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Recruiting Terms and Calendar for 2022-23
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Understanding the recruiting process is crucial for academic and athletic success at the next level. Knowing the key dates and recruiting terms will make the recruiting process easier for you.

Here is an updated look at the recruiting calendar with important dates for 2022-23.

Did you know that there are three main governing bodies of collegiate athletics?

They are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). They all specify courses you must complete to satisfy academic eligibility requirements. Specific schools may be subject to additional requirements that are self-imposed by the institution or mandated by an athletic conference.

Division I - When can recruits?

  • Receive general questionnaires, camp information, NCAA materials? Anytime.
  • Receive other recruiting materials? Beginning June 15 after sophomore year
  • Correspond electronically with coaches? Beginning June 15 after sophomore year
  • Have telephone calls with coaches? Beginning June 15 after sophomore year (at discretion)
  • Have off-campus contact with coaches? Beginning July 1 before senior year
  • Take unofficial visits? Beginning June 15 after sophomore year
  • Take official visits? Beginning August 1 before junior year

Division II - When can recruits?

  • Receive general questionnaires, camp information, NCAA materials? Anytime
  • Receive other recruiting materials? Beginning July 15 before junior year
  • Correspond electronically with coaches? Beginning June 15 before junior year
  • Have telephone calls with coaches? Beginning June 15 before junior year
  • Have in-person off-campus contact with coaches? Beginning June 15 before junior year
  • Take official visits? Beginning June 15 before junior year

Division III - When can recruits?

  • Receive general questionnaires, camp information, NCAA materials? Anytime
  • Receive telephone calls? Anytime, no limit
  • Have off-campus contact? After sophomore year
  • Take official visits? After January 1 of junior year

For NAIA, visit the association’s Guide For The College-Bound Student-Athlete

SIGNING PERIOD:

There is just one signing period for tennis in NCAA Division I. The signing period for seniors will begin on 11/9/2022 through 8/1/2023.

Here is a breakdown of important things to know, each year that you are in high school:

9th Grade Plan

Priorities: Start strong in the classroom; establish a ranking; learn permissible in-person contact dates with college coaches

  • Take core courses and earn the best grades you possibly can. Ask your counselor for a list of your high school’s NCAA core courses or find them at eligibilitycenter.org/courselist.
  • Dedicate yourself to academic excellence. Establish solid study habits in your school free time and at home. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Make good academic decisions. Know when you can socialize and when you have to study.
  • Tournaments: Choose events that will establish and improve your ranking and help you to achieve your goals.
  • High School and Tournaments: Keep track of your individual statistics and significant wins. For tournaments, verify that your results are recorded correctly by the USTA at TennisRecruiting.net and UTR.
  • Take advantage of TennisRecruiting.net to create your recruiting game plan.
  • NCAA Division III (on January 1 of your sophomore year), NAIA and NJCCA Coaches may in-person contact you. NCAA D-II may make in-person contact with you on June 1 of your sophomore year, D-I on Sept. 1 of your junior year.
  • You may take unofficial visits to schools anytime, but understand that NCAA Division I coaches or representatives from the school athletic department are not allowed to meet with you on your unofficial visit. You can meet with admissions and faculty.

10th Grade Plan

Priorities: Core course GPA; register with eligibility centers

  • Your core course GPA is extremely important to your college future. The higher it is, the more academic money you will earn to pay for college and the more college doors will open for you.
  • NCAA Division III coaches can have in-person contact with you on January 1.
  • Register for a Certification Account or Profile Page with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org and/or the NAIA Eligibility Center at Playnaia.org/eligibility-center
  • Download and read the most recent “Guide For The College Bound Student Athlete Handbook” from the NCAA & NAIA eligibility center. The guide will answer questions for you and your parents navigating the initial eligibility process.
  • If you are an NCAA Division I prospect, schedule to take the ACT and/or SAT. On the day of the test, indicate that you want the testing center to send your scores to the NCAA using code “9999.” The NAIA code is “9876”.

Summer Before 11th Grade

  • NCAA Division II coaches may contact you beginning on June 1. You can now be invited on official visits to NCAA D-II schools.
  • NCAA D-I coaches are permitted to have in-person contact with you on June 15.

11th Grade Plan

Priorities: Stay on sound academic track; Schedule tournaments that will enhance your ranking and expose you to college coaches; Start official visits

  • Check with your high school counselor to make sure you're on track to graduate on time.
  • Take the ACT and/or SAT, and make sure to send your scores to the NCAA using code “9999” and the NAIA using code “9876”.
  • At the end of the school year, ask your counselor to upload your official transcript to the NCAA and/or NAIA eligibility center. This applies to all high schools attended.
  • NCAA Division I coaches may contact you beginning on September 1 and they can invite you for an official visit to their school.
  • Official visits to NCAA schools: You may take only one official visit per college with a maximum of five allowed for D-I schools. There is no limit to official visits to Division II or III colleges.
  • Unofficial visits may be taken after June 15. Players can take an unlimited number of unofficial visits.
  • Authorized athletics staff members from U.S Service Academies (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine) may contact players during their junior year.

Summer Before 12th Grade

  • If you have not already done so, you must register for a Certification Account or Profile Page with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org and/or the NAIA Eligibility Center at Playnaia.org/eligibility-center. You cannot play your freshman year of college in the respective association until this is done.

12th Grade Plan

Priorities: Graduate; Amateurism certification; NLI

  • Take the ACT and/or SAT again, if necessary.
  • Request your final amateurism certification after April 1 from the NCAA eligibility center.
  • After you graduate, ask your counselor to upload your final official transcript with proof of graduation to the NCAA and/or NAIA eligibility center.
  • Enjoy signing your National Letter of Intent (NLI) during the new signing period (as mentioned above). For more information on the NLI, check out www.nationalletter.org
  • Players may only take six months off after completing their senior year without losing college eligibility. After the six months, players may NOT play ANY organized tennis competition (local, club, USTA, etc.) without losing eligibility.

