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Transcript of Chapter 1
What is the NCSA
History of the NCSA
Overview of the League
Benefits of Being in the NCSA
Overview of the League
The official website of the NCSA is www.clubsoftball.org. This website is a great resource for the teams as well as their fans, family, school and potential sponsors. Upon joining the league, a team is added to the website as an official member of the NCSA. They are then given access to not only use the site but to also contribute to its contents.
Chapter 2: Starting a Team at Your School
Chapter 3: Joining The NCSA
Chapter 4: Operating Within the NCSA
Part 1: Pre Season
Part 2: In Season
Part 3: Post Season / Off Season
Chapter 5: Sponsorships and Partnerships
The National Club Softball Association (NCSA) is the only intercollegiate club softball league in the United States.
We are driven to provide collegiate student-athletes with the opportunity to play competitive, organized college softball, and to continually improve this experience for all participants.
We strive to accomplish this by building lasting relationships based upon trust, commitment, dedication, understanding, and strong lines of communication.
Using the Website
The NCSA website enables team managers to login directly to the site and make changes on behalf of their team directly. Such changes include: changing the team's login password; changing the team's logo image; changing the team's contact email; changing the team's external website link; uploading player stats for each game played; and adding the day, start time, field name, and address for all home games. Additionally the team manager is able to log in and view the players awaiting approval to be added to the team roster as well as those who have already been approved.
What is the NCSA
History of the NCSA
The National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) was founded in 2000. Upon seeing the success and the growth of the NCBA, the NCSA was born in 2006.
Upon seeing the success of the baseball league over the years, many club softball teams began to take notice and wondered why there was no league for them. Thus, the NCBA started the National Club Softball Association (NCSA). The NCSA was founded in 2006 with 36 club softball teams from around the country joining for the inaugural spring 2007 season.
The NCSA co-hosted the first World Series with the Virginia Tech club softball team on the Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA in April of 2007. The co-hosting of the World Series was an effort to bridge the old traditions of club softball (where the reigning champion held the right to host the invitational-style Nationals) with the future goals of the newly-established league. Subsequent World Series will be hosted solely by the NCSA at a neutral site. Twelve qualifying teams (based on conference play during the regular season) competed in the 2007 World Series. The tournament lasted three days and at the conclusion, the University of Illinois was crowned the first NCSA National Champion.
Upon conclusion of the 2007 season, the teams voted to begin the following season in the fall in order to allow more time for conference games before the World Series as well to avoid conflicting with final exams. A top priority of the NCSA is to put on a World Series that every team will strive and be able to attend upon qualifying. The 2007-2008 season began with 54 teams making up 14 conferences. At the conclusion of the season, the conference winners received automatic bids to the World Series, which was held in Cary, NC on April 17-19, 2008. Sixteen teams competed in the double elimination tournament which ended with the University of Illinois repeating as National Champions.
In 2009, the NCSA World Series was once again held in Cary, NC. The 2009-2010 season began with 61 teams making up again 14 conferences. The 2010 NCSA World Series featured the 14 conference winners and two at-large bids and was held in Columbus, GA. The 2010-2011 season reached a record breaking number of 80 teams. Those 80 teams made up 16 conferences. The 2011-2012 season was the first season for Regional Playoffs. Regions made up of 4 conferences (North Atlantic and Great Lakes) had a Regional Playoff, where the first and second place teams received bids to the 2012 NCSA World Series which was held in Columbus, GA.
The 2012-2013 season began with 92 teams, making up 17 conferences. Regions of 3 and 4 conferences had Regional Playoffs ( North Atlantic, Great Lakes and Mid Atlantic), where the first and second place teams received bids to the 2013 NCSA World Series. which was held in Columbus, GA. The 2013-2014 season began with 97 teams, making up 17 conferences. Regions of 3 and 4 conferences had Regional Playoffs (North Atlantic, Great Lakes, South Atlantic, Mid-America and Mid Atlantic), where the first and second place teams received bids to the 2014 NCSA World Series which was held in Columbus, GA.
