Division II is the lower of the two echelons of play recognized by NAQT at the collegiate level. Division II is intended to provide new schools and new players with an arena in which they can compete against other developing teams.
The classification of a team as “Division II-eligible” is a function of its players, not of the school itself; it’s common for the same school to field a Division I team of experienced players at the same tournament as it fields a Division II team of newer players.
In general, Division I and Division II teams compete separately.
Four-Year Colleges and Universities
Players who are eligible under the NAQT Collegiate Eligibility Rules, but who are not eligible under the Community College Eligibility Rules, are eligible to play in Division II if, prior to the current competition year…
- They have never played for a four-year college or university (or any other school covered by clause B.1 of the Collegiate Eligibility Rules but not covered by clause B.1 of the Community College Eligibility Rules) on a team that earned an invitation to the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (in either division), and
- They have never played for such a school at the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT; in either division).
As an exception to the first criterion, invitations to the ICT that are issued fewer than 21 days before the start of the tournament may be declined without costing the team’s players their Division II eligibility. (The ICT is considered to start on the Friday of its weekend.)
Players who are eligible under the NAQT Community College Eligibility Rules are eligible to play in Division II if they meet the bullet-pointed requirements of the previous section (with the non-bullet-pointed exception), except that they must not have completed their third distinct competition year in NAQT collegiate events, namely Community College Sectional Championship Tournaments (CC SCTs), the Community College Championship Tournament (CCCT), four-year Sectional Championship Tournaments (SCTs), and the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT).
There are some subtle aspects to Division II eligibility for community college players:
- Community college players who already have two-year degrees may not compete at a Community College Sectional Championship Tournament (CC SCT) or the Community College Championship Tournament (CCCT), but they are potentially eligible to compete in Division II if the community college attends a four-year Sectional Championship Tournament and/or qualifies for the ICT.
- Community college players that attend the CCCT (or even the ICT) retain Division II eligibility at four-year colleges and universities (and other post-secondary schools that are not covered under the Community College Eligibility Rules) since they didn’t compete in the CCCT or the ICT for such a school.
Playing at Multiple Levels
As mentioned in each level’s Eligibility Rules, no player can compete at both secondary and post-secondary NAQT championship events in the same competition year. (This is not directly related to Division II eligibility, but it is an important aspect of eligibility rules that may be important to people concerned with Division II eligibility.)
Teams and Individuals
In short, the policy is that a player retains Division II eligibility until they are on a team that qualifies for the ICT or they compete at the ICT. Players at two-year institutions may play Division II for up to three competition years (regardless of how well their teams do).
A team is eligible to play in Division II if all of its members are so eligible.
Players who are eligible for Division II but who graduate in the middle of a competition year may continue to play Division II for the rest of the competition year (assuming they continue to meet the other criteria for eligibility).