The NAIA has announced the following regarding the fall 2020 athletic season.
- Return to play: In order to return to competitive play, at least half of the participating schools in each sport must receive permission to resume play by their local authorities. For example, NAIA football has 95 participating schools. When 47 of them (half) are cleared to resume competition, the NAIA football season will be authorized to begin.
- Start dates: Teams are permitted to begin practicing (as defined by the NAIA) on August 15. Competition start dates, assuming the return to play threshold is met as stated above are:
- Football – September 12 (allows for 4 weeks of practice)
- All other sports – September 5 (allows for 3 weeks of practice)
- Maximum games allowed: With the delayed start dates, there are fewer weeks to complete the season. The season for each sport has been shortened to:
- Cross Country – 7 meets (reduced from 8)
- Football – 9 games (reduced from 11)
- Men’s and Women’s Soccer – 14 games (reduced from 18)
- Women’s Volleyball – 22 dates (down from 28)
Currently, the NAIA intends to host all fall national championship events as currently scheduled.
The NAIA is currently examining various options for health and safety protocols, including testing and screening, and will share decisions related to these areas as soon as they are made.
At this time, there are no planned changes for winter sports.