NCAA rules and regulations limit the time that student-athletes may participate in athletic activities (e.g., practice activities, the length of its playing seasons and the number of its regular-season contests and/or dates of competition) on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
In-Season Activities and Time Limits
During a particular sport’s primary playing season, student-athletes may be involved in athletically-related activities up to 20 hours per week and four hours per day (“the 20/4 hour limits”). Examples of athletically-related activities include: required practice, conditioning, strength training, competition, discussion of game films, lectures regarding the sport, required participation in camps/clinics/workshops, and any other on-field, on-court, on-floor or on-water activity.
Counting Competition: All activities on the day of competition count as three hours, regardless of actual length. For example, a baseball double-header that takes up six hours or a field hockey game that takes up two hours, still counts as three hours of athletic activity.
Out-of-Season Activities and Time Limits
Outside of a sport’s primary playing season and during the academic year, student-athletes may be involved up to eight hours of weight-training, conditioning and skill/game-related instruction. Skill/game-related instruction may take up to two of the eight hours. There is no limit on the number of student-athletes who may be involved in skill instruction at any one time between September 15 and April 15. Before September 15 and after April 15, skill instruction may occur in groups of no more than four student-athletes at any one time.
Football: Skill/game-related instruction may not occur outside the season in football. However, football student-athletes may review game film for up to two of the eight hours per week outside the season.
In season: During the playing season, student-athletes must receive one day off per week from all athletic activities. This rule does not apply during Big East and NCAA Championships or during a vacation period in the academic year. A day when the team is traveling may count as the required day off provided no athletically-related activities also occur on that day.
Out of Season: Outside the playing season, student-athletes must receive two days off per week from all athletic activities.
Student-athletes may participate as members of outside teams (i.e., teams other than their intercollegiate team) only on a limited basis. Student-athletes should check with their college coach prior to participating on any outside team and/or in any athletic event where they are not representing their college/university. Not checking with their coach first will generally result in a violation of NCAA rules which will require that the student-athlete be withheld from a certain number of intercollegiate competitions.