Amend Bylaws Article I, Section A as follows:

  1. Active Membership shall be accorded to colleges and universities which meet the following requirements:

a. Be a four-year college or university or an upper-level, two-year institution that awards a bachelor’s (baccalaureate) degree, or its equivalent.

b. Be accredited by one of the six institutional accrediting bodies: (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MAS); New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE); North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS); Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU); Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools (WASC-ACS)), or be a member of Universities Canada.

c. Sponsor and declare an intent to participate in NAIA approved postseason in a minimum of six NAIA championship sports no later than the beginning of the fourth full academic year of active NAIA membership.

NOTE 1:    Single-gender institutions must sponsor and declare an intent to participate in NAIA approved postseason in a minimum of three NAIA championship sports no later than the beginning of the fourth full academic year of active NAIA membership.

NOTE 2:    An institution falling below the minimum sport sponsorship requirement, due to a failure to sponsor the minimum number of sports or the withdrawal of a declaration of intent to participate in one or more sports, shall be submitted to the NAIA Membership Committee for review. The committee may issue any penalty listed in NAIA Bylaws Article VI, Section C. The committee may recommend to the Council of Presidents the institution be expelled from membership in the NAIA.

NOTE 3:    An institution may request from the Council of Presidents, through the NAIA Membership Committee, an exception from this requirement.

d. The institution must publish a statement recognizing the institution’s commitment to character-driven athletics and the five NAIA core values for character-driven athletics.

e. Administer athletics programs in compliance with the constitution, bylaws, and other legislation and policies of the Association.

f. Conduct its intercollegiate athletics programs in a manner consistent with established NAIA standards.

g. Be reviewed for membership by the appropriate committee of an affiliated conference, with a recommendation submitted to the NAIA President/Chief Executive Officer for final action by the Council of Presidents.

h. Pay active institutional membership dues and conference dues when applicable.

i. Complete one year of membership from the date of acceptance before becoming eligible for NAIA postseason competition.


Amend Bylaws Article I, Section J as follows:

Institutions may become members by affiliation of all intercollegiate sports within either or both programs (men’s and/or women’s) or they may become members by affiliating intercollegiate teams on a sport-by-sport basis within either or both programs (men’s and/or women’s).

Institutions approved for active membership in the NAIA shall become eligible for postseason participation calendar year from the date of their acceptance and payment of dues. During the one-year evaluation period, the institution shall adhere to all rules and regulations of the Association. Any institution holding full or per-sport membership in an affiliated conference or A.I.I. during its first year as an NAIA member the one-year evaluation period will count toward the conference or A.I.I.’s membership total for determining whether the conference/A.I.I. champion earns an single automatic qualification to the national competition. The institution shall also count toward any sport-specific minimum participant requirements for the applicable NAIA qualifying tournament. The institution shall not count toward the conference’s membership total that enables the conference/A.I.I. to earn multiple automatic qualifications to NAIA national competition.

EXCEPTION: An affiliated conference or the A.I.I., at its discretion, may allow first-year NAIA member institutions that are otherwise ineligible for NAIA postseason play to compete in conference/A.I.I. postseason competition as non-scoring participants in the sports of cross country and golf.


Intent: To remove the existing restriction prohibiting first-year member institutions from participating in NAIA postseason and permit first-year members to be eligible immediately, though a first-year member will only count towards an affiliated conference/A.I.I.’s first automatic qualification in a given sport and not subsequent berths.

Effective date: August 1, 2021

Submitted by: California Pacific Conference

Co-sponsored by: Council for Student-Athletes


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