With summer ball ending, here are some important dates and rules to remember.
All recruiting communications between Division I softball coaches and prospective student-athletes (PSA) and their families will be impermissible prior to September 1 of the Junior Year.
September 1 of junior year is the start date for official visits, unofficial visits and recruiting conversations at camps and clinics for all sports except for football and basketball.
One NCAA interpretation that is critical for this new rule to work is that third parties, including but not limited to travel ball and high school coaches, may not be used to circumvent NCAA recruiting rules.
Messages may not be passed through any third parties in an effort to continue recruiting communications between coaches and PSAs; this would be considered an NCAA rule violation. Consequences for NCAA rule violations can vary based on the facts and history of the parties involved. For many coaches, an NCAA rule violation can be grounds for termination.
What are recruiting calendars?
Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being of prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.
NCAA Division I Recruiting Calendar
August 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020
(See NCAA Division I Bylaw 13.17.9 for Softball Calendar Formula)
Note: Softball coaches and noncoaching staff members with responsibilities specific to softball may only be employed at noninstitutional camps and clinics that occur during recruiting calendar periods when evaluation at nonscholastic practice or competition activities is permissible (See Bylaws 188.8.131.52.6 and 184.108.40.206.8).
During a contact period, a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.
- August 1-11, 2019
- June 4 - July 31, 2020
Evaluation Period (Scholastic & Nonscholastic Activities)
- October 19-20, 2019
- October 26-27, 2019
- November 2-3, 2019
- November 9-10, 2019
- November 16-17, 2019
- November 23-24, 2019
Evaluation Period (Scholastic Events Only)
- August 12 - October 18, 2019
- October 21-25, 2019
- October 28 - November 1, 2019
- November 4 - November 8, 2019
- November 15, 2019
- November 18-22, 2019
- January 2 - May 25, 2020
During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college's campus. A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college's campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.
- November 25 - January 1, 2020
- December 9 - January 1, 2019
During a dead period, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.
- November 11-14, 2019
- December 4-7, 2019
- May 26 - June 3, 2020*
During high school regional and state championship competition that does not occur during a dead period:
* Dates are based on the 2020 NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Championship. Dead period remains in effect until the day following the conclusion of the Women’s College World Series. If the championship series ends after two games, the dead period ends on June 4 and the contact period would start on June 3.
** Dates are based on the 2020 NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Championship. Contact period starts the day following the conclusion of the Women’s College World Series. If the championship series is tied after two games and requires a third game, the contact period starts on June 4.
What is an Official visit?
During your senior year the NCAA allows any academic institution to pay for you to attend campus on a 48-hour official visit. Included in the visit is transportation (airfare or mileage reimbursement) to and from campus, lodging (either on campus or in a hotel), meals, and tickets to sporting events on campus.
What is a National Letter of Intent?
A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.
The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports. Signing a National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.
A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.