IMPORTANT COVID19 UPDATE: In response to the coronavirus, the NCAA has suspended all in-person recruiting through May 31, 2020. Schools have suspended all official and unofficial visits at this time. Think of this like a dead period, during which time phone calls and digital communication are still permitted. Stay tuned for further NCAA guidance related to the coronavirus and its impact on recruiting.

NCAA recruiting guidelines and rules can be complicated and tends to be one of the most asked questions by high school student athletes and their families. For most sports, coaches can begin reaching out to athletes starting June 15 after sophomore year or September 1 of their junior year of high school.

The rules are put in place to protect and support the student-athlete. Remember, during this time, schools are courting you as much as you are hoping they notice you and offer you a scholarship. The NCAA has put rules in place to limit the communication windows for coaches with potential student-athletes thus giving you the time you need to focus on academics, reflect on school choices and gain insight and feedback from your high school coach and family.

Even though proactive outreach doesn’t occur until June 15 or later after an athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches and their recruiting staffs are already looking at film, talking to high school coaches (in person and on the phone) and developing a list of potential recruits. This is where having an Academic Resume and a plan to outreach to coaches by you, the athlete, come in as important in the process. Remember, the important components of your resume must include:

  • Personal Information (Name, Height, Weight, etc.)

  • Academic Information (GPA, ACT and/or SAT scores, interested studies)

  • Athletic information (positions played, other sports you play, key stats and honors)

  • Contact information for you, your parent(s) and your high school coaches

  • Link to your game film or highlight video


The NCAA just approved new rules for recruiting that will change the way Division 1 college coaches can recruit athletes during camps and visits. We will provide you a list of the sports affected later in this guide. In an effort to streamline communications and cut back on early recruiting, coaches will have to wait on giving scholarship offers to athletes until after their sophomore year of high school. The rules take effect immediately, starting Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Here’s a quick breakdown of these changes:

  • Sports impacted: These new rules apply to all DI sports except football, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, baseball and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

  • Official visits: Recruits can now start taking official visits starting August 1 before their junior year of high school. In the past, official visits weren’t permitted until September 1 of the athlete’s junior year of high school.

  • Camps and clinics: Recruits and college coaches are not allowed to have any recruiting conversations during camps prior to June 15 after sophomore year of high school. This used to be an open loophole that has been closed.

Unofficial visits: College athletic departments—this includes college coaches—are not allowed to be involved in a recruit’s unofficial visits before August 1 of a prospect’s junior year. Remember, unofficial visits are any campus visits paid for entirely by the recruit’s family. This rule is still very loose and events like attending games as a recruit or attending junior day during your sophomore year are a few ways many schools still look to get underclassmen on campus.

Keep reading: Rules of Recruiting E-Book