Competitive Experience & Chargeable Competition

*Please note: For eligibility determinations made between Fall 2011 and Spring 2015, the following Evaluative Criteria were used.

The NAIA Eligibility Center reviews the athletic history of each student wanting to play in the NAIA. This review includes the research of any competitive experience (league, tournament, athletic event etc.), regardless of its professional or amateur status.

Below are the NAIA evaluative criteria used to assess the level of all competitive experiences. If these criteria are met, the experience will be considered “chargeable.” Students who participate in “chargeable” events following their Post-Secondary Amateur Year will use one season of eligibility for each year they compete.

 

Competition as a member of a team:

 

(all individual and team sports)

Competition will be considered elite-level if any two or more of the following criteria are met:

  1. At least 10% of competitors are current professionals. This criterion is met if any one of the following describes the experience:
    1. At least 10% of competitors in the league are individuals considered professional at the time of participation in the league.
    2. For teams that do not play in a league structure: at least 10% of competitors on the team are individuals considered professional at the time of participation on the team.
    3. There is regular, non-league competition against professional teams or teams with at least 10% of individuals considered professional at the time of participation in the league.
  2. At least 50% of competitors are current college athletes. This criterion is met if any one of the following describes the experience:
    1. At least 50% of the competitors in the league are individuals who participated in intercollegiate athletics.
    2. For teams that do not play in a league structure: at least 50% of competitors on the team are individuals who currently participate in intercollegiate athletics.
    3. There is regular non-league competition against teams with at least 50% of individuals who currently participate in intercollegiate athletics.
  3. Contracts are used to outline an exchange of commitment between participants and the league/team.
  4. Specific participants are reimbursed for travel, meals and/or lodging expenses.
  5. Participation is part of a national team or an Olympic-level team.
  6. Participation is selective based on performance.
  7. The number of regularly scheduled contests or dates of competition for the league/team is equivalent to or greater than 80% of NAIA contest limitations.
 

"U-19" Exception

A league considered "U19" will not be considered "elite-level" competition and is not subject to competitive experience criteria, provided:

  • Participants competing in the league are age 19 or younger, and
  • Competition in the league does not regularly include contests against teams with 50% or more current college players or teams with 10% or more current professionals.
 

Individual Competition

(individual competition in cross country, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, wrestling)

A student participating as an individual will be charged a season of competition for participating in at least three chargeable events in a 12-month window. Any reference to an “event” may include a meet, tournament, or other single competition. When a competition includes heats, or multiple races at a single meet, the meet as a whole is considered one event.

An event will be considered “elite-level competition” if any one of the following criteria is met:

  1. Event regularly includes individuals considered professional at the time of participation in the event. Professional criterion is met if one of the following is present:
    1. the event self-declares as professional or semi-professional; or
    2. the event offers prize money; or
    3. 10% or more of competitors have received expense reimbursement beyond meals, travel and lodging in any league; or
    4. 10% or more of competitors have signed professional (or semi-professional) contracts in any league.
  2. Event regularly includes at least 50% of individuals who participated in intercollegiate athletics at U.S. colleges or universities during the corresponding academic year.
  3. Event uses contracts to outline an exchange of commitment between some participants and the event.
  4. Event includes specific participants who are reimbursed for travel, meals and/or lodging expenses.
  5. Event uses performance-based selectivity to determine field.
 

"U-19" Exception

An event considered "U19" will not be considered "elite-level" competition and is not subject to competitive experience criteria, provided:

  • Participants competing in the event are age 19 or younger, and
  • The competitive field in the event does not regularly consist of 50% or more current college players or 10% or more current professionals.
 

Download Evaluative Criteria | Chargeable Competition FAQs