The NCAA conducts 89 national championships in 23 sports. Competition is conducted in Divisions I, II and III, with 44 championships administered for women and 42 for men. Three are coed.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel was established in 2003 to review playing rules proposals for constancy and to assist NCAA staff in directing and supporting the efforts of playing rules committees.
The Playing Rules Oversight Panel is composed of athletics administrators from Division I, II and III member schools or conferences and is responsible for the overall administration of the playing-rules process and for the ratification of proposed changes. The group is responsible for reviewing the following elements of rules committee proposals:
Playing rules committees (and, in a few cases, sports committees with playing-rules responsibilities) are composed mostly of coaches. Coaches typically are surveyed before major changes are considered, and officials associations are consulted on most matters. To provide stability, changes to playing rules are permitted only once every two years, except in emergency situations, such as with matters involving safety.
Rules changes are made in two-year cycles. However, off-year changes can be made if the committee believes student-athlete safety is enhanced, a change has significant financial impact or integrity and image of the game is enhanced.
Except in a few cases involving financial circumstances, playing rules must be the same across all three membership divisions. For example, Division I cannot maintain substitution rules in a particular sport that are different from those in Division II or III.
Each playing-rules committee retains an individual known as a secretary-rules editor, someone with extensive knowledge of the rules of the sport. This person assumes a major role in the development of playing rules and, as necessary, in their interpretation.
Most NCAA sports maintain their own rules, although a few (such as golf, which uses United States Golf Association rules) rely on other previously accepted rules of play. Here are the sports for which the NCAA maintains playing rules:
The NCAA has national coordinators of officials in the following sports:
The national coordinators of officials work with conference coordinators throughout the country to help the sport committee select the best game officials for NCAA championships.Last Updated: May 29, 2012