The NCAA Recruiting Calendars outline when—and how—NCAA DI and DII college coaches can proactively start recruiting athletes. With the recruiting process starting earlier and earlier, however, the dates don’t represent when recruiting really starts for student-athletes. In fact, most athletes start their recruiting process well before the dates outlined on the calendar. As early as eighth grade, families are researching colleges, evaluating what division level is best for their athlete, ensuring they are on the path to NCAA eligibility and even proactively reaching out to college coaches.
However, it’s still important to know the different periods in the NCAA Recruiting Calendar to understand how you should be getting recruited at that point during the year, as well as the kind of communication you can expect to receive from a coach. For example, if it’s October of your junior year in high school and you haven’t heard from a single coach, you have some work to do. If it’s October of your sophomore year of high school, you shouldn’t expect to hear from coaches, but you probably should be making progress on your recruiting journey.
Overall, the NCAA Recruiting Calendars seek to protect elite 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.”
Insider Tip: No matter the time or date, you as a student-athlete can always initiate contact with a coach. The rules only enforce when coaches can initiate contact with you. To get the process started, some recruits rely on their high school/club coaches to reach out to college coaches for them. The high school/club coach can set up a time a for the recruit to call the college coach, and the college coach can answer the phone if a recruit calls them. The rules only prohibit college coaches from calling a recruit back, emailing, direct messaging or responding to recruits. Some athletes will also go through their current coach to set up an unofficial visit to a college campus and connect with the coach that way.
Use the recruiting calendar alongside the NCAA Recruiting Rules. 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.
To better understand the NCAA Recruiting Calendars, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the following terms:
As you look through the NCAA Recruiting Calendar for your sport, keep an eye out for some of the particular days that stand out within each period. For example, you may have a quiet period from September 1 through November 25, but within that time span, there will be a designated number of evaluation days in which coaches can assess either your athletic or academic qualifications in person. If you have any questions about your NCAA Recruiting Calendar, please contact our recruiting force at 866-495-5172.
The NCAA recruiting guide is a booklet of information distributed each year by the NCAA to help student-athletes, families, high school coaches and administrators understand the initial eligibility process for Division I and Division II schools. The guide provides resources, such as:
We recommend reviewing this information with your family and guidance counselor to ensure that you are checking off all the boxes to be academically eligible to compete in your sport at the next level. The 2019-2020 NCAA Recruiting Guide contains the eligibility information for both Division I and Division II schools.
For the men’s basketball recruiting evaluation periods, there are two different kinds of evaluation periods that take place. During the April evaluations, coaches can only evaluate recruits at NCAA-certified events. If you are on an AAU team or participating in a club basketball tournament at that time, chances are, it’s an NCAA-certified event. You can always double check if the event is NCAA-certified before you attend.
During the remainder of the evaluation periods, all live evaluations must take place at a regularly schedule high school, prep school or two-year college tournament, practice or game. Again, it’s important to know when the evaluations can happen, but chances are, the coach will let you know when they plan to visit you during this time.
*A prospective student-athlete may not make an unofficial visit during the month of July unless he has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, or the institution has received a financial deposit from the prospective student-athlete in response to an offer of admission
DI women’s basketball evaluation days can get a little confusing. To start out with, recruits can be evaluated during the National Junior College Athletic Association championship competition. For women whose high school basketball season takes place in the spring, coaches can evaluate them in person from April 8-28 and July 8-31, 2020.
The NCAA includes a special note for coaches, explaining that, any evaluations that occur outside of July, count toward their allotted 112 total in-person recruiting days. Families don’t need to worry about the number of days coaches have to make in-person evaluations, but it’s important to know that evaluation days aren’t unlimited. Coaches have to choose who they will see, which means that they likely won’t just show up to your high school unannounced. Instead, they will probably contact you to arrange a day that works with both of your schedules.
The NCAA restricts which camps and clinics college softball coaches and their staff members are allowed to work at. The rules state that coaches and their staff members can only work at events off their campus if they take place during periods where evaluations are permitted at non-scholastic practices or competitions. This is something that coaches know to comply with, so families generally don’t have to worry about it. However, when looking at attending events for exposure, keep the evaluation periods in the back of your mind, and avoid attending off-campus camps or clinics during evaluation periods where coaches can only attend scholastic practices and competitions.
We’ve listed out the dead and quiet periods for sports in which no recruiting calendar has been established. For those dates not part of the dead or quiet period, treat them like a contact period.
All dates not indicated below should be treated like a quiet period.
All dates not indicated below should be treated like a quiet period.
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Treat all dates not called out here like a contact period.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.