NIRSA Championship Series
NIRSA Championship Series

Player Eligibility Requirements

Last updated August 25, 2016

Player Eligibility

  • Players must be enrolled for the minimum number of hours (listed below) for at least 45 days prior to the start of the championship event.
    • Undergraduates – minimum of ½ full-time enrollment status
      • Must be consider an Undergraduate student by University’s Registrar
    • Graduate – minimum of six credit hours
      • Must be consider a Graduate student by University’s Registrar
    • If a player is graduating the term of a NIRSA Championship Series event, and is enrolled for less than the minimum hours required for eligibility, then a letter from the registrar stating that the player will be graduating the same term of the event should be submitted along with the other registration materials.
    • For NIRSA Championship Series events that occur during an academic break, the preceding term will be used to determine eligibility.
  • Participants from schools on the quarter system must meet the eligibility requirements of the half time enrollment for both the current and the preceding quarter.
  • Players are limited to six appearances in NIRSA Championship Series national events or on a collegiate varsity roster (squad list) per sport. These appearances can be nonconsecutive, but after any six appearances on a varsity roster (squad list) or NIRSA national tournament roster in the same sport, eligibility is exhausted.
  • Collegiate Athletes
    • If a player has appeared on a varsity roster (squad list) at any two-year or four-year college in the same sport, this constitutes the use of eligibility for the NIRSA Championship Series.
      • Example:  If a student played on a varsity roster (squad list) in the same sport for two years, they still have four appearances left at NIRSA Championship Series events (so long as their team doesn’t exceed the maximum number of varsity players).
    • Players must not be listed on the varsity roster (squad list) in the same or related sport for the current academic year.
    • Exceptions may be granted to any player that was listed on the roster for less than three weeks.  Documentation must be provided through the appeals process that the player was on the list/roster for less than 3 weeks. 
    • If a former varsity player has been listed on a varsity roster (squad list) for four or five academic years, that player is not eligible for NIRSA Championship Series competition until after one full academic year has lapsed from the final academic year they were listed on a school’s varsity roster (squad list).
    • Participants who are members of a ‘squad list’ for a varsity team of the opposite sex are eligible to participate in NIRSA Championship Series events provided they meet all other eligibility guidelines. Participants will not be considered a current or former varsity player for the NIRSA Championship Series events due to being listed on varsity roster (squad list) for a team of the opposite sex.

The following matrix can be used to clarify eligibility and classification:

On a Varsity Squad List for:Current Academic Year:Total Academic Years:
3 weeks or lessMore than 3 weeks123456
Eligible to competeYes**NoYesYesYesYes*Yes*No
Label as former varsityNoNoYesYesYesYes
# years of NIRSA ChampionshipsSeries eligibility remaining6543210

* must be removed one full academic year from last year on squad list
** must provide documentation through the appeals process

  • Players must not have been declared a professional athlete in the same or related sport.
    • professional athlete is one who receives any kind of payment, directly or indirectly, for athletic participation, or who has participated in competition with a professional team.
    • professional athletics team is any organized team that provides any of its players more than actual and necessary expenses for participation on the team and/or declares itself to be professional.
      • For tennis, if an athlete played in International Tennis Federation (ITF), Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) events or other pro events, then they are not eligible for Tennis on Campus events.  Players that feel they have maintained amateur status, must appeal and get an exception prior to the tournament.
  • The NIRSA Championship Series expects participation to be based on one’s self-identified gender and that it is done in good faith and is consistent with a player’s expressed gender identity.
  • A participant’s gender identity will be applied when there are gender specific rules or player ratio requirements for co-rec divisions.
    • Transgender individuals may play on the team that best matches their gender identity.
    • The campus official who approves the team entry on the roster/player certification form should verify the gender indicated on the form is based on the participant’s self-identification and expressed gender identity, not purely on the sex indicated in official school records.
    • Player eligibility will be based on the gender identified on the official team roster.
    • NIRSA recognizes that, for many, coming to know one’s gender identity is not something that happens in an instant; it is a complex process that can occur over an extended period of time. Transgender participants are encouraged to communicate their gender identity with the campus official who is responsible for approving the team entry on the roster/player certification form prior to the tournament registration deadline. Should the player not feel comfortable working with that campus official, the individual can contact the tournament director or the NIRSA Director for National Sport Programs and inform them of their status at least three business days prior to the tournament

Team Eligibility

All team players must attend the same institution from any two or four year degree-granting college or university.

  • Teams representing military installations are eligible to compete, so long as all members of those teams are assigned to the same military installation.
  • Teams are limited to number of former varsity player(s) (listed below) they can register. A former varsity player is defined as a student who has been listed on a “school’s varsity roster (squad list) for any 2-year or 4-year college/university team for more than one academic year:
    • Basketball – 1 athlete
    • Flag Football – 2 athletes
    • Soccer – 3 athletes
    • Tennis – 1 athlete
  • A participant may only be listed on one team roster at a NIRSA Championship Series Events unless a Co-Rec division is offered.
    • Participants may be listed on one Co-Rec roster and one single-gendered roster.
    • Teams with players on both Co-Rec and single-gendered teams in a tournament should plan on having enough players to play games simultaneously.
    • Co-Rec and single-gendered teams may be scheduled at the same time.
  • Individuals who identify as a woman are eligible to play on women’s and co-rec teams; individuals who identify as a man are eligible to play on men’s and co-rec teams. Transgender participants are eligible to play based on their expressed gender identity so long as they comply with all Player Eligibility Guidelines.

Regional/National NIRSA Championship Series events Student Officials Eligibility

Officials must meet the same enrollment eligibility criteria as players throughout the NIRSA Championship Series event: half-time for undergraduates and at least six hours for graduates at their representing institution.

Eligibility Appeals

Eligibility appeals for all NIRSA regional and national events must be presented in writing to the NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs 30 days prior to respective contest and will be reviewed by the NIRSA Championship Series Standards of Competition Work Team.

Need more information?

Questions about the NIRSA Championship Series can be directed to the NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs, Valerie McCutchan.