With the Holidays Season gearing up, the Recruiting Season gears down! Division I Volleyball is currently in a Quiet Period and is just a few days from starting a lengthy Dead Period. Remember that everything is to be found at www.ncaa.org.
Quiet Period - No off-campus contact with a Prospective Student-Athlete (PSA). This means no scouting players at club volleyball practices or watching early season tournaments. PSA's are allowed to take visits (Unofficial or Official depending upon thier year in school), but the coach cannot leave campus at anytime to see you.
Dead Period - Just like it sounds, nothing is allowed. No off campus recruiting, no on campus contact - absolutely nothing!
For Division I Women's Volleyball, the specific periods and dates are listed below:
December 3-11 Quiet Period.
December 12-31 Dead Period.
January 1-18 Quiet Period (except in states that play high school winter volleyball).
The complete 2007-08 Division I Women's Volleyball Recruiting Calendar is here.
What does this mean for PSA's and families? Well it is actually a good thing, even though those coaches that have been e-mailing you for so long and telling you how great you are/they are/the program is/the school is/the weather is, are not waiting at your court now that the college volleyball season is finished.
Why good? Good because you can just relax and focus on preparing to have a great club volleyball season. Good because your parents don't have a potential future for their daughter standing 10 feet from them.
If you are an unsigned Senior or a Junior, use this 'unscouted' time frame to adequately prepare for the Recruiting Season. You hopefully took some time off from the end of the high school season to let your body rest and recharge your mental batteries. With the start of club training, you could have a solid 6 weeks of practice before Division I coaches come see you play. College coaches are either seeing you for the first time or they are evaluating the development of your skills from when they watched you as a Sophomore. Remember that old saying about first impressions - make a great one by using the Quiet/Dead Periods to prepare!
As per my earlier posts, if you are in your Junior or Senior year of high school, the Quiet periods will allow you to go on a few Unofficial or Official (if you are a senior) Visits and interact with the coaching staff and players. I strongly suggest you use this time period, especially as a Junior, to get a feel for potential schools. With the accelerated recruiting process of today, the more that you can do early to simplify your decision process the better it will be for everyone. For instance, if you think a small campus may be for you, then take a visit to a smaller school that has e-mailed you. You love chemistry, then take a visit to that volleyball program which also has a great chemistry department.
There is no NCAA rule that forbids you from visiting a Division I school during the Dead Period, you just can't have any contact with the volleyball staff. Don't hesitate to arrange a visit via the Admissions Office at any school - that is their job! Come January 19th and you have been able to focus your recruiting parameters and possibly develop a top list (based on visits, not solely recruiting information), you will be ahead of the curve!
Now Division II is a completely different animal, per the NCAA Division II Manual:
30.11.4 Dead Periods for Other Sports. There are no specified contact and evaluation periods in sports
other than football and basketball except for the following dead periods.
188.8.131.52 National Letter of Intent Signing Date. The period 48 hours before 7 a.m. on the date for
signing the National Letter of Intent in the applicable sport.
The only restrictions that Division II coaches face is the National Letter of Intent Signing Date (Early and Late) - which is the same Dead Period for Division I coaches. So this means that the college volleyball coach you see at an early tournament is not a Division I coach - he/she will be Division II, Junior College or NAIA. I know a few non-Division I coaches that love the Recruiting Calendar, because it allows them the opportunity to scout players without the drama that often attends the early tournaments. Plus, there are more seats at the courts!
If you are a Freshman or Sophomore - don't worry about any of this, just play ball and have fun!
You old kids, make some visits and train hard during the Quiet/Dead Periods, then have a great club season once all those big time coaches in their embroidered polo shirts invade the gym!