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Rules & Definitions

When you become

Being considered a non-professional (amateur) athlete is one of the most important sporting requirements to be able to represent a university as a student-athlete.

Each league has its own definitions of professionalism and amateurism and further specific directives for certain sports in particular. There are differences between team and individual sports, specific rules for sports for which there are professional leagues in the USA (such as American football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, etc.) or for professional individual sports such as tennis, track and field, and golf.

Regardless of these specific differences, the general rule is that an athlete is considered an amateur by American leagues if he or she has never received compensation (salaries) in excess of the expenses necessary to play his or her sport.

In the league of junior colleges, the NJCAA, the definition is even stricter and provides that those who, despite not having received compensation, have played in teams in which there were athletes considered professionals are also considered professionals: This rule comes into force from the age of 19. Therefore, if an athlete has played on the same team as professional athletes before their 19th birthday, they do not lose their eligibility.

An athlete who wants to play for the NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NCAA DIII or NAIA, will have to register at the Eligibility Center of the league to which the college belongs and create a profile that will then be evaluated by the same. This assessment is both sporting and academic in nature and, once completed, will declare the athlete “eligible” or “not eligible” for competitions in that particular league. This statement will also specify how many sports seasons the athlete will have available.

Do you want to make your dream come true?

Register for an assessment.