KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The National Association of Athletics (NAIA) announced this week the sport of men’s volleyball has been approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) and the NAIA Men’s Volleyball Executive Committee to become an Invitational Status sport effective this 2015-16 season.
NAIA Men’s Volleyball will be divided into five conferences and given the growth of the league conferences are subject to change annually based on the advised direction of the NAC, Athletic Directors and National Coaches Committee.
Please see below a break down of the five new conferences. The newly formed conferences have been designed to encourage growth and to pursue the goal of becoming a national championship sport, which now requires 40 varsity programs.
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC):
St. Ambrose – Davenport, Iowa
Robert Morris – Chicago, Illinois
Calumet College of St. Joseph – Whiting, Indiana
Cardinal Stritch – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
St. Xavier – Chicago, Illinois
Trinity Christian College – Palos Heights, Illinois
Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC):
Clarke University – Dubuque, Iowa
Culver-Stockton – Canton, Missouri
Graceland – Lamoni, Iowa
Grand View – Des Moines, Iowa
Missouri Valley – Marshall, Missouri
Mount Mercy – Cedar Rapids, Iowa *Adding men’s volleyball in 2016
Midwest Volleyball Conference:
AMC Group: (American Midwest Conference)
Missouri Baptist – St. Louis, Missouri
Park University – Parkville, Missouri
Lindenwood University-Belleville – Belleville, Illinois
Hannibal-LaGrange – Hannibal, Missouri
GPAC/KCAC Group: Great Plains Athletic Conference/Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Briar Cliff – Sioux City, Iowa
Dordt College – Sioux Center, Iowa
Morningside – Sioux City, Iowa
Ottawa – Ottawa, Kansas
Mideast Volleyball Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference/Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
Cincinnati Christian – Cincinnati, Ohio
Davenport – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Lawrence Technological University – South Field, Michigan
Lourdes University – Sylvania, Ohio
Siena Heights – Adrian, Michigan
Independents Volleyball Conference:
West Group: Golden State Athletic Conference/California Pacific Conference
Benedictine University at Mesa – Mesa, Arizona
Hope International – Fullerton, California
University of California – Merced – Merced, California
East Group: Appalachian Athletic Conference/The Sun Conference
Bluefield College – Bluefield, Virginia
Bryan College – Dayton, Tennessee
St. Andrews – Laurinburg, North California
Warner – Lake Wales, Fla.
Men’s Volleyball will still have the same leadership in place as Bruce Billingsley serves as the League Commissioner, Troy Plummer is the Assistant League Commissioner, Cathy Brent is the National Eligibility Representative, Tyler Price serves as the Director of Sports Information and Dustin Wilke is the NAIA Men’s Volleyball Representative.
In prior years, the conference tournament host was designated a couple years in advance and cycled based on a rotation. In the new structure, the conference tournament host will be decided by the Regular Season Conference Champion.
In the event there is a tie, we will use the same tie breaking system to determine the
#1 seed for conference tournament. The result of that process will decide who hosts the conference tournament.
The Independents and Midwest Conference will use the same process of determining the conference tournament host with a modification. The modification is - the conference tournament will alternate every other year based on the top seed at the end of the regular season of each grouping.
In 2016, the top seed in the East group will host the Independents Conference tournament and be considered the East Grouping Host. In 2017, the conference tournament would hypothetically be hosted by the top seed at the end of the regular season in the West group. This will alternate between groups every year moving forward.
Midwest Volleyball Conference:
In 2016, the top seed at the end of regular season in the AMC group, will host the 2016 conference tournament. In 2017, the GPAC/KCAC top seed at the end of the regular season will host. This will alternate between groups every year moving forward.
With the growth of the sport and the expansion to five conferences, it has been decided to grow the National Invitational Championship to an 8 team field for this immediate season. The tournament schedule will be released in the next couple months. The bid allocations will go as follows:
- Automatic bid to the Host Institution: Missouri Baptist University
- Five automatic bids will be awarded to each of the Five Conference Tournament Champions
- Two at-large bids will be awarded based on the vote of the National Coaches Committee at the completion
of conference tournament competition
- If the Host institution wins their conference tournament, an additional at-large bid will be awarded based on the vote of the National Coaches Committee at completion of Conference tournament competition