When can college coaches talk to players? In 2017, the NCAA approved a proposal from the IWLCA and IMLCA to push back the date that college coaches can begin contacting student-athletes to September 1 of their junior year. Why did college lacrosse change the recruiting rules? In a 2017 study conducted by the NCAA, 81 percent of lacrosse student-athletes reported that their first recruiting contact, direct or indirect, from a college coach occurred before their junior year. Compared to the other 10 NCAA sanctioned men’s sports, lacrosse had the highest rate of early recruiting by 18 percent.
In additional to early coach contact, 50 percent of lacrosse student-athletes reportedly made 4+ unofficial visits and recruits reported that their first verbal offer was received before junior year. Recognizing the effects of early recruiting on the sport of lacrosse and the young student-athletes who are still developing physically and mentally, US Lacrosse and the IWLCA and IMLCA worked together to push the NCAA to change the recruiting rules.
As a result of these changes, men’s lacrosse has some of the most restrictive recruiting rules of any sport. Coaches and recruits must wait until September 1 after an athlete’s junior year, to communicate via verbal offers, emails, calls, texts and recruiting letters. Though, recruiting rules do vary from division to division, allowing coaches to contact athletes earlier, most division levels follow the NCAA rules. We’ve created this section to help student-athletes and their families better understand the NCAA lacrosse recruiting rules and calendar, as well as the rules and calendar for the NAIA.