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NAIA Rule Clarification
(provided by Dustin Wilke, NAIA)
November 29, 2010

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RE: NAIA Clarification for the application of the Competitive Experience Rule to the ITA Summer Circuit and the ITA National Summer Championships

The primary goal of this new rule is to promote a “level playing field”. When a student graduates high school in the spring, they have until September 1 of the same year to participate in any events they choose and the competitive experience legislation does not apply to them. Please not that early (December) HS graduates are subject to the competitive experience rule after they graduate, and would not be allowed until September 1st of the following year to compete in outside competition.

The NAIA has no penalty for students who do not go directly from high school to college. The exception to this is, of course, if they would compete in countable competition after September 1st following their high school graduation.

Correspondence from Dustin Wilke to the ITA clarifying the application of this rule to the ITA Summer Circuit.

From: Dustin Wilke <DWilke@naia.org>
Date: Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 6:42 PM
Subject: RE: Information Confirmation
To: Angel Prinos <aprinos@itatennis.com>
Cc: Lori Thomas <LThomas@naia.org>, Dee Henry <dee.henry@biola.edu>, David A Benjamin <DBenjamin@itatennis.com>, Dale Smith <smithrdale@gmail.com>

Dear Angel,

Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding concerns about our evaluations on these particular competitive experiences. NAIA legislation dictates that those who participate in outside competition that is at an NAIA level of play or greater will be charged with a season of completion. In regard to this process, the NAIA Competitive Experience Committee developed a specific set of criteria by which each individual competitive experience (i.e. ITA Summer Circuit) is evaluated. These criteria are linked here (note: these particular events were evaluated using individual sport criteria).

The ITA Summer National Championships were deemed to meet the following three criteria, any one of which would make it “countable competition:”

- 25% or more participants are college players (our records show that approximately 75% are college players)

- Event pays reimbursement (some participants receive airfare reimbursement)

- Event has selectivity (Participants must qualify for this event based on points earned in Summer Circuit play)

The ITA Summer Circuit was deemed to meet the following criteria, making it “countable competition:”

- 25% or more participants are college players

These determinations were made based on information provided by the ITA to Dale Smith this past July. Assuming that these details have not changed, our determination for these competitive experiences will remain as “countable.”

There are several other points to keep in mind regarding these determinations. The majority of students participating in ITA summer events are already participating with intercollegiate teams, and these students will not be charged twice within a single 12-month period. Additionally, incoming freshman participating in ITA summer events prior to September 1st following HS graduation will not be charged with a season of competition. In cases where a student is not currently participating with an intercollegiate team, they would still be allowed to participate in two “countable” events and would not be charged a season (students must participate in three countable competitions in order to be charged a season of competition).

I hope this addresses your concerns, and please feel free to contact me at 816-595-8161 and I would be happy to discuss the matter with you further.

Best regards,

Dustin Wilke
NAIA, Manager of Eligibility Services
1200 Grand Blvd, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816.595.8161
Fax: 816.595.8301