Athlete's Tip of the Month for September

Outside Competition

Sept. 4, 2002

NCAA Bylaw 14.7.1

Student-athletes may not compete for any non-collegiate, amateur team during the academic year. Participation for a non-collegiate, amateur team would result in the student-athlete forfeiting his/her eligibility for the remainder of the year, as well as the next academic year. However, student-athletes are allowed to practice for these teams.

Student-athletes may compete outside of the institution's declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any non-collegiate, amateur competition during any official vacation period published in the institution's catalog.

In the sports of soccer, women's volleyball, and field hockey, a student-athlete may compete outside of the institution's declared playing season and practice season as a member of an outside team in any non-collegiate, amateur competition, provided:
(a) Such participation occurs no earlier than May 1;
(b) In the sports of soccer, women's volleyball, and field hockey, the number of student-athletes from any one institution does not exceed the applicable limits set forth in Bylaw 17.30.2.
(c) The competition is approved by the institution's director of athletics (see Elton Cochran-Fikes for processing of request);
(d) No class time is missed for practice activities or for competition; and
(e) In the sport of women's volleyball, all practice and competition is confined to doubles tournaments in outdoor volleyball, either on sand or grass.

It is permissible for a student-athlete to participate in outside competition as an individual during the academic year in the student-athlete's sport, as long as the student-athlete represents only himself or herself in the competition and does not engage in such competition as a member of or receive expenses from an outside team.

In individual sports, such units as "pro-am" golf teams, doubles tennis teams, and relay teams in track and field are not considered to be outside teams.


Q: May I compete in an alumni contest at my high school?
A: Yes, as long as occurs during your institution's vacation period.

Q: I did not play soccer this fall, but I plan on playing next year. Can I play on a club team this spring?
A: You may play for a outside amateur team if you are not practicing with your institution's team this spring. But if you are practicing with your institution's soccer team this spring, you may not play on an outside team this spring.

Q: May I compete on a club team if I am taking off this term?
A: Yes, that is considered a vacation period.

Q: Can I represent my club team at the U.S. Junior Nationals Swimming Championship?
A: Only if it is during a vacation period.

Q: May I compete for an outside team during the academic year if I am competing in a qualifying tournament for the World Championships or Pan Am games?
A: Yes, it is permissible to compete in a high school alumni game, Olympic Games, Official Pan American Games tryouts or competition, U.S. National Teams, Official World Championships, World University Games and World Cup tryouts and competition, and multi-sport events (officially recognized state and national multi-sport events).

Q: I have finished my exams for the semester before the institution's exam periods have concluded, may I compete in outside competition?
A: Yes.

Q: May I compete in intercollegiate competition not associated with the NCAA? May I accept prizes?
A: Yes. Students may compete during the academic year as an individual, not representing the institution or any other outside team. Prizes (but never cash) may be accepted during summer or anytime not enrolled.

Q: May I compete in intramural competition during the academic year?
A: Yes, intramural competition is not considered outside competition.