The dream of playing college baseball is exciting for kids of all ages. Whether it has been part of the plan for years or they are just looking at their options, players should start thinking about college – and the process of being recruited — long before they are ready to graduate high school.
Like with all recruiting, the rules governing college baseball recruiting change from time to time, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently announced changing regulations starting in the 2022-23 year. This overview will help make sure you and your players are up to date.
(Note: This article is for general information. For more detail, please consult the NCAA or other governing bodies to ensure the schools you are in contact with are in compliance.)
Why are recruitment rules changing?
While there are many reasons for rule changes in recruiting regulations, the main goal of these changes is to help level the playing field for both colleges and players.
NCAA-member schools initially created recruiting regulations to ensure that all colleges had the same recruiting resources. Otherwise, larger and more popular schools would have an unfair advantage in contacting athletes in the college recruiting process.
What rules are changing?
When can I contact a collegiate coach?
The rules surrounding athletes contacting coaches are not nearly as strict as the other way around. Athletes may contact coaches at any time whether via email or phone call. The restrictions do, however, limit when and how the coach can respond.
When can collegiate baseball coaches contact recruits?
The rules that govern contact from coaches depend on the division level of the coach.
- Division 1: Coaches must wait until September 1 of the athlete’s junior year of high school before contacting them.
- Division 2: Coaches can begin contacting athletes beginning on June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year.
- Division 3: Coaches do not have restrictions on contacting players, but general practice recommends waiting until the athlete’s junior year.
Can a coach still contact players during an unofficial visit?
Under previous rules, freshman and sophomore students could use an unofficial college visit to get an early verbal offer, but this is no longer the case. Now, no recruiting conversations can take place prior to September 1 of the athlete’s junior year.
When can athletes begin taking official visits?
Previously, official visits weren’t permitted until the athlete’s senior year. Now, official visits follow the same beginning date of September 1 of their junior year.
What is the definition of an official visit?
An official visit is when an institution formally invites an athlete to visit the campus. School visits are considered official when the institution pays for some or all of the visit. Recruits can only have one official visit per school and five official visits in total amongst Division 1 schools. There is no limitation for Division 2 and 3 schools.
Division Rules Overview
NCAA Division 1 Baseball Recruiting Rules
- September 1 of Junior Year:
- Coaches can begin all forms of communication with athletes.
- Athletes may begin taking official visits (no more than five official visits to D1 schools and only one per school.)
- Athletes can have unofficial visits.
- July 1 Before Senior Year:
- College coaches may make off-campus visits to athletes.
- Senior Year:
- Coaches can have off-campus communication with athletes (up to three times).
NCAA Division 2 Baseball Recruiting Rules
- Beginning June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year, coach communication, off-campus contact and official visits may begin.
NCAA Division 3 Baseball Recruiting Rules
- D3 schools have much more relaxed recruiting rules. After their sophomore year, athletes can have unlimited contact with coaches, including off-campus communication and unofficial visits. Athletes can have official visits starting January 1 of their junior year.
Junior College Baseball Recruiting Rules
- Institutions may not use the promise of a gift for soliciting athletes—only athletic grant-in-aid.
- After the athlete’s junior year, the institution may pay for one campus visit.
Why is it important to be aware of these regulation changes?
While coaches are the ones responsible for following these recruiting rules, it is still important for parents and athletes to be aware of the changes. By understanding the rules, parents will know what to expect and how to better help their athletes navigate the process.
Prepare for College Baseball Recruiting with Powermill
While the NCAA may have restrictions on the timeline of the recruiting process, it is never too early to get started with pro-level training. At Powermill Training Academy, our experienced coaches teach players how to harness their full potential on and off the field.
Not only do our baseball and softball lessons teach athletes technical skills, but we also prepare players for the recruiting process should they want to participate at the collegiate level. At Powermill, we also emphasize the importance of maintaining good grades and being a well-rounded student-athlete. Because without the grades, none of the rest of this will matter.
If you want to learn more about how we can prepare your athlete and support your family through the recruiting process, call us today.