Division III


2020-21 Division III COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide

Division III Administrative Committee actions since March 13, 2020

Sept. 15 – The Division III Championships Committee recommended that winter and spring 2021 national championship brackets and field sizes not exceed 75% of their standard capacity. READ MORE

July 9 – Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE

July 1 – Membership Committee statement on return to sports READ MORE

May 8 – The Division III Administrative Committee approved a recommendation from the Division III Championships Committee to cancel championships banquets and move all sport committee meetings to digital platforms for the 2020-21 academic year. READ MORE

The Division III Administrative Committee approved measures giving schools additional flexibility when it comes to student-athletes, as well as participation and membership requirements.

The Division III measures approved on Friday, March 13, include an additional semester and season of eligibility for all student-athletes participating in spring sports, the removal of a minimum threshold of sponsored spring sports, and the flexibility for schools to assist students with travel, lodging and meals as a result of campus displacement.

In Division III, student-athletes have 10 semesters or 15 quarters to get in four seasons of participation. With this move by the committee, the 2020 spring semester will not count toward their 10 semesters or four seasons.

No actions were taken with regard to additional recruiting restrictions, as Division III does not have specific recruiting periods.

ALL Division III Administrative Committee actions since March 13, 2020

Since Friday, March 13, the Division III Administrative Committee has taken the following actions, effective immediately, on behalf of the Division III Management and Presidents Councils due to the impact of COVID-19:

Preseason practice period for fall sports. Approved the first permissible practice date for all fall sports shall be August 10 or the first day of class whichever is earlier for 2020-21.

Administrative days. Approved that institutions shall have unlimited administrative days to conduct nonathletically related activities (i.e., those days in which the institution may provide housing and meals expenses to student-athletes prior to the start of practice) for 2020-21.

Minimum contest reductions. Approved a waiver to reduce the minimum number of contests, for all sports in 2020-21, required for sports sponsorship and championship selections by 33 percent. The minimum number of participants required for sports sponsorship will remain unchanged. The Membership and Championships Committees will be open to waiver requests from institutions that are unable to meet the existing sport sponsorship standards and the new minimum contest standards and approach those requests with maximum flexibility.

2020-21 championships banquets. Approved a recommendation from the Championships Committee that for the 2020-21 academic year, championships banquets not be conducted.

2020-21 championship committee meetings. Approved a recommendation from the Championships Committee that for the 2020-21 academic year, all sport committee annual meetings be held via digital platforms instead of in person.

Spring nonchampionship programs. Approved the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee’s recommendation to cancel staff-administered specific remaining spring and summer Division III nonchampionship programs and initiatives this year. Programs canceled to date include the SWA Program, Institute for Administrative Advancement, Next Steps, Gameday the DIII Way Ambassador training, CoSIDA Student Program, Division III Day at CoSIDA and the New AD Orientation Program.

Conference Strategic Grant. Approved a blanket waiver for 2019-20 that provides conferences relief for any unspent funds within each Tier of the conference strategic grant per the policies and procedures due to COVID-19. No warning letters will be issued for failure to meet grant requirements for 2019-20.

Affirm that any conference grant spending must meet current policies and procedures; expenditures beyond any preapproved items must have prior approval by the conference grant administrator.

Provide one-time flexibility within Tier One (i.e., allow conferences to use unspent funds allocated for one constituent group such as SIDs on any other preapproved constituent group such as SWAs, FARs, ADRs, etc.).

Affirm that Tier One funds must remain in Tier One and cannot be used in another tier as these funds are designed to support professional development for individuals across various constituent groups.

Provide one-time flexibility between Tier Two and Tier Three funds (e.g., unspent Tier Two funds may be spent on preapproved items in Tier Three and vice versa). For instance, if a conference has spent all its Tier Three funds, for this year only, conferences may use Tier Two funds for Tier Three, or vice versa, provided the funds are spent in a manner consistent with grant policies and practices.

Conference Strategic Grant rollover fund. Granted a one-year blanket waiver extension for conferences that received rollover funds for 2019-20.

Sport sponsorship and membership requirements. Approved a blanket waiver of any deficiencies in sports sponsorship requirements related to spring sports occurring as a result of actions taken in response to COVID-19. This will not apply to sports sponsorship issues related to fall or winter sports.

Student-athlete seasons of participation and eligibility. Approved a blanket waiver for all student-athletes participating in spring sports as follows: (a) Waive the use of a season of participation for all student-athletes in spring sports. If an institution continues or re-starts its season, this relief would still exist; and (b) Waive the use of the spring semester towards their limit of 10 semesters/15 quarters, regardless of whether they used a season.

Playing and practice seasons exceptions and extra benefits. Institutions should exercise flexibility in the best interest of their student-athletes with respect to playing seasons provisions and extra benefits through the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year. The committee directed staff to assist with applying flexibility in these areas on a case-by-case basis, when requested by an institution. Examples include allowing flexibility for playing season adjustments occurring during the Spring 2020 semester and flexibility to assist students with travel, lodging, and meals associated with being displaced due to their campus being closed.

Division III COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide Updated June 8, 2020

Approved Blanket Waiver for NCAA Bylaws 13.02.10 (Telephone Calls), 13.02.11 (Electronic Transmissions) and 13.10 (Publicity) impacted by COVID-19