Playing Season Regulations

The NCAA has limitations on the number of hours student-athletes can participate in countable athletically related activities (CARA) with their coaches inside and outside of the playing season.

In-Season Limitations:

  • Max of 4 hours per day of CARA
  • Max of 20 hours per week of CARA
  • At least 1 required day off per week
  • Day of competition counts as 3 hours regardless of how long the competition actually takes

Out-of-Season Limitations:

  • Max of 4 hours per day of CARA
  • Max of 8 hours per week of CARA
  • Max of 4 hours/per week of the 8 hour limit may be devoted to skill-related instruction
  • At least 2 required days off per week

What is considered/not considered a CARA?

Examples of CARA:

  • Practice
  • Competition
  • Team Meetings
  • Film Review
  • Strength Training
  • Conditioning
  • Skill Instruction

Examples of Non-CARA

  • Compliance Meetings
  • Academics (Study Hall, Tutors, etc.)
  • Promotional Activities
  • Life Skills/ Leadership
  • Student Host Duties
  • Training Room/ Medical Treatment
  • Voluntary Weight Training/ Conditioning

Outside Competition

VCU student-athletes must complete the outside competition workflow on ARMS and receive pre-approval from the compliance office to compete as a member of an outside sport team or as an individual.

Pending compliance office approval, student-athletes in all sports may compete in any non-collegiate, amateur competition during select time periods (e.g., summer break, official VCU vacation periods when team is out-of-season).

The number of VCU student-athletes on any one outside team shall not exceed the following limitations:

  • Baseball: 4
  • Basketball: 2
  • Cross Country: 2
  • Field Hockey: 5
  • Golf: 2
  • Lacrosse: 5
  • Soccer: 5
  • Tennis: 2
  • Volleyball: 2