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Cathi Aradi

NCAA Board of Directors Approves Softball Legislation

The NCAA Board of Directors has adopted three softball proposals, with two going into effect August 1, 2007, while another is effective August 1, 2008. 

Proposal No. 2007-1 — Starting Date for 2008 — This emergency legislation deals with the starting date for the 2008 season. Because of calendar inconsistencies, Division I softball would have lost one weekend of play next year. It was approved to reword the starting date language as follows: The first contest date in the championship segment is the Thursday that is 14 weeks before the Thursday immediately preceding the start of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. Effective Date: August 1, 2007. 

Proposal No. 2006-55 — Softball Recruiting Calendar — This proposal changes the Division I softball recruiting calendar to specify that evaluations are not permissible (contact only) from the day after Labor Day through Thanksgiving Day, except from the second Friday in October through the first Sunday in November (contact/evaluation period); further, to specify that in those states that play the high school softball season in the fall, evaluations shall be permissible during the season, except during dead periods.Effective Date: August 1, 2007. 

No. 2006-89 — Counting Dates of Competition — This proposal sponsored by the Mountain West Conference and amended to delay the implementation until the 2009 season also was adopted. It specifies that each contest of a tournament in which an institution participates shall count as one contest toward the institutional and student-athlete maximum contest limitations; further, to specify that an institution shall limit its total playing schedule with outside competition during the playing season to 56 contests (games and scrimmages) during the segment in which the NCAA championship is conducted and eight contests (games and scrimmages) during another segment, provided no class time is missed for competition during the nonchampionship segment, including activities associated with competition (for example, travel and other pregame or postgame activities) conducted during the nonchampionship segment. Amended Effective Date: August 1, 2008. 

The Division I Board of Directors also voted to eliminate text-messaging between coaches and recruits and approved a package of recommendations designed to enhance the academic performance of baseball student-athletes. The text-messaging proposal, which was sponsored by the Ivy Group, specifies that electronically transmitted correspondence sent to a prospective student-athlete is limited to electronic mail and facsimiles only. 

A proposal that increases the maximum number of contests or dates of competition in which a student-athlete can participate and still qualify for a hardship waiver also was passed. The current rule allows for two or 20 percent of the scheduled or completed contests, and the proposal increases that maximum to three or 30 percent, whichever benefits the student-athlete. The proposal is effective immediately and applies to student-athletes who initially enrolled full time in a collegiate institution on or after August 1, 2003. 

In Division II, the Presidents’ Council will support an increase in the minimum core course requirement for initial eligibility. The Division III Presidents’ Council supported efforts to inform the membership on the study of the Association’s structure.