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DI Council Coordination Committee issues waiver on minimum contests

Teams in fall sports other than football can play 50% of minimum required contests

The Division I Council Coordination Committee granted a blanket waiver that reduces by 50% the current legislated minimum number of contests that teams in fall sports other than football must play.

The waiver is available for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s water polo and women’s volleyball teams.

In the current environment where some conferences have eliminated nonconference competition for fall sports, the change allows teams that continue to play the opportunity to avoid scheduling additional games near the end of a season that could put student-athletes, coaches and staff in at-risk positions with additional travel and exposure.

The waiver was recommended by the Division I Competition Oversight Committee, which also approved other modifications to parameters surrounding postseason selection requirements for NCAA fall championships.

Oversight committee members agreed to suspend the criterion requiring teams to have at least a .500 record to be considered for at-large selections into a championship field, and a previous Division I Council decision allows conferences to inform sport committees how they will determine their automatic-qualifier representative up to two weeks prior to selections.

The oversight committee also discussed how typical tools and criteria that sport committees used to evaluate teams such as the RPI and NET become less reliable when conferences play league-only schedules. Oversight committee members confirmed that sport committees will likely need to rely more on information provided by conferences this fall to help evaluate teams for at-large selections.