Friday, September 28, 2007

Men's News Tidbits

More AVCA/USAV Coaching Meeting Notes
During the meeting that occurred during July (at the JO’s), the topic of raising the number of scholarship equivalents from 4.5 to 7 was discussed. The MPSF is working with their coaches and administrators to garner support. The next step would be to approach the NCAA. The MPSF members agreed to hold off raising the issue to the NCAA until AFTER the acceptance of expanding the NCAA Championship tournament from 4 teams to 8 teams. The Championship expansion issue is already in front of the NCAA. It was approved in concept but was not funded in the last budget cycle. Hopefully, it will get funded this year!

NORCECA Continental Championships
The US national team performed well, as expected, against the NORCEA teams during the championship. They captured the Gold Medal earning a spot in Novembers World Cup. The top 3 teams of the World Cup will earn a spot in the 2008 Olympics. They only lost two sets in the entire tournament. The sad thing is the attendance. Now that the national team has moved to Southern California for training purposes, you would think they could draw more than 900 fans at the Gold Medal match. They drew a total of 3,625 total cumulative fans during their 5 matches. In comparison, the European Championship match held in Russia, had 9,300 in attendance in that one match! Volleyball may have been invented in the US but the rest of the world has sure embraced the game more aggressively.

National Team Video
I was in discussions with USAV about their plans on sharing video of the tournament with the fans. USAV is working on an upgrade to their website that would allow them to provide more video but it isn’t completed at this time. I have offered to host match video on Middle Hitter as an alternative until the USAV website is ready. USAV said they would consider the alternative and get back to me. Hopefully, one way or another, the fans who do not live in Southern California can see some of the action.

I have seen two short video’s with members of the national team on YouTube recently. The first one was
“USA Volleyball Short Shorts”. The second one was "Danny Kinda and Team USA". Both videos are funny, at least for those fans who really follow men's volleyball. They must be sanctioned by USAV because several players are in each video and the second video even has Coach McCutcheon! Check em out... Since many of the national team players played way before most of the high school age players even thought about volleyball, it is good for the kids to see the players in something more than a few photos and statistics.