The 2014-2015 season began with 105 teams, making up 19 conferences, Regions of 3 and 4 conferences had Regional Playoffs (North Atlantic, New England, Great Lakes, South Atlantic, Mid-America and Mid Atlantic), where the first and second place teams received bids to the 2015 NCSA World Series which was held in Columbus, GA. The 2015-2016 season began with 111 teams, making up 20 conferences. Regions of 3 and 4 conferences had Regional Playoffs, where the first and second place teams received bids to the 2016 NCSA World Series.
The most recent 2016 NCSA World Series featured six Regional Playoffs winners, one SoPac conference winner, six Regional Runner-Ups and three At-Large Bids. The current 2016 -2017 season began with 124 teams, making up 24 conferences. Regions of 3 conferences will have Regional Playoffs, where the first and second place teams will receive bids to the 2017 NCSA World Series. The addition of the new regions (Great American and Pacific Region) opens up a record 32 post season spots, which is the most the league has seen in its history. The 2017 World Series was held Columbus, GA and Arkansas State was crowned the winner.
New England Region
North Atlantic Region
Mid Atlantic Region
South Atlantic Region
Great American Region
Great Lakes Region
Mid - America Region
New England West
Syracuse University, Niagara University, SUNY Brockport, University of Rochester, SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Oswego
New England Central
Penn State University, Bloomsburg University, SUNY Cortland, Cornell University and Ithaca College
New England East
University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, University of Maine and Merrimack College
North Atlantic Central:
The College of New Jersey, Rowan University, Drexel University, Temple University, Rider University and Lafayette College
North Atlantic South:
Loyola University -Maryland, Towson University, Stevenson University, York College and University of Delaware
North Atlantic North:
Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Monmouth University, Sacred Heart University, Hofstra University and University of Connecticut.
Mid Atlantic North:
Naval Academy, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, University of Maryland and George Mason University
Mid Atlantic South:
East Carolina University, NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, Elon University and Wake Forest University
Mid Atlantic Central:
Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Radford University, Old Dominion University, College of William and Mary
South Atlantic West:
University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, Clemson University, University of North Georgia, Winthrop University and USC Union
South Atlantic South:
University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Stetson University
South Atlantic East:
UNC Charlotte, Coastal Carolina University, UNC Wilmington, Campbell University and High Point University
Great American West:
University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Loyola University - Chicago and Purdue University
Great American South:
Eastern Kentucky University, Miami University of Ohio, Xavier University, University of Cincinnati and University of Kentucky
Great American East:
West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh, Ohio University, Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University
Great Lakes West:
Northern Michigan University, Michigan Tech, Wisconsin-Madison, Marquette University, UW- Whitewater
Great Lakes South:
Eastern Illinois University, University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Bradley University, Augustana College and Northern Illinois University
Great Lakes East:
Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan Sate University, Oakland University and Lake Superior State University
U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Wyoming, Colorado Mesa University and University of Northern Colorado
University of Nebraska, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Iowa State University, University of Missouri and University of Iowa
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Saint Louis University, Arkansas State University, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and Maryville University
Eastern Washington University
University of Southern California, UC Irvine, UCLA, California State University - Fullerton, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University
UC Merced, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and California State University Sacramento
Annual League Meeting
Each conference in the NCSA is run by a Regional Director. This person is a member of the NCSA staff and is responsible for putting out the conference schedule, uploading the rosters of each team in the conference onto the website, uploading game results onto the website, and selecting and posting (on the website) conference player and pitcher of the week. Additionally, the Regional Director is the person that the teams in the conference submit their paperwork to and who the teams turn to with questions or for advice throughout the year.
Each team will submit a Scheduling Request Form to their Regional Director prior to the season. This form covers the entire season of play and allows teams to indicate when they are available for home games, when they are available to travel, and when they are unavailable to play. The Regional Director then uses these forms to create the conference schedule. The schedule (which is posted on the website) indicates which teams are playing during which weeks and who the home team is. It is then up to the teams to contact each other and set up the specific day(s) and times they will be playing their three game series.
