Tuesday, September 14, 2010

College Redraw: USAU's Goals

I've read and re-read and re-re-read the redraw now and I am starting to piece together what the USAU was after. Their stated goals are

To promote growth in the division and reduce travel times for all teams by
adding regions. Densely populated regions would be broken up so that there
are more available bids to Regionals. Historically large geographic regions
would be broken up to reduce travel times.

There are two goals in here that they did address well: handling the too-big sections and reducing travel time in the West. Whether this will promote growth or not remains to be seen, but it will certainly help manage growth. The travel situation in the west is better (certainly for the SW losing Colorado,) but not that great for the Pacific NW. (Do you know how far it is from Vancouver to Salt Lake City?

There is a hidden goal here as well: consistency and conformity. The USAU wants to have everything controlled and standardized; they want to end the Wild West era of ultimate development. Not really a bad idea from an organizational standpoint, but it does make creative developments more difficult. The six-month introduction to enactment of the Callahan rules couldn't happen today; it would have to go through committees and process and approval and maybe, finally, enactment.

Notice that despite the supposed flexibility (4-14 teams, geographic hardship) the USAU has already put every team in a conference. Notice that the USAU has continued its recent policy of dictating Regional formats and structures.

A final note, which I'll discuss more in the next post: the biggest change in here is the leveling of competition. While the structure of competition: Sectionals, Regionals, Nationals is essentially maintained in Conference, Regionals, Nationals, who is in your conference is very different from who was in your section. At Oregon, we traded Lewis and Clark and Portland for UW and UBC.

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