With the NCAA softball quiet and dead periods coming up, it is important for softball recruits to know where they stand in the softball scholarship recruiting process. These communication periods during the year can affect your ability to communicate with a college coach, which means knowing what to do can have a big impact on your recruiting. And during winter, softball athletes can run the risk of falling behind in their recruiting because they are in their off-season.
The quiet period for softball starts today, November 22nd. During a quiet period, a college coach is not allowed to meet you with you or your parents off their campus and cannot come watch you play. They can meet on-campus or call and email the student-athlete. Just after the quiet period, softball also has a dead period that starts on November 28th. The dead period means that college softball coaches cannot have any face-to-face contact with the student athlete or parents; they are only allowed to call or email.
How Winter Softball Can Help Non-Recruits and Walk-Ons
The NCAA defines a recruit as a potential student-athlete who has been involved in any of these with a college coach:
1) Multiple telephone conversations with either the athlete or the athlete’s parents/guardians
2) Off-campus contact is made with the athlete or parents/guardians
3) An official visit has been provided
4) An NLI or other athletic scholarship is offered
Emails are still allowed between coaches and student athletes, and won’t change their status to a recruit unless one of the options above has occurred.
If you have not experienced any of these with a college coach yet, you aren’t technically considered a recruit. This means that the quiet and dead period rules don’t apply to you, and winter softball can be used to your advantage. You can also be considered a walk-on, an athlete who participates in a try out for a team and becomes a member without any athletic financial aid initially. A walk on can have a chance to earn a softball scholarship after the first year though.
Because coaches can’t come evaluate recruits or see them play during quiet and dead periods, that doesn’t mean they can’t see non-recruits active in winter softball. Whether it’s a camp, clinic, or practice sessions and workouts with your club team, continued participation in the game will help keep your skills sharp. It also offers college coaches an opportunity to see you in action.
Search for Winter Softball Opportunities
As a non-recruit, finding winter softball activities can have a big impact on you begin seen by college coaches before the softball season starts. To find winter softball camps or clinics, search for colleges and universities, schools that you are interested in, and see what they might be offering. Colleges hosting winter softball clinics will most likely have the coach present, so it is ideal that you are interested in their school before attending their camp.