Recruiting Process – The Rules

Recruiting Process – The Rules

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Recruiting Process – The Rules

The rules below are taken from

High school Freshman and Sophomore year. these rules also apply until September 1 of your Junior year.


Coaches are allowed to:

Send you athletic or sports camp brochures, NCAA Educational Information and Questionnaires. A coach can also accept phone calls from you as long as they are at your expense but remember that if you leave a message on an answering service the coach is NOT ALLOWED TO CALL YOU BACK.

Coaches are not allowed to call you on the phone. A coach cannot send you any written recruiting information.


Unofficial Visits:

You can make unofficial visits to a college campus.

It is also permissible for you to receive a maximum of three complimentary tickets to a college sporting event.

You can talk with college coaches but this must be on campus.


Junior year from September 1

College coaches are allowed to send you information about their athletic program and about their school. this can include: media guides, schedule cards, personalized letters, photocopies of newspaper clippings and official university admissions and academic publications.The college coach is now allowed to answer your emails and send emails to you as well.


Junior year from July 1

A college coach is only permitted to contact you in person off the college campus only on or after July 1st when you have completed your junior year of high school. If the coach meets with you or your parents and says anything to you or them then this is considered a contact. Anything more than a very basic hello is a contact. College coaches are permitted to make one telephone call each week to you or your parents. You can call the coach as often as you wish.


Senior Year

You can make up to five Official – expense paid visits to college campuses. the visit to the campus cannot be longer than forty eight hours in duration. you are not allowed to have an official visit until after your first day of classes of your senior year.

College coaches need to have an official ACT or SAT score and a copy of your official high school transcript before you can make a visit. Coaches can make telephone calls and send written correspondence as per the rules for your junior year.


Recruiting at Tournaments

If your at a tournament and the coach does not talk to you don’t take it personally. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has specific recruiting rules that puts limits on communication at tournaments.

A college coach can sit down with a guardian or parent at a competition site. This is counted as one of the three in-person off-campus recruiting contacts a coach is permitted.

College coaches cannot have any personal contact with student-athletes during tournaments. As stated above a simple hello is fine but anything more is not allowed anything more is considered a contact.


Campus Visits

As a student-athlete, you must actively pursue the colleges that you’re interested in attending. Visiting these colleges should be on the top of your priority list. A campus visit allows you to get a feel for the campus and determine if you think the college will be a good fit for you. If you’re considering attending a school that participates in the NCAA, you should become familiar with the NCAA Official visit rules. Before you visit the college, you should read as much about the college and learn as much about the coaches in your sport as you can. During your visit, you’ll want to schedule an interview with the coaches.


Here are some questions you may want to ask during your interview:

 What is the graduation rate of all athletes?

Are there academic counseling staffs available to help with course selection and academic difficulties?

Are tutors available?

Where do athletes live, and do they live together?

Please note that these rules are likely to change, so be up to date by checking the NCAA website directly, which provides detailed information for both players and coaches.


Maximizing the Showcase Experience

 Top showcase events will often have over 200 coaches present, and will identify which coaches are attending. The next tier of tournament will typically identify a list of colleges who have sent representatives over recent years – the vagueness. They should identify boys coaches and girls coaches separately. If they do not, it is for the reason that there is an imbalance and they want to hide it. The lowest tier of “showcase” tournaments will identify colleges who have been invited, as opposed to those attending. Recognize that the length of the list of coaches attending should not be as important to you as which ones will be there. If there are only four coaches attending a tournament – and they are four schools you want to play at – then that is the place for you to play. Most importantly, be aware that for a showcase to be useful, the hard work should take place before you get there. A showcase simply provides an environment where college coaches and potential recruits can be around each other, and players can put themselves on display. However, the fact that coaches are in attendance does not mean that they will be watching your game. Indeed, most showcases will have many, many games going on simultaneously, so statistically, the odds are that any given coach will not be at your game.

However, it is not a random process – coaches don’t float around fields, admiring players who are strangers to them, hoping they are interested in their institutions and have the right grades and STA scores, then offering them opportunities to attend. First and foremost, coaches are watching:

i. Potential recruits they already know about

ii. Recruits who have the necessary GPA / SAT to get into the institution

iii. Recruits whose resume is attractive to them


What these three things have in common is the fact that you can control them, and can get the most out of the event by following these steps:


Find colleges that are of interest to you. Obviously this will be a long process, so start well in advance. Narrow the list to 4-5 contenders, based on realistic grade expectation, quality of program vs. your ability, and all the other factors that go into such a major decision.


Contact the coach. This information is available by looking on the college website. Let them know that you are interested in attending that school. Include your GPA, SAT scores if you have them, your reasons for wanting to attend, include a soccer resume, with both a club and a High School soccer reference (often the club reference will detail soccer expertise, but the HS soccer experience is closer to the collegiate in terms of intensity and day to day involvement, and coaches will be looking at “will this person be a good part of my team,”, rather than just “are they a good player”).

Find out if the coaches at the schools you are interested are attending tournaments you are playing at. Hopefully, this was part of the process of you picking your club (see above), so this is positive. Coaches are also more likely to event where there is a player (or players) interested in playing for them, so let them know in plenty of time where you will be playing, and they may make the effort for a promising prospect. E-mail them your schedule, jersey #, position you will be playing at the event they are attending. E-mail makes it easy to update this information, while demonstrating an ongoing dialogue with an institution to show your commitment to them. Make sure someone from your team (a parent or coach) is responsible for handing out profile books to all watching coaches at the events. Make life easy for the coaches.


If you are doing all this, and other potential recruits are doing this, you can see why coaches are primarily watching them, not looking aimlessly at all the players at these events. Their first priority will be watching and evaluating players who are pro-actively showing an interest and making themselves available to be watched. That comes from communication, more communication, and over-communication. Showing an interest and making life easy for the coaches will dramatically increase your chances of being watched, evaluated, and ultimately recruited.