Playing and Practice Season Rules

Daily and Weekly Hour Limitations - Playing Season
The NCAA requires that a student-athlete's participation in countable athletically related activities shall be limited to a maximum of four hours per day and 20 hours per week.

Countable Athletically Related Activities

  • Practice. Practice is defined as any meeting, activity or instruction involving sports-related information and having an athletics purpose, held for one or more student-athletes at the direction of, or supervised by, any member or members of an institution's coaching staff. Practice is considered to have occurred if one or more coaches and one or more student-athletes engage in any of the following activities.
    • Field, floor or on-court activity;
    • Setting up offensive or defensive alignment;
    • Chalk talk;
    • Lecture on or discussion of strategy related to the sport;
    • Activities using equipment related to the sport; or
    • Discussions or review of game films, motion pictures or videotapes related to the sport.
  • Competition;
  • Required weight-training and conditioning activities held at the direction of or supervised by an institutional staff member;
  • Required participation in camps, clinics or workshops;
  • Individual workouts required or supervised by a member of the coaching staff. However, in the sport of track & field (limited to field events), the coach may be present during voluntary individual workouts in the institution's regular practice facility and may provide safety and skill instruction, provided the coach does not conduct the individual's workout;
  • On-court or on-field activities called by any member or members of a team and confined primarily to members of that team that are considered as a requisite for participation in that sport (i.e., captain's practices)
  • Visiting the competition site in the sports of cross country and golf;
  • Use of an institution's athletics facilities when such activities are supervised by or held at the direction of any member of an institution's coaching staff; and
  • Involvement of an institution's strength and conditioning staff with enrolled student-athletes in required conditioning programs.

Noncountable Athletically Related Activities

  • Training-table or competition-related meals;
  • Physical rehabilitation;
  • Dressing, showering, or taping;
  • Athletics department academic study hall or tutoring session;
  • Meetings with coaches on non athletic matters;
  • Travel to and from practice and competition;
  • Medical examination or treatments;
  • Fund-raising activities;
  • Recruiting activities; and
  • Public relations activities related to the student-athlete's sport.

Weekly Hour Limitations - Outside of Playing Season The NCAA regulates that a student-athletes participation in countable athletically related activities outside of the playing season shall be limited to a maximum of eight hours per week, of which no more than two hours per week may be spent on individual skill workouts and in Division I-A football, the viewing of game film.

A student-athlete may participate in the following athletically related activities outside of the playing season:

  • Required weight-training and conditioning activities held at the direction of or supervised by an institutional staff member; or
  • Participation by student-athletes in individual skill-related instruction in sports other than football, provided no more than four student-athletes from the same team are involved in skill-related instruction with their coach(es) at any one time in any facility and the student-athletes request the instruction.

Please be aware that any skill-related instructional activities outside the regular playing season with a member of the coaching staff must occur at the request of the student-athlete. Coaches may not require student-athletes to participate in their sport during this time period, nor may they observe voluntary participation [except in the sport of track & field (limited to field events) -- sport safety exception].

SUMMARY OF NCAA RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING BYLAW 17, PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASON

Competition Day
All competition and any associated athletically related activities on the day of competition shall count as three hours regardless of the actual duration of these activities. As stated above, practice may not be conducted following competition, except between contests, rounds or events during a multi-day or multi-event competition (i.e., double-headers in baseball or softball, rounds of golf in a multi-day tournament)

Practice Prohibited after Competition
Practice may not be conducted at any time (including vacation periods) following competition, except between contests, rounds or events during a multiday or multievent competition (e.g., double-headers in softball or baseball, rounds of golf in a multiday tournament).

Definition of Week
A week is calculated as any seven consecutive days to be determined at the institution's discretion; further, once the institution determines its week, the institution may not change its week for the remainder of the segment.

Preseason Practice
Daily and weekly hour limitations do not apply to countable athletically related activities that occur during preseason prior to the first day of classes or the first scheduled contest, whichever is earlier. Also, an institution is not required to provide student-athletes with one day off per week during preseason practice that occurs prior to the first day of classes, or the first scheduled contest, whichever is earlier.

Vacation Periods and Between Terms
Daily and weekly hours limitations do not apply to countable athletically related activities that occur during a member institution's official vacation period subsequent to the beginning of the academic year and between terms.

Required Day Off
During the playing season (excluding preseason practice), all countable athletically related activities (per 17.02.1] shall be prohibited during one calendar day per week, except during participation in conference and postseason championships. Also, a travel day related to athletics participation may be considered as a day off, provided no countable athletically related activities (per 17.02.1) occur during that day.

Canceled Competition
When an institution's competition is canceled prior to the start of competition or canceled prior to the competition being considered a completed event in accordance with the playing rules of that sport, an institution may utilize that day as its required day off, provided the institution does not engage in any further countable athletically related activities during that day.