Lindsay is a former NCAA DI college field hockey athlete and coach at both NCAA DI and DIII programs. Lindsay is just one of many former college and professional athletes and coaches who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. NCSA’s history of digital innovation and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community has made it the largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network in the country.
If you want to join the roughly 6,200 NCAA college field hockey athletes, you’ll need to first learn how to effectively manage your recruiting process.
This includes understanding how and when to update your recruiting profile, research prospective schools, effectively communicate with college coaches, decipher which recruiting events to attend, schedule unofficial and official college visits, determine NCAA eligibility and meet all application deadlines.
While parents, guidance counselors and high school and club coaches make great resources, NCSA experts are also here to help you navigate the recruiting process with our complete guide to college field hockey recruiting.
NCAA Field Hockey Recruiting Rules and Calendar
A 2017 NCAA study on the college recruiting experience revealed that 70% of Division I field hockey players reported their first contact with a college coach happened before their junior year of high school. With field hockey being just one of a handful of sports that revealed a trend of early recruiting, the NCAA updated the recruiting rules and guidelines to slow down the process and create a more equal and positive recruiting experience for student-athletes. College coaches are prohibited from contacting recruits until after June 15 of the athlete’s sophomore year. With the rule change, student athletes must wait until August 1 of junior year to meet with coaches on campus.
View a comprehensive list of the NCAA recruiting rules across each division level in our guide to the NCAA field hockey recruiting rules and calendar.
Field Hockey Recruiting Guidelines
What are college coaches looking for in field hockey recruits? While college coaches expect all recruits to possess some level of field hockey IQ, versatility and athleticism, they also have position-specific expectations across the four field hockey positions. For example, Division I college coaches look for goalies that are unfazed in high pressure situations, make consistent saves and have excellent hand-eye coordination.
In our field hockey recruiting guidelines, we outline the experience level and skillset that college coaches look for in goalies, defenders, midfielders and forwards at each division level.
The Recruiting Process
The college recruiting process doesn’t start when college coaches can begin contacting recruits. Instead, you and your family should kickstart the recruiting process during your freshman year with the following steps:
- Research field hockey programs: There are 281 college field hockey programs scattered across the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern and Midwest regions, with three programs in California. Start the recruiting process by identifying which of these programs best fit your academic, athletic, financial and social needs.
- Build a recruiting profile: To get discovered by college coaches across the country, you’ll need to build a strong recruiting profile with relevant stats and a recruiting video that coaches can reference when creating their list of prospective recruits. Create your free NCSA recruiting profile here,
- Create a recruiting video: As a result of the new NCAA rules, your recruiting video is likely the first time a college coach will see you compete. It’s important that your recruiting video highlights your versatility, field hockey IQ and athleticism, as well as the position-specific skills outlined in NCSA’s field hockey recruiting guidelines. Learn how to create and share your video.
- Attend field hockey camps: Whether you’re attending a clinic, camp or showcase, these events can positively impact your college recruiting process by increasing your access and exposure to college coaches. Find a field hockey camp near you.
- Contact college coaches: While you won’t hear from college coaches that are interested in recruiting you until after June 15 of your sophomore year, you can still reach out to coaches at your prospective schools to introduce yourself and express interest in the program. Learn how to write an introductory email.
When awarding athletic scholarships, college coaches tend to prioritize athletes who demonstrate strong leadership ability and understand how to be a team player. These athletes positively contribute to the team with both their skillset and team-oriented attitude.
As an NCAA equivalency sport, fully funded Division I and Division II college field hockey teams are allotted 12 and 6.3 full-ride equivalent scholarships, respectively. Unfortunately, not all programs are fully funded, leaving some college coaches with even smaller scholarship budgets. To make the most of this budget, coaches will award partial scholarships, rather than full rides. Student-athletes who receive a partial athletic scholarship are able to combine alternative forms of financial aid to cover costs.
Top Ranked Women’s Field Hockey Colleges
To find the right college fit, you’ll want to begin your recruiting journey by evaluating what colleges offer academically, athletically, socially and financially. To help student-athletes through this process, NCSA develops annual Power Rankings that rank the top colleges and universities with field hockey programs based on factors, such as cost, size, location and academics. View a complete list of colleges offering field hockey