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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Preseason begins

Soccer and Volleyball Preseasons Start - Field Hockey Soon

One more milestone in the headlong rush towards the beginning of fall sports play is the beginning of pre-season practice periods.

Soccer and Volleyball have started their preseason practices with two-a-days that will continue until the academic school year begins on August 24th.  Beyond that, the teams are allowed a single practice session per day.  Field Hockey still has a few days to go before their preseason gets underway.

To say that the NCAA manual on these matters is convoluted and confusing would be a vast understatement, but assuming that I am reading it correctly, preseason practices for Field Hockey will begin Friday.

So, how do they come up with these dates, anyway?  Well, there's a fair bit of it that's arbitrary, though there are prescribed procedures, with specific counts of days, weeks, and "practice units", that are used to derive the date of first competition and the data of first preseason practices.  Conveniently, the NCAA Division I manual lists the first date of competition for each sport, which takes away some of the need for some of the calculation, but there still is some involved in figuring out the first practice date.

The NCAA counts in terms of "practice units", and the teams are allowed to start their pre-season practices a certain number of days that allow a prescribed number of practice units before the first day of competition.  So what does that mean?  A day in the pre-season during which school is not in session allows two practice units, while a day that school is in session allows for a single practice unit.  So, to use my beloved Volleyball as an example...they are allowed up to 29 practice units.  The first date of competition for Volleyball is August 28th, when our Volleyball team will be in Champaign-Urbana Illinois to play Illinois.  School starts August 24th, so the 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th each allow for a single practice unit, leaving 25 practice units to parcel out the rest of the days.

Sundays don't count for practice units at all, and weekdays and Saturdays each allow for two practice units prior to the start of school.  So, we count backwards 12 days (for 24 practice units, there will be a single practice unit remaining, which, alas, is just lost in this scheme), skipping Sundays, and land on August 10th, ie, yesterday, for the first day of pre-season practice for Volleyball.

Soccer has a start date of August 21st (meaning all of their pre-season practice occurs before school starts and this all counts as two practice units per day), and they are allowed 21 practice units.  Using the same backwards counting, they also end up on August 10th as their start date.

Field Hockey, like Volleyball, has a start date of August 28th, but unlike Volleyball is only allowed 21 practice units.  Counting backwards for their dates results in Friday being the start date...unless I've miscounted...which is a distinct possibility as always.

So there's your occasional glimpse into the mind of the NCAA...I hope gazing upon it didn't induce any insanity (I figure it can only help Paulie) along with another little dose of encouragement to just hang on for a couple of more weeks and we'll have fall sports upon us.  Women's Soccer, in the meantime, will have their first exhibition game against Northern Kentucky tomorrow.  I expect Paulie will have the scout in tomorrow's edition of the Cardinal Couple as I think he's been itching to get back into game preview mode for quite a well.

Golf Assistant Coach Honored

When Courtney Trimble started as the UofL Women's Golf coach three years ago, she brought Mary Bryan with her.  Bryan has an extensive resume' as a TV Golf commentator over the years, including being the first women to provide commentary for a Men's major PGA Tour event.

Bryan was honored at the Jim Green Golf tournament at Oxmoor Country Club for giving back to the community in education, mentorship, and sharing her passion for the sport.

In her tenure with Trimble, Bryan has helped guide UofL Women's Golf to an AAC Championship the one season we were in that conference, as well NCAA tournament appearances for all three years in which the pair has been at the helm of the squad.


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