What the new rules mean for your recruiting The NCAA approved new rules that impact how D1 softball coaches can recruit student-athletes. Here’s what you need to know (bear with us, it’s a lot!): When do they take effect? They take effect immediately, starting Wednesday, April 25, and they only impact D1 programs. What are the new rules? Official visits. College athletic departments cannot be involved in unofficial visits before Sept. 1 of your junior year. Unofficial visits. College athletic departments can no longer be involved in unofficial visits. Camps. College coaches are prohibited from having any recruiting conversations with athletes at camps before Sept. 1 of their junior year. Athletes initiating contact with coaches. Previously, college coaches were allowed to speak with a student-athlete if the student-athlete initiated the contact. For example, if you called a coach, they could talk to you about your recruiting. Now, this isn’t allowed until Sept. 1 of your junior year. College coaches talking to high school or club coach. College coaches cannot have “recruiting conversations” or “recruiting messages” through high school or club coaches, whereas before they could use these references as a way to get in touch with a student-athlete. Why were these changes made? Together, the NCAA and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) made these changes to slow down the recruiting process and give softball student-athletes the time they needed to make an informed college decision. Both organizations, as well as D1 softball coaches, want to cut back on the number of recruits getting early verbal offers and allow athletes more time to find their best college fit.