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NCAA Division 1 Men’s Swimming Recruiting Rules

NCAA Division 1 swimming recruiting rules permit college coaches to recruit at any time except during four-day ‘Dead Period,’ November 9–12, 2021. Other rules to be followed are:

  • Prior to June 15 after sophomore year: There can be no communication at all initiated by the coach or the athlete. During this time, a recruit can be sent materials such as questionnaires, camp information as well as non-athletic publications. College coaches are also restricted from having recruiting communication with your club or high school coach.
  • After June 15 following sophomore year: Recruiting communication officially begins, and student-athletes can expect