Teams are placed in conferences based on geographical location. The NCSA will put out conference schedules at the beginning of the fall semester for the entire season, which covers both the fall and spring semesters. In conferences with 3 or fewer teams, each team will play all of their oppononents in two 3-game series, one home and one away. The schedule may dictate that you play both series in the fall, both in the spring, or one in the fall and one in the spring. In conferences with 4 or more teams, each team will play each of their opponents in one 3-game series in either the fall or the spring. In this case, teams will alternate home and away series each year.
Teams are encouraged to schedule additional non-conference games for weeks they are not scheduled to play conference games. Such games can be against NCSA teams, non-NCSA club teams, or Varsity teams. Teams can play in and host tournaments that we can announce on the NCSA website. Teams should inform their Regional Directors as they add non-conference games to their schedules so these games can be added to the schedule on the website. Stats from non-conference games do count for players and game results count towards the team's overall record, not their conference record.
Must hold a full-time student status at the team's college /university
*an exception is made if it is the final semester for a student and she requires less than a full-time load to graduate
Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
Must not be on academic warning or probation
In order to be considered eligible, a player must meet the following academic requirements:
Each team's roster appears on the NCSA website. In order to be added to the roster, each player must complete the Online Player Registration. Each player's name must also appear on an Academic Eligibility Letter stating that she meets all of the academic eligibility requirements. This letter must be signed by the Director of Rec/Club Sports, the University Registrar, or an advisor. A player is NOT considered eligible until the Online Player Registration has been completed and the Academic Eligibility Letter has been received and processed by the NCSA staff, at which time the player will be activated and added to the active roster.
Registration Fee: Upon joining the NCSA and submitting a signed League Participation Agreement, a team will pay a one-time new team registration fee of $400.
Dues: Annual dues of $1050 are due by February 28th of that season. Teams will receive a $100 discount if dues are received in full by December 31st of that season.
Collegiate club softball teams have the opportunity to attend the NCSA Spring Training Showcase which is held in Plant City, Florida and runs from the last week in February through the first week of April. Teams sign up for the week of their Spring Break and submit a scheduling request form indicating how many games and what days they want to play. The NCSA then sets up games between teams that will be attending Spring Training during the same week. NCSA member teams receive a discount on the registration fee to participate in the Spring Training Showcase.
More Information can be found at: http://ncsaspringtraining.weebly.com/
The 2017 NCSA World Series will be hosted at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, GA. The winners from each conference will receive automatic bids to the World Series, except in regions where there are three or four conferences. Those regions will have a regional playoff in which the top two teams will receive bids to the World Series. A total of 16 team will compete in the double-elimination tournament, culminating in the crowning of the 2017 NCSA National Champion.
The teams will then be divided into four, 4-team pools. Each team will play each of the other teams in their pool one time on the first day of the tournament. At the conclusion of pool play, all sixteen teams will be re-seeded based on the results of pool play. The double-elimination portion of the tournament will begin on day two. The third and final day of the tournament will end with the remaining two teams facing off in the championship game. The winner will be crowned the 2017 NCSA National Champion.
Annual League Meeting
The NCSA holds the Annual League Meeting during the World Series each year. All teams are invited to send representatives to this meeting to interact with the NCSA staff and discuss both current and future (potential) issues. This meeting provides an opportunity for teams to learn more about all aspects of the NCSA as well as a chance to voice their opinions, ask questions, and provide feedback. The meeting consists of a brief overview of the year and the changes that have been implemented since the previous season. This is followed by an open forum in which both the NCSA staff and team representatives discuss any proposed rule changes as well as any new rules they would like to see implemented.
