NCAA Division I Coordination Committee issues waiver on minimum contests

Teams in fall sports other than football can play 50 percent of minimum required contests.


Megan Nagorzanski

Fan watch during Iowa’s match against Illinois State on Sunday, September 1, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Red Birds 4-3.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

The NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee announced Monday that it has granted a blanket waiver that reduces the current legislated minimum number of contests that teams in fall sports other than football must play by 50 percent.

The waiver is available for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s water polo and women’s volleyball teams. For Iowa, this will impact the field hockey, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country teams.

The minimum contests usually required by the NCAA are 19 for volleyball, 11 for field hockey and soccer, and four for cross country.

The Big Ten Conference announced July 9 that if contests can be played this fall, it will play conference-only schedules. The change the NCAA announced Monday allows teams that continue to play “the opportunity to avoid scheduling additional games near the end of a season that could put student-athletes, coaches, and staff in at-risk positions with additional travel and exposure.”

The waiver was recommended by the Division I Competition Oversight Committee, which also approved other modifications to parameters surrounding postseason selection requirements for NCAA fall championships.

Oversight committee members agreed to suspend the criterion requiring teams to have at least a .500 record to be considered for at-large selections into a championship field, and a previous Division I Council decision allows conferences to inform sport committees how they will determine their automatic-qualifier representative up to two weeks prior to selections.

The oversight committee also said it discussed how typical tools and criteria that sport committees used to evaluate teams such as the RPI and NET become less reliable when conferences play league-only schedules. Oversight committee members reportedly confirmed that sport committees will likely need to rely more on information provided by conferences this fall to help evaluate teams for at-large selections.

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