At this time of the year when the European pro training camps start, I always get questions like “Can I participate without compromising my NCAA Eligibility”? And the answer is, yes if you adhere to Article 184.108.40.206 of the NCAA Manual, also called the “48-hour rule”! In North America this point always comes up with the CHL which is considered a professional League by the NCAA. College Hockey published a comprehensive article (link at the end) about this subject which pretty much pertains to the European players receiving invitations to camps from pro teams.
Here’s a brief description of the most important points to comply with the NCAA rules and maintain your NCAA eligibility:
- Camp cost: The inviting team can cover the cost for transportation, board and lodging etc. for the 48 hour period which starts once you arrive at the camp. You are allowed only one (1) camp per team but you can attend camps from various teams.
- Extension of camp stay: If you stay longer then the allowed 48 hours, you have to pay for all costs (lodging, food etc) after the 48 hours including the return transportation.
- Exhibition games: You are only allowed to participate in intrasquad scrimmages but NOT in games against other teams!
- Contract: Signing a contract with a pro team will jeopardize your NCAA eligibility. You can fill out the usual tryout forms containing the basic information.
- Gifts: You are not allowed to receive any type of gifts like jerseys or the like. In case you receive gifts, return them, compensate the team appropriately or donate them to a charity of your choice.
Here’s the link the above mentioned College Hockey Inc. article which also contains Article 220.127.116.11 at the end. If in doubt always contact a reliable source who’s familiar with the NCAA Rules and Regulations!