Athletic Recruiting Recruiting Dates Sport Specific Starting Early

Should Track Athletes Sign Early In The Early Signing Period?

runners wonder should track athletes sign early
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(Flickr – Deb Hollister)

With the school year quickly approaching, now is the time for student-athletes to really get their ducks in a row when it comes to academics, athletics, and their recruitment. From practice and game schedules, to due dates at school, to being aware of recruiting rules and deadlines for specific sports in the year ahead, it can feel a bit overwhelming. But taking the time to sit down and organize as a team, (and by team we mean student-athletes and their parents or caretaker), will really go a long way in calming nerves, instilling confidence, and moving into the school year and season with a good feeling.

When it comes to a student-athlete’s recruitment, one of the first things you can do with your team at home is make sure you are aware of NCAA rules and deadlines when it comes to contact with coaches, signing periods, and submitting forms and various applications.

Two sports in particular implementing an important date change this year? Track and Cross Country.

There have been a few key changes in NCAA track and cross country regulations for the upcoming school year. Alison Vincent, our head recruiting coach for track and cross country explains all you need to know about NCAA changes for track and cross country.

Early Signing Period Change

Track and Cross Country student-athletes in the Class of 2016 now have an Early Signing Period starting November 11, 2015 spanning until November 18, 2015. For track and cross country athletes not prepared or offered to sign early, the regular signing period will begin April 13, 2016 spanning until August 1, 2016.

What colleges and universities have to follow this rule change?

This rule changes only applies to Division I and Division II schools.

What does this mean to recruits?

While DI and DII college track and field coaches are still in an adjustment period when it comes to the new early signing dates, many will take advantage of this new signing period this year. The November 11-18 Early Signing Period will become a great new way for track and cross country coaches to lock in top talent sooner than they’ve ever been able to before.

Translation: Track and cross country coaches will be filling roster spots sooner than they’ve ever been able to before.

Should track athletes sign early?

If you are a track and cross country student-athlete that gets an early offer from a DI or DII school and you are 100 percdent sure you want to attend that school, there are little to no reasons not to sign in November. But again, this is where having plans in place with your team at home is so important.

Coach Vincent’s advice when it comes to the new early signing period? Get your official visits done early – really make this a focus – and get all unofficial visits in during the summer between your junior and senior year.


Looking for more guidance about your track or XC recruiting? Our scouts are here to help. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

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About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.