New Recruiting Legislation Passes

Today the landscape of D-1 softball recruiting changed and regulation will eliminate recruiting contact between college coaches and prospective student athletes (PSA) until September 1st of the player’s junior year. Effective April 25, 2018 Also, third parties (including but not limited to travel ball or high school coaches), may not be used to circumvent NCAA recruiting rules. Any conversation between a college coach and a travel ball coach must to be limited to simple confirmation of the school’s interest or disinuterest in a player and nothing further.

As a result of this change, OnDeck Softball will open Tryouts, Jamborees and Elite Camps to any committed players. It is our view that the players who have committed to their school should not limit their opportunities given the gap in communication and time that will now exist between a school and a player. We believe players in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 classes who must wait 16 months to over three years before communicating again with the school of their choice, would be making a mistake not to keep their options open. The rationale behind this lies with the statistics put out by the NCAA. Any player who commits before the end of her sophomore year has a 20% chance of playing at the chosen school or playing for the coach to whom she committed.

For the players in the 2020 class, don’t panic. It’s 4 ½ months until you can resume communication. Continue the emails; keep them posted on how your summer is going. We have a feeling a lot of coaches will be at your games this summer, simply because you are the next class they can call.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the new legislation is now irrelevant. The bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of college coaches and administrators fully believe in the need for change. We encourage every parent and travel ball coach to familiarize themselves with the new rules. And it is very important to know there is no “grandfather” clause for those who have already verballed.

While it is easy to get discouraged at a time like this, it might be best to look at the positives. The recruiting process should now slow down for everyone involved and allow players to develop their skills and athleticism while being monitored by college coaches. We hope the new rules take the pressure off all parties involved and allow everyone to make informed decisions.

As a connection between the college coaching community and the players, we will continue to do our part. OnDeck will continue to showcase players whom we feel are ready to be showcased. ODM will continue to offer objective feedback to both players and coaches on the progress that is being made from an athletic perspective. So while OnDeck events might seem to get a bit “older,” we still will continue to look at players in all classes and put them on the college radar just like we have been doing for 16 years!

As the great country music icon, Jimmy Dean, stated – “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Let’s all make the most of this going forward.


OnDeck helps high school softball players and college coaches connect. Our events give players ways to showcase their talent, and college coaches a venue to evaluate players across the country.

c1 Jamborees
& Elite Camps
c2 CoaCHES