Club Unite uses Sports Recruits as our recruitment platform for exposure. We are referencing Next College Student Athlete as a valid resource to read about the recruiting rules in regards to the most recent updates regarding COVID. This resource may assist our students in a variety of ways such as social media usage, video, rules etc..
NCAA Suspends In-Person Recruiting Until May 31: In response to the coronavirus, the NCAA has suspended all in-person recruiting though May 31. Schools have also been asked to suspend official and unofficial visits. This time period will be treated similarly to a dead period, during which time phone calls and digital communication are still permitted. It’s possible the NCAA will decide to extend this date again. Read more here.
Women’s volleyball is an incredibly fast-growing sport—in 2017, there were 444,779 high school volleyball players. Only 5.9% of those athletes will go on to compete on a college volleyball team, and a mere 1.2% will play for a Division 1 school. Needless to say, getting recruited to play in college is extremely competitive, and it’s imperative that athletes understand how to successfully navigate the volleyball recruiting process if they want to make it to the next level.
NCSA provides an in-depth look at the volleyball recruiting process, including insider tips from former collegiate volleyball coaches and players. We help families gauge the right division levels to target, create a recruiting video that will capture coaches’ attention and understand the NCAA volleyball recruiting rules. If it’s your athlete’s goal to compete on a college volleyball team, this detailed information will help your family ace the volleyball recruiting process. Read our new article on college volleyball.
The NCAA is responsible for enforcing its volleyball recruiting rules, which mandate when and how coaches can proactively contact athletes. At the Division 1 and Division 2 levels, most communication is permissible starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year in high school. On the other hand, college coaches at the Division 3 and NAIA levels do not have limits on phone calls and electronic communications.
One of the most difficult aspects of the volleyball recruiting process is determining which division level an athlete should target based on her athletic talent. The good news: There are some key stats that college coaches look for when evaluating volleyball recruits. For example, at the Division 1 level, the average height of an outside hitter is 6’0”, with 53% of D1 outside hitters at 6’0” or taller. Only 13% are 5’9” or shorter. Additionally, coaches expect D1 outside hitters to have, on average, an 118-inch approach jump. Furthermore, D1 coaches want athletes to have experience competing on an open-level club team, the most competitive club division.
While these are just averages, they paint a fairly clear picture of what a D1 recruit looks like for that position. Based on college roster data and a survey of college volleyball coaches, we’ve compiled a series of guidelines that illustrate the average qualifications volleyball recruits should fulfill at each position for every division level. For families who aren’t sure which division level their athlete should focus on, these guidelines provide a great baseline to get them on the right track.
For most families, one of the biggest draws to competing on a college volleyball team is the allure of getting a volleyball scholarship. And over 1,300 schools at the Division 1, Division 2, NAIA and junior college levels could offer volleyball scholarships, depending on how well-funded their program is. Though Division 3 schools don’t provide athletic scholarships, they do help connect athletes with other forms of financial aid that can pay for a portion—or all—of the cost of tuition.
At the Division 1 level, volleyball is considered a headcount sport, which means that every scholarship is a full ride to the school. D1 teams are allowed to provide a maximum of 12 full-ride scholarships to talented volleyball recruits. At the other division levels, coaches can divide up their scholarship dollars however they want, usually giving the most money to athletes who have the potential to make an immediate, positive impact on the success of the team.
There’s increasing pressure for volleyball recruits to start the volleyball recruiting process earlier and earlier. According to our survey of college coaches, D1 coaches begin searching for talent the earliest of the division levels, with the majority starting when prospects are in 9th grade. For coaches in power conferences (think: the Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC), coaches scout out talented 8th graders, as well as freshmen in high school. D2 and D3 coaches reported that they begin evaluating recruits in 10th grade, and the majority of junior college coaches kick off their evaluations in 11th grade.
Because of this trend toward early recruiting, there’s a lot of pressure on volleyball recruits to become experts in the volleyball recruiting process at a young age. This means young athletes and their families need to understand how to:
We clearly define each step of the volleyball recruiting process, explaining what families need to do and what to expect from college coaches.
A volleyball recruiting video is a compilation of an athlete’s best plays to showcase her volleyball skillset. While only 3–5 minutes in length, volleyball recruiting videos have to pack a punch, as college coaches use recruiting videos to determine if they will reach out to a volleyball recruit—or move on to the next athlete. In fact, most coaches say that they can tell within the first 25 seconds of a recruiting video if they are interested in that athlete or not.
Creating a volleyball recruiting video is both an art and a science. Based on the athlete’s position and strengths, there’s a certain set of skills that she must include in her video. How those skills are put together and what games the volleyball recruit decides to showcase are really up to families and club and high school coaches. We provide a list of skills coaches look for at each position, and key tips for how to capture the footage your family needs to create your athlete’s best recruiting video.
College coaches are restricted from making verbal offers to an athlete before June 15 of sophomore year. Coaches are not allowed to have any kind of recruiting conversation with a student-athlete or parent/guardian. They can’t make a verbal offer, hint at a scholarship or help with admissions or other forms of financial aid.
These conversations are also not allowed between college coaches and an athlete’s high school or club coach. Moving forward, college coaches will be allowed to discuss freshman or sophomore recruits with club and high school coaches, but those conversations are limited to whether the coach is interested in recruiting them. College coaches cannot make unofficial offers or discuss support in admissions or any other form of financial aid with a club or high school coach.
The NCAA rules about social media in recruiting can be a little confusing. DI football, baseball, softball, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and women’s basketball coaches can direct message recruits starting September 1 of their junior year of high school. DI men’s ice hockey coaches can DM recruits starting January 1 of their sophomore year of high school. For all other DI sports and all DII sports, coaches can start DM-ing recruits on June 15 after their sophomore year. At this time, coaches are also able to “like,” “share,” “retweet” or “favorite” a recruit’s posts. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Coaches are not allowed to publicly communicate with recruits until after the athletes has committed to their program. This means that they are not allowed to post on a recruit’s Facebook wall or Twitter feed until after they’ve committed to the school.
This is often referred to as the “click don’t type rule,” which helps coaches remember that they can interact with recruits’ social media but they can’t actually type anything to them on their public profiles. As a recruit, you don’t need to worry about these rules, but it’s important to know what to type of communication to expect from college coaches.
Insider tip: If you receive an offer from a school, you can attempt to capture the attention of other coaches by tweeting about it. Keep it simple—mention how grateful you are for the opportunity and be sure to tag the coach or athletic program you received the offer from. However, never, ever invent or inflate an offer just to get attention. Coaches will do their research on you, and they will find out eventually if your offer is not legit. This kind of behavior can eventually leave you with no offers.
Athletes must meet both athletic and academic criteria in order to get a volleyball scholarship. The athletic criteria are largely up to the volleyball program at each individual school. Every coach has different methods for determining which athletes are right for their roster, which is why the recruiting process is so crucial. If an athlete isn’t sure what a college coach looks for athletically in their position, check out the roster. Look for the height, stats and accolades of a current athlete in your position. Or, better yet, the athlete can send the coach an email to ask.
The NCAA Eligibility Center has specific academic requirements that athletes must meet to be eligible to compete at either the NCAA Division 1 or Division 2 levels. We’ve included the Division 1 requirements below. A good rule of thumb is that if an athlete meets or exceeds the D1 requirements, they will be eligible at the D2 level as well. However, always bear in mind that each individual school has its own set of admissions requirements that athletes will also have to meet.