SUBJECT: Season of Competition – Unattached Exception

Amend Bylaws Article V, Section B, Item 18 as follows:

18. Season of Competition:

a.   Participation in one or more intercollegiate contests whether in a varsity, junior varsity or freshman program. The NAIA shall count seasons of competition based on intercollegiate participation charged by another intercollegiate athletic association.

b.   Participation in any elite-level competition on or after the first day of the thirteenth month following high school graduation. The NAIA shall count seasons of competition based on non-collegiate participation charged by another intercollegiate athletic association. Additional seasons of competition, based on non-collegiate participation, will be charged when the student is not enrolled in a collegiate institution, or is enrolled but does not represent the institution in intercollegiate competition.

EXCEPTION 1: An individual who trains or competes as a member of a non-collegiate postsecondary education (i.e. preparatory school) team will not be charged a season of competition.

EXCEPTION 2: The date of a student’s 18th birthday will be used as the date of high school graduation if:

a. The date of high school graduation cannot be ascertained; or

b. The student earned a high school equivalency through the GED or other exam(s) without otherwise graduating high school.

EXCEPTION 3: While enrolled as a full-time collegiate student at an NAIA institution,** a student will not be charged a season of competition based on participation as an unattached student-athlete. A student is considered to be competing as an unattached student-athlete if the following five seven criteria are met:

1.   A coach or representative of the athletics department does not enter the student(s) or pay the student’s entry fee forin the event;

2.   The institution or its representative does not provide meals or housing to the student(s) with regard to the event;

32The student(s) does not wear an institutional uniform nor use the institution’s name in the event;

4.   Student(s) competing “unattached” are not covered by institutional athletic insurance;

5.   Student(s) are made aware that they are not covered by institutional athletic insurance;

63.  All competition and participation must conform to NAIA amateur status regulations; and

74.  Student(s) are academically and athletically eligible for intercollegiate competition, in accordance with all applicable NAIA, conference and institutional eligibility regulations.; and

5.   An identified member of the coaching staff does not provide coaching, evaluation and/or feedback to the student(s) on site and/or for the duration of the event.

NOTE 1: For purposes of this bylaw, eligibility shall be determined by a national third-party administrator (NAIA Eligibility Center) authorized by the Council of Presidents.

NOTE 2: Unless specified elsewhere in the NAIA Bylaws (i.e. Article V, Section F, Item 9) no student shall be charged more than one season of competition during any 12-month period. Participation in elite-level competition after May 15 shall be charged within the 12-month period that includes the subsequent academic year.

NOTE 3: Athletes charged a season of competition pursuant to this paragraph must also comply with other applicable NAIA Bylaws, including Article VII (Amateur Rules) and Article V, Section C (Eligibility Requirements).


Intent: To remove the existing components of the unattached exception that prohibit an institution from providing meals, housing or institutional athletic insurance, and institute new criteria for the exception that prohibits a coach from paying a student’s entry fee and prohibits a student from receiving coaching on site and/or during the event.

Effective date: May 1, 2018

Submitted by: Competitive Experience Committee


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