As of May 1, 2019 new NCAA D1 recruiting rules went into effect for Beach Volleyball. These new rules put limits on the communication between a recruit and a college coach before the end of their sophomore year of high school. The goals of the new rules are to curb early recruiting and give athletes the opportunity to make more informed decisions.
NEW RULES EXPLAINED
College coaches can no longer communicate with student-athletes (or parents) before June 15 after sophomore year. College coaches will be allowed to discuss freshman or sophomore athletes with club coaches, but those conversations are limited to the coach being interested in the athlete, nothing else can be discussed.
COACH COMMUNICATION: ALLOWED JUNE 15 AFTER SOPHOMORE YEAR
– Communication with coaches can begin 6/15 after sophomore year.
– Includes phone, email, social media contact, private messages, incoming and outgoing calls
OFF-CAMPUS CONTACT: ALLOWED AUGUST 1 BEFORE JUNIOR YEAR
– Off campus contact can begin 8/1 before junior year.
– Any face-to-face contact off campus where a coach says more than hello
OFFICIAL/UNOFFICIAL VISITS: ALLOWED AUGUST 1 BEFORE JUNIOR YEAR
– Official and unofficial DI college visits can begin 8/1 before junior year.
– School-financed visits & self-financed visit that include coach conversations
VERBAL OFFERS/COMMITMENTS: ALLOWED JUNE 15 AFTER SOPHOMORE YEAR
– No verbal offers/commitments until 6/15 after sophomore year.
– Recruiting interactions during campus visits, camps and through high school/club coaches
ADAPTING TO THE NEW RULES
Despite the new rules college coaches are still going to build their recruiting classes prior to being able to contact recruits. Coaches will build their watch lists by online research, attending events, communicating with athletes’ coaches and observing and working with athletes at camps and clinics.
Athletes’ recruiting efforts also need to start prior to coaches being able to contact them. Setting up online profiles, researching schools, emailing coaches and attending camps and clinics are all things athletes can do.
Having an online profile which contains highlight videos, stats, and academic information will be important. Athletes can email coaches to make them aware of their online profile and send them updates on a regular basis.
Attending camps at the colleges athletes are interested in is also important for athletes to get evaluated early. This gives athletes the chance to work with the coaches, experience their coaching style, and to see the campus.
Q & A WITH FSU HEAD COACH BROOKE NILES
We checked in with FSU Head Coach, Brooke Niles to see what she thinks of the new rules:
What do you think of the recruiting rule change?
I like the new rules because it gives us coaches a lot more time to see players develop and grow before they commit to a college. Now players can take visits in their junior and senior years of high school instead of committing freshman and sophomore year. I think the players are in a better spot maturity wise to make their college decision later in high school.
What are the pros & cons of the change?
Some of the cons are it’s hard to communicate with coaches unless you attend camps between your freshman and junior years. I mentioned some of the pros above. It also gives you enough time to make a decision about where you want to go to school and what program fits your needs.
How will this affect the way you recruit?
This gives us a lot more time to evaluate players and watch them grow. We’ll have more time to watch players before we make a commitment and players will have more opportunities to explore their options before they make a commitment. We have found that holding more camps gives us the opportunity to really get to know the players and they experience our coaching styles.
Do you have any advice for athletes starting the recruiting process?
My advice to athletes with these new rules is to make a list of things you want from a program and college. Then find programs that fit your needs and attend camps, clinics with those programs.
The new rules do not impact the recruiting timeline at the NCAA DII, DIII, NAIA or Junior College level.