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gouci
Jul 6th, 2009, 07:02 AM
From the ITA website

ITA Announces Division I Regional Realignment

SKILLMAN, N.J. – The ITA announced that effective in August 2009, the ITA membership will be aligned into 12 new Regions for all NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tennis programs.

For almost 40 years, the Division I membership of the ITA has been divided into eight regions, based previously upon regional alignments created by the NCAA for the purpose of selection into NCAA championship events.

The discussion about this expansion plan first began last fall with the ITA Realignment Task Force presenting its Regional Realignment Proposal during the ITA Coaches Convention in December. After extensive discussions and careful review, the ITA Operating Committee agreed to endorse this expansion.

The goal of the realignment is to benefit the student-athlete well being and experience while being sensitive to the economic environment. The three main components considered with the expansion were: 1) Geographic location, 2) Increasing participation and recognition opportunities for student-athletes, and 3) Creating competitive balance with consideration to conference affiliation.

The ITA Regional Championships Program is one of the premier ITA programs, and participation in these events is a highlight for thousands of Division I varsity student-athletes. By increasing the number of Regions and further minimizing the area per Region, a larger percentage of institutions will be able to drive to these Regional Championship events, thus helping to reduce travel costs. And at the same time, since a fewer number of schools will comprise each Region, student-athletes from those participating programs will have more opportunities to participate in these prestigious events.