Next season, NCAA varsity equestrian might have a ranking system for individual and team standings for the first time, said the chair of the selection committee.
Kevin Hurley said this season varsity equestrian experimented with a ranking system that Rob Beuerlein, a TCU Athletics media relations student assistant, developed.
This is the seventh season varsity equestrian has been a collegiate sport and officials have been waiting for it to grow before it adopted a ranking system, Hurley said.
Now that varsity equestrian has grown to have 23 teams, officials will decide if the sport has grown enough, he said.
The selection committee will meet in May and Hurley said the committee will officially decide whether to use Beuerlein’s ranking system.
Beuerlein said he is not comfortable revealing his method because it isn’t official and will probably be revised during the meeting in May.
Every team in the varsity format is allowed to come to the meeting and one vote per school is permitted.
TCU head coach Gary Reynolds said he is in favor of the ranking system Beurelein developed and said it will be good for the sport by allowing more coverage in newspapers and magazines.
“Teams will have a better idea of how they stand during the season and coming into the National Championship,” Reynolds said.
Prior to the ranking system, Reynolds said the team would estimate where it was ranked. The team wouldn’t find out its actual ranking until the brackets for the National Championship were announced, he said.
Reynolds said awareness of the sport would increase on every level and it would help attract more fans by advertising individual and game rankings.
“It will absolutely matter to each school, as a selling point for recruiting and fundraising money,” Reynolds said.
Varsity equestrian would like to become recognized by NCAA, which means the sport would abide by NCAA official regulations and the National Championship would be paid for by NCAA.
To become recognized by the NCAA, a sport must have 40 teams, Hurley said.
Varsity Equestrian has 23 teams that consist of 19 Division I schools and four Division 2 schools.
Hurley said he thinks a ranking system would allow for more publicity and more schools would become interested in adding varsity equestrian to their collegiate program.