softball recruiting questions

When it comes to college recruiting, just knowing how the basics of how the process works can help you increase your chances of having a successful recruiting experience. ScoutU answers some of the common questions we hear on a consistent basis to help you succeed. If you have a question about softball recruiting that you would like answered, email it to us at

Will colleges find me if I’m good enough?

NO! If anyone tells you that if you’re good enough, the colleges will find you, know that there’s nothing further from the truth for 99.9% of softball players. More and more players are playing and colleges have limited recruiting budgets and time to evaluate prospects. When college coaches go to events, the primary reason they attend the event is to evaluate prospects they already know about and NOT to discover players. So, if the colleges don’t know who you are BEFORE an event, it’s just pure luck if they happen to see you play. If you think you’ll get lucky and colleges will find you, you’ll most likely get left behind.

How early does the recruiting process start?

The college recruiting process can begin as early as 7th grade, yes, 7th grade. Recent changes to NCAA Division I rules prevent college coaches from having recruiting contact with prospects until September 1 of their junior year, but that hasn’t changed the fact that colleges still will identify potential prospects as early as 7th grade. The NCAA’s definition of a “prospective student-athlete” starts in 7th grade. College coaches need to identify prospects early to give them a better feel of what that player will bring to the table and increase their chances of landing that recruit.

Am I being recruited?

This is a question that oftentimes can be confusing for athletes to answer. Athletes are being recruited by a college if: 1) Have done an official visit; 2) Have received multiple phone calls; 3) Have had arranged off-campus communication. Also, colleges will come see you play, contact your coach, send you consistent personal emails and text messages. The more of these things that are going on, the better for the athlete. Receiving a questionnaire, camp invite or call to your coach does NOT mean you are being recruited.

Do college coaches actively recruit during their seasons?

YES! Of course, college coaches are busier during their seasons, but this doesn’t mean they take that time off from recruiting. Recruiting is always on college coaches minds and, depending on recruiting rules at that time of year, aspects of the recruiting process to identify and communicate with prospects are constantly taking place. College coaches don’t have as much time to evaluate prospects in person, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t communicating with them and still finding potential recruits.

How important are my academics to college coaches?

Academics are a VERY important part of what colleges look for in a prospect. Of course, colleges look for prospects that have a certain level of athletic talent. But, that athletic talent is meaningless if that prospect isn’t strong enough academically to get accepted to their school. College coaches look at three main things when evaluating a prospect academically — GPA, ACT/SAT scores and courses taking. The tougher the classes a student-athlete is taking, the better. Athletes that are strong academically have a better chance to get recruited by more schools. Every school has an academic standard they are looking for. If a prospect doesn’t meet that standard, that college won’t recruit that player.

How many scholarships are offered in softball?

Softball is an equivalency sport in the NCAA, meaning there is no restriction on the number of how many athletes can be on a scholarship. These sports generally offer partial scholarships. For example, if an athlete gets a 0.5 scholarship, that is taken off the total of 12.0 the team is allowed, so 11.5 left. If a team is allotting the maximum amount of scholarships allowed, that is called “fully funded.” Many schools are not fully funded, especially Division II schools.

NCAA Division I: 12 scholarships
NCAA Division II: 7.2 scholarships
NAIA Division I: 10 scholarships
NJCAA: 24 scholarships

When is the National Letter of Intent signing period?

Only the NCAA has a National Letter of Intent signing period. The NAIA and NJCAA do not have signing periods. A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete agreeing to attend a Division I or II college for one academic year. Participating colleges agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. 

2022-23 NCAA National Letter of Intent signing dates for softball (Division I & II): November 9, 2022 to August 1, 2023

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