The NCAA Recruiting Calendars outline when—and how—NCAA DI and DII college coaches can proactively start recruiting athletes. Families are starting the recruiting process as early as middle school these days. Looking into schools, type of offense and defense they run, will the coach be there even when they get to school in 5, 6 or 7 years. The NCAA is also aware that even with their rules in place, the identification and early recruitment of athletes is starting at an earlier age each year. This was the basis of the new rules put in place in 2019 by the NCAA to limit early recruiting. College Scholarships for Middle Schoolers? N.C.A.A. Plans Vote to Limit Early Recruiting addresses the recommendations made by administrators in 2019 that are now in place.
Even with the new rules in place, it’s important to understand the recruiting calendar for your sports and what is allowed by college coaches during the following defined periods:
Later in our Recruiting Calendar guide, we will discuss each of these in more depth, what you can expect from college coaches during each period and the work you and your family should be doing to take advantage of each year in high school.
It’s important to remember the NCAA Recruiting Calendars are put in place to try and protect the best of the best athletes from receiving overwhelming amounts of communication from college coaches by designating certain time periods when coaches cannot contact athletes. The NCAA explains, “Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being of prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.”
A few keys to remember about communication during any period. You as the high school student-athlete may reach out to communicate with college coaches throughout each year. Additionally, your high school coaches and club or travel team coaches can also reach out and discuss your game film and fit at colleges with coaches. The only restrictions put in place by the NCAA are for college coaches.
HOW TO USE THE NCAA RECRUITING CALENDARS
By using the NCAA Recruiting Calendar along with the Rules of the Road for Recruiting, you can start to build a communication plan and expectation for outreach from college coaches. The NCAA Recruiting Rules mandate the types of communication athletes can receive from college coaches based on the athlete’s year in high school. The NCAA Recruiting Calendars show the specific recruiting time periods throughout the year when coaches can contact athletes—and when coaches aren’t allowed to contact athletes.
Generally speaking, the most important dates on the calendar will be June 15 or September 1 (depending on your sport), going into the athlete’s junior year of high school. For most sports, this is when coaches can start reaching out to recruits. For more specific dates, find your sport-specific calendar below.
This is an important place to remind you as the student-athlete that part of the communication responsibility is on you. While you may not hear from a lot of coaches, if any, during your first year or two of high school, you should already be planting the seeds with those schools. Having a plan in place to email and introduce coaches using our pre-made templates with your Next Gen Athletic Resume is worth the effort early in your sophomore year.
Keep Reading: NCAA Recruiting Calendar