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

18. Season of Competition:

a. Participation in one or more than 20% of the maximum allowable number of intercollegiate contests or dates (excluding scrimmages), whether in a varsity, junior varsity or freshman program, during the 24-week season. Any participation in NAIA-approved postseason shall result in a season of competition. The NAIA shall count seasons of competition based on intercollegiate participation charged by another intercollegiate athletic association.

A student who participates in the following number of contests or dates during the 24-week season will be charged a season of competition.

 

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 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 for the event;
2. The student(s) does not wear an institutional uniform nor use the institution’s name in the event;
3. All competition and participation must conform to NAIA amateur status regulations; and
4. 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.

** (Interpreted by the National Eligibility Committee)

EXCEPTION 3: An individual who participates in national or Olympic team trials or competes as a member of a national or Olympic team will not be charged a season of competition for such participation.

EXCEPTION 4: As an exception, a student who suffers a season-ending injury while enrolled at a non-NAIA institution may request a medical hardship from the NAIA to have the intercollegiate season of competition returned. All medical hardship requests must meet the following criteria:

a. They must involve an injury or illness which is beyond the control of the student or coach and which incapacitates the student from competing further during the sport season in question as verified by the attending physician (i.e. M.D. or D.O.) who must have examined the student during the sport season in question.

b. Hardships cannot be requested for students who are incapacitated in the last regular-season contest or postseason competition.

c. Participation by a student after being examined by a physician for the incapacitating injury or illness and before receiving written medical clearance shall nullify hardship considerations.

d. The student involved must have participated in 20% or fewer of the maximum allowable number of intercollegiate contests or dates, excluding scrimmages, during the 24-week season as listed for the sport. If the student competed in more than 20% of the maximum limit, as detailed in Article V, Section B, Item 18a, the student is not eligible for a medical hardship.

NOTE 1: For any student seeking eligibility as a first-time participant in a given NAIA sport, this definition of season of competition shall be applied to all prior competition in that sport, regardless of the date of competition.

NOTE 2: For all other students, this definition of season of competition only applies to competition that occurs after May 1, 2020. For all prior competition for these students, the definition of season of competition in effect at the time shall apply.

NOTE 13: 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 24: 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 35: 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).

AND

Remove Bylaws Article V, Section M as follows:

V SECTION M HARDSHIP REQUESTS
1. A hardship request is a request for an exception to the season of competition regulation. Hardships deal only with seasons of competition.

2. All hardship requests must meet the following criteria:
a. They must involve an injury or illness which is beyond the control of the student or coach and which incapacitates the student from competing further during the sport season in question as verified by the attending physician (i.e. M.D. or D.O.) who must have examined the student during the sport season in question.
b. The student involved shall not have participated in more contests or dates, excluding scrimmages, in the affected sport during the sports season than those listed for the sport:

NOTE 1: These limits shall be updated annually to reflect 20% of the maximum allowable contests or dates as listed in Article I, Section G, Item 1 of the NAIA Bylaws.

NOTE 2: These limits shall apply to injuries occurring on or after August 1, 2015. Medical Hardship requests for injuries occurring before August 1, 2015 will be evaluated based upon the rule(s) in place at the time of the injury.

c. Hardships cannot be requested for students who are incapacitated in the last regular-season contest or postseason competition.
d. All applicable information must appear on the completed certificate. This certificate, along with a current transcript, is to be sent to the National Office for processing.
e. Participation by a student after being examined by a physician for the incapacitating injury or illness and before receiving written medical clearance shall nullify hardship considerations.

3. The hardship request must be submitted by the faculty athletics representative or athletics director of the institution requesting the exception. Before a request or appeal can be considered, the following material must be submitted:
a. A current transcript of the student involved; and
b. A completed official NAIA Official Hardship Request certificate.

4. Conference/A.I.I. recommendations, if any, shall be considered, but only the decision of the National Eligibility Committee shall be recognized by the NAIA in hardship cases.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Intent: To institute a minimum number of intercollegiate contests a student must participate in before the student will be charged a season of competition, equivalent to greater than 20% of the frequency of play limit for that sport, rendering the medical hardship provision moot except for instances where a student was not an NAIA student-athlete during the season in question. In addition, replace the unattached exception with an exception permitting national or Olympic team competition without charging the student a season of competition.

Effective date: May 1, 2020

Submitted by: Competitive Experience Committee

 

2 Responses to “20-B-04: Season of Competition – Minimum Participation”

  1. Stacy Jordan says:

    If the terminology is being changed from dates to games for softball in other legislation, should it not also be changed in this legislation?

  2. In drafting this proposal, we can’t assume that other proposals will pass, so this proposal must be drafted off of the current language. Should both proposals pass, we will amend the language here to reflect proposal 20-B-01, or in other words merge the two.

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