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Playing & Practice Seasons

Sports Other than Football
The NCAA limits the length of playing and practice seasons, and the activities in which student-athletes may participate during various parts of the year. Generally, a year can be broken into three different time periods which include:

  1. The Playing Season
    • During the playing season student-athletes are limited in the amount of Countable Athletically Related Activities in which they may participate. The amount of time any student-athlete may participate in cannot exceed 4 hours in any given day, 20 hours in any given week, and every student-athlete must have at least 1 day off per week.
  2. Outside the Playing Season during the Academic Year
    • During periods that are outside of the playing season, but within the academic year, the number of Countable Athletically Related Activities that any student-athlete may participate in cannot exceed 8 hours per week. No more than 2 of these 8 hours can be dedicated to individual skill instruction and no more than 4 student-athletes may participate in any individual skill instruction session at one time. Finally, every student-athlete must have at least 2 days off per week.
  3. Outside the Playing Season during the Vacation Periods
    • During vacation periods outside of the playing season, student-athletes may use Boise State University facilities to engage in voluntary workouts. Boise State University's strength and conditioning coaches may design and conduct specific workout programs for returning student-athletes. These workouts must be strictly voluntary and must be conducted only at the request of student-athletes. It is impermissible for countable coaches to require strength and conditioning coaches and/or student athletes to report the results of these voluntary workouts. Additionally, it is impermissible for countable coaches to observe these voluntary workouts. There are, however, several exceptions:
      • In Individual Sports, which include: cross country, track & field, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, and wrestling, student-athletes may engage in voluntary one-on-one workouts conducted and supervised by an institution's coach. Such workouts must be at the request of the student-athlete, and if conducted at a facility that charges a fee, the student-athlete is required to pay the fee.
      • In sports with a Safety Exception, which include: gymnastics, swimming & diving, field events for track & field, and wrestling, countable coaches may be present and provide safety and skill instruction when a student-athlete uses equipment related to the sport. More than one student-athlete may be present for this type of instruction. Although countable coaches may be present, and may provide safety and skill instruction, they should not plan or conduct such workouts.
Football There are many NCAA rules and regulations involving playing and practice seasons relating specifically to football. Generally, these rules differ as they relate to permissible activities outside the playing season during the academic year and permissible activities outside the playing season during the vacation period.

  1. Outside the Playing Season during the Academic Year
    • Student-athletes must be given nine designated weeks of discretionary time between January 1 and the beginning of voluntary summer conditioning in June. Discretionary time is time in which there are no required/recommended activities.
    • Outside of the nine weeks of discretionary time, student-athletes may be required to participate in up to 8 hours per week of required strength and conditioning activities and film review.
    • No skill instruction is permitted outside of the playing season in football. However, game film review may be required for up to 2 of the 8 permissible hours per week.
    • Spring practice may occur for up to 4 hours per day on 15 designated practice dates.
    • Student-athletes must be given two days off from required activities per week, even during spring practice.

  2. Outside the Playing Season during Vacation Periods

    • During 8 designated weeks of voluntary summer conditioning activities, strength coaches may conduct strength and conditioning workouts for student-athletes. No countable coaches may be present and strength coaches may not report back to countable coaches. Additionally, student-athletes may work out at their discretion outside of the 8 hours per week. No countable or strength coaches can be involved with these workouts, except that strength coaches may monitor the facility for health and safety purposes.
    • Outside the 8 designated weeks, student-athletes may work out at their discretion. No countable or strength coaches can be involved with discretionary workouts, except that strength coaches may monitor the facility for health and safety purposes.

    Countable Athletically Related Activities
    The NCAA defines countable athletically related activities to include any required activity with an athletics purpose involving student-athletes and at the direction of, or supervised by, one or more of an institution's coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches). Administrative activities are not considered as countable athletically related activities. The following chart provides some examples of activities considered countable athletically related activities and some examples that are not considered countable athletically related activities.

    Activities That Are Considered Countable Athletically Related ActivitiesActivities That Are Not Considered Countable Athletically Related Activities
    PracticesCompliance meetings
    Athletics meetings with a coach that are initiated or required by a coachMeetings with coaches that are initiated by student-athletes (as long as no countable activities occur during such meetings)
    Competition and associated activitiesDrug & alcohol educational meetings or CHAMPS & Life Skills meetings
    Field, floor, or on-court activitiesStudy hall, tutoring, or academic meetings
    Setting up offensive or defensive alignmentsStudent-Athlete Advisory Committee meetings
    On-court or on-field activities called by any member of the team and confined primarily to members of that team that are considered as requisite for participation on the teamVoluntary weight training not conducted by a coach or staff member
    Required weight training and conditioning activitiesVoluntary sport related activities. These activities are those initiated by student-athletes in which attendance is not taken and no coach is present
    Required participation in camps and/or clinicsTraveling to or from the site of competition, so long as no countable activities occur during the travel
    Visiting the competition site in the sports of cross country and golfTraining room activities, rehabilitation, and/or medical examinations
    Discussion or review of game filmRecruiting activities
    Participation in physical activity classes that are offered for student-athletes only and are taught by members of the athletics staffTraining table meals
    Attending banquetsFundraising activities, public relations and promotional activities, and/or community service projects

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