Rules FAQ: 24 Week Rule and Postseason
NAIA Bylaws Article I, Section E, Item 5 limits each team's practice and competition season to 24 weeks. All practice activities must occur during these 24 weeks, with one exception. The National Eligibility Committee (NEC) has confirmed that teams participating in NAIA-approved postseason are not subject to the 24-week restriction during the time those teams participate in NAIA-approved postseason competition.
The NEC's ruling exempts teams participating in NAIA postseason from the 24-week restriction while the team participates in postseason. This means that teams who do not qualify for NAIA postseason must count any practice activities after the conclusion of their regular season as part of their 24-week season. Teams who qualify for postseason are exempt from this rule while participating in NAIA-approved postseason only.
All practice activities that occur after the conclusion of the regular season, but prior to the start of postseason, must count as part of the team's 24 weeks. If there is a break of several weeks between the end of an institution's regular season and the beginning of its first postseason (conference tournament or NAIA championship), all practice activities during this time must be part of the team's 24-week season. Consequently, if postseason competition begins on a Friday, any team that chooses to practice during the Sunday through Thursday prior to the tournament must count this practice as part of its 24-week season. Finally, once a team is eliminated from postseason, it cannot take advantage of the postseason exemption. Any subsequent practice activities are subject to the 24-week restriction.