Amend Bylaws Article V, Section B, Item 18b, Exception 4 as follows:

18. Season of Competition:

. . .

b. Participation in any elite-level competition on or after the first day of the thirteenth month following high school graduation. The NAIA shall count seasons of competition based on non-collegiate participation charged by another intercollegiate athletic association. Additional seasons of competition, based on non-collegiate participation, will be charged when the student is not enrolled in a collegiate institution, or is enrolled but does not represent the institution in intercollegiate competition.

. . .

EXCEPTION 4: As an exception, a student who suffers a season-ending injury while enrolled at a non-NAIA institution may request a medical hardship from the NAIA to have the intercollegiate season of competition returned. All medical hardship requests must meet the following criteria:

a. They must involve an injury or illness which is beyond the control of the student or coach and which incapacitates the student from competing further during the sport season in question as verified by the attending physician (i.e. M.D., or D.O., or D.P.M.) who must have examined the student during the sport season in question.

b. Hardships cannot be requested for students who are incapacitated in the last regular-season contest or postseason competition.

c. Participation by a student after being examined by a physician for the incapacitating injury or illness and before receiving written medical clearance shall nullify hardship considerations.

d. The student must have participated in 20% or fewer of the maximum allowable number of intercollegiate contests or dates, excluding scrimmages, during the 24-week season as listed for the sport. If the student competed in more than 20% of the maximum limit (see detailed list in Article V, Section B, Item 18a), the student is not eligible for a medical hardship.


Intent: To expand the authority to determine an injury or illness is season-ending to include Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.s), in addition to Doctors of Medicine (M.D.s) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s).

Effective date: May 27, 2021 as applied to eligibility decisions for competition in August 2021 or beyond

Submitted by: National Eligibility Committee


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