|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (August 2011)|
|Sports fielded||20 (men's: 10; women's: 10)|
|Region||The Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia|
|Former names||North State Conference (1930–1961)
Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1961–1995)
Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (1995–2007)
|Headquarters||High Point, North Carolina|
Conference Carolinas, formerly known as the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC), is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) primarily in Division II, and as one of the four Division I conferences for men's volleyball. Conference Carolinas reached its modern incarnation in 1994. Member institutions are located in the southeastern United States in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Conference Carolinas officially changed its name on June 1, 2007. The conference currently has 12 members.
Conference Carolinas dates to its inception on December 6, 1930. The conference was formed then as an athletic association "for the greater advantage of the small colleges in North Carolina". The official name given back then was the North State Intercollegiate Conference but known informally as the Old North State Conference. The birthplace was the Washington Duke Hotel in Durham, North Carolina, and the seven charter members were Appalachian, Atlantic Christian (now Barton College), Catawba, Guilford, Elon, High Point, and Lenoir-Rhyne.
The conference followed a policy of expansion for a period of time. Western Carolina became a member in 1933, East Carolina in 1947, Pfeiffer in 1960, Newberry in 1961, and Presbyterian in 1964, followed closely by Mars Hill.
With the acceptance of the first member from South Carolina in Newberry College, a name change became necessary. Thus on May 20, 1961 the official name of the conference was changed to the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAC) but commonly known less formerly as the Carolinas Conference.
East Carolina resigned in 1962 to join the Southern Conference and Appalachian and Western Carolina followed. Football sponsorship in the Carolinas Conference was dropped in 1973 when Lenoir-Rhyne, Newberry, Presbyterian, and Mars Hill joined the South Atlantic Conference.
Pembroke State University became a first-time member in 1976 followed by Wingate College in 1979, and Lenoir-Rhyne rejoined in 1984.
While Guilford College withdrew in 1988, St. Andrews and Mount Olive were added that same year.
The 1989–90 academic year started a new era as Catawba, Elon, Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate all withdrew to compete in the first year that the South Atlantic Conference would provide championships in all sports, not just football.
The Carolinas Conference then added Belmont Abbey in 1989, Coker College in 1991, and Lees-McRae in 1993.
The 1993–94 academic year brought a change to the conference national affiliation. The conference began the process of transferring membership to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) after years as an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member. During the transition, it was a dual member of the NCAA's Division II and the NAIA's Division I.
The 1995–96 year brought dramatic change to the conference. First, full membership into NCAA Division II was acquired and NAIA affiliation dropped. Thus, this was the first official year of full competition and championship play for the conference in NCAA DII status. Secondly, this was also the same year that Erskine, Longwood, & Queens were accepted as full members of the conference. With Longwood becoming the first Virginia member, another name change occurred and the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (known more universally as the 'CVAC') was born.
Following the 1997 academic year High Point resigned to join the NCAA DI ranks while in 1998 Limestone soon joined and were quickly followed by Anderson in 1999.
In 2003, Longwood University left the conference to explore possibilities in NCAA Division I. Then in 2005 the CVAC added Converse College as an affiliate member before becoming a full member starting in the 2007–08 season.
With the lone Virginia school in Longwood leaving, the league decided to go back to their roots and change their name to Conference Carolinas in 2007.
On June 1, 2011, King College and North Greenville University became official members of the conference and opened the conference to its first Tennessee member in King.
In 2014, Emmanuel College (Georgia) and Southern Wesleyan University became official members of the conference and opened the conference to its first Georgia member in Emmanuel. With both schools joining, the league now has 12 member institutions and currently remains one of the elite NCAA D-II conferences in the nation.
Many institutions have been members of the league during its rich history including Anderson, Appalachian, Atlantic Christian (now Barton College), Belmont Abbey, Catawba, Coker, Converse, East Carolina, Erskine, Guilford, Elon, High Point, King, Lees-McRae, Lenoir-Rhyne, Limestone, Longwood, Mars Hill, Mount Olive, Newberry, North Greenville, Pembroke State, Pfeiffer, Presbyterian, Queens, St. Andrews, Western Carolina and Wingate.
Barton is the only remaining charter member followed in longevity by Pfeiffer's membership in 1960 and then Mount Olive's joining in 1988.
|Barton College||Wilson, North Carolina||1902||1,200||Bulldogs||1930|
|Belmont Abbey College||Belmont, North Carolina||1876||1,320||Crusaders||1989|
|Converse College||Spartanburg, South Carolina||1889||750||Valkyries||2007|
|Emmanuel College||Franklin Springs, Georgia||1919||760||Lions||2014|
|Erskine College||Due West, South Carolina||1839||920||Flying Fleet||1995|
|King University||Bristol, Tennessee||1867||1,800||Tornado||2011|
|Lees–McRae College||Banner Elk, North Carolina||1899||800||Bobcats||1993|
|Limestone College||Gaffney, South Carolina||1845||3,300||Saints||1998|
|University of Mount Olive||Mount Olive, North Carolina||1951||2,500||Trojans||1988|
|North Greenville University||Tigerville, South Carolina||1891||2,100||Crusaders||2011|
|Pfeiffer University||Misenheimer, North Carolina||1885||1,100||Falcons||1960|
|Southern Wesleyan University||Central, South Carolina||1906||2,000||Warriors||2014|
- Converse College — women's institution, does not field men's sports; cross country (W), soccer (W), tennis (W), and volleyball was an affiliate member from 2005–2007.
- Reclassifying member in yellow.
Future affiliate members
|Chowan University||Murfreesboro, North Carolina||1848||1,316||Hawks||2016
Full member (all sports) Full member (non-football) Associate member (football-only) Associate member (sport)
When Barton became the sixth member to sponsor men's volleyball in 2011–12, Conference Carolinas became the fourth official scholarship-granting conference in NCAA men's volleyball. It also became the first all-sports conference (i.e., one that sponsors men's and women's basketball) ever to sponsor men's volleyball as a scholarship sport, and is also the first men's volleyball conference to consist solely of Division II members.
Conference Carolinas sponsors intercollegiate athletic competition in the following sports:
|Track & Field Indoor|
|Track & Field Outdoor|
Men's sponsored sports by school
|Future Affiliate Members|
- ‡ — D-I sport
Women's sponsored sports by school
|Future Affiliate Members|
- Barton — Lacrosse (W) begins play in 2016.
Other sponsored sports by school
- ASC — Appalachian Swimming Conference
- BMC — Bluegrass Mountain Conference
- Barton (IND) — Swimming & Diving (M) and Swimming & Diving (W) begin play in 2016.
- NCAA Men's National Collegiate Volleyball Championship, in which the CC champion receives an automatic berth
- Lopes, Vinnie (April 4, 2014). "The Little Conference That Could". Volleyball Magazine. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Barton to add swimming and women's lacrosse as intercollegiate sports in 2016-17". Barton College Athletics. Retrieved December 11, 2015.