Committee to coaches at least on the basics of the NCAA Tournament.
     
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  3. Tom81

    Tom81 Member+

    Jan 25, 2008
    I approve this message:
    On the College Cup format, "The Committee lauded the extra days of rest between semifinals and final games. The committee has been recommending an additional day of rest for the last two years. All indications are that the extra rest was well received, and an extra day remains highly desirable by the committee and the participants for rest and recovery. .... The committee continues to seek an additional day of rest between the semifinals and the championship game and would like it considered in the first available budget request opportunity, including as soon as the 2021 championships, if feasible with the host and the broadcast partner. The committee anticipates submitting this as an action item for a meeting in the near future."
     
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  4. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I spoke to Virginia head coach Steve Swanson on my podcast and he said there is a lot of support for the notion of extending the fall season two weeks. He personally doesn't want the split season format, though he'd closely watch how the men fare if they move to such a format.
     
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  5. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 17, 2012
    Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Link? Would be curious to listen!
     
  6. justasoccerfan

    justasoccerfan New Member

    Nov 8, 2021
    Would these moves be made for this fall? Longer season by 2 weeks? Can’t wait to see late Nov early Dec NCAA tournament games in Minn, Mich, Ohio etc
     
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  7. Collegewhispers

    Oct 27, 2011
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Maybe move preseason up a week and extend one week at the end? Might be a shade more tolerable in those states. Ohio generally isn’t too bad for the most part but extending two weeks further into winter could be difficult. Or move the entire season up on the front end.
     
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  8. SmallSchoolGaffer

    May 24, 2021
    They would not be made for this fall, per my understanding they are not on this cycle. The men are looking at the year round model as soon as the 2022-23 year. Originally talk was 2025 for this extended season for women, but looks like 2024 now. Not sure if they could get it in by 2023? It would standardize start date of august 1 for division 1 women, with first possible play date around the same time it is now. Season/conference tournaments would end the weekend before thanksgiving. NCAA tourney still done by Christmas, dead period still immediately after. Proposal calls for season to be done the third Sunday in December.

    The year-round model has virtually no support from female student athletes, and support for it amongst coaches has eroded post 2020-21, so I don’t think it’s even close to being on the table for women’s soccer.

    Weather for this proposal is a non factor.. you can’t stop it, the way it is now you’re playing into December, you’re only pushing back the season 1-2 weeks. Penn State, wisconsin, etc have already played in these conditions before in tourney games, all/most the schools that would be hosting have the resources to make it happen. Large snowfall is really uncommon for that time of year throughout the Midwest (save Vermont, upstate NY etc) anyway, so you’re looking at the possibility of it being cold, sure, but that happens at any time, including the tourney format right now.

    The idea is to minimize the number of multi-game weeks by essentially adding two weeks to the season. It also takes two weeks from the spring, so spring would be even shorter than it is currently. It will have very little effect on mid/low major conferences who are going to continue playing Friday/Sunday due to budgeting anyway, but does help break up the non conference, and could allow you to push back your first countable competition.
     
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  9. SpeakeroftheHouse

    PSG
    Italy
    Nov 2, 2021
    Have to say that I think it is an unnecessary and terrible idea. Why would anyone want weather conditions to possibly affect the outcome of games at the most important time of the year? Every school has a large roster. If you are worried about wear and tear, play more kids. Might help retention in the sport with the highest transfer rate. Basketball plays twice a week. Yes, it’s a longer season, but they also play upwards of 30 games. Are we trying to climb that wear and tear in soccer is worse? Maybe in professional leagues with only 3 substitutions, but not in college with fairly liberal sub rules.
     
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  10. upprv

    upprv Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    Yes wear and tear in soccer is significantly worse than basketball.
    Not even comparable. The data is clear and robust.

    You want more subs? Awesome. Give teams 22 full rides so they can have enough talent to win games with lots of subs.

    or don’t fire coaches for results if they don’t win because they are liberally subbing.

    we should be playing Wednesday sundays at the most. Once a week at best.
    Twice in a weekend is insane, bad for the kids health and not truly reflective of the game.
     
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  11. SpeakeroftheHouse

    PSG
    Italy
    Nov 2, 2021
    Stop it. 22 scholarships. Lol. Most teams already have between 28-32 players to begin with. Some have more. That is more than enough players to spread out the wear and tear. Wins and losses is a fair enough comment, but once a week is silly. Think about it logically and forget what the “science” says for a moment. If they are only playing one game a week, they’ll be training 5 days. Most training sessions last 2 hours. Games are 90 minutes plus a 15 minute half time break. Games are more intense certainly, but to claim injuries are the result of playing twice a week is simply not true. It could be overtraining that led up to it. An awkward challenge. There is no possible way to know.

