This portion of the site will provide current information on major NCAA or NAIA guideline or rule changes. If you have an older
edition of my book, be sure to check this page regularly to ensure you have the most current information, and be sure to visit the
NCAA Home Page or the NAIA Home Page for all current recruiting guidelines.
Again this year, there were no major recruiting guideline changes at the NCAA Convention. However, there is now a growing movement among non-revenue Div. I sports to push for recruiting contact changes. Since Div. I guideline changes can be proposed and approved or rejected independent of the NCAA Convention, it's possible that new contact guidelines could go into effect at any time in the next couple of years. It's a good idea to check the NCAA Eligibility Center periodically to see if there have been any changes that might affect your recruitment!
There were a number of proposals approved at the 2016 NCAA Convention, but most of them don't directly impact softball recruiting. The one noteworthy passage was a Div. III proposal that allows coaches to have an in-person contact with a prospect on the day of a competition provided that the contact occurs on the coach's campus and that the campus itself is not the site of the prospect's game or tournament. For information on additional convention proposals at the Div. I and II level, check the NCAA's web site.
At its January 2015 convention, the NCAA approved several recruiting proposals that will affect coaches at Div. III colleges. The new guidelines allow Div. III coaches to begin contacting prospects in person off-campus as of the end of their sophomore year in high school. Div. III prospects may also begin taking official visits to Div. III colleges as of January 1 of their junior year in high school. Prospects who choose to attend a Div. III school may now sign a "celebratory" letter indicating their intention to play at a specific institution. These letters, however, are not binding. Finally, Div. III coaches may also talk to prospects at competition sites and camps after they are done competing for the day. For more information on these and other recruiting issues, check the NCAA Eligibility Center web site.
While this news may not specifically impact recruiting and eligibility, it will directly impact most prospective college students! Beginning in 2016, the SAT Board will implement a series of MAJOR changes having to do with the SAT. For example, the writing portion will now be a separate essay score, and you will no longer be penalized for guessing incorrectly. (This is how it is with the ACT.) There will also be provisions for test prep and registration for low income students. For more details, check out this link to the SAT web site: https://www.collegeboard.org/delivering-opportunity/sat/compare
At its January 2014 convention, the NCAA enacted a wide range of legislation that affects both high school and JC transfer prospects and enrolled college students as well. Here is a brief summary of the proposals that were approved that you need to know about.
1) Beginning in 2018, a new set of guidelines will govern NCAA Div. II academic qualifying standards. If you want to play as a freshman entering a Div. II college in 2018 or beyond, you will not only need to have completed 16 academic core courses, but you will need a minimum GPA of 2.2 in those core courses, and your SAT/ACT scores will be determined by a sliding scale, much as they now are at the Div. I level.
2) Prospects trying out at a Div. II college must now present proof of a recent medical exam.
3) Prospects may now take official visits to Div. II colleges following their sophomore year in high school. NCAA Eligibility Center registration will be required.
4) Junior college students hoping to transfer to and play at an NCAA Div. II college will need to maintain a 2.2 GPA at the junior college and meet certain course requirements.
5) Effective August 1 of this year, NCAA Div. I coaches may begin phoning prospects for recruiting purposes as of Sept. 1 of the player's junior year. There will no longer be restrictions on phone calls or other types of written or electronic communication.
Effective this year, students entering Div. II institutions must complete 16 academic "core" courses. As of this time, the minimum GPA is still 2.0 with an 820 Math/Reading SAT score or a 68 ACT subscore. However, the Division II council is seriously considering requiring a minimum GPA of 2.2 for entering freshmen, and it is possible this could go into effect in 2018 along with a sliding scale for minimum required test scores (as is currently in use at the Div. I level.)
For a quick review of current academic eligibility requirements, click this link.
Be sure to check this web site or the NCAA's web site in January after the 2015 convention for updates.
NCAA Div. I Guideline Changes from the January 2013 Convention
Effective Aug. 1, 2013 Div. I coaches may have unlimited phone, text, or social media contact with prospects beginning July 1 following their junior year.
Effective Aug 1, 2013 Div. I coaches may send whatever promotional materials their school allows to prospects who have started their junior year in high school.
NCAA Div. II Guideline Changes from the January 2013 Convention
As of this year (2013), players may have a tryout or workout with a Div. II team beginning June 15 following their sophomore year.
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