NSDA Points

NSDA Membership Levels

Individual Student and Coach Membership

Each student who accumulates 25 points (10 of which must be earned in interscholastic high school competition) earns individual NFL membership, referred to as the degree of Merit. Coaches also earn individual membership upon accumulation of 25 points, based upon recording one-tenth of student points (275 student points = 27.5 coach points). A one-time $15 enrollment fee is assessed per new individual member.

Each time a student or a coach achieves a new point threshold as detailed in the following chart, s/he adds a new degree to her/his membership record. The national office will send notification of new degrees earned, along with the corresponding seals, for the coach to place on students’ certificates. Each seal is affixed to the certificate by placing it over the previous seal, but slightly to the right, so that one-quarter inch of the previous seal remains exposed (see example certificate to the right.).

A chapter’s total degrees determines number of entries it is allotted for the district tournament, as well as votes in NFL district committee and national board elections.

Degree Points Strength° Certificate Seal Gem
Non-member ≤25 0 None None
Merit 25 1 Gray on White None
Honor 75 2 Bronze Emerald
Excellence 150 3 Silver on White Blue Sapphire
Distinction 250 4 Metallic Gold on Gold Ruby
Special Distinction 500 5 Silver on Pink Double Ruby
Superior Distinction 750 6 Silver on Blue Triple Ruby
Outstanding Distinction 1,000 7 Silver on Violet Quadruple Ruby
Premier Distinction 1,500 8 Silver on Black Quintuple Ruby
First Diamond°° 1,500 8 1 Diamond
Second Diamond°° 3,000 9 2 Diamonds
Third Diamond°° 6,000 10 3 Diamonds
Fourth Diamond°° 10,000 11 4 Diamonds
Fifth Diamond°° 13,000 12 5 Diamonds
Sixth Diamond°° 16,000 13 6 Diamonds
Seventh Diamond°° 19,000 14 7 Diamonds
Eighth Diamond°° 21,000 15 8 Diamonds
Ninth Diamond°° 24,000 16 9 Diamonds
Tenth Diamond°° 27,000 17 10 Diamonds

° Refers to the value of degrees for computing chapter strength.
°° A coach may earn her/his first diamond only after five full years have passed from that coach’s merit date; five years must pass between the award date for each diamond.

There are three classifications of NFL schools/chapters.

Provisional Chapters

Provisional chapters are schools that have newly joined the NFL, or returned after a lapse in membership of more than five years. Provisional chapters have district and national voting rights of one-half their degree strength, and count as one-half of a full charter chapter in determining whether or not a district has met the minimum requirement of 16 paid charter chapters.

Member Chapters

Member chapters are schools that have either completed three years of provisional membership and not met the minimum chartering requirement, or is returning as a member chapter within five years of absence. Charter chapters that do not meet charter renewal requirements over a three-year period are also moved to member chapter status. Member chapters have the same one-half voting rights as provisional chapters, but are not counted toward the district’s minimum requirement of 16 paid charter chapters.

Charter Chapters

Charter chapters are the highest school membership honor in the league. A school is automatically chartered (receiving a certificate upon its initial charter; see the sample to the right):

  • Once it has been a provisional or member chapter for at least one (1) year; and
  • Has met the minimum strength requirement of 50 new members/degrees enrolled over thee years (or, for schools with grades 9-12 enrollment of less than 500 students°°°, 25 new members/degrees).

If a charter chapter does not meet minimum strength requirements, it will be given one year of temporary charter status to meet the requirement before moving to member chapter status.

A chapter loses its charter for non-payment of dues, but may return as as a charter chapter if it has been less than three years since its last membership, and all prior invoices (including missing year dues) are paid in full.

°°° Such schools must notify the national office as to their enrollment status.

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