Practice Limitations Summer 2020




A: Yes. The start date applies only to when your student-athletes can engage in in-person practice. It is up to your institution to decide when to bring your student-athletes and student body back to campus.

A: Yes. The bylaws define a week as Monday (12:00 a.m.) through Sunday (11:59 p.m.). Any practice or competition during this period shall constitute one of the 24 weeks permitted.




A: A practice is any activity organized and/or directed by any member of the coaching staff in which either (a) equipment of the sport is used or (b) instruction and/or evaluation of the athlete takes place. Here are some activities that are considered a practice:

  • Film review sessions involving a coach and one or more student-athletes
  • Walkthrough drills (regardless of the use of equipment)
  • Individual skills workouts (batting practice, putting lessons, etc.) involving a member of the coaching staff
  • Open gyms that are attended and observed by a member of the coaching staff

For more information, view this entry in the NAIA Interpretation Library.

A: The Council of Presidents have decided to not allow practices until August 15th in any NAIA sport. Therefore, it would be an institution’s decision if it is going to have facilities open and available.

A: No. Weight training and conditioning activities are not considered practice, assuming no sport equipment or sport-specific instruction takes place.

A: Yes. Technically, use of Zoom or similar platforms to evaluate or instruct a student in their sport does meet the definition of a practice. As an exception to the practice restriction, virtual sessions will be permitted and are not restricted. In-person practices have been restricted to prevent student-athletes from returning to campus and gathering with one another until it’s absolutely necessary and all appropriate safety protocols are securely in place. Virtual sessions allow for these same parameters, and as such will be permitted.

A: Coaches are allowed to give guidance relating to drills or conditioning as requested by players as long as it is voluntary and they are not held accountable to the activity. This is not considered a practice and will be permitted prior to August 15.

A: Whether an open gym is considered a practice or not depends on how the open gym is organized. Individual players are not prevented from getting together voluntarily to shoot around in an open gym setting. However, if a member of the coaching staff is involved in the organization of the open gym or sits in the bleachers and observes the open gym, it has now become a practice. The best way to help your players participate in open gyms over the summer is to ensure any open gym sessions are public and open to all students, and that coaches are not present during the open gym. Team captains are free to coordinate attendance with other players, but coaches should steer clear.

For more information, view this entry in the NAIA Interpretation Library.

A: No. There is no such thing as a “joint practice” in the NAIA. A practice can only include individuals who are identified with your campus, or in other words enrolled full-time. As soon as individuals not identified with your campus participate, it is no longer a practice and must be viewed as a competition of some kind (scrimmage, exhibition or contest).

For more information, view this entry in the NAIA Interpretation Library.

A: As it relates to summer camps where student-athletes serve as employees (rather than attendees) of the camp, the long-standing interpretation has been that the student-athletes are acting in the role of employees during that time rather than student-athlete (for purposes of amateurism, financial assistance, frequency of play, etc.). This is in keeping with how the NAIA treats a student-athlete who has a part-time job working at the tennis club alongside her coach (tennis pro): the student is in the role of employee rather than student-athlete, and those shifts worked do not count towards the 24-week season or game limits. Therefore, this type of summer camp is considered employment for the student-athlete and is not considered a practice, so long as the student-athlete’s involvement is limited to that which is necessary for running the camp.

To be clear, this interpretation applies to summer camps that NAIA coaches/students run for local youth or similar populations. This interpretation does NOT apply to a “camp” that is run by your coaching staff for your student-athletes, such as a “summer boot camp.” This type of boot camp is considered practice and is not permitted this summer.

A: Yes. As long as the current student-athlete’s involvement is limited to that which is necessary to run the camp from an employee standpoint, then they can be a part of these camps.

A: No. Even in normal years, there is nothing that prevents a college coach from also being on a club coaching staff. Since we do not prohibit a coach from serving in both of these roles, the long-standing interpretation has been that as it relates to interaction with current or prospective students we must evaluate when the coach is acting in his role as ‘club coach’ and when he is acting in his role as ‘NAIA coach’.

For example, when acting in the role of club coach, he cannot leverage any of the benefits of also being a coach for your institution: the coach can’t give the players special access to school facilities or equipment that wouldn’t be available to all other club coaches; if there’s a fee for the public to rent the gym then the coach would have to pay the full fee.

The same is true as it relates to NAIA recruiting rules. The summer club team might also include student-athletes who attend a different college. As their club coach, the coach has to be able to initiate contact with them, even though typically NAIA rules would prevent an NAIA coach from initiating contact with players from another institution.

A: Yes. However the Athletic Directors Association (ADA) proposed and the Council of Presidents Executive Council accepted a proposal that prohibits current student-athletes from participating in tryouts from now (June 25, 2020) through August 15, 2020.

A: Yes, you can tryout and evaluate multiple student-athletes at the same time.

A: From now (June 25, 2020) until August 15th current student-athletes cannot participate in tryouts with prospective student-athletes. This would be a violation requiring a self-report to be reviewed by the Conduct and Ethics Committee.

A: You could use a member of your coaching staff or another prospective student athlete. You could not use one of your current student-athletes.

A: Tryouts, like normal, can be conducted anywhere without restriction.




A: No. The NAIA does not currently restrict recruiting periods, frequency or travel opportunities, and does not plan to do so. Recruiting and enrollment continue to be vital functions for NAIA institutions and the NAIA does not wish to negatively impact these efforts. Standard NAIA recruiting rules will continue to apply as written, and institutions may limit any recruiting activities as necessary to protect the safety of all involved.

A: NAIA recruiting rules continue to apply as written. Students who are graduating this spring can be contacted once they graduate or complete all requirements for graduation, whichever is later. As always, a student-athlete is free to reach out to coaches at another school at any time without restriction.

A: Yes. NAIA recruiting rules state an NAIA coach cannot initiate contact with a junior college student until after the end of the academic year in which the student competed in his or her first season of competition. In this scenario, while the NJCAA has decided to waive the charging of the season, the student did compete in her first year of play at the junior college. As long as the NAIA coach waits until the end of this academic year, the coach is then allowed to reach out and initiate contact with the junior college student.

A: Yes. NAIA recruiting rules are unchanged. As always, an NAIA coach can initiate contact with a student identified at a junior college after the end of the academic year in which the student uses his or her first season of competition. In this case, the student completed their first season of competition (and the corresponding academic year) prior to 2019-20, and NAIA coaches are free to initiate contact with this student right now.