Non-NAIA Opponents – Exhibitions

Bylaw: Article V, Section B, Item 6

“Exhibition: A competition against competitors not identified with the institution when:

  1. The competition does not meet the definition of a scrimmage pursuant to Article V, Section B, Item 17 of the NAIA Bylaws;
  2. The competition is noted as an Exhibition on the institutional schedule; and
  3. The competition is against a Non-NAIA opponent.“

If the competition meets this definition then it shall not be included in individual and team statistics, won-loss records or coaching records. The competition shall count against frequency of play limits pursuant to Article I, Section H, Item 1 of the NAIA Bylaws. An NAIA institution will be limited to one exhibition per season. A student will be charged a season of competition for participating in an exhibition competition.”


If an NAIA institution has a club team, the club team will be considered a non-NAIA opponent for purposes of an exhibition,regardless of whether the institution has a varsity program in the same sport.


An institution is permitted an exhibition contest in select sports, but is prevented from competing against NAIA institutions to limit the exhibition’s impact on the team’s resume for ranking or selection purposes. NAIA teams may choose to conduct exhibitions against non-NAIA opponents to gain more competitive preparation, for publicty, or for ticket sales. For these reasons, an exhibition against a club team from any institution (NAIA or otherwise) meets the intent of the definition and should not be excluded in the same way an NAIA varsity team would.


If an NAIA institution schedules an exhibition game against a club team from an NAIA institution, this will qualifiy as a non-NAIA opponent and meet the requirements found in the definition.


NAIA School A is considering adding a soccer program, but currently only has a club soccer team, directed through the campus Student Services department. NAIA School B’s varsity soccer team does not have an exhibition scheduled this season and would like to add one to the front end of its schedule to gain a little more competitive experience before the season starts. School B can schedule School A’s club team as an exhibition contest, and can publicize and sell tickets to the event.

Related Bylaws

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

Article I, Section H, Item 2: Additional Scrimmage Dates

Article I, Section H, Item 3 Contest Limits – Scheduling Scrimmages

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

Article V, Section B, item 18: Scrimmages

Related Interpretations

Conetest Limits Scheduling More Scrimmages

NEC Interp – Creation date: February 2018