Know the Recruiting Rules: What is the NCAA evaluation period?

Know the Recruiting Rules: What is the NCAA evaluation period?

NCSA Recruiting

Know the Recruiting Rules: What is the NCAA evaluation period?

Byline: USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities to play at the college level. Kyle Winters was a standout high school pitcher who tossed seven scoreless innings in a major tournament during his senior year. That performance against some heavy-hitting future MLB draft picks helped Kyle earn a full-ride scholarship to the University of New Mexico. However, Kyle opted to play professional baseball and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round and played seven seasons for various minor league teams. Kyle is just one of many former college and professional players, college coaches, and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience, and dedication along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation, and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.

The NCAA restricts when and how DI and DII college coaches can communicate with potential recruits. These rules are explained in the recruiting calendars for each sport. Each calendar breaks down the various recruiting “periods” which dictate when and how coaches can evaluate and communicate with student-athletes throughout the year. The evaluation period is a less frequently used recruiting period that allows coaches to watch athletes but not communicate with them.

What is the NCAA evaluation period?

The NCAA evaluation period is a specific time of year when college coaches are allowed to watch an athlete in person or visit their school, but they are NOT allowed to communicate with that athlete off the college campus. This means coaches will visit your school, practices or games, but they won’t be allowed to talk with you while they are there.

Not all sports have evaluation periods; the only sports with evaluation periods are D1 football (FBS and FCS), D1 Men’s/Women’s Basketball, D1 Women’s Volleyball, D1 Softball, D2 Football, and D2 Men’s/Women’s Basketball.

What goes on during an evaluation period?

College coaches will use this opportunity to watch an athlete play in person and visit their school.

  • Watching an athlete in person – During evaluation periods, coaches are either attending “made for recruiting” tournaments and showcases or attending an athlete’s practice (most common in football). Watching an athlete in person is much less about assessing their ability than it is evaluating the other things going on during competition. The number one things coaches are during is evaluating your body language during a game.
  • Visiting the athlete’s school – College coaches will also make a point to visit a recruit’s school. While they can’t talk to the athlete, they will do things like check with their counselor to get an update on grades and test scores, as well as spend time talking to their coach to get a sense for what kind of person they are.

How do I get coaches to watch me during an evaluation period?

College programs have a limited number of evaluation days per recruiting class. As we’ve explained before, the recruiting process is a funnel and watching recruits during the evaluation period is something that happens much later in the recruiting process.

In other words, don’t expect coaches to just show up at your games or school. Instead, you need to be executing a specific recruiting plan to connect with them and allow them to make an initial evaluation via an online profile or online film. If they like what they see, they might schedule time to watch you play in person or visit your school for a more in-depth evaluation.

When are the evaluation periods in recruiting?

  • D1 Football FBS:
    • Sep 1, 2017-Nov 25, 2017
    • Apr 15, 2018-May 31, 2018
  • D1 Football FCS:
  • D1 Men’s Basketball:
    • Apr 20, 2018-Apr 22, 2018
    • Apr 27, 2018-Apr 29, 2018
    • Jul 11, 2018-Jul 15, 2018
    • Jul 18, 2018-Jul 22, 2018
    • Jul 25, 2018-Jul 29, 2018
  • D1 Women’s Basketball:
    • Sep 23, 2017-Sep24, 2017
    • Sep 30, 2017-Feb 28, 2018
      • **special evaluation event hosted in conjunction with the NCAA D1 Championship Tournament
    • Apr 20, 2018-Apr22, 2018
    • Jul 6, 2018-Jul 12, 2018
    • Jul 23, 2018-Jul 29, 2018
  • D1 Women’s Volleyball:
    • Dec 14, 2017-Dec 17, 201
  • D2 Football:
    • During your regularly schedule high school football season
    • Nov 1, 2017-Nov 30, 2017
    • Apr 15, 2018-May 31, 2018
  • D2 Women’s Basketball:
    • Jun 15, 2017-Aug 1, 2017
    • During your regularly schedule high school basketball season
    • Any All-Star game in the state of the school recruiting you
    • Up to four travel team tournaments per year
  • D2 Men’s Basketball:
    • Jun 15, 2017-Aug 1, 2017
    • During your regularly schedule high school basketball season
    • Any All-Star game in the state of the school recruiting you

If a college coach comes to watch your practice or play, that means there’s some serious interest in recruiting you. If coaches aren’t watch you during the evaluation period, take that as a strong sign you are not on the recruiting radar for any DI or DII programs. It doesn’t mean all hope is lost, but you will need to get busy.

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports
Home