The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) is a college athletic conference which historically operated exclusively in the state of West Virginia, but has now expanded into Pennsylvania. It participates in the NCAA's Division II.
The conference rates as one of the oldest in intercollegiate athletics dating back to its founding in 1924 by the West Virginia Department of Education. West Virginia University and Marshall University joined Broaddus (one of the predecessors to today's Alderson-Broaddus), Bethany, Concord, Davis & Elkins, Fairmont State, Glenville State, Morris Harvey (now the University of Charleston), New River State (now West Virginia Tech), Potomac State, Salem, Shepherd, West Liberty, and West Virginia Wesleyan as charter members.
The WVIAC offers championships in 16 sports and is headquartered in Princeton, West Virginia. Men's championships are offered in football, basketball, baseball, track, cross country, soccer, tennis, and golf. Women's titles are contested in volleyball, softball, basketball, cross country, soccer, track, tennis, and golf.
2006 brought about a shakeup in the league's mostly stable membership. Charter member West Virginia Tech dropped back to NAIA membership after struggling competitively in recent seasons. The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Seton Hill University were invited to become the WVIAC's first out-of-state members since Morehead State left the conference in 1932. Salem International drops their membership on May 1, 2010 to become an independent after experiencing NCAA probation and competitive issues.
The WVIAC moved into the NCAA in 1994 after a long affiliation with the NAIA. The conference was the only one in Division II to place a team in the national quarterfinals in men's basketball, football, and baseball during the 1998-99 academic year. In addition, the WVIAC, along with two other conferences, became the first league to earn four bids into the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship.
2006-07 marked the 25th anniversary of women's sports in the WVIAC. The conference brought women's athletics under its umbrella when the West Virginia Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Association was absorbed into the WVIAC.
Its post-season basketball tournament, which was first conducted in 1936, is the oldest college post-season tournament in continuous existence—predating the NCAA tournament (1939), the NIT (1938), and the NAIA national championship (1937).
The WVIAC is noted for its unique rating system which is used to determine regular-season championships and tournament seeding in basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball. The rating system was first used in 1959 for men's basketball. With the large number of teams playing in the conference, balanced schedules are impossible. The rating system is a way for the conference to reward teams that play a stronger non-conference schedule. Each team is rewarded 100 points for each conference win, in addition to 10 bonus points for each conference victory for each defeated opponent. This total is then divided by the total number of conference games each team plays. The highest-rated team at the end of the season is the regular-season conference champion and #1 seed for the tournament.
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