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Case Study: Scheduling and Forfeits

One thing that athletic departments at every school have to deal with is scheduling and rescheduling. This might seem like one of the more straightforward aspects of our bylaws, but like everything there are unique situations that can arise. Today we are going to present you with three scenarios that dive deeper into forfeits, the implications on frequency of play, and scheduling.

Here are some past briefs that you might find beneficial or informative and are similar to today’s topic.

  • The first brief is from October of 2015 and looks at the basics of required and requested forfeits. In this brief we explain how to submit required and requested forfeits on our website and the requirements of each. It also does an excellent job of explaining the implication on statistics when a contest is forfeited.
  • The second publication we would like to bring to you discusses the individual team forfeit procedures for each sport. It also outlines the very basic requirements for forfeits but the real information is for Sports Information Directors with respect to how to record these forfeits. Each sport has its own protocol on how forfeits will be treated for statistical purposes.

Case Studies

*Assume all schools are NAIA institutions unless otherwise noted.

Scenario 1:

Kansas City University (KCU) has a game scheduled against Titan College (TC) on January 6, 2018. Before Titan College can board their bus to transport them to Kansas City, a massive blizzard blows in and the school determines that they cannot travel in the weather. KCU and TC have a valid executed contract for the game and will most likely not be able to reschedule. Can KCU get a forfeit from TC?


Generally, per National Administrative Council (NAC) policy a school shall be granted a forfeit if the institutions have agreed to and signed a written contract for games and one team fails to abide. In this case TC has failed to fulfill their end of the contract and KCU should be awarded a forfeit, but there is an exception in the NAC policy that states “weather conditions and/or other acts of God… may be evaluated for their impact.” This means that KCU should go through the proper channels to request a forfeit, as discussed above, and the National Office staff and the NAC would take the weather into consideration when determining whether to grant the forfeit.

Scenario 2:

Jackson College (JC), Brett University (BU), and Hosmer Tech (HT) are all scheduled to play each other on the same date, at the same location, in softball. Each institution has valid contracts with each other team. For all three teams this is their 28th date of competition before postseason thus reaching their frequency of play limits. On the day of the game, JC’s team all comes down with the flu and they do not show up for the games. BU and HT still decide to compete and but only BU files for a forfeit against JC. HT would like to try to schedule a make-up game with JC. Are either of these things allowable?


BU would be awarded a forfeit from JC since JC broke the valid contract by not showing for the game. HT and JC however, would not be able to reschedule their game because they have reached the maximum number of dates for softball. If you recall, softball is one of the NAIA sports whose frequency of play limits is listed as dates. This means that when HT competed against BU they burned that date, and when BU was awarded a forfeit for the game against JC the date was burned for JC as well. Remember that a forfeit is included with your frequency of play limits.

Scenario 3:

Schrute College (SC) was scheduled to play Halpert University (HU) on February 1, 2017. The two schools had a valid, signed contract, but on February 1, 2017, HU fails to show up for the game. SC decides to wait and see if they can schedule another game before requesting a forfeit, as they would rather compete. SC finds another local non-NAIA college that would be considered a non-countable opponent that would be interested in playing. The game is scheduled for February 10, 2017, but no contract is signed between the teams. On February 10, the local school backs out of their game with SC. On February 12, SC submits a formal request for from the original contest against HU, will it be granted?


NO! This requested forfeit will be denied because all forfeit requests must be submitted within 10 days of the scheduled game or prior to the start of postseason, whichever is earlier. In this case, SC submitted the request outside of the 10 day window and will not be awarded a forfeit. It does not matter that they were stood up by the non-countable opponent, they must now try to schedule another contest. Also, they could not get a forfeit against the non-countable opponent because that game would not have factored into their win/loss record.


Applicable Bylaws:

The bylaws/policies that mention or discuss forfeits, frequency of play, and scheduling are located at the bottom. Please note that there are could be more bylaws relevant to specific situations, but they are not listed here. Please refer to our Official Handbook for a complete listing of all NAIA Bylaws and Policies.

NAC Policy: Section XII, Item D

If institutions have agreed to and signed a written contract for a game(s) and one institution fails to abide by that contract, a forfeit shall be awarded to the offended institution provided the following conditions are met. The Declaration of Intent to Participate serves as a contract for all postseason competition. The NAIA National Office must be notified in writing should an institution officially drop a sport during a season. Contracted contests that are dropped after August 10 for fall sports, October 10 for winter sports, and January 10 for spring sports are subject to the awarding of forfeits.

1. The athletics director or faculty athletics representative of the offended institution must submit to the NAIA National Office a written request for the forfeit. The request must be submitted within 10 days of the forfeit in question or prior to the start of postseason competition, whichever is earlier. Faxing is encouraged.
2. A copy of the contract or bracket assignments for postseason play must accompany the written request for the forfeit.

EXCEPTION: Weather conditions and/or other acts of God which threaten the safety of an institution’s representatives may be evaluated for their impact. Such conditions may or may not be grounds to deny a requestfor a forfeit.

Article I, Section F

1. The maximum number of varsity games, contests or playing dates an institution may schedule is listed below. The number of junior varsity or freshman games, contests or playing dates scheduled during the academic year cannot exceed the number of varsity games, contests or playing dates scheduled during that academic year. Further, no student may compete in a sport in an academic year in more than the number of games, contests or playing dates listed below (this includes varsity, junior varsity, freshman, etc.), excluding NAIA-approved postseason participation. See handbook for table listing per sport.

In the sports of baseball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track, outdoor track, volleyball and wrestling, an institution is allowed one exhibition competition per season. In the sport of competitive cheer and competitive dance, an institution is allowed one cheer exhibition competition and one dance exhibition competition per season. The competition must meet the definition of an exhibition under Article V, Section B, item 6 of the NAIA bylaws. The exhibition competition will count as one varsity game, contest or playing date within the limits stated above. Exhibition competition is not allowed in the sport of football. For the sport of basketball, an institution is allowed one or more exhibition competitions per season so long as the total number of games, exhibitions and scrimmages does not exceed 32. For the sport of basketball, an exhibition competition will not count as a varsity game.

2. The following number of scrimmage dates per sport will be allowed in addition to the maximum number of varsity games, contests, or playing dates which an institution may schedule or in/on which a student may compete. See handbook for table listing per sport.

3. In those sports where scrimmages are allowed, an institution that does not schedule or participate in the maximum number of allowable varsity games, meets or playing dates may conduct additional scrimmages of up to the NAIA limits. In no case can the combined number of scheduled contests and scrimmages exceed the maximum number listed in Article I, Section F of the NAIA Bylaws.

Please tune in at noon central time on Tuesday, as Lendsey Thomson and Jared Shafer will dive into this scenario even further.