After the meeting, the NCSA composes a "League Meeting Voting Ballot" which is distributed to all teams in the league. Each team is asked to submit one complete ballot indicating their position on potential rule changes/additions that were discussed at the meeting. The NCSA then tallies the votes and implements the changes that were voted in by a majority of teams.
The home page gives you links to all the other parts of the website. It also posts current NCSA headlines as well as links to check out the league standings. You can also find links to more information about our sponsors.
The "SHOP" link is located in the menu bar towards the top right of the page. This link takes you to the apparel site for both the NCSA and the NCBA. Select either NCSA or NCBA to browse for and purchase official gear for that organization including hats, visors, polos, and more.
Clicking the "League" tab in the top menu bar allows you to select teams and view all the teams in the league along with each team's official website, roster and overall stats for each individual player on that team.
Teams can see all the conferences by clicking on the "CONFERENCES" drop down under the "League" tab in the menu bar towards the top of the page. Teams can then navigate to the individual conference pages which display that conference's schedule, team standings, headlines, and player and pitcher of the week.
The website is a great way for teams to track their competition. Clicking on the "STATS" drop down under the "League" tab allows you to see the top players in the league in individual offensive and pitching categories. It allows teams to track the progress of individual players throughout the league.
Clicking on the "SCHEDULES" drop down under the "League" tab in the menu bar allows you to see the weekly schedules for the current NCSA season.
Clicking on the "STANDINGS" drop down under the "League" tab in the menu bar displays the current standings for each conference in the league. This is useful in not only knowing where you stand in your own conference, but also seeing where other teams stand within their respective conferences.
Clicking the "Post Season" tab in the menu bar takes you to information about the Post Season Regional Playoffs and World Series that will take place during the current season. Following this link will give teams information about dates, locations, travel deals, hotel accommodations, and people they need to contact regarding each teams Regional tournament and the World Series.
Information about the NCSA Spring Training Showcase can be found by following this link: http://ncsaspringtraining.weebly.com/.
This link leads to the Spring Training Showcase homepage which holds links to the pages for both the softball and baseball events. The softball Spring Training Showcase page contains information about dates, locations, travel deals, hotel accommodations, and people to contact regarding Spring Training.
The "INFO" tab is located at the top right portion of the page. This is a very valuable page as it contains press releases regarding the league, sponsors, and partnerships. This page also contains many of the documents teams will use throughout the year along with submission deadlines for these documents.
The "CONTACT" tab is located at the top right portion of the page. This page contains contact information for staff members in the NCSA as well as a section where you can fill out information if you should have any questions regarding the league.
Teams are encouraged to contribute to the website by submitting published articles about their team to their regional director. Such articles are featured in the "NCSA Headlines" box that appears on both the homepage as well as each conference page. These articles can come from a variety of sources such as school or local newspapers, magazines, or team newsletters.
Teams can upload both offensive and pitching statistics for each player on their roster. These stats can be viewed by clicking on the individual player's name on their team's roster. Uploading these stats also gives players the chance to be recognized as a league leader in different categories, which can be seen on the teams stats page.
Pitcher/ Player of the Week:
Each team submits a "Weekly Submission Form" to their regional director by midnight on Monday of each week. This form contains the results of their games from the previous week as well as nominations of members of their team for Pitcher and Player of the Week honors. Each regional director selects a Pitcher and Player of the Week for his/her conference and posts them on the conference page. From the conference pitchers/players of the week, a National Pitcher and Player of the Week are chosen and posted on the homepage of the website.
Teams can update the information that is displayed on the "TEAMS" page which includes the team's website, and the team's logo.
Contributing to the Website:
It is important that team managers logging in to the website under their Team Manager Portal be sure that the content that they upload is appropriate and accurate. Use or foul language or knowingly uploading false statistics can result in the team being placed on probation by the NCSA.
Here are the steps to begin accessing the NCSA Site Manager:
Send an email to Savannah.Ahrens@CollClubSports.com with the subject line "NCSA Site Password Request". In the body of the email simply list the first and last name of the team's designated team manager who will be in charge of accessing the NCSA Site Manager, their position with the team (example Head Coach, President, Vice President, Statistician, etc). A Username and Password will be emailed to you shortly.
