You are here

DII provides scheduling flexibility for the 2020-21 regular season

Administrative Committee clarifies application of season-of-competition waiver.

The Division II Administrative Committee on Wednesday continued providing scheduling flexibility for all Division II sports for the 2020-21 academic year as a response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee also clarified the application of a season-of-competition waiver that was approved July 22 for student-athletes for the 2020-21 academic year.

The waiver, the committee decided, can be applied in situations where schools choose to schedule 50% or less of the sport’s Bylaw 17 maximum contests/dates of competition for the 2020-21 academic year, rather than that percentage being met by a cancellation of the season. The 50% figure is specific to regular season contests/dates of competition and is one of three criteria needed to apply the season-of-competition waiver. The other two criteria are that the student-athlete used a season of competition during the 2020-21 academic year and was eligible for competition while competing during the 2020-21 academic year.

Regarding playing and practice seasons, the committee approved a blanket waiver to permit schools and conferences to determine alternate championship and nonchampionship segments for Division II winter and spring championship sports during the 2020-21 academic year only. The committee took similar action for fall sports in June.

The Administrative Committee’s actions include the opportunity for schools to compete in the Division II championship for all sports, even if they declare an alternate championship segment, as long as all other selection criteria are met. In those instances, schools may resume practice and competition after the championship as long as they stay within their sport’s number of regular season days — the number of calendar days between the first permissible date for practice and the first date of the championship. Those regular-season numbers are listed at the bottom of this story.

For men’s and women’s basketball, schools are now permitted to begin on-court practice before Oct. 15 and/or competition before Nov. 13, the previously legislated start dates for those activities. Similarly, wrestling can now begin competition before Nov. 1.

In spring sports and men’s and women’s basketball, schools can divide the championship segment into two parts. The other winter sports (swimming and diving, indoor track and field, and wrestling) are already permitted to divide the championship segment into two parts.

For spring sports, the blanket waiver allows schools or conferences to declare a nonchampionship segment at any point during the 2020-21 academic year, other than during final exams and the legislated winter break. If a school declares a nonchampionship segment for a spring sport before the championship segment, student-athletes must receive a break of 14 consecutive calendar days between the two periods.

For all sports, practice and competition remain impermissible during the legislated seven-day winter break (Dec. 21-27, 2020). However, institutions are permitted to provide expenses (e.g., housing, meals) to student-athletes who are unable to return home during the break. The use of institutional facilities remains limited to facilities open to the general student body.

With these changes, practice and competition must end by Monday, May 31, 2021. The exception to this is for spring sports if the school is participating in an NCAA championship.

The Administrative Committee is composed of the chairs and vice chairs of the Division II Presidents Council and Management Council and one additional member of the Presidents Council. The committee is tasked with handling important Division II business in between quarterly meetings of the Presidents Council.

Number of calendar days in the regular season

(days between first permissible date for practice to the first date of the 2020-21 NCAA Division II Championship)

  • Cross country: 84.
  • Field hockey: 89.
  • Football: 103.
  • Men’s and women’s soccer: 95.
  • Volleyball: 108.
  • Men’s and women’s basketball: 142.
  • Swimming and diving: 144*.
  • Men’s and women’s indoor track and field: 144* (for institutions that sponsor only indoor track and field) or 156* (for institutions that sponsor both indoor and outdoor track and field).
  • Wrestling: 144*.
  • Baseball: 131.
  • Men’s golf: 117.
  • Women’s golf: 114.
  • Men’s lacrosse: 123.
  • Women’s lacrosse: 125.
  • Rowing: 139.
  • Softball: 124.
  • Men’s tennis: 119.
  • Women’s tennis: 121.
  • Men’s and women’s outdoor track and field: 144* (for schools that sponsor only outdoor track and field) or 156 (for those that sponsor both indoor and outdoor track and field).

*Which may consist of two segments (each consisting of consecutive days) and exclude only required days off and official vacation, holiday and final examination periods during which no practice or competition shall occur.