Article V, Section C, Item 9 – Progress Rule Exception for 2nd Season of Competition

Bylaw: Article V, Section C, Item 9

“To participate a second season in a sport, all students must have accumulated at least 24 semester/36 quarter (or equivalent) institutional credit hours.

EXCEPTION: A freshman who initially becomes identified after the first term in the fall shall meet this requirement by having passed 12 semester or 20 quarter institutional credit hours. This exception shall apply to the second season of competition regulation only.”


The exception outlined in Article V, Section C, Item 9 is intended for students who initially identify after the fall term (e.g. winter term or spring term) and compete in their first season of competiton during either the winter and/or spring term of attendance. Credits earned prior to the student’s first academic term cannot be used to meet the Progress Rule exception going into the second season of competition.

Background and Intent

The purpose of the exception is to recognize that a student who first enrolls mid-year is not on pace to complete a full year’s worth of credits (i.e. 24 semester/36 quarter credits) by the subsequent fall term. If the student participates in a sport that competes in both the fall and spring seasons, the student would not be able to satisfy the Progress Rule without an exception. This exception is intended to provide some leniency for incoming freshmen who enroll mid-year, but also is a short-term cushion, meaning the student is expected to earn additional hours and get themselves caught up with the Progress Rule prior to their third season of competition as no such exception is available at that point.

For these reasons, a student is granted leniency from meeting the full Progress Rule heading into the student’s second season, but is still expected to have earned the standard amount of credit hours within his or her partial year’s enrollment (i.e. 12 semester/20 quarter credits). In this way, the student is showing that he or she is progressing normally.


An incoming freshman will identify in their first academic term during the spring semester at an NAIA institution. Prior to attending the NAIA institution, the student was charged one season of competition for competing in an elite-level baseball league and earned 12 institutional credit hours in two part-time terms at a junior college. The spring semester in which the student will first identify at the NAIA institution, the student intends to compete in his second season of competition in the sport of baseball. Can the student utilize the progress rule exception in order to compete in his second season of competition?

In this case, the student will not be able to utilize the Progress Rule exception as the student cannot utilize institutional credit hours earned prior to his first term of attendance.

Related Bylaws:

Article V, Section B, Item 18


NEC Interp – Creation date unknown. Current as of: January 2017