The selection committee criteria used to determine the NCAA Tournament field will get a significant tweak for the upcoming season.
The NCAA Division I Championships Sports/Management Cabinet at its annual fall meeting approved a proposal to include the Rating Percentage Index as part of the men’s volleyball selection committee criteria.
The RPI is a ranking system used by several other NCAA sports and their selection committees. The formula to establish a men’s volleyball team’s RPI ranking will be comprised of three parts — a team’s winning percentage, its combined opponents’ winning percentage and its opponents’ strength of schedule.
Opponents’ winning percentage will be the heaviest weighted piece in the RPI formula at 50 percent, according to the meeting’s notes released on the NCAA website. A team’s winning percentage and their opponents’ strength of schedule each will be worth 25 percent of the RPI.
A team’s RPI ranking will be one of eight pieces of criteria that the selection committee will use to establish the NCAA Tournament field for the 2015 season. In addition, the RPI will replace the criteria category of overall winning percentage.
Among the other selection committee criteria categories includes head-to-head record, non-conference record, home and away records, record against common opponents and record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration.
With the exception of RPI, all of the selection committee criteria categories had already been used in previous men’s volleyball seasons.
The three-person NCAA men’s volleyball selection committee is responsible each season for determining the two at-large bids and seeding for the six-team NCAA Tournament.
This change in the selection process comes after the committee’s controversial decision last season to award Lewis the final at-large bid instead of Pepperdine. Despite Pepperdine being ranked No. 2 in the final regular season national coaches poll, Lewis earned the at-large bid because it out-performed Pepperdine in the selection committee criteria categories.
Along with now using the RPI on Selection Saturday, the selection committee requested to have the RPI rankings be published and available to the public during the season.
The 2015 season will begin in January and conclude with the NCAA Tournament on May 5-9 at Stanford.