NCAA Committee Supports Recruiting Ban Until Junior Year

The change matches recommendations from the NFCA

A key NCAA Committee has changed its recommendation, now urging a ban on recruiting contact until a student-athlete’s junior year of high school.  The previous recommendation would have allowed the first recruiting contact in their sophomore year.

The new recommendation came from the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee in a January meeting.  The NCAA said the committee recommended the changes after considering feedback from NCAA surveys in the fall of 2017 from student-athletes, conferences, coaches associations, governing bodies and other athletic associations.  This matches the recommendation from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) released just before that meeting.

“What I’ve appreciated about this process is we have got a room full of people who are very interested in bettering the student-athlete experience,” said Justin Sell, chair of the committee and athletics director at South Dakota State.  He also said the changes were designed to strike the right balance, allowing prospective student-athletes time and opportunity to evaluate schools and choose a program that meets their academic and athletic goals.

If the Division I Council adopts the recommendations, the proposal will look like this according to the NCAA:

  • Unofficial visits, which now have no restrictions on their dates for most sports, would not be permitted until Sept. 1 of prospective student-athletes’ junior year. This change aims to encourage the decision-making process for both prospective student-athletes and colleges and universities to occur at a time when academic and athletic preparedness can be more accurately considered.
  • A coach or school would not be able to engage in recruiting conversations with a prospective student-athlete at an athletic camp or clinic until Sept. 1 of the student’s junior year in high school. Additionally, the committee noted all participating athletes should have a uniform camp or clinic experience, and coaches should not be able to pull aside prospects for recruiting conversations or activities until their junior year in high school.
  • Official visits, now prohibited until prospective student-athletes’ senior year of high school, would be allowed to begin Sept. 1 in their junior year. Today, these visits are often made after a student already has committed to a particular school, preventing the official visit from being part of the decision-making process. The change aims to emphasize the official visit in the recruiting process and better align them with the timing of visits taken by the general student body.

The Division I council will meet in April and is expected to vote on the matter.  The NCAA did not mention whether there were proposed changes for the rules to take effect immediately or with the original proposal of September 1 of 2018.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself before Your Daughter Plays Travel Ball

“Are you ready for your daughter to compete for her spot?”

 

  1. Do you really want your daughter to face extremely tough competition?  Some kids and parents crave competition and a higher level of play.  Others don’t.  In travel softball, you will likely face teams who will have no qualms about putting 15 to 20 runs on you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  It is a humbling experience that can help teams grow and be stronger.  It can also be devastating for those whose egos bruise easily.
  2. Are you ready to have your daughter to compete for her spot? Unless you or your friend are coaching the team, your daughter will likely have to earn her spot on the mound, in the lineup or any spot on the field, including the outfield.  Many coaches just keep it very simple.  They want to win.  And they’re going to (ideally) put players in the best spots that help the team win.  That could mean the bench for some players.  Yes, some coaches may get worn down after persistent begging, pleading, angry text messages, etc.  But she’ll have to compete for her spot on better teams.
  3. Are you ready to put over 20,000 miles on my car per year? They don’t call it “TRAVEL” Ball for nothing.  That lease for 12,000 miles/year just isn’t going to cut it.   You may have to travel further for practices, ‘friendlies’, batting cages, fitness workouts and, of course, tournaments which can cross many state lines.
  4.  Are you ready to spend $3,000 to $10,000 on dues, tournaments, hotels, meals, socks, jerseys, cleats, bats, bows, gloves, etc in a year?  The $200 you spent on a season of recreational softball will merely pay for one month of dues.  Depending on what club you join, it may be over $200 a month.  Depending on the level of your team, you may travel all over the country playing softball tournaments.  While that may sound really cool, the cool factor stops when you get your credit card bill.  Then you can add up all the expenses of flights, airport meals, trips to Starbucks, room service and the list goes on.  You club team may require you to buy specials socks for cancer awareness month or require you to pay a penalty for tardiness.  It all adds up.
  5. Are you ready to fundraise for the team to try and offset those costs?  Get ready to start trying to raise money for the team to pay for some of the travel, meals and other items that come with running a team.  You may find yourself hosting several teams on the weekend, requiring you to work the snack bar, drag the fields and take out the trash.  You may even start spamming family members and friends with emails begging for money.
  6. Are you willing to have your daughter give up all other sports for softball?  Your daughter may have played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.  You can kiss that goodbye with most travel ball teams.  Between travel ball, school, homework, other family obligations and life in general, there may not enough time in the week or energy in your kid’s body to handle another sport.
  7. Are you ready to spend a lot of time with people who are absolute strangers?  While Rec Softball allowed you to be on the same team with a neighbor or your daughter’s childhood friend, this may not be the case in travel ball.  She may join a team where she does not know a single person.  She and you will be spending lots of time with her teammates and parents.
  8. Are you ready to give up your weekends?  Maybe you liked Sunday brunch with your friends and family.  Gardening can be incredibly satisfying.   College and NFL games are fun to watch on weekends.  Maybe you can just watch the highlights on ESPN after you get home.
  9. Are you ready to join legions of other parents who obsess about their kids playing in college?  Maybe that’s not the goal.  Maybe you just want her to learn and compete at the next level.  But there will be many parents who are laser focused on getting their kid to college on a softball scholarship.  They might make you and your daughter obsess about it too.
  10. Are you ready to give your daughter what could be the greatest experience of her life, playing the sport she loves, making new lifelong friends and learning life lessons along the way?  Yes, it can be amazing.

