AVCA advocates against proposal to contract size of men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament

Photo by Fabiana Huffaker

The AVCA is reaching out to the NCAA in an effort to prevent possible contraction to the Division I-II men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament field.

Executive Director Kathy DeBor said in a statement to Off the Block that the AVCA is providing data to the NCAA about the sport’s recent growth before it further considers a proposal to reduce the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament by three teams.

“AVCA is working with the NCAA to insure the DI Championships Finance Working Group is using accurate numbers for men’s DI-DII volleyball in evaluating access to the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship,” she said. “The pandemic has delayed, by a year, the start of seven DII men’s teams, all announced by their presidents and funded with campus and grant dollars from First Point Volleyball Foundation and USAV. These additions, along with St. Francis Brooklyn and Tusculum, new programs in 2019-20, means men’s DI-DII volleyball has over 50 teams, positioning the sport, per the Working Group’s parameters, for championship expansion rather than reduction.”

The Championships Finance Review Working Group recently submitted an initial proposal to the Division I Council that would reduce costs for future NCAA Division I and National Collegiate championships. Among the recommended cuts included reducing the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament from seven to four teams.


The working group’s proposal recommended that sports with more than 50 teams should have a NCAA Tournament field at about 20 percent of teams. Sports with less than 50 teams are recommended to have their tournament size at about 10 percent of teams.

Men’s volleyball in the proposal is listed at fewer than 50 schools resulting in the tournament size decrease. However, the proposal did not take into consideration the upcoming growth of NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.

Men’s volleyball will exceed 50 teams by the 2022 season with the SIAC and six of its schools adding the sport along with Converse College starting a program.

If these new programs were included, men’s volleyball based on the working group’s formula would have at least an eight-team tournament field.

The working group has requested that conferences, commissioners and organizations provide feedback to its proposal by July 10. The group will then take that feedback and feedback from other NCAA committees before formally submitting the final proposal to the Division I Council for consideration.

Wade Garard, CEO of the First Point Volleyball Foundation, said in an interview to Off the Block last week that his organization has already started collaborating with the AVCA to provide a coordinated response to the proposal.