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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the rules governing when individuals are eligible to play in professional sports leagues and organizations. The different nature of the sports leads to important differences in the eligibility rules, including their legal status. Additionally, as the governing body of collegiate sports, the NCAA plays an important role in the practical consequences of the leagues’ eligibility rules. The leagues have a variety of justifications for their eligibility rules. While these justifications are often valid, they seem to rely on minimal, if any, data. As a result, there are constant concerns about whether the eligibility rules are sufficiently reasonable and fair considering the limited window in which many athletes have a chance to play professionally.

Keywords: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA, LPGA, ATP, WTA, WNBA, NCAA, eligibility, draft, age

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