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2023–24 NCAA Women’s Hockey Recruiting Rules and Calendar

The college recruiting process is an exciting time for student-athletes with the dream of competing at the collegiate level. College coaches will begin contacting prospective hockey recruits, student-athletes will visit college campuses for unofficial and official visits and, if the student-athlete is successful in the recruiting process, they will receive an offer for a roster spot and possibly an athletic scholarship.

All NCAA sponsored sports abide by recruiting rules and a calendar that the NCAA releases every year. These rules determine when and how college coaches and student-athletes can communicate to maintain a healthy and fair recruiting process for all parties involved. While these rules are meant to benefit student-athletes, the recruiting process can still be confusing and overwhelming. This section is designed to help student-athletes and their families better understand the NCAA ice hockey recruiting rules and calendar and stay up-to-date on any changes that the NCAA makes to the recruiting process.

READ MORE: NCAA’s new rules will grant student-athletes the opportunity to earn money from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

How to use the NCAA women’s hockey recruiting rules and calendar

The NCAA is constantly updating the recruiting rules and calendar to better the recruiting process for student-athletes and college coaches. Below is a look at what hockey recruits and their families need to know about the NCAA women’s hockey recruiting process.

  1. Early recruiting: Just because college coaches can’t contact hockey recruits until after their sophomore year, doesn’t mean early recruiting isn’t happening. College coaches attend tournaments, college camps and combines to evaluate talent as young as 8th grade. Recruits’ high school and club coaches may also receive a call or email from college coaches to let them know they have their eye on the athlete.
  2. Communication and verbal offers: Starting June 15 after the recruit’s sophomore year, Division 1 college coaches can begin to contact recruits and make verbal offers.
  3. Official and unofficial visits: Unofficial and official college visits are permitted starting August 1 of the recruit’s sophomore year. During these visits, recruits can engage with college coaches, talk about recruiting and explore campus.
  4. Accepting Scholarships: If a recruit is accepting a scholarship offer from an NCAA institution that use the National Letter of Intent (NLI), they will be asked to sign an NLI and athletic aid agreement to officially accept their offer. Student-athletes can view the National Signing Day dates on the NLI website.

When can hockey coaches start communicating with you?

In May 2019, the NCAA released new recruiting rules that prohibit NCAA Division 1 college coaches from contacting student-athletes until after June 15 of the recruit’s sophomore year. This rule not only affects communication between coaches and athletes but also communication between college coaches and club or high school coaches.

Previously, college coaches have found loopholes in the NCAA recruiting rules that allowed them to communicate with hockey recruits and extend verbal offers through the athlete’s club or high school coach. Now, college coaches can contact club or high school coaches to ask for general feedback on a recruit but are prohibited from discussing financial offers, recruiting statements, etc., until after June 15 of the recruit’s sophomore year. 

Student-athletes shouldn’t wait until this date to start the recruiting process, though. Recruits should start the recruiting process by creating a strong NCSA Recruiting Profile and highlight video and researching college hockey programs to build a list of target schools.

NCAA rule changes for women’s hockey

Over the years, the NCAA has made necessary changes to the recruiting rules and calendar to create an equal and positive recruiting experience for all recruits. In 2019, the NCAA addressed the growth of early recruiting across multiple sports by announcing changes to the recruiting rules.

The NCAA hopes that these changes will allow recruits more time to develop as athletes and as students and enjoy the recruiting experience.

NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey recruiting rules

The NCAA Division 1 hockey recruiting rules and calendar are known to be the most restrictive across all the NCAA divisions.  

NCAA Division 2 women’s hockey recruiting rules

Currently, there are no NCAA Division 2 women’s hockey programs.

NCAA Division 3 women’s hockey recruiting rules

NCAA Division 3 schools adhere to the most relaxed recruiting rules of the three NCAA divisions. These rules apply to all Division 3 sports.

ACHA women’s hockey recruiting rules

The ACHA is made up primarily of club hockey programs at the collegiate level. While the ACHA does not follow the same recruiting rules as the NCAA, the association does have its own eligibility requirements that student-athletes must meet. Recruits can review these requirements and the ACHA rules on the ACHA website.

2023–24 NCAA women’s hockey recruiting calendar

Dead periods: During dead periods, coaches are prohibited from contacting recruits or their parents. Digital communication between recruits and coaches is still permitted.

Division 1

Quiet period: During a quiet period, athletes can talk to college coaches in-person on their college campus. However, the coach can’t watch recruits compete in-person, visit their school, talk to them at their home or anywhere outside of the college campus.

Division 1

Contact period: All dates that are not mentioned as a dead period should be treated like a contact period, in which all communications between families and coaches are fair game.

View the NCAA Division 1 recruiting calendar.