As we all know the NCAA has some strict rules. The age when the recruiting process can start is always changing. There are specific times when a coach can reach out, if you can reach out, or if your coaches can talk to each other. It can get complicated but lets look at the timeline and see when you can start connecting with coaches.
Every sport and each division has different rules but for Division I, coaches can start reaching out June 15th or September 1st, after the athletes sophomore year. This is just to have an initial phone call with a coach. On your end you can start showing interest even earlier. We are going to focus on Women's Lacrosse.
Before the contact period where coaches can reach out to you. You can start sending emails with an introductions and your highlight tape at any point. You can also have your club coach or high school coach make contact with the college as well. The school cannot reach out to your or seriously start recruiting you until after September 1st date.
Coaches can start sending non recruiting documents before that date as well. For example, brochures and school publications.
Let's breakdown the recruiting timeline:
- For Division I Women's Lacrosse there can be no contact or any in-person recruiting on or off campus at any time from the dates of August 1st to the 14th. After this from the 15th to the 31st is called, "Quiet Period." This is when a coach cannot have any in-person contact with a protentional athlete that is not on the colleges campus.
- After the Quiet Period is, "Contact Period." From September 1st to November 30th coaches can start making contact. They can start in-person, off-campus contact and evaluations.
- The beginning of November there is another short Dead Period but after that comes the, "Evaluation Period." This is the time when coaches can come and watch you play your sport. However, they are not allowed to communicate with the potential student or the parents if they are off-campus.
- During the month of December is another contact period when coaches can be reaching out and communicating and a long contact period from January till end of May. June and July have long evaluation periods as well.
It can seem complicated but trust the process and show interest to the schools and coaches that are top of your list.
In the mix of this time you will be invited for unofficial visits to campus and official visits. This typically happens in the beginning of your junior year. During this time, after September 1st of your Junior year you can also receive verbal offers.
Remember, every sport and Division is a little different. Be aware of the correct way to go through the process and stay on top of your coaches and contacts. Let them know what tournaments you are playing in so they can come and watch or attend their in-person camps. The more pro-active you are, the better!
You are able to look up each sports recruiting calendar here!