NCAA to vote on DIII season change proposals

There are two legislative proposals up for a vote this Saturday at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio that could affect the wrestling season. Keep in mind that the membership could choose not to vote for either of them and instead keep things the way they are. The first proposal would allow coaches to work with their teams more (but only strength & conditioning), while the second proposal would allow for a smaller amount of offseason work that could include wrestling training.

DIII Convention preview: 12 proposals and a few resolutions on the table (ncaa.org)

Proposal 2023-10 would change the DIII season from counting by weeks to counting by days. Sports would have 114 days of athletically related activities that could be used at any point during the school year (with specific prohibitions on out of season activity near final exams). This would allow teams to practice at any time as long as the team has some of the 114 days remaining. However, there is a specific carve out for wrestling that only allows wrestling teams to use days outside of the season for strength and conditioning. In other words, sports other than men’s and women’s wrestling would be able to conduct regular practice sessions at any time while wrestlers could only do strength and conditioning before October 10th and after the NCAA Championships. These activities could be mandatory and could involve the sport coaches in a way they previously could not.

Here is the specific language setting up special restrictions for men’s wrestling:

17.29.2.1 Strength and Conditioning Activities. An institution may conduct strength and conditioning activities but not practice activities beginning the seventh day after the first day of classes and between the completion of the traditional segment and five weekdays before the first day of the final examination for the regular academic year. These days shall count against the 114 day limit.

Proposal 2023-11 also transitions from using weeks to using days, but it limits all winter sports to using just eight of the allowed 114 days outside of the season. There is no specific limitations on wrestling in this proposal. A maximum of three days can be used per week outside of the season in this proposal, and any training has to take place during the academic year.

Here is the section of the proposal outlining how the eight days can be used:

17.1.2.2 Sports with a Winter NCAA Championship. Unless otherwise noted in the applicable sport section, the playing season shall be conducted according to the following:

(2) An institution may use up to eight of the 114 permissible days outside the playing season provided:
(i) The days are not used before the first day of classes;
(ii) The days are not used five weekdays before an exam period through the exam period;
(iii) The days may not be used during the summer vacation period; and
(iv) No more than than three days are used per week.

This second proposal could allow a team to practice 8 times in the fall before October 10th or save some days until the spring in preparation for an event like the US Nationals in April.

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