    And what conferences still play Friday/Sunday? I don’t know if a single one anymore. Most are Weds/Sat or Thurs/Sun. There is also no chance that soccer has more wear and tear than basketball. Different maybe, but not worse. Pounding on hardwood. Leaping and landing. Stopping and starting. Zero chance. Anyone who says that never played both games.

    If coaches do a good job managing their team, they can keep players fresh and healthy. Change up your lineup in non-conference games. Coaches that don’t won’t fare any better in a one game week as they will use the additional time to run them into the ground.
     
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  12. upprv

    upprv Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    You are very out of touch with how trainings are run in the modern game. Your comments show a lack of insight and understanding of where the game is now.

    With all the data tracking and feedback coaches have put a premium on smart training and lots of rest/recovery. Exactly zero teams practice two hours during the season.

    You can look up the mounds of data out there comparing loads of soccer vs other sports but there’s a reason the nba plays 3/4 games a week and professional soccer plays once a week.

    you can “feel” like the sports are comparable all you want but the data is clear and says overwhelmingly otherwise. WHICH IS WHY coaches and admins are pushing to change soccer scheduling.

    the men are moving towards a year round one game a week schedule not just because they feel like it. The women will stretch out their season and if the mens year round works, the women will end up there too.

    spend the afternoon looking up all the research done on soccer training and game loads. It’s not comparable to basketball both in demands on the body and recovery.
     
  13. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Whether to lengthen the Fall season, however it is done, is an issue under discussion within the United Soccer Coaches. Whether to go to a split Fall-Spring season also is under discussion there. The respective Soccer Committees also have discussed these with NCAA staff.

    Regarding a split Fall-Spring season, my impression is that the considerations are not identical for the men and the women: The men are much more concerned about losing their best players to professional teams before the players complete their four years in college and feel that having only a Fall season does not offer enough to keep those best players in college, whereas this currently is less of a concern for the women. Further, I think the split Fall 2020-Spring 2021 experience led a number of coaches on the women’s side to conclude that would not be a good change for the women.

    The other big issue I think the Women’s Soccer Committee should take on is the RPI. If you follow the Scheduling and the NCAA Tournament thread, you will start to get a picture of how the RPI and its defects affect scheduling, which plays a major part in the experience of the players themselves. Coaches should be able to design their seasons so as to give their players the best possible experience, but the RPI in its current form undermines their ability to do that.

    My experience and what I have heard from coaches tells me that getting the NCAA to change anything is a big battle. The NCAA staff is limited and feels overworked. Other sports -- basketball, at least -- are much more important to them. So, it is reasonable to expect the staff to be a first barrier to change. And if the Committee can climb that mountain, there still is the matter of moving up through the NCAA hierarchy to final approval of any change. Put on top of this the fact that the Women’s Soccer Committee membership is rotating, that not all of the members have expertise on any of these important issues, and that they all have full time jobs to which their Committee work is an addition, and you can see why it is very difficult to get change.

    Regarding the RPI, I believe the Committee should take a strong position with the NCAA staff: Either we should significantly change now the RPI for DI women’s soccer or we should go to the NET system that the NCAA has gone to for basketball. Further, if the NCAA staff try to fend off considering significant changes now to the RPI by saying we should wait because at some point there will be a change to the NET system, the Committee should push the staff to say when that change to NET will be. If the staff will not say or puts the date off far into the future, then the Committee should take the position they want the RPI change now, they are not willing to wait. I say this knowing that the NCAA could make changes now to the RPI that would remove the problems it creates for scheduling if only it wants and has the will to do it.
     
  14. justasoccerfan

    justasoccerfan New Member

    Nov 8, 2021
    The Power 5 schools already have a huge advantage over everyone else. Why would you go to 24 scholarships? Playing in the north in Dec is not smart. Do you think playing games in 20 degree weather is good for the game? Mid to late Nov-early March is very very hit or miss with the weather. Silly to play NCAA games in that weather. I would love to see Florida State or UCLA or Texas to play at Michigan or Penn State
     
  15. ytrs

    ytrs Member+

    Jan 24, 2018
    More scholarships would significantly affect parity in the game. A larger scholarship offer is one way a mid-tier Division I program can outrecruit a Power 5 school. If everyone had more scholarships, many of those top players at mid-tier D I schools would be on Power 5 rosters.
     
