Starting August 1, 2017, the NCAA has approved a new recruiting calendar for division I softball which will drastically change some of the ways you as a prospect will need to go about getting recruited to that level. Here’s a brief synopsis of the changes:
- College coaches will NOT be limited to 50 calendar days of recruiting. Were you even aware in the first place that coaches were limited by this? Many prospects we talked to were not. What it currently means is that if a staff has three coaches and they all go recruiting on the same day to non-scholastic events, that staff has just used 3 of their 50 days for the year. So you’re thinking, “THIS IS AWESOME – they can come to every tournament I play now!!!” The trick is, these collegiate softball programs are also constrained by how much money they have to travel to recruit. Our guess is that it will increase the number of local college coaches you will see around in the summers and potentially the number of college coaches from bigger budget programs throughout the available recruiting periods.
- College coach employment at non-institutional camps has been limited to ONLY during the summer contact period and the six Saturdays/Sundays in the fall prior to Thanksgiving. We haven’t found any college coaches wild about this one because (a) outside camps are a great way to supplement their income, (b) prospects love being seen by multiple schools in one location, and (c) colleges will now be forced to run more of their own institutional camps/clinics, which take a tremendous amount of organization and time away from focusing on your current and future athletes. In our eyes, this is going to increase the importance of shooting good recruiting videos so coaches can get a good preview of you playing as they won’t be able to see as many athletes through camps. (You can check out which camps/locations FPOS will be shooting videos ) We also think this amplifies the importance of choosing the right institutional camps to go to, which means going through a thorough educational process on where you may want to go before you plop down hundreds of dollars to attend a school’s camp. Taking the FPOS Road To Recruiting Success Online Class would definitely be a benefit here.
- Evaluations by college coaches at non-scholastic practices and competitions are prohibited during the spring evaluation period (which next year will be January 2 – May 28, 2018). This will be a huge impact to prospects in Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, all of whom play high school softball in the fall, and Iowa, which plays it’s high school ball in the summer. Those states playing high school ball in the fall will most likely be limited to a very regional travel schedule during that time, which will mean they probably need to make sure their travel organizations need to be very focused on their tournament play throughout the summer evaluation period. Conversely, Iowa high school players will need to make sure their travel play during those 6 weekends in the fall is focused on where the college coaches they want to see them are traveling. Information about choosing the right travel team for you are included in the Roadmap To Recruiting Success Online Class as well, with a detailed breakdown on the attributes that you need to be looking at to make the right decision for you as a prospective collegiate student-athlete.
If this particular iteration of the recruiting calendar remains in place for a while (as they do tend to change every few years), we also wonder how much more importance will be placed on the quality of high school coaches. Will parents move their kids into areas specifically because of a quality high school coach that develops their child and has regular recruiting at their games because of the number of prospects that attend that school that can now not be seen on their travel teams during that time? It’s a stretch, but then again, who thought 10 years ago colleges would be verbally committing 7th and 8th graders?
Stay tuned to your FPOS for more changes on NCAA rules and how it will affect your recruiting process!