After King joined Conference Carolinas in May 2011, the natural fit for a league rival seemed to be Lees-McRae College. As the 2011-12 season progressed, their play on the field proved to support
that notion. Now the two institutions will add depth to their growing rivalry this year when they vie for the right to hoist the newly minted Blue Ridge Cup.
The athletic directors from King and Lees-McRae formulated a way to assess head-to-head and team competition over the course of an athletic season that will determine the winner of the Blue Ridge Cup. The Tornado and Bobcats share 17 varsity athletic teams which will be used to help determine an annual winner. Participating teams for both schools include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s cycling, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, men’s and women’s volleyball, and softball.
The winner of the Cup will not only be decided on athletic fields but in the classroom, as well. Points toward the overall standings will be given to the holder of the higher NCAA graduation rate, higher percentage of student-athletes named to the Academic All-Conference Team, and higher overall student-athlete grade point average.
“King and Lees-McRae each have strong athletic traditions and many connections between the two schools, creating a natural rivalry,” said King athletic director David Hicks. “The Blue Ridge Cup will provide additional structure and competitiveness to an already strong rivalry, enhancing the athletic experience for student-athletes from both institutions.”
“We are excited to promote this rivalry through our student-athletes both on the field and off,” said Lees-McRae athletic director Craig McPhail. “For two schools so close this will be good for our fan base, alumni relations and certainly crowd participation. I am looking forward to seeing this grow into a wonderful promotion of Division II intercollegiate athletics.”
A total of 25 points will be distributed over the course of the 2012-13 athletic season. The school with more points will be awarded the Blue Ridge Cup at the end of the season and be the sole possessor for the following year.
Head-to-head competition will determine point allocation for 14 of the 25 total points available. Each game or match will be worth one point in head-to-head competition. Men’s and Women’s Cross Country will be worth one point each with one-half point awarded to the school with the higher finish at the Conference Carolinas Championship and the remaining one-half point given for the school with a higher NCAA Southeast Regional finish.
With the introduction of separate seasons for Men’s and Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field, each season will be worth one point each with the school that finishes higher at the Conference Carolinas Championships awarded the full point. Men’s and Women’s Cycling will be handled like Track & Field, while Men’s and Women’s Cross Country will be awarded one-half point for the higher Conference Championship finish and the remaining one-half point for the school with the higher regional ranking. Graduation rate, Academic All-Conference Team, and overall student-athlete GPA are worth one point each.
Post-season competition is not included toward the Blue Ridge Cup standings. A complete point breakdown is available in Table 1.1 below.
The first head-to-head competition to kick off the inaugural Blue Ridge Cup will take place when Lady Tornado volleyball host the Bobcats at the Student Center Complex on Sept. 12 for a 7 p.m. match.
The Blue Ridge Cup takes its name from the mountain passage that encompasses both King and Lees-McRae College. The Blue Ridge Mountains are one of as many as 13 portions of the larger Appalachian Mountains.
Sport Total Point(s) Notes:
Women's Volleyball 2 points 1 point per match
Men's Soccer 1 point 1 point per match
Women's Soccer 1 point1 point per match
Men's Cross Country 1 point ½ point based on Conference Championship result; ½ point based on Southeast Regional ranking finish
Women's Cross Country 1 point ½ point based on Conference Championship result; ½ point based on Southeast Regional ranking finish
Men's Volleyball 2 points 1 point per match
Men's Basketball 2 points 1 point per game
Women's Basketball 2 points 1 point per game
Men's Indoor Track & Field 1 pointbased on Conference Championship results
Women's Indoor Track & Field 1 pointbased on Conference Championship results
Men's Outdoor Track & Field 1 pointbased on Conference Championship results
Women's Outdoor Track & Field 1 pointbased on Conference Championship results
Men's Tennis 1 point 1 point per match
Women's Tennis 1 point 1 point per match
Men's Cycling 1 point based on Conference Championship results
Women's Cycling 1 point based on Conference Championship results
Softball2 points 1 point per game
Graduation Rate (NCAA) 1 point
Percentage on Academic All-Conference Team 1 point
Overall student-athlete GPA 1 point
Total available points 25 points