Go to www.clubsoftball.org
Click on the LOGIN button in the top right hand corner
Click on the SITE MANAGER button on the right
Enter the provided Login Name and Password in to the NCSA Management System
Upon logging in, you will be taken directly to the USER TAB. Click on the edit button in the top left
Scroll down to the bottom and change your password to whatever you'd like then click SAVE in the top left. Be Sure to write down your username and password and keep them in a safe place.
Benefits of the NCSA
On the Field:
Guaranteed conference games, Opportunity to compete for the chance to play in the World Series, Competitive atmosphere and Rivalries
Off the Field:
Coverage under the league's $2 million general liability insurance policy, Legitimacy and recognition, Support from the league, Someone to answer to/ get answers from, Access to sponsors, Fundraising opportunities, Networking and Transition of Leadership
On the Field Benefits:
Guaranteed conference games
Each team will receive a conference schedule from the league. Each team will play at least on 3-game series against each of the other teams in their conference.
Opportunity to compete for the chance to play in the World Series:
All teams in the league are competing for the chance to participate in the NCSA World Series. It is at this tournament that the National Champion is crowned.
Being in the league helps to foster a competitive atmosphere by defining goals for both the team and the individual players. Teams strive to be the best in the league and individual players strive to top the statistics of players on teams.
The beauty of club sports comes from the fundamental belief that structured competition breeds healthy rivalries. Such rivalries fuel each team to put their best team forward and try to claim conference titles. In addition, these rivalries boost morale within teams and help make competing in the NCSA bigger than the game itself.
Off the Field Benefits:
Coverage under the league's $2 million general liability insurance policy:
This policy covers many aspects of the NCSA play including travel, practice, workouts and games. The teams receive a full year of coverage and often find the policy required when trying to obtain fields. An Additional Insured can be added to the policy for $75. (*This is NOT a health or accident insurance policy.)
Legitimacy and Recognition:
Being a part of an established league gives your team legitimacy and can garner recognition that may have otherwise been lacking. This can lead to increased funding from your school, sponsors as well as recognition and respect from other softball teams, other teams at your school, family friends and fans.
Support from the League:
As a member of the NCSA, you will have access to the staff members, many of whom are former club baseball/ softball players and officers. They will be available to you throughout the softball season as well as during the off season. They can help you with fundraising, budgeting, travel arrangements, rules questions, as well as offer advice and guidance on running your team efficiently and staying organized.
Off the Field Benefits:
Someone to answer to/ get answers from:
Having a governing body running the league creates accountability among the teams. Teams are held responsible for their actions and they have someone to turn to when they want other teams held accountable.
Access to NCSA Teams:
As a member of the league, you can get contact information for not only the teams in your conference, but all the teams in the league. You may use this information to set up non-conference games or tournaments with teams throughout the country. You can also network with other teams to get advice or suggestions on things such as fundraising, finding fields and umpires, holding tryouts, etc.
Access To Sponsors:
The NCSA has exclusive deals with sponsors to provide the discounts to it's member teams. The NCSA also sets up deals with travel agencies and hotels to help teams as they travel throughout the season, particularly to Spring Training and the World Series.
Off the Field Benefits:
The NCSA provides member teams with access to fundraising programs to help them raise money for dues, traveling, uniforms, fields, umpires and whatever other expenses they might incur.
Being a part of the league increases your networking opportunities with other teams as well as other professionals within the softball world. This can help you when trying to find fields, umpires, and sponsors as well as when you are searching for a job both during and after college.
Transition of Leadership:
The NCSA will help ease the transition of leadership from one year to the next. It can sometimes be difficult for a graduating officer to hand over the running of the team to a new officer but being part of the league gives structure to how the team is run and the NCSA staff can help guide new officers.