October 6, 2017
Within the NCAA recruiting calendar, the rules governing recruiting activities and timeline can be difficult to understand. But terms like “quiet period” and “dead period” have specific meanings – and understanding them can give you a leg up as you plan out your fall schedule.
Three distinct phases dictate coaches’ recruiting activities over the course of the year: Contact Periods, Quiet Periods, and Dead Periods (which are brief periods that affect coaches’ recruiting activities but not student-athletes’).
During each of these periods, there are distinct rules governing which types of recruiting activities coaches are allowed to pursue, and what forms of communication and interaction are allowed between coaches and prospective student-athletes.
What are Contact Periods?
Contact Periods are the most open, and when coaches will scout, evaluate and identify prospective student-athletes for their programs. As the most open of recruiting periods, virtually all activity is permitted (limited by some guidelines regarding athletes’ grad year) and coaches prioritize seeing as many qualified players as possible.
For student-athletes: Contact Periods are the time to get in front of as many coaches as possible any of which may prove to be a match for your academic and athletic goals. Taking control of your recruiting process during these windows means maximizing your opportunities to play in front of and engage with college coaches.
What are Quiet Periods?
Each Contact Period is followed by a subsequent Quiet Period, during which any face-to-face interaction between a coach and player must take place on the coach’s home campus as coaches are unable to attend camps or tournaments. It is helpful to think of Quiet Periods as the points in the calendar where coaches are actively moving the recruiting process forward with the student-athletes they have identified in their scouting.
For student-athletes: Quiet Periods are when you’re able to narrow down your list of potential college matches, and then pursue the next steps with these schools. It is a great time to visit a campus and meet with the coaches or current players. By gathering as much in-depth knowledge as possible, you can continue to refine your search for the best holistic match.
This year, Headfirst Southeast takes place the final two days of the fall Contact Period. The November 3-4 weekend represents your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on 65+ college coaches before they head back to campus to compile notes and finalize their recruiting classes.