The boys' state volleyball championships are coming to Albany for a three-year run beginning in the fall of 2018 following a vote by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Central Committee Tuesday at its annual meeting in Clayton.
The Albany Capital Center, which opened in March and is adjacent to the Times Union Center, will host the state volleyball tournament's Division 1 and Division 2 semifinal pool matches and title matches. The Albany Capital Center includes three full-size basketball courts.
"It's a great thing for volleyball in the Capital District," John Coletta, who coaches the Shenendehowa High School varsity boys and serves as the Section II volleyball coordinator, said. "Volleyball in this area is definitely growing and I don't know where the ceiling is. Having it at the Capital Center and in Section II will help in that growth."
Long Island's Suffolk County Community College will end its three-year run of hosting the one-day NYSPHSAA event this Nov. 18. The Glens Falls Civic Center hosted the boys' volleyball finals before that in conjunction with the state girls' finals, and Cicero-North Syracuse High School hosted the boys' season-ending showcase prior to that.
"It's a super thing coming to a great venue," Coletta said. "It's going to be an exciting environment."
Shenendehowa (Division 1), Bethlehem (Division 1) and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Division 2) have represented Section II in state final fours in past years, though Section II has never had a state champion. Shenendehowa and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake had their 2016 seasons end with regional defeats, and in 2015 Shenendehowa made it to the final four but did not advance beyond pool play.
"If Section II is fortunate to have a team represent our area, be it from Shenendehowa or any other school, it will be fantastic," Coletta said. "Having it here, it will be a great for them to be part of that experience."
Groups representing Suffolk County Community College and Section X and Onondaga Community College and Section III, along with the Albany Capital Center and Section II, made bids to host the boys' volleyball finals that are scheduled for Nov. 17 2018, Nov. 23 2019 and Nov. 21 2020.
The Central Committee also voted to have Ithaca College host the girls' swimming and diving championships and Cold Spring Harbor High School host the girls' gymnastics championships for three more years beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. The NYSPHSAA boys' volleyball, girls' swimming and diving and girls' gymnastics committees, the NYSPHSAA office staff and the NYSPHSAA Championship Advisory Committee gave their support for the three host locations before the Central Committee attached its official stamp of approval Tuesday afternoon.
The Central Committee also approved NCAA scoring for fifth sets in varsity boys' volleyball matches , which will go to 15 points rather than 25 points, beginning this fall season.
"I think it's a good thing any time we can align ourselves with NCAA rules," Coletta said. "We're preparing our guys for the next step, and this is something they'll be seeing."
Under the 15-point rule, a lapse Coletta said could prove costly.
"You've got to put together a short, effective game," Coletta said. "You don't have time to make mistakes. You've got to be at your best out there."
The University at Albany began a three-year run of hosting boys' lacrosse NYSPHSAA semifinal games last spring, and had previously hosted the NYSPHSAA track and field championships.
The Central Committee approved the extension of periods in boys' ice hockey from 15 minutes to 17 minutes, and penalty increases to two, five and 10 minutes, beginning in the 2018-19 season.
The Central Committee approved the Tommy Tough Standards for football that Long Island's Section VIII and Section XI used during the 2016 season to minimize the risk of player injuries. As part of the educational and awareness initiative, a player must be removed from a game for a minimum of one play - in addition to the penalty yardage - when that player is called for targeting, illegal helmet contact or hitting a defenseless player.
The Central Committee approved new classification cutoff numbers for footballl beginning in the fall of 2018. Listed are the current cutoff numbers and the new cutoff numbers: Class AA, 930-over, 1,025-over; Class A, 570-929, 585-1,024; Class B, 365-569, 355-584; Class C, 240-364, 230-354; Class D, 239-under, 229-under.
The Central Committee rejected a proposal that would allow a transfer student to practice with their new school team while serving their ineligibility period. Thirty six states allow this.
Section II Internal Control Officer Al Roy was appointed the new NYSPHSAA baseball coordinator. He is taking over for Ed Dopp, who stepped down as Shaker High School's athletic director and from his state baseball post to become the Section II executive director. Both Roy and Dopp previously served as the Section II baseball coordinator.