Staying Eligible: Seasons of Competition
Falcon tailback Jim Ollis is met head on by an Army defender during Air Force's 30-10 win over the Black Knights Nov. 3 at Falcon Stadium in Colorado. Ollis carried eight times for 31 yards as the bluesuiters reeled off 542 yards in total offense. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)

Staying Eligible: Seasons of Competition

So, you’ve made it to college and your dreams of becoming a collegiate athlete have come true! Unfortunately, this is not the end of the road for eligibility requirements. As a college athlete, you are required to meet certain academic and athletic standards in order to remain eligible for each semester. This series of blog posts will give you an insight into what it takes to remain eligible and continue playing your sport.

Typically, athletes are allowed four seasons of competition at the NCAA and NAIA levels, and only two seasons of eligibility at the NJCAA junior college level.

So what counts as a season of competition?

Any participation in an intercollegiate competition, including either varsity or junior varsity, will count towards one whole season of competition. Even entering the game for one second can result in the loss of an entire season of eligibility!

Participation with outside teams (even if they are amateur) during the academic year can also affect your eligibility. Even participating in some summer competitions or leagues that are considered to be “elite level” can cost you a season.

If you have any questions or doubts about what competitions you can be involved in, check with your school’s compliance officer.