Volunteer Handbook 2018


On behalf of the Ohio Valley Conference, thank you for your interest in volunteering for the 2018 OVC Basketball Championship. Volunteers play an integral role in ensuring the success of this and other events hosted by the Ohio Valley Conference and we truly appreciate the time you take out of your schedule to volunteer.

This handbook contains relevant information to the various volunteer positions we have assigned. Please review the information in this handbook as it pertains to your assigned volunteer position/shift. Should you find that you are unable to volunteer, for any reason, please notify me immediately so that the proper adjustments can be made.

Thank you again for your willingness to help with the Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. We look forward to working with you.


Chelsie Buckman
Project Manager
Evansville Sports Corporation

Stephanie Castera
Assistant Commissioner
Ohio Valley Conference


Now in its 70th year, the Ohio Valley Conference continues to build on the success that has made it the nation’s eighth-oldest NCAA Division I conference.

In May 2011 the Conference expanded for the second time in four years, adding Belmont University which began competition in the 2012-13 academic year. The addition of Belmont gives the OVC 12 members, the most the league has had at one time in its illustrious history. The move added a second team in the city of Nashville and was the first addition to the league since Southern Illinois University Edwardsville joined in 2008.

The 2009-10 school year saw a change in leadership as Beth DeBauche was named the seventh full-time Commissioner in league history on July 28, 2009. She is currently one of just five females to be the head of a Division I conference, and one of just eight to lead a Division I conference all-time. The last three commissioners of the OVC have moved onto jobs as the commissioner of the Big Ten, Big 12 and the Mid-American Conferences.

The OVC’s proud history dates back to 1948, but seeds for the new league were actually planted in 1941. It was then that Roy Stewart, the athletics director at Murray State, Charles (Turkey) Hughes, the athletics director at Eastern Kentucky, and Kelly Thompson, the public relations director at Western Kentucky, first broached the idea of forming a new conference. Discussions were put on hold by World War II, but reemerged Feb. 27-28, 1948 at the Kentucky Hotel in Louisville as the three original institutions combined with Morehead State, Louisville and Evansville to form the OVC.

In the late 1970s, women’s athletics began somewhat of a rebirth on the national scene as the NCAA began sponsoring and marketing women’s sports. Recognizing the need to provide increased opportunities for female athletes, the OVC established women’s championships in the sports of basketball, tennis and track in 1977, with cross country and volleyball added over the next four years. Those sports were initially governed by the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), but the overall strength of women’s programs in the league was demonstrated by the automatic bids the OVC instantly received when the NCAA became the governing body in 1982.

The league also had another historical moment in November 2008 when the NCAA awarded Nashville the 2014 NCAA Women’s Division I Final Four. The OVC served as the host of the prestigious event, which was one of the biggest sporting events the city of Nashville hosted. The event was held at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.

Current league representatives include charter members Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University and Murray State University, along with Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Eastern Illinois University, Jacksonville State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Martin.


Travis Tellitocci –  Tournament Manager:  ttellitocci@ovc.org

Stephanie Castera –  Asst. Tournament Manager: scastera@ovc.org

Kyle Schwartz – Media Coordinator:  kschwartz@ovc.org

Heather Brown – Asst. Media Coordinator: hbrown@ovc.org

Brian Pulley – Marketing/Hospitality: bpulley@ovc.org

Kate Barnett – Team/Back of House Manager: kbarnett@ovc.org

Jonathan Owens – Band/Spirit Squad Coord.: jowens@ovc.org

Zach White – Championships Assistant

Jasmyne Mitchell – Championships Assistant

Curtis Tyler – Media Assistant


Chelsie Buckman
Project Manager
Evansville Sports Corporation
812-421-2200 (office)
812-797-3331 (cell, during event)

Stephanie Castera
Assistant Commissioner
Ohio Valley Conference
615-690-6682 (office)
712-540-9132 (cell)


Important Dates:

Mandatory Volunteer Training:
Tuesday, February 27th – 6:00pm
-Ford Center
-Park in the fan parking lot behind Old National Events Plaza, in one of the city garages, or street parking

OVC Basketball Tournament: 
Wednesday, February 28th – Saturday, March 3rd

Game Site:

Ford Center
1 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Evansville, IN 47708


Wednesday, Feb. 28th

Women’s #1 vs. #8 – 1:00 p.m.

