24 Week Season & Frequency of Play




A: No, standard limits have been reinstated for the maximum allowable number of contests as well as the minimum number of contests to be eligible for postseason.



A: The National Administrative Council has made an exception to the standard forfeit policies for this year in an effort to recognize the increase in canceled contests due to COVID. A forfeit request for any non-conference matchup will be reviewed under standard NAC policies. However, a forfeit request for any conference matchup will first be evaluated against the conference’s decision for how to handle such situations (e.g. award forfeits; no forfeit and reschedule contest; attempt to reschedule until it becomes unrealistic and then award forfeit).
Note: For the fall season, the NAC also eliminated the standard 10-day window for requesting a forfeit, but did reinstate it by the end of the fall regular season. For winter and spring sports, forfeits must be requested within 10 days of the scheduled contest.

See the full text of the NAC decision here and here.

Q: If my campus has been allowed to return to play by local authorities, are we able to begin competition or do we need to wait for the majority of our conference? (Updated 8/3/2020)

A: The decision to push NAIA fall championships to the spring allows conferences the autonomy to consider the regional impact of COVID-19 when determining the appropriate time for regular season competition. It also increases flexibility by permitting a current, split, or entirely postponed regular season, all of which can precede postseason play.

A: In order to crown a national champion, at least 50% of the institutions sponsoring a particular sport must be competing for the championship. Four weeks prior to the conference deadline for each sport, the number of active, participating teams with a declared intention to participate in postseason will be reviewed. If less than 50% of teams are still in contention for the championship, then the National Administrative Council will recommend to the Council of Presidents that the championship be canceled.
If more than 50% of teams are still in contention at that four week mark, the championship will proceed as scheduled. National office staff will review the declared number of teams and apply any necessary championship format adjustments, as approved by the National Administrative Council. It is important to note that it is possible the format could continue to be altered or the championship canceled should the number of declared teams further drop below the identified threshold level. The national office will consult with the council and seek approval of any formats that reduce the number of qualifiers below the currently approved formats.
Note: In addition to the threshold approach described here, additional factors are also being closely monitored by the Council of Presidents that could impact a “Go / No Go” decision. The national office and Council of Presidents will continue to monitor and frequently reevaluate these factors to determine if there is an impact to the ability to proceed with championships.