May is finally here! This month signals the end of the school year and the graduation of some of our great student employees. It’s a time for happy tears and happy trails as both new and seasoned professionals plan to transition into new roles or to new institutions. For some, we finally get to catch our collective breaths and begin to reflect on the year that was. And what a year it was! For the Championship Series, the volunteer efforts of some great professionals helped make all the things we enjoy about tournaments and student development successful.
Some of those volunteers are finishing up their current commitments to the Championship Series and I am beyond appreciative for how they’ve helped me during my tenure as chair. So to Megan Morris, Mark Comer, and Keegan Ashbee who are rolling off as chairs of their respective work teams, thank you once more. And I want to congratulate their newly-selected replacements on their new positions and say I cannot wait to see where you take us in the next few years! Those individuals are new Basketball Work Team Chair Jeff Logsdon, Program Coordinator for Club Sports at the University of Cincinnati, new Flag Football Work Team Chair Jarrode Davis, Competitive Sports Coordinator at The Ohio State University, and new Standards of Competition Work Team Chair Kelli Rockwell, Competitive Sports Coordinator at Georgia Institute of Technology.
The month of April also brought about the conclusion of a couple more national championships. We completed the 19th Annual UTSA Tennis on Campus National Championships in Orlando, Florida. In another exciting match-up, The Ohio State University bested the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to take home the championship. Speaking of The Ohio State University, they also wrapped up their final year of hosting the NIRSA National Basketball Championships.
In what was probably their best tournament to date, 98 teams competed for the prestigious title of champion in their respective divisions. In the Men’s Club Division, Texas A&M knocked off Wisconsin 62-51 while North Carolina at Chapel Hill beat NC State 66-50 for the Women’s Club title. North Carolina A&T, the Men’s Intramural Division champion, continued their dominance with a win against Eastern Washington 66-52 and the women from Grand Canyon University defeated Georgia Southern 46-35 for the women’s title. And, in the Unified Division, Toronto defeated Louisville 40-35 in another exciting match-up.
Speaking of excitement, if you haven’t done so, please don’t forget to register for the 2018 NIRSA Intramural Sports Institute taking place in Brookfield, Wisconsin from June 20–22. One of the great things about the institutes is the opportunity for professionals and students to get together and discuss both new and current trends in intramural sports. Whether you’re passionate about officials’ development or debating the merits of pay per player vs. team registrations, this is the conference for you. If you’re interested in getting involved, I would love to sit down and have a conversation with you there. As always, you can show your support from afar by supporting the Student Officials Development program. Through officiating, students build skills like conflict resolution, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Young officials who participate in NIRSA’s training become lifelong sports fans who give back to their communities both on and off the field. So please consider donating today and supporting this wonderful part of the Series.