Women’s #2 vs. #7 – 3:00 p.m.

Men’s #5 vs. #8 – 6:30 p.m.

Men’s #6 vs. #7 – 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 1st

Women’s #4 vs. #5 – 1:00 p.m.

Women’s #3 vs. #6 – 3:00 p.m.

Men’s #4 vs. Game 1 winner – 6:30 p.m.

Men’s #3 vs. Game 2 winner – 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 2nd

Women’s Game 5 – 1:00 p.m.

Women’s Game 6 – 3:00 p.m.

Men’s #1 vs. Game 3 winner – 7:00 p.m.

Men’s #2 vs. Game 4 winner – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 3rd

Women’s Championship – 2:00 p.m.

Men’s Championship – 7:00 p.m.


Cancellations / Emergencies

If you find that you cannot fulfill your assigned shift or if you have a question you need help with, please text or call Chelsie Buckman, ESC (812-797-3331) or Stephanie Castera (712-540-9132) at least 24 hours in advance so we can try to fill your spot.

If an emergency arises during your shift, please do not attempt to handle the situation by yourself. Immediately notify Chelsie Buckman, Stephanie Castera or the nearest security personnel.

Uniform and Credentials

Dress for the tournament during all of your assigned shifts shall be tan/black pants, comfortable shoes and a polo shirt, unless an official OVC tournament t-shirt is provided to you. Please make sure your attire is clean and well-maintained. No jeans, ball caps, etc.

You must wear your credential at all times while working at Ford Center. Your credential identifies you as a representative of the tournament and will be necessary to provide you access to areas that your volunteer assignment requires you to enter.

Volunteer Check-in

Please arrive to volunteer check-in at least 15-20 minutes prior to the start of your shift(s) to ensure plenty of time to report to your assigned area. The volunteer check-in station is located

at the backstage entrance near the loading dock – enter the building through the media/volunteer double doors that are beside 6th street of the Ford Center (see map on page 9).

You will be required to present a valid government-issued photo ID when you check-in. Please be aware that as a security precaution, all bags/purses may be inspected upon entry to Ford Center. Please note that there is no secure storage for your personal belongings.

Volunteer Hospitality

There will be a designated hospitality area for volunteers where refreshments will be provided. For those working shifts which may overlap with meal times, volunteers will have access to meals provided.

Volunteer Reporting Areas

Upon arrival you will be directed to your designated volunteer area.


Best Practices

– Report to shifts at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time

– Do not display favoritism or partiality

– Do not cheer while watching games in a working capacity

– Be knowledgeable about the daily schedule

– Exercise good judgment

– Be mindful of your comments

– Ask questions (It’s okay if you don’t know the answer to a question.. seek out a tournament staff member who can assist you)

– If there are any issues, notify a tournament staff member immediately

– Be professional in your interactions with student-athletes, coaches and OVC personnel


– Be on time

– Be professional

– Ask questions

– Display positive attitude

– Wear the appropriate dress

Do Not

– Ask for pictures

– Ask for autographs

– Ask for jobs

– Ask for tickets

– Wander around Ford Center

– Bring bags/purses


Volunteer Parking and Entrance Locations

Volunteers will be responsible for their own parking. Volunteers can park for free in the fan parking lot behind Old National Events Plaza, in one of the city garages, or street parking. Please enter through the media/volunteer double doors that are beside 6th street of the Ford Center. Please allow yourself plenty of time to find a parking place and arrive at the arena on time.