June 15 is the initial contact date for volleyball college coaches at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels. This means it’s the first time coaches can reach out directly to rising juniors.
Prior to this date for the class of 2024, general contact (generic emails, camp invites, questionnaires) are the only way for a coach in those divisions to reach out to a recruit. Once this date hits, more direct communication can begin between college coaches and the student-athletes. Here are five things to know about June 15.
1. What are the recruiting rules prior to June 15 after your sophomore year?
Prior to June 15, many college coaches at all levels are evaluating potential recruits by watching them play at tournaments and summer camps or through highlight and skills videos on their online profiles. College coaches may watch a recruit for years before being able to contact them directly. Remember, NCAA Division I and Division II coaches cannot directly reach out to a recruit about the recruiting process until June 15 after the recruit’s sophomore year. NAIA, NCAA Division III and NJCAA programs do not have any communication restrictions; however, those programs typically start connecting with potential recruits during their sophomore or junior year as well. All divisions can contact seniors in high school.
Many recruits try to get on a college coach’s radar prior to June 15 by contacting coaches through email, sharing video and letting them know that they are interested in their program. While recruits may not hear back from that coach because of NCAA contact rules, it’s one of the best ways to get on a coach’s watch list.
Another way is filling out a recruiting questionnaire for the college program. Per NCAA rules, all college coaches can send generic emails, camp invites and recruiting questionnaires at any time. If you do not receive the questionnaire via email, you can typically find this questionnaire on the volleyball or school athletic program’s website. Read more about volleyball recruiting rules.
2. What can I expect on June 15?
If you are one of the top prospects for a NCAA Division I or Division II volleyball program, you may receive a phone call or email from that program’s coach. The list of recruits that coaches call could include their top recruits per position or their top 30 general recruits. The number could be more or less depending on the coach’s recruiting needs.
Typically, college coaches have watched and evaluated their top recruits for two to three years before being able to connect with them. And, they will continue evaluating them after communicating with them. If a recruit receives a call or email from a college coach on June 15, it’s a very good sign, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that recruit will receive an offer, especially on that initial call. The first contact is the START of the communication process, and college coaches want to make sure that they are offering to the type of player and person that will fit into their team’s dynamics.
3. What can I expect on a first call with a college coach?
Many initial phone calls between college coaches and potential recruits are geared toward getting to know each other. Many college coaches talk about their school and their volleyball program and then start with some “get to know you” questions, such as asking about your school or club team, what major you are looking to study in college, or what hobbies or other activities you are interested in.
You should also prepare some questions for the college coach. Asking questions is a good indicator to college coaches that a recruit is genuinely interested in their program. Check out a list of great questions to ask.
4. What if I don’t receive a phone call or email on June 15?
If you do not receive a phone call or email on June 15, don’t panic. Not every recruit in the nation receives communication on June 15. Remember, this restrictive date only applies to NCAA Division I and Division II programs, and there could be several different reasons you didn’t receive communication.
Maybe the coaches don’t know enough about you or they haven’t seen you play live. Maybe they are behind on their recruiting and are still recruiting the classes above you. Maybe they aren’t recruiting your position or don’t know if you are interested in their program. While not receiving communication on June 15 can be disappointing, there are many actions you can take to get on a coach’s radar such as emailing, calling or direct messaging a college coach about your interest.
Since college coaches can respond back to you after June 15 of your sophomore year, you’ll be able to learn more by directly asking the coach. Learn more about how to contact a college coach.
5. What if I receive a verbal offer on June 15?
While not typical, there are a few recruits who may receive an offer on that initial phone call on June 15. Congratulations! However, be advised that it’s highly recommended that recruits take their time when making a final decision. If you have not visited the campus, met with the coaches and team in person, or talked to a few other college programs, try to do at least those three activities prior to deciding.
While many things can seem great on paper, do your due diligence when making your final decision. If you receive a verbal offer, be appreciative, thank the coach for their interest, and let them know that you want to take some time to talk with your family.
The recruiting process is exciting but also exhausting and overwhelming. Remember that you should feel confident when you are committing, not only to the volleyball program, coaches and team, but also the university or college you will be attending. Take your time, do your research and ask a lot of questions.
About the Author: Sue Webber is a former college volleyball player for the University of Illinois and former collegiate coach at the NAIA and Division I levels. She is the event partnership director for USA Volleyball partner Next College Student Athlete, which helps guide athletes through the college recruiting process.