(Jan. 22, 2007)
Discussion of NCAA Legislation: Competition DatesThere may be some coaches who misunderstand part of the practice and playing season rules. Currently in all three divisions women's rowing teams can have a maximum of twenty dates of competition (17.17.5). Some events do not count against the maximum of twenty dates of competition. A conference championship, the NCAA Championship, and other season-ending championship events do not count against the twenty dates. However, with the exception of the NCAA Championship, the excluded events must fall within the practice and playing season (17.1.6) !!!!!
Remember that practice for and competition in the NCAA DI or DIII Championship does not need to fall into the 156 day or 19 week playing season. So you get free days of practice from the last race of the spring until the championship begins. But all races prior to the NCAA championship (dual races, scrimmages, joint practices, WIRA, Pac-10 and other conference championships, EAWRC sprints, ECAC Metro and ECAC Invitational, Dad Vail, South / Central Sprints, etc.) must be included in the declared practice and playing season.
Here is an example. An NCAA member institution schedules their practice and playing season so that it ends at the New England Championships. That school cannot compete the following week at the Dad Vail Regatta or the ECAC regatta even if they have not reached their limit of twenty dates of competition.
Division II would not seem to have to worry about this. They get to go from January 10 or the beginning of winter classes through the NCAA DII Championship.
All rowing competition must end with the conclusion of the NCAA Championships in all divisions. Usually the IRA Regatta falls after the NCAA regatta. There is an exception in the DI manual to allow a legitimate lightweight eight to go to the IRA Regatta even if it falls after the NCAA Championship. There is an NCAA interpretation that allows those lightweight crews to continue to practice after the end of their playing season in order to go to the IRA. Now is a good time to remind people that you have to maintain the same practice and playing season for all subsets of your team. i.e., you cannot have a different practice and playing season for the varsity squad and novice squad.
Here a couple of other reminders regarding practice and playing season rules. Going on a winter training camp trip? You cannot race, scrimmage, nor have a joint practice with another team. Going on a spring break trip? You must race, scrimmage, or have a joint practice.