Make Sure You Know These NCAA Recruiting Terms

NCAA recruiting terms and rules can be confusing and hard to figure out. To make it easier, the National Scouting Report compiled a list of the essential NCAA recruiting terms and what they mean.

Contact Period:

NCAA rule - During a contact period, a college coach may have face-to-face contact with you or your parents, watch you compete, visit your high school and write or call you or your parents on the telephone.

  • National Scouting Report Explanation - The contact period is when college coaches can have specific types of communication with athletes. There are almost no restrictions. They can write, email, call, text, visit with them in-person and any other methods the NCAA approves. Contact periods are a great time for student-athletes in the recruiting process! It’s important to take advantage of the contact periods and start talking to college coaches.

Dead Period:

NCAA Rule - A college coach may not have any face-to-face contact with an athlete or their parents on or off the college campus at any time during a dead period. The coach may write and call an athlete and their parents during this time.

  • NSR Explanation - During a dead period, communication between college coaches, prospects and or their parents is minimal. Coaches aren’t able to have in-person conversations with athletes - even if the athlete is on the coach’s campus or they run into each other at a camp. However, just because it’s called a dead period doesn’t mean communication comes to a halt. Electronic communication is allowed, so college coaches can still call, email, text, direct message and write an athlete. (For a list of NCAA approved forms of communication visit, www.ncaa.org

Dead Period Dates:

Division I: November 14-18 (Monday through Thursday of the initial week for the fall signing of the National Letter of Intent).

Division II: November 14 (7 a.m.) – 18 (7 a.m.) (during the 48 hours prior to 7 a.m. on the initial date for the fall signing of the National Letter of Intent).

Evaluation Period:

NCAA Rule: During an evaluation period, a college coach may watch you compete, visit your high school, and write or telephone you or your parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

  • NSR Explanation - During an evaluation period, college coaches can watch and evaluate athletes. They aren’t able to communicate in-person with an athlete and or their parents. Even though coaches can’t have in-person conversations, they can still email, call, text, direct message, and write during this period.

Quiet Period:

NCAA Rule - During this time, a college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time and meet with a coach. A coach may write or call you or your parents during this time.

  • NSR Explanation - The quiet period doesn’t allow coaches to evaluate or have in-person conversations with athletes. However, texting, emailing, calling, direct messaging and writing to an athlete is permitted. Even though it’s called a quiet period, athletes can still do quite a bit of communicating with college coaches and they definitely should be.

Official Visit:

NCAA Rule - During an official visit, colleges can pay for transportation to and from campus for you, lodging and meals for you and your parents or guardians, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses, including three tickets to a Division I home sports event or tickets to a Division II home sports event. Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript and ACT, SAT or PLAN score (test scores are required for Division I only) and register for a Certification Account with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

  • NSR Explanation - An official visit is an invite from a college coach asking an athlete to come on a campus visit financed by the school. Athletes may only take five official visits to DI schools, but they may take an unlimited number of official visits to DII and DIII schools. Additionally, the NCAA has stipulations on when D-I prospects can start taking official and unofficial visits.

Official Commitment:

NCAA Rule – When you officially commit to attending a Division I or II college, you sign a National Letter of Intent. This document is an athlete’s written agreement to attend that school for one academic year.

  • NSR Explanation – This NCAA recruiting rule is pretty straightforward. When an athlete officially commits to play for a Division I or II program, they will sign a National Letter of Intent. The NLI is a legally binding document that confirms they will play at that school.

Insider tip: Athletes can’t sign an NLI until their senior year during specific times set by the NCAA. Additionally, they’re only able to sign one NLI per year.

Unofficial Visit:

NCAA Rule – Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The only expense you may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a Division I home athletics contest or complimentary tickets to a Division II home athletics contest. You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time. The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

  • NSR Explanation – Unofficial visits are indispensable to an athlete’s college recruiting process. Although the university doesn’t finance the visits, athletes can still receive complimentary admissions to athletic events, which helps them get a feel for the university. Unlike official visits, unofficial visits don’t have a limit. We highly encourage athletes to take as many unofficial visits as they can, mostly because it helps them find their right college fit. However, athletes that are being recruited by D-I colleges can’t start visiting with coaches until June 15 after sophomore year.

Verbal Commitment:

NCAA Rule – A verbal commitment happens when you verbally agree to play sports at a college. Typically this happens before you sign a National Letter of Intent. The commitment is not binding on you or the school.

  • NSR Explanation – A verbal commitment is exactly what it sounds like - an athlete or coach is verbally making a promise. These days verbal commitments happen as early as the eighth grade. The good and the bad thing is that a verbal commitment isn’t binding, so if an athlete changes his/her mind, he/she doesn’t have to honor the verbal commitment. However, it’s always a good idea for athletes to make 100% sure before they verbally commit somewhere.

It’s vital that athlete’s and their families are well aware of the NCAA recruiting terms and rules. Being knowledgeable on these specific NCAA recruiting terms will help alleviate some stress during the recruiting process.

Other Information

In addition to the official resources from the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA outlined above, there are a number of other information services available for you to investigate:

  • The USTA College Tennis web page provides information on college tennis, including the excellent Guide to Tennis on College Campuses.
  • The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is the governing body for college tennis.
  • Of course, there are recruiting columns and information about schools with tennis programs (men, women) right here at TennisRecruiting.net.
  • The Princeton Review is a good resource that lets you explore colleges online free of charge.
 
 

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Page updated on Monday, July 18, 2022
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