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Educational Column - 1 Educational Column
Educational Column

October 10, 2012
1

NCAA Division I institutions should note conditioning activities outside of the playing season may not include contact-related drills or activities (e.g., wrestling, combative activities, blocking drills). The use of training or resistance sleds in conditioning activities is permissible, provided such equipment is not related to the sport (e.g., blocking sleds cannot be used in football).

The following list provides some examples of permissible conditioning drills and other activities which may be conducted outside of the playing season:

1. Simulation of game activities, provided no offensive or defensive alignments are set up and no equipment related to the sport is used;

2. Weight training (e.g., free weights, weight machines, kettlebells, medicine balls);

3. Running/sprints;

4. Agility/plyometric drills;

5. Military crawls;

6. Obstacle courses;

7. Tug-of-war (e.g., rope, tire);

8. Resistance sprints (e.g., parachute, harness, sled, other individuals);

9. Sledgehammer training;

10. Battling ropes; and

11. Wheelbarrow races.

Conversely, the following list provides some examples of conditioning drills and other activities which cannot be conducted outside of the playing season:

1. Wrestling (e.g., Greco-Roman, freestyle, grappling);

2. Mixed-martial arts;

3. Martial arts (with contact);

4. Boxing (with contact);

5. Blocking/tackling/checking drills (e.g., use of football sleds, hockey dummies, walls, or other individuals to develop blocking, tackling, checking or other contact techniques); and

6. Offensive or defensive alignments.

The rationale for limitations on conditioning activities outside the playing season is based on student-athlete well-being and injury prevention. Specifically, contact-related conditioning activities outside of the playing season increase the risk of injury. Further, the prohibition against the use of equipment related to a specific sport places a reasonable cap on the practice activity of student-athletes outside of the declared playing season, but also allows student-athletes the flexibility to use equipment to develop general strength and endurance.

The following questions are designed to assist the NCAA Division I membership with the appropriate application of legislation regarding conditioning activities outside of the playing season.

Question No. 1: Is it permissible to conduct conditioning activities outside of the playing season that simulate offensive or defensive alignments by replacing sport-specific equipment with equipment that is not specific to the sport?

Answer: No. It is not permissible to replace equipment specific to one sport with equipment specific to another sport or nonathletic equipment if the conditioning activity involves the simulation of offensive or defensive alignments (e.g., using a rolled-up towel, Frisbee or tennis ball to conduct receiving drills in football).

Question No. 2: Is it permissible to conduct conditioning activities outside of the playing season using equipment that is specific to a different sport, provided there is no simulation of offensive or defensive alignments?

Answer: Yes. It is permissible to replace equipment specific to one sport with equipment specific to another sport, provided the conditioning activity does not involve the simulation of offensive or defensive alignments (e.g., using tennis balls to conduct agility drills for a sport other than tennis).

Question No. 3: Is it permissible to conduct noncontact boxing or martial arts drills/activities (e.g., speed bag, heavy bag) as a required conditioning activity outside of the playing season?

Answer: Yes.

Question No. 4: Is it permissible for a student-athlete to use equipment related to a specific sport (e.g., blocking sled in football), if the student-athlete does not use the equipment to develop technique?

Answer: No.

Question No. 5: Is it permissible for an institution to provide expenses to a student-athlete to participate in a ropes course for required conditioning activities outside of the playing season?

Answer: Yes. An institution may pay a fee related to the conduct of required conditioning activities (e.g., fee for use of and instruction related to a ropes course) outside of the playing season; however, it is not permissible to provide expenses (e.g., transportation, lodging, meals) to student-athletes in conjunction with required conditioning activities outside of the playing season.

Question No. 6: In sports other than men's basketball, is a prospective student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent and/or who is enrolled in the institution's summer term permitted to participate in required conditioning activities outside of the playing season?

Answer: No.

Question No. 7: In rowing, is it permissible for a student-athlete to use an ergometer (i.e., rowing machine) for conditioning activities outside of the playing season?

Answer: Yes.

Question No. 8: In baseball and softball, is it permissible for a student-athlete to run around the bases for conditioning activities outside of the playing season?

Answer: Yes, provided no situational running occurs (e.g., simulation of stealing bases).

Question No. 9: Do the limitations on conditioning activities outside the playing season apply to a student-athlete's participation in voluntary conditioning activities conducted by a strength and conditioning coach?

Answer: Yes.

Question No. 10: Do the limitations on conditioning activities outside the playing season apply to a student-athlete's participation in voluntary conditioning activities that are monitored, but not conducted, by a strength and conditioning coach?

Answer: No. Voluntary conditioning activities outside the playing season that are monitored, but not conducted, by a strength and conditioning coach are not subject to the same limitations as conducted conditioning activities because a student-athlete determines how the voluntary conditioning activity is to be conducted.

Question No. 11: Do the limitations apply to student-athlete discretionary time?

Answer: No. The limitations do not apply to student-athlete discretionary time, as the student-athlete may participate in athletics activities at his or her discretion.

Question No. 12: Is it permissible to post videos of required conditioning activities outside of the playing season on public websites (e.g., YouTube), athletics department websites or social media pages, or on coaches' personal social media pages?

Answer: Yes.

Question No. 13: Is it permissible to post videos of voluntary athletically related activities on a website or social media page?

Answer: No.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.11.2.3.1 (exception - - after National Letter of Intent signing), 17.02.13 (voluntary athletically related activities), 17.02.14 (student-athlete discretionary time. [FBS/FCS]), 17.1.6.2 (weekly hour limitations - - outside the playing season) and 17.1.6.2.4 (conditioning activities); an official interpretation (10/25/2000, Item No. 9-b-(2)-(a)); and staff interpretations (01/27/93, Item No. a), (03/23/12, Item No. a) and (05/31/12, Item No. a)]

Notice about Educational Columns: Educational columns and hot topics are intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations by providing clarifications, reminders and examples. They are based on legislation and official and staff interpretations applicable at the time of publication. Therefore, educational columns and hot topics are binding to the extent that the legislation and interpretations on which they are based remain applicable. Educational columns are posted on a regular basis to address a variety of issues and hot topics are posted as necessary in order to address timely issues. 


References
 
Legislative References
Div. Number Title
I 17.02.14 Student-Athlete Discretionary Time.
I 17.02.18 Voluntary Athletically Related Activities.
I 17.1.7.2.4 Conditioning Activities.
I 17.1.7.2 Weekly Hour Limitations -- Outside the Playing Season.
I 13.11.2.3.1 Exception -- After National Letter of Intent Signing.
Other
References Interpretations: 4
Interpretations: 0
References Educational Columns: 0
Educational Columns: 0
Proposals: 0
 

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