DII announces replacement policies for winter championships
Policies cover withdrawal scenarios related to COVID-19 before and after championship brackets are announced
The Division II Administrative Committee on Wednesday approved new replacement policies for the division’s 2021 winter championships to address circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or related issues. The complete policies can be found here.
Certain policies cover scenarios if an automatic qualifier needs to withdraw from a championship before the announcement of the bracket. Other policies detail how those situations will be handled after the announcement of the championship bracket for automatic qualifiers and at-large selections, as well as scenarios in individual sports.
For withdrawal scenarios involving automatic qualifiers — before or after the announcement of the championship bracket — conferences will have the opportunity to determine a replacement team by a designated deadline.
For any at-large team unable to participate due to COVID-19, the policy for replacing that team is as follows:
- The top teams not selected as at-large teams for the original field shall be notified and must follow all tournament medical protocols to be considered a potential replacement team.
- All teams will move up in the bracket, and the replacement team will be inserted at the bottom of the bracket.
If an individual sport participant must withdraw from the championship, the sport committee will follow its standard procedure for individual replacements.
The deadline for consideration of replacing a team or individual unable to participate due to COVID-19 is 24 hours after the selection announcement.
Once a championship begins, replacement teams will not be used. In those scenarios where a team has a COVID-19 or related issue and cannot participate in the championship, its opponent would advance to the next round via the NCAA’s “No Contest” rule. This is consistent with normal championship policy.
Season-of-competition, extension of eligibility updates
The Administrative Committee approved additional flexibility to allow schools to self-apply an extension of eligibility waiver (two semesters or three quarters) for a student-athlete who does not compete during the 2020-21 academic year.
Schools are now permitted to self-apply an extension of eligibility waiver for the 2020-21 academic year as follows:
- For a student-athlete who qualifies for a season-of-competition waiver as provided by the Administrative Committee in July.
- For a student-athlete who is unable to participate due to the cancellation of the sport season.
- For a student-athlete who opts out of countable athletically related activities.
- For a student-athlete who does not compete.
The Administrative Committee also clarified that if student-athletes choose to opt out of countable athletically related activities, they must opt out prior to the school’s final contest or date of competition in order to have access to the extension of eligibility waiver.
Also, the Administrative Committee confirmed additional season-of-competition flexibility for 2021 spring sport student-athletes will not be provided at this time, supporting the Division II Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement’s decision to maintain the currently provided flexibility.
Spring sport student-athletes will not be charged with the use of a season for the 2020-21 academic year if their team completes 50% or less of the sport’s Bylaw 17 maximum contests/dates of competition. Fall and winter sport student-athletes were granted further season-of-competition relief for the 2020-21 academic year, allowing those athletes to play up to their sport’s Bylaw 17 maximum permissible amount of competition.
The Division II Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement noted spring competition has not been significantly impacted at this point but will continue to monitor the circumstances surrounding COVID-19.