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Recruiting Terms Defined


Breaking down the rules when it comes to contact periods…

Contact periods. Understanding what they are and how they affect recruiting is critically important.  Yet, many people are unclear about what a contact period actually is or how it actually affects them as a recruit.

There are four contact periods that make up the NCAA Recruiting Calendar.

A Contact Period is when almost everything is allowed.  You are able to meet with a coach off campus (during senior year only).  That could be during a home visit or other type of meeting.  The coaches are also allowed to come and watch you play.  So here is what is allowed during a Contact Period.


  • Official Visits

  • Unofficial Visits

  • Home Visits from a coach or other in-person meetings off campus

  • Letters/Emails

  • Calls

  • Evaluations (at your high school or during club competition)


A Dead Period is one of the most confused periods.  In a nutshell, coaches are not allowed to meet with you on or off campus during this time.  So here is what is allowed during a Dead Period.

  • Letters/Emails

  • Calls

  • Visits to a college, but you may not meet with a coach


An Evaluation Period is when the coaches are spending most of their recruiting hours watching you play, either during high school or club competition. This is not on the college campus. The coach is not allowed to meet with you off campus though. So here is what is allowed during an Evaluation Period.

  • Official Visits

  • Unofficial Visits

  • Letters/Emails

  • Calls

  • Evaluations (at your high school or during club competition)


Lastly, there is the Quiet Period. The Quiet Period means that coaches are able to have  off-campus meetings with you OR evaluate you. The only time you may meet with the coach is on their campus. So here is what is allowed during a Quiet Period.

  • Official Visits

  • Unofficial Visits

  • Letters/Emails

  • Calls


You may refer to the NCAA Recruiting Calendar to find out what period you are in at any given date.  Here is a link to find your sport’s recruiting calendar.

**Please note that official visits are allowed the first day of classes senior year. Other contacts such as calls, letters/emails, and off-campus meetings have sport specific start dates. Be sure to check the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete for your sport specific dates.

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