It is possible for a student-athlete to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver to get their season of competition “over again” when:
- A student-athlete has competed for their NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NAIA, or Juco college team during the season but then are injured or become ill to the point that they won’t be able to compete any more during the season,
- An NCAA Division III student-athlete has competed or continued practicing with their team after the first game of the season but then are injured or become ill to the point that they won’t be able to compete any more during the season,
If your student-athlete has had a significant injury or illness during this Fall 2022 season and you’re wondering about the possibility of a Medical Hardship Waiver, it’s important to keep in mind that there are specific conditions and restrictions that apply for these types of waivers, and they vary between the NCAA, NAIA and JUCO rules.
NCAA guidelines and requirements for such a medical waiver can even differ between Division I, Division II, and Division lII programs.
In general terms, to qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver, an athlete can’t participate in more than 30% of the number of games or “dates of competition” in their regular season and can’t appear in a game after the midpoint of their season.
However, an athlete or family should not assume that the method of calculation for the “midpoint of the season” is the same for each college level for a team sport compared with an individual sport.
The most important factor when considering whether your athlete will qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver is the supporting medical documentation to verify that the injury or illness is “season ending” in its severity.
- The medical documentation is especially important if an athlete is hoping to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver for mental health concerns.
- That’s because most athletes don’t want to share with anybody – their coach, their athletic department or even a medical professional – that they have been dealing with mental health issues.
Do You Wonder if Your Student-Athlete Might Qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver?
To discuss your athlete’s specific situation in a confidential consultation to see if they might qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver (or for other types of Waivers such as for a family illness or a financial hardship), schedule a Waivers and Appeals Consult online, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 913-766-1235.