  16. USFSU

    USFSU Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Wed/Sun? Did you say that? UPPrv is going around insulting ppl, and makes that statement? To save face are you going to act like you meant that the teams take the next week off?

    FYI Speaker, I actually went through and read a bunch of studies after the last time UPPrv brought it up. I had taken an interest in the topic back in college and being open-minded was willing to see if newer research had good insights. It didn't; same results as before. Sure, rest helps. However, unless you're getting to one game a week, I didn't read any studies with a conclusive benefit regarding the scheduling. Granted, the studies all really needed more data and more control over various factors. I did find it interesting that the 2/5 split showed better than a 3/4 split in the few cases I saw even addressing it. Now one thing I did search for but didn't find good raw data on is injury incidence rate in the NCAA, if anyone happens to have that would be cool to see.

    The one major health issue that soccer has more than most sports is concussion issues (which studies show get much worse in colder temps, for those advocating for making a longer Fall season) not wear and tear, and those studies back then really hit on that and we've seen a lot of progress towards addressing head injuries since then.

    There's a lot more complexity to pro soccer scheduling than you're letting on. With matches for regular leagues, league cups, continental cups, international tourneys. Not as simple as they play 1 game a week.
     
  17. ytrs

    ytrs Member+

    Jan 24, 2018
    Would the NCAA allow schools in the northern states to play games in dome facilities in December if weather was brutal?
     
  18. L'orange

    L'orange Member+

    Ajax
    Netherlands
    Jul 20, 2017
    Well, it is pretty outrageous that D1 soccer gets only 14 full scholarships, given that there are 11 players on the field and rosters of, what, 25 or more? Meanwhile, I believe basketball--5 players--has15 scholarships, so they're giving full scholly's to end-of-bench players, and some teams might not even have a roster of 15. Is it because basketball is a revenue sport and soccer is not? That's my assumption.
     
  19. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Yes.

    And football gets something like 80 scholarships. Only 22 starters there...
     
  20. SmallSchoolGaffer

    May 24, 2021
    All you weather alarmists do realize we are talking about the tournament ending literally less than a week later than it does right now.

    also, no point in debating scholarships, it’s not changing.

    2 weeks may not seem significant, and maybe it won’t be, but the notion that every school (especially in non covid times) has more than 28 or 30 kids, every school is fully funded and that there are no conferences still playing Friday/Sunday are totally uninformed and lazy comments.

    ideally we would extend the season to year-round but there is very VERY little support for that on the womens side and that’s not on the table right now (in 5-10 years? Maybe!) but the notion that we shouldn’t extend the season a little bit if we can because heaven forbid it might be cold or it might snow is totally stupid. Again, the postseason is ending less than a week later than it does currently should this pass.

    i also would concede this is not a perfect plan—soccer in the context of the NCAA is imperfect—it’s not going to eliminate injuries, but I think most coaches and athletic trainers, doctors and sport scientists would agree any added days and weeks is generally helpful.
     
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  21. upprv

    upprv Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    Agreed to all of that gaffer.
    And if they move the official start date two weeks earlier I’d be somewhat satisfied with these changes to an imperfect system.

    longer preseason, longer season and national seeding for ncaa tournament are my top three changes I’d like to see.

    next would be televise all ncaa games, institute rule that you have to be above .500 in conference to be eligible for ncaa tournament and increase scholarships to 18 or 20.

    but I do like that changes are coming. Other sports have seen massive changes so it’s time for soccer as well.
     
  22. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Am I right in thinking this means you would like to see the bracket set up with all teams seeded and placed in the bracket according to those seeds?
     
  23. travelingcoach

    travelingcoach New Member

    United States
    Aug 27, 2019
    Just playing devil's advocate here...

    With all the focus on NOT playing later in Nov and Dec up North due to cold, why would playing in the South, Southwest and Southeast in be that much more favorable in more summertime heat? Just curious as to why it is always that argument with little mention of the opposite.
     
  24. ytrs

    ytrs Member+

    Jan 24, 2018
    Snow and cold affect the playing surface much more than heat and humidity. Safety from injuries.
     
  25. upprv

    upprv Member

    Aug 4, 2004

    Yes. Seed 1-64. 1 plays 64, 2 plays 63, 3 plays 62 etc. No travel rules of any kind.

    oh and an alternate post season tournament like wbball and now wvball have. Basically treat womens soccer on par with the other womens college sports. Or better.
     

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