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College Recruiting Rules for 2023/2024 - A Guide for Baseball and Softball Athletes and Parents

Updated: Dec 9, 2023


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The college recruiting process can be overwhelming, confusing, and constantly changing. We've put together this guide to help you navigate the 2023-24 NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA recruiting rules for baseball and softball. We want to provide you with all the information you need to understand these rules, make informed decisions, and ultimately achieve your goals of playing at the collegiate level.

Each organization has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to recruiting players, and it's essential to stay informed and prepared.


NCAA

The NCAA recruiting calendar regulates when and how college coaches can communicate with prospective student-athletes and their families. Recruiting periods are defined times during the year when college coaches can contact potential student-athletes. The NCAA has strict regulations regarding these periods to ensure an equal playing field for all colleges and universities.

NCAA DIVISION 1 AND 2 RECRUITING PERIODS


Recruiting Period:

For Division 1, this period starts on September 1st of the player's junior year of high school and lasts until the player signs a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or until August 31st after the player's senior year of high school. For Division 2, the Recruiting period begins on June 15 after sophomore year.

Contact Period:

The contact period is the most active time for recruiting. During this period, college coaches can contact recruits and their parents in person, watch them play or practice, and visit their high schools. Coaches can also communicate with recruits via phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

  • Baseball - Aug 1-20, 2033 / Sept 15-Oct 8, 2023 / March 1-July 31 (see exceptions for Dead Period).

  • Softball - Aug 1-13, 2023 / June 8-July 31, 2024.

Quiet Period:

During the quiet period, coaches may not watch athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches can only meet with athletes or their parents on the college's campus. However, coaches can still communicate with recruits via phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

  • Baseball - Aug 21-Sept 14, 2023 / Oct 9, 2023-Feb 29, 2024 (see exceptions in Dead period and Recruiting Shutdown).

  • Softball - Nov 20, 2023-Jan 2, 2024 (see exceptions in Dead period and Recruiting Shutdown).

Dead Period:

A dead period is the most restrictive time for recruiting. During a dead period, college coaches cannot have any in-person contact with recruits and their parents, either on or off the college campus. Coaches cannot watch recruits play, practice, or visit their high schools. However, coaches can still communicate with recruits via phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

  • Baseball - Nov 6-9, 2023 / Jan 4-7, 2024 / May 27-June 3, 2024 / June 15-17, 2024 / July 3-5, 2024.

  • Softball - Nov 6-9, 2023 / Dec 6-9, 2023 / May 28-June 7, 2023.

Evaluation Period:

During the evaluation period, coaches can watch athletes compete or visit their high schools but cannot have face-to-face contact with them or their parents off the college's campus. Coaches can still communicate with recruits via phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

  • Baseball - NA.

  • Softball - Aug 14-Nov 19, 2023 / Jan 3-May 27, 2023 / High School regional and state championships.

Recruiting shutdown:

A recruiting shutdown is a rare and special time for recruiting. During a recruiting shutdown, college coaches cannot have any recruiting contact or evaluations with recruits and their parents, either in-person or electronically. Coaches cannot communicate with recruits via phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media. A recruiting shutdown is a time to respect both coaches and recruits' holidays and family time.

  • Baseball - Nov 21-26, 2023 / Dec 22-27, 2023.

  • Softball - Nov 22-26 / Dec 22-26 / Dec 31, 2023-Jan 2, 2024.

NCAA DIVISION 3

Compared to Division 1 and Division 2 schools, NCAA Division 3 schools have more relaxed baseball and softball recruiting rules. Student-athletes can receive recruiting materials anytime, and college coaches can make unlimited calls to them. Coaches may communicate with athletes off-campus after their sophomore year, and athletes can make as many unofficial visits as they want with their parents. After January 1 of their junior year, athletes can begin taking official visits. There are no dead periods for D3 schools, and the contact period is effectively year-round.


NAIA

Unlike the NCAA, the NAIA does not regulate or limit the contact and communication between a coach and a current high school athlete, nor does it regulate campus visits and tryouts. The NAIA does not restrict contact and communication for coaches, and there is no recruiting calendar.

JUNIOR COLLEGE

Junior college coaches may contact potential student-athletes at any time as long as they have not signed a letter of intent with another Junior College. There are no calendar restrictions on baseball or softball recruiting.

In Conclusion:

Understanding the various college recruiting rules and guidelines is essential for athletes and parents embarking on the recruitment journey. By familiarizing yourself with the various periods and adopting effective communication strategies, you can navigate the process with confidence. Remember to set realistic expectations and focus on personal growth throughout the journey.


Make sure your DIAMOND PLAYERS RECRUITS PROFILE is complete and up to date. Access our Resource Center for additional in-depth recruiting info, including college site links, articles, and information to improve yourself and your game. Good luck as you pursue your dreams of playing at the “NEXT LEVEL”

Go to our step-by-step Create Recruiting Profile Guide.



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