Top 10 Softball Cheers of All Time

There was a little froggy sitting on a log…

Cheers from the dugout are very unique to softball.  Some people who haven’t spent their entire weekend listening to them may find them annoying.  But softball fans know that cheers are part of the beauty of the game.  Players may cheer less the older they get.  Team USA softball players don’t even do it anymore.   But they will forever hold a place in our hearts.

Here’s the top 10 list of softball cheers not determined by any scientific research or polling.  If you don’t recognize them, ask the closest softball player to cheer them.  Better yet, ask you team to cheer these in the dugout! Have fun!

10.  Pitchers in a hole, 10 feet deep.  She can’t get out cause she’s got big feet. She got mud on her face, a big disgrace. Throwing those balls all over the place.  Saying we will, we will rock you down, pick you up, like a volcano ready to erupt. Hubba hubba hubba, ringa-ding-ding. Pitcher’s gonna walk you like a washing machine.  Like a washing machine if you know what I mean!

9.  Down by the softball cemetery, that’s where the other team’s gonna get buried.  Six feet wide, seven feet under.  When we bat we sound like thunder.  When you bat you sound like lighting.  Lightning isn’t very frightening.  Thunder, thunder, thunderation!  We’re the best team in the nation.  Nation, nation, nationwide!  Nationwide is on our side… NOT YOURS!

8.  Hey you! On Two! Do the funky monkey, add a little disco and raise the roof, raise raise the roof.  And pay attention!

7.  Carly we miss you, we’re running out of tissue. Come home!  Come home! Carly we miss you we have one tissue, come home, come home!  Carly we miss you, we’re all out of tissue come home! come home! and bring some tissues with you!

6.  Holy cow that was foul. Moooo -ve it over. Moooo -ve it over.  Holy sheep that was cheap.  Baaaa-ck it up. Baaa-ck it up.Holy monkey that was funky.  Swing it over.  Swing it over. Holy chicken that was fricken awwwwsome!

5.  See that pitcher over there?  Ah ding dong! She got no underwear.  Ah ding dong!  She threw it in a tree.  Ah ding dong! Now the dogs are afraid to pee.  Ah ding dong dong dong….

See that pitcher over there? Ah ding dong! She got no underwear.  Ah ding dong! She threw it in the water. Ah ding dong!  She killed a baby otter.  Ah ding dong dong dong….

See that pitcher over there? Ah ding dong! She got no underwear.  Ah ding dong! She threw it into space.  Ah ding dong! She started an alien race. Ah ding dong dong dong….

 

4.  My name is Katie.  (Rock the boat!)  I’m feeling fine. (Rock the boat!) You mess with me. (Rock the boat!) I’ll blow your mind. (Rock the boat!) I said a bang bang chicka-chang.  I know karate. I know kung fu. You mess with me.  I mess with you. Rock the boat! Rock Rock the boat. Rock the boat, Hit hit the ball!

3.  There was a little froggy sitting on a log.  Rooting for the other team.  He had no sense at all.  He fell into the water and bumped his little head.  And when he came back up again, this is what he said.  He said “Go! go! Go! Go you mighty (team name) Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight you mighty (team name).  Win! Win! Win! Win you mighty (team name). Go! Fight! Win!” and he never fell again.

2.  Oh no.  Way too low. See the wormy. Hit the wormy. Poor wormy.  Dead wormy! Wormy Killer.  On the mound.  On the mound.  Wormy killer!

Oh my.  Way too high.  See the birdie.  Hit the birdie.  Poor birdie   Dead birdie.  Birdie killer. On the mound.

1.  Hey first baseman! Can you break it down like Michael Jackson shake your booty like Britney Spears, wave your hands like Salt N’ Peppa, I don’t think so, I don’t think so. (repeat for other positions)