The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has adopted a new championship model that fits with their previous innovative scheduling concept for Olympic team sports. On June 3, the League ( consisting of Delaware, William and Mary, Northeastern, JMU, Hofstra,Drexel, and Towson in field hockey) stated that each CAA institution has committed to play at least the minimum number of contests per sport to meet NCAA sport requirements, but using what the CAA calls the Extreme Flexibility Model (EFM). The EFM is designed to maximize the cost saving with regular season travel. Each school has the option of scheduling each other, even multiple times, but it is not required that they play each other at all.
In concert with the EFM format, yesterday, June 23rd, the conference announced unlike previous years, every team will be eligible to play in the conference tournament championship. The conferences athletic administration felt it was important to give all student athletes the experience of competing for a CAA championship and a chance for the auto bid to the NCAA tournament.
Student athlete health and safety, limiting travel, missed class time and controlling costs were considered in the decision. The championship will be held at one location. A committee of athletic administrators and conference staff will determine the seeds for the championship using a variety of metrics including postseason polls of the conference head coaches. In the event, that each team plays a regular conference schedule, standings will determine the seeds.
I am impressed with this well thought out plan which provides scheduling flexibility, concern for the athlete’s class time and safety, while providing an experience worthy of the effort.
We still have not heard from the Ivy League who traditionally start later in the season.
The Patriot League announced their plans last Monday. The scheduling gun has sounded and a free for all in filling scheduling dates has begun. The Ivies may be left out at the end, given they have not finalized plans for even their fall student body returns.