The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) recently teamed with the NCAA to host a Game Day the DIII Way workshop and a senior woman administrator (SWA) workshop on the campus of Pomona-Pitzer.
In an effort to tackle fan behavior issues at collegiate sporting events, NCAA Division III has partnered with the Disney Institute and has established the Game Day the DIII Way initiative to help administrators and game managers ensure appropriate fan behavior at Division III contests across the country. Sixty Division III administrators and coaches received facilitator training last June in Orlando, Fla., and many more will attend similar sessions. Mark Becker, the Assistant Athletics Director for Intercollegiate Operation at Caltech, and Angel Mason, the Senior Associate Athletic Director and SWA at Pomona-Pitzer, were the SCIAC recipients of the initial training, and hosted a 90-minute session crafted by Disney and the working group last Friday for several other conference coaches and administrators.
The training is built around four key service standards and behaviors.
Ensuring the game environment accounts for the health and well-being of all in attendance. Administrators should understand relevant safety procedures, correct any safety concerns and address situations that could cause harm.
Anticipating and addressing situations as they arise by initiating interventions in a welcoming, informative and timely manner. Formulating plans to ensure event staff are prepared for any incidents.
Demonstrating respect and value for others, even those who may be causing problems. Listening actively while keeping conversations positive and remaining confident when addressing any situation. Taking immediate action to eliminate inappropriate fan behavior.
Ensuring the game environment is hospitable by delivering a clean and presentable appearance and proactively addressing fan behavior. Ensuring communications are practiced, well-organized and accurate.
While schools can adapt the training to fit the needs of their sports, venues and personnel, the core messages remain consistent. The working group hopes the effort will create common game environments across Division III akin to the expected behavior and experience at NCAA championship events.
The SCIAC also sponsored a professional development opportunity for the league's SWAs on Tuesday. Keynote speakers Louise McCleary - the Managing Director of Division III - and Heather Benning - the Midwest Conference commissioner - engaged the attendees with valuable discussion about the history of the SWA position, how it exists on campuses across the country today, and what the future holds for woman administrators with the goal of being able to enhance not only a personal work experience, but the overall experience of student-athletes.