Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

NCAA grants eight additional practices to Div. III sports

Illustration by Rachel Choi
The NCAA logo.

For decades, Div. III sports have been limited in the number of regulated official practices—but as of Nov. 16, 2022, the NCAA has made a change to some of these rules, with the exception of football. Now, instead of the previously allowed 16 out-of-season practices, teams can hold 24 off-season practices.

The NCAA’s decision to grant additional practices to Div. III school schedules is meant to allow coaches and athletes more time to hone skills and reduce the gap between Div. I and Div. III practice schedules. For Emerson student-athletes, like junior baseball pitcher Jake Smith, this is a welcome change. 

“Having the eight extra is really good because it allows us to do more in the fall than whatever it was, 16 practices,” he said in an interview with the Beacon. “It allows us to get more done and be ready for spring.” 

The additional eight practices are not conditional, meaning they can be held anytime and last as long as captains choose, so long as class is in session. Coaches and athletes have a say in when additional practices can take place, whether that be before or after their season.

“What I’ve chosen to do is take six of them prior to Oct. 15, which is still the official start date [of the regular season],” said Bill Gould, women’s basketball head coach. “Six I’ll do before and two I’ll save for after. For the kids that want to get better, it should be a good balance.” 

Due to the flexibility of these newly allowed practices, coaches like Gould have more time to aid players in improving their skills, no longer beholden by the same restrictions. 

“I’ve always felt that the one thing [limited practices] takes away from is the ability for some kids … to improve,” Gould said. “Now I can work with those kids.” 

For athletes, practice is always a place to work on something. Whether that be a personal skill or improving team chemistry as a whole, adding allowed practices grants athletes and coaches the opportunity to develop. Smith is excited for the myriad opportunities these new practices present. 

“It will benefit our team as a whole, because position players will get more swings. It will help us because it will let pitchers go live more and be able to see live hitters and get more reps, more bullpens, things like that,” Smith said. 

Senior soccer forward Brittney Righetti said practices are not only a time to improve and hone skills, but also time to connect with teammates and build bonds. 

“Being with each other and getting touches on the ball in the offseason allows us to play with each other, play off of each other, and keep building that team chemistry that is so important for creating goals and getting team wins,” Righetti said.

Team chemistry is an integral part of success in any team, and more time spent on the field together helps build trust and connect teammates. 

“The Emerson soccer team loves being with each other,” Righetti said. “So it’s really special for us to get to spend more time with each other. I only see it helping us.” 

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Smitten
Kaitlyn Smitten, Staff Writer
Kaitlyn Smitten (she/her) is a freshman journalism student from Red Deer, Alberta. Canada. Kaitlyn is a part of the Emerson College softball team and enjoys traveling, reading, and listening to music. She aspires to be an investigative and/or breaking news reporter.

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