Joint Practice

Bylaw: Article I, Section H, Item 6

“Practice will be defined as follows: An activity organized and/or directed by an identified member of the coaching staff of that sport in which appropriate equipment is used or instruction and/or evaluation of the athlete takes place.”


Any time sport-specific activities are performed between or against competitors of the same sport not identified with the institution, it must be considered a competition of some sort, be it a scrimmage, exhibition, or a contest. Teams from different schools cannot practice together. In the NAIA, there is no such thing as combined or joint practices.

The only exception to this is that an alumni event – involving alumni of the same school who are no longer actively identified with the instiution – will be considered a practice and is not required to be considered a competition.


A softball team would like to invite a junior college team to attend a practice to work through sport drills. The softball team does not intend to scrimmage this team, and there will be no formal innings or score keeping. Is it allowable to have a joint practice with an outside team?

No. It will constitute a competition of some sort any time an NAIA team takes part in sport-related activities with athletes of the same sport not identified with its institution. This competition must be included in the team’s frequency of play limits as outlined in Article I, Section H, Item 1.

Related Bylaws

Article I, Section H, Item 1: Frequency of Play

Article I, Section H, Item 5: 24-Week Season

Related Interpretations

Definition of a Practice

Competitive Cheer Competitive Dance Camps

NEC Interp – Creation date unknown. Current as of: July 2013