Countable Opponents and Scheduling

Countable Opponents and Scheduling

Scheduling games can be challenging for coaches and athletic directors. To help, here is a summary of countable opponents, scheduling, and scrimmage rules.

Countable Opponent Criteria:

  1. NAC Policy: Located in Article XXV, Section A, Part 12.
  2. Statistics: Must meet the criteria for countable contest requirements to be used for win-loss records, coaching records, and statistics.
  3. Mixed-Classification Games: NAIA institutions can count a game as official even if the non-NAIA opponent considers it an exhibition.

Non-Countable Opponents:

  • A list of non-countable opponents is available and updated frequently. See Evaluations of Countable & Non-Countable Opponents
  • Countable Contests for Statistical Purposes: Certain institutions do not meet NAIA criteria to be considered countable opponents. Games against these institutions cannot be included in statistics or records.
  • A link to non-countable institutions is available and updated regularly. Games against these opponents may be scheduled as scrimmages or exhibitions but will not count towards official statistics or records. However, they do count towards frequency of play limits.


  • Reporting Rules: Should not be included in the schedule unless clearly identified as scrimmages. Scores or statistics should not be reported by the NAIA institution, including on social media, to avoid the scrimmage being counted as a regular game.

Countable Opponent Requirements:

  1. Varsity Sport: Must be classified as a varsity sport per NAIA Bylaws.
  2. Institution Type: Must be a four-year or upper-level two-year degree-granting institution.
  3. Accreditation: Must meet one of the following:
    • NAIA active or associate membership.
    • Membership in Universities Canada.
    • Membership in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
    • Accredited by one of the six U.S. regional accrediting bodies.

By adhering to these guidelines, NAIA institutions can ensure proper competition, accurate records, and compliance with NAIA policies. For detailed policies and updates, refer to the NAIA handbook and contact the appropriate departments for clarifications.