COLUMBUS, Ohio — 64 more Division I teams just got the opportunity to play postseason volleyball.

Starting in November 2017, the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, which was announced Thursday at the AVCA Convention, will take the best team available from the 32 Division I conferences that did not get berths in the NCAA Tournament.

Teams offered an automatic berth by the NIVC shall be the team that is the highest-finishing team in its conference’s regular-season standings, and not selected for the NCAA Tournament. The team’s overall record is not a criteria. There is also a list of tiebreakers and other criteria.

Then the NIVC will give 32 at-large berths to the top teams available. Any team from a Division I conference, or a Division I independent team, will be considered.

“The return of the NIVC is a wonderful opportunity for volleyball offered to us by Triple Crown Sports,” AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer said. “It allows us to expand post-season options for our teams and explore our ability to market our sport to our fans.”

The single-elimination tournament will feature 32 first-round matches, followed by 16 second-round matches, eight third-round matches, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal matches, and the championship.


2017 Dates

The 64-team field will be announced late Sunday , November 26, 2017. The first round will start Tuesday, November 28, with the event ending Tuesday, December 12.

  • Selection – November 26.
  • Round 1 & 2– November 28-30.
  • Round 3 – December 1-3.
  • Round 4 – December 4-6.
  • Semifinals – December 7-9
  • Championship – Tuesday, December 12, 7 p.m. ET.

NIVC video, history

In this NIVC video, you’ll see how the brackets would have fallen together had the event run after the just-completed 2016 season.

The NIVC has its roots from another NCAA Division I event that ran for several years before the turn of the century.

The Women’s Invitational Volleyball Championship made its debut in 1989, with 20 teams, in response to demand for another postseason opportunity within the sport. Administrators at smaller but competitive programs like Western Kentucky, Alabama-Birmingham and Eastern Kentucky did the introductory work of gauging interest and building a format. The teams played at one site, in four five-team pools, with each pool winner advancing to a single-elimination bracket.

After two years, the event was renamed the NIVC. Previous event champions were:

1989 – Wisconsin
1990 – Houston
1991 – Kentucky
1992 – Washington State
1993 – Louisiana State
1994 – Cal-State Northridge
1995 – Wisconsin

The NIVC was held for seven seasons (1989-95) as a 20-team event, but the remodeled format you’ll see in 2017 looks much like college basketball’s Postseason WNIT – which makes sense, since both are produced by Triple Crown Sports.



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