Compliance Question of the Week

For the week of: March 19, 2010

What are the limits for countable athletically related activities during spring break?

If the student athlete is in season, they may participate in countable athletically related activities during institutional vacation periods. However, if the student athlete is not is season at the time of the vacation period then that student athlete may not participate in countable athletically related activities.

Daily as well as weekly hour limitations do not apply to countable athletically related activities that occur during official institutional vacation periods. An institution is not required to provide student-athletes with one day off per week during a vacation period, provided classes are not in session during any portion of that week.

However, during the playing season, countable athletic activity is prohibited one calendar day per week.

Exceptions to the rule include:
  • Participation in one conference and postseason championship.
  • Any postseason licensed bowl games.
  • National Invitation Tournaments.
  • Participation in NCAA championships.
A women's hockey team, during the week of 12/20/07, participated in an entire week of practice without allowing student-athletes a day off. The coaching staff mistakenly believed that a day off was not required during the involved week because a portion of the week fell during a vacation period.

The institution's compliance office reviewed the relevant legislation related to playing and practice season declarations with the head coach. Institution will apply a "two for one" practice penalty to the team to be served during the week of January 27-February 2, 2008. Institution will require the SAs to receive two days off from all athletically related activities during the cited week. Institution will issue a letter of education to all women's hockey coaches and staff to ensure that all coaches are aware of NCAA rules pertaining to playing and practice seasons.

Bylaw 17.02.1 Countable Athletically Related Activities:
Countable athletically related activities include any required activity with an athletics purpose involving student-athletes and at the direction of, or supervised by one or more of an institution's coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches) and must be counted within the weekly and daily limitations under Bylaw and Administrative activities (e.g., academic meetings, compliance meetings) shall not be considered as countable athletically related activities. (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/91, Revised: 10/31/02 effective 8/1/03)

Bylaw Sports Other than Championship Subdivision Football:
In sports other than championship subdivision football, a student-athlete may not participate in any countable athletically related activities outside the playing season during any institutional vacation period and/or summer. Strength and conditioning coaches who are not countable coaches and who perform such duties on a department-wide basis may design and conduct specific workout programs for student-athletes, provided such workouts are voluntary and conducted at the request of the student-athlete. (Adopted: 10/31/02 effective 8/1/03, Revised: 4/28/05, 12/15/06)

Bylaw Vacation Periods and Between Terms:
Daily and weekly hour limitations do not apply to countable athletically related activities occurring during an institution's term-time official vacation period, as listed in the institution's official calendar, and during the academic year between terms when classes are not in session. If such vacation periods occur during any part of a week in which classes are in session, the institution is subject to the daily and weekly hour limitations during the portion of the week when classes are in session and must provide the student-athletes with a day off (see Bylaw, which may be a vacation day. (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/91, Revised: 1/10/92)

Bylaw Required Day Off-Playing Season:
During the playing season, all countable athletically related activities (per Bylaw 17.02.1) shall be prohibited during one calendar day per week, except during participation in one conference and postseason championship and any postseason licensed bowl games or National Invitation Tournaments, and during participation in NCAA championships. (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/91, Revised: 1/11/94, 1/10/95, 1/9/96, 2/1/05)


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