Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Championship Atmosphere

In the Centennial Conference, we permit the top-seeded team to host the sport's "final four" and to choose which semifinal game it wishes to play - the first game or the nightcap. Some coaches prefer to play the first semifinal to provide more rest for their team should it win ... and to scout the next opponent. Unfortunately, this also reduces the crowd for the second semifinal, creating a less-than-desirable atmosphere for our championship experience. In NCAA basketball, the home team for a sectional tournament does not have the option ... it must play the second game. Should the Centennial consider such a rule as well?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Generating Excitement at Your Game

Here is an idea that is used at the University of Notre Dame to provide promotion for most Fighting Irish sports. This may be something that you can use at your school to increase attendance at the most important Conference home games of the season.

All varsity sports with the exception of football and men's basketball at Notre Dame select their most important/significant home event of the year, to be deemed a "Gold Game." Football and men's basketball are excluded at Notre Dame, as their student and general attendance figures have reached capacity. The marketing staff, in conjunction with the SAAC and head coaches, agrees upon dates of all Gold Games. It is important to keep Gold Games spread throughout the year and to ensure they do not conflict with scheduled school breaks or holidays.

Once dates have been selected and confirmed, the marketing staff assigns two varsity teams to attend each Gold Game. When possible, a team will be assigned to a Gold Game that does not occur during their traditional season of play. Football is divided and assigned as "offense" and "defense" due to its sheer numbers. Teams are asked to resolve conflicts amongst themselves (ex. SAAC members discuss at a meeting and switch or trade assignments).

With Gold Game dates and assignments in place, the rest of the program defaults to the marketing staff. In order to be most effective and efficient, one Gold Games promotion was created, which could easily be applied to any sport.

* A stand-alone ad is run in the student newspaper.
* A Gold Games link can be found on the athletic website.
* At each event, 100 Gold Games t-shirts are distributed to fans.

Since its inception in 2002-03, the Gold Games have made student-athletes much more aware and supportive of each other and take pride in attending their assigned Gold Games. Especially on campus, the faculty and staff have been wonderfully supportive of these events, knowing the impact their attendance may have on this one "big game."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Johns Fills Prescription for Success

by Colin Chmielewski, York Dispatch

"Tough and pediatrician are two words that don't normally share the same sentence.

After all, parents aren't normally looking for a rugged doctor for their kids.

But Dana Johns is by no means normal.

The Franklin & Marshall senior point guard, while only 5-foot-3, possesses a personality that cannot be measured with physical size. Diplomats' coach Beth Elbon said she has not come across a player as tenacious as Johns."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Life Outside the Playing Field

Every so often, we'll compile a list of links for articles that feature our students that participate in athletics doing something outside the playing field. The opportunity to excel and participate in many activities is one of the things that makes the Division III - and Centennial Conference - experience special.

Ted Serro, Franklin & Marshall baseball, 2005 Centennial Pitcher of the Year
"When most people think of making a career in baseball, they think of pitching for the Yankees, batting clean-up for the Phillies, or coaching the Dodgers. Senior business, organizations & society major Ted Serro, however, experienced a different side of baseball this past summer when he interned with Lancaster’s new minor league team, the Barnstormers. Serro, a starting pitcher for Franklin & Marshall’s baseball team, spent the summer working for the business side of the Barnstormers organization."

Ian Ramsey-North, Haverford cross country, 2005 All-Centennial Runner of the Year; Division III All-American
"Haverford College student Ian Ramsey-North visits Guatemala to look at how the country and people are coming to grips with Guatemala's brutal past when hundreds of thousands of people were massacred during the civil war." Click here for a video narrated by Ramsey-North

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The First Day of Spring

Considering we had just a trace of snow during the entire month of January ... and the temperatures have been well above normal for the 31-day period ...yeah, it seems like spring, doesn't it? But today - February 1 - is the official first day of spring for Centennial Conference athletes.

You see ... February 1 is the first day of practice for spring teams in the CC. So today, look for baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and golf teams to be outside practicing for the first time (officially) since October.

As a student participating in athletics, is this a good date to start practice?