NCAA Rule Definitions

These are general definitions for your everyday recruiting terms. We highly recommend visiting to get learn more about these definitions and what they mean for your recruiting future.


A contact is classified as a face-to-face encounter between a college coach and the student athlete (or their legal guardians or relatives) where more than a greeting occurs. Anything beyond a hello is considered a contact. Another form of contact occurs when a college coach has any contact with you or your legal guardians at your high school, or any other location where you are competing or practicing.

Contact Period:
College coaches are allowed to have in-person contact with you or your legal guardians. This period means coaches can watch you compete anywhere, and the coach can write and make telephone calls.

Dead Period:
The college coach cannot make in-person contact with you or your legal guardians. This prevents the coach from making any evaluations of you whatsoever. However, the coach can make telephone calls to you or your legal guardians.

This is the process where a coach watches you compete in a game or practice, and makes note on your athletic abilities.

Evaluation Period:
It is permissible for the college coach to evaluate your playing abilities at your high school or any other place where you are competing. During this period the coach cannot have off campus in-person contact with you or your legal guardians. The coach can still make telephone calls to you or your legal guardians, and you are allowed to make campus visits during this period.

Official Visit:
Any visit to a college that is paid for by that university. You and/or your legal guardians will have your transportation to and from the college paid for. Also paid for by the college will be your room, meals (three per day), and entertainment expenses. Generally you will receive three free passes to that college's home game the weekend you are in town.

Quiet Period:
During this time a college coach cannot watch you compete at any location. It is allowed for the college coach to make in-person contact with you or your legal guardians if it occurs on the coach's campus. The coach can still make telephone calls to you or your legal guardians, and you can make visits to college campuses during this time.

Telephone Call:
An electronically transmitted voice exchange is considered a phone call. That includes videoconferencing and videophones. Emails and faxes are not considered a phone call.

Unofficial Visit:
Anytime you or your legal guardians visit a college campus that is funded by you. You can take as many unofficial visits as you would like. During dead periods you cannot speak to any of the coaches while visiting the campus. Three free tickets to a home game is the only thing a coach can give you during an unofficial visit.

NAIA Recruiting

The NAIA has around 300 colleges and universities. The appeal that the NAIA has to offer is their smaller class sizes and tight knit campus communities, the ability to transfer and not lose any eligibility, there are fewer recruiting rules and restrictions, and you have the opportunity to compete for championships. Not everyone has the ability or the academics to play NCAA sports. The NAIA is a terrific chance for any student athlete looking to earn a scholarship. Visit to learn more about playing for one of their member institutions.

NJCAA Recruiting

The junior college is a great way to start your collegiate experience. Going the junior college route gives you the opportunity to improve your athletic skills while earning credits toward a degree. You can transfer after two years and not lose any playing eligibility. Many coaches are now looking for junior college prospects to come in and compete right away. The NJCAA has some recruiting rules that you should be aware about before enrolling. Visit and learn how you can become a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

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