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NCAA Volleyball Recruiting Rule Changes in 2019

May 3, 2019 Author: Jason Kozak, Virginia Elite President and Recruiting Director

Effective May 1, 2019, the NCAA passed new recruiting rule changes intended to slow down the trend of coaches offering scholarships to athletes as young as 7th and 8th grade. While the impact of these rules on the volleyball recruiting timeline is still unknown, the intent is to give athletes a little more time to figure out what they are looking for in a college and develop their skills before they get bombarded with scholarship offers.

Here's a quick breakdown of the changes, which are in effect for all Division 1 college volleyball teams:

  • College coach communication: The new rules prevent any communication between a student-athlete or parent/guardian and a DI college coach before June 15 of Sophomore year. Communication with a coach includes any phone, text and/or email conversations between a student-athlete or parent/guardian and a DI college coach.
    • Previously, coaches were prohibited from initiating contact with a recruit, but if an athlete called a coach, they could speak on the phone. That is no longer allowed. There is zero off-campus communication allowed between a coach and a recruit before June 15 of an athlete’s Sophomore year.
  • College camps and clinics: Recruits and college coaches are not allowed to have any recruiting conversations during camps prior to August 1 of the athlete's junior year of high school. Previously, there weren't any official rules that prevented coaches from talking about recruiting to underclassmen during camps. In fact, it had become common practice for college coaches to extend verbal scholarship offers to top recruits during their camps.
    • Despite this change, coaches still use camps and clinics as an opportunity to evaluate and start communicating with prospective recruits.
  • Official and Unofficial visits: Recruits can now take official or unofficial visits starting August 1 of their junior year of high school. Previously, official and unofficial visits weren't permitted until September 1 of the athlete's junior year of high school, so this rule is actually bumping them up!
  • Quick refresher: Unofficial visits are any campus visits paid for entirely by the recruit's family. Before the rule change, unofficial visits were an easy way for underclassmen to visit a college camps, meet with the coach and get an early verbal offer. However, if athletes want to take unofficial visits now, they cannot schedule them with the coach or athletic department until August 1 of junior year. Before that time, they should treat the unofficial visit just like any other student would. If the recruit happens to bump into the coach on campus, they can't have any recruiting conversations at that time.

It’s hard to predict how impact of these changes on volleyball recruiting. While these changes limit when recruiting conversations begin, they actually allow college coaches and athletes to start communicating earlier. For D1 prospects, the recruiting floodgates will open June 15 after sophomore year, with contact with college coaches starting on the same day. A big shift will come on August 1 of an athlete’s junior year, when they can begin recruiting conversations with coaches and go on official and unofficial visits.

Recruits should have all their research and groundwork done before August 1, so they can hit the ground running when that day comes.

NCAA Division 1 volleyball recruiting rules

The NCAA Division 1 volleyball recruiting rules restrict when and how D1 volleyball coaches can actively start communicating with prospects. The most important date for D1 volleyball players is June 15th after their sophomore year. At this point, almost all forms of coach contact are allowed.

  • Recruiting questionnaires, camp invites, NCAA materials and non-athletic publications: Any time
  • Private correspondence (phone calls, emails, texts, instant messages, DMs, faxes): June 15 after sophomore year
  • Official and unofficial visits: August 1 of junior year
  • Off-campus contact: June 15 after sophomore year

NCAA Division 2 volleyball recruiting rules

The most important date in the NCAA Division 2 volleyball recruiting rules is June 15 after sophomore year of high school. At this time all contact is permitted.

  • Recruiting questionnaires, camp brochures and non-athletic publications: Any time
  • Unofficial visits: Any time, unlimited
  • Private correspondence (phone calls, emails, texts, instant messages, DMs, faxes): June 15 after sophomore year
  • Official visits: August 1 of junior year
  • In-person, off-campus contact: June 15 after sophomore year
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