International Volleyball

NCAA grants women’s volleyball one-year waiver to add five extra August practice days

NCAA grants women's volleyball one-year waiver to add five extra August practice days

Caylen Alexander attacks for Hawaiโ€™i i the season opener last August 25 against Northwestern/UH photo

Because of a changing calendar, NCAA Division I volleyball teams can start practice five days earlier than expected.

From the AVCA and NCAA:

โ€œThe NCAA Division I Committee for Legislative Relief approved a blanket waiver to permit member institutions to begin practice sessions in womenโ€™s volleyball 22 days before the first scheduled regular-season intercollegiate contest.โ€

Such a move has been a long time coming, but itโ€™s just for one year with an eye on expanding it and making it permanent.

โ€œThe blanket waiver provides one-time short-term relief to allow for additional discussion and review of a future legislative solution,โ€ it added in the news release.

The first playing date is August 30, 2024. Last season, the season began on Friday, August 25. Practices began August 8 last year and will again this season for teams playing their first matches on August 30.

Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth is in the first year of her term as the AVCA president.ย 

โ€œI think itโ€™s a health and safety issue,โ€ Bernthal Booth said. โ€œWe need to have time to ease our player into the season and we have such a short runway youโ€™d be balancing so many things you need to teach but not wanting to wear them out. So these extra five days will allow us, hopefully, to do it in a healthier way.โ€

AVCA executive director Jaime Gordon explained how the legislation came about.

โ€œThere was a change coming out of COVID, a proposal by the Big West, to simplify how to calculate the preseason, and there were some unintended consquences with that formula because they calculated from your match date, when the old calculations were based on September first,โ€ Gordon said.

โ€œSo as the calendar shifted, especially in this year, where you have the first permissible date of competition as August 30, ultimately teams were losing anywhere from four to eight days of practice relative to the old calculations. The AVCA and coaches started sharing this when it first came out, saying that it was going to be a problem and fortunately we were able to go through the right processes and have the right committees and provide the right information.โ€

The change to which he referred occurred on August 1, 2022, and as the AVCA said in its release, โ€œwas not intended to decrease the number of preseason practice days in any sport, but in practice, it resulted in a significant reduction in…

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