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.
Updated April 2018
The NCAA Div. I Council voted to "reboot" Div. I recruiting practices by prohibiting all recruiting contact by Div. I coaches with prospects until Sept. 1 of the junior year in high school. For the full press release, click this link.
Updated December 2017 (See above as these proposals did pass!)
NCAA Div. I coaches have a series of proposals they will be voting on in 2018. All of these proposals are designed to reduce the number of so-called "early commitments." If this legislation passes, it may go into effect as soon as August of 2018.
Potential changes may include (but not be limited to):
Updated June 2017
The NCAA has published a new recruiting calendar for Div. I coaches that will go into effect August 1, 2017. This is the beginning of an attempt to regulate the mess that is early recruiting at the Div. I level. Essentially, there are now periods when Div. I coaches can only work at or attend institutionally sponsored/run camps...as opposed to camps run by everybody else that are used for purposes of evaluation. This may also affect some tournament scouting schedules. I've attached a link to an NFCA version of the calendar, and a link to an interview on FloSoftball that might be helpful http://www.flosoftball.com/article/57907-ncaa-changes-2017-2018-division-i-softball-recruiting-rules-calendar
Now for the important business! Please remember that that 75% of all college players will compete at Div. II/III or NAIA programs. In other words only 25% of players will ultimately be impacted by Div. I guidelines, so this calendar change will have no impact on players being recruited by or pursuing Div. II, III and NAIA colleges!
Also worth noting...if you're hoping to play at an NAIA college, the minimum SAT score you must achieve for eligibility is now 940. This change was made to accommodate the 2016 SAT testing format changes. The required ACT score is still 18.
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.
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.
Changing the date when Div. I prospects can begin taking official visits from the senior to the junior year.
Redefining the dates/conditions under which prospects can meet with coaches on campus during unofficial visits.
Reorganizing/aligning contact guidelines. This may include on-campus contacts and phone calls from prospects.
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