21-B-08: Season of Competition

On April 26, 2021, in 2021 Bylaw Amendments, by Jen Saab

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

  1. Season of Competition:

. . .

b. Participation in any eliteprofessional-level competition on or after the first day of the thirteenth month following high school graduation. A student will be charged a season of competition for participating in at least one professional-level event within a 12-month period. A team, league or event will be defined as professional-level competition and result in charging a student a season of competition if any one of the following is met:

i. Competition on a team or within a league (all sports) shall result in a season of competition if the team or league self-declares as professional.

ii. Competition on a team or within a league (all sports) shall result in a season of competition if both of the following are met:/

1) The team or league self-declares as semi-professional; and

2) Team(s) within the league pay or reimburse participants beyond actual expenses of travel, meals and lodging.

iii. For individual sports, a student’s participation will be evaluated based on the student’s specific division, series or group/heat within the event. If that division, series or group/heat within the event is self-declared as professional or semi-professional, the student’s competition shall result in a season of competition charged.

The NAIA shall take at face value seasons of competition based on non-collegiate participation as assessed by another intercollegiate athletic association, including determination of unattached status. Additional seasons of competition, based on non-collegiateprofessional-level 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: 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 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 (see detailed list 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, 20220. For all prior competition for these students, the definition of season of competition in effect at the time shall apply.

NOTE 3:    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 4:    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 eliteprofessional-level competition after May 15 shall be charged within the 12-month period that includes the subsequent academic year.

NOTE 5:    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 raise the standard by which a student is charged for non-collegiate competition from elite-level to professional-level based on the team, league or event’s self-declaration as professional, or a self-declaration of semi-professional if the team or league also pays participants in excess of expense reimbursement.

Effective date: May 1, 2022 as applied to eligibility decisions for competition in August 2022 or beyond

Submitted by: Competitive Experience Committee

 

Leave a Reply