Transferring from the NCAA to the CIS:
Athletes who have been charged with a year of eligibility in four separate academic years within a non-Canadian post-secondary jurisdiction (NCAA) are ineligible for USport competition. However, there are a number of scenarios whereby athletes may transfer between leagues and retain their eligibility.
If you have been charged with three or less years of eligibility in the NCAA, you may return to the USport and complete up to a total of 5 years of eligibility.
( 3 years competing in the NCAA + 2 years in the USport = 5 years of eligibility)
If you started academic classes at a university in Canada, then transferred to the NCAA, competed for three years and in that time completed your undergraduate degree. You may then return to a USport school and have 1 year remaining of eligibility in which to finish 5 years of eligibility.
( 1 year CIS academics + 3 years competing in the NCAA + 2 years in the USport = 5 years of eligibility)
Transferring from the USport to the NCAA:
If you transfer from the USport to the NCAA, you must sit out one year to establish residency as required by NCAA regulations.
The NCAA has a residency requirement that says
“A student who transfers (see Bylaw 14.5.2) to a member institution from any collegiate institution is required to complete one full academic year of residence (see Bylaw 14.02.11) at the certifying institution before being eligible to compete for or to receive travel expenses from the member institution (see Bylaw 16.8.1)”
There are a few exceptions to this which can be explained on a case by case basis but this is the general rule of thumb.
This transfer rule means that if you transfer after your first year at a Canadian school, you will need to sit out one year of competition. You will be able to practice and train with the team but will not be able to travel or compete. After your one year of establishing residency you will then have 3 years of eligibility remaining and 3 years to use it up. (total of 5 year per the NCAA 5 year clock rule)
If you started academic classes at a university in Canada, then transferred to the NCAA, you must sit out one year, and may compete for 3 years
( 1 year USport academics + 1 year to establish residency + 3 years competing in the NCAA = 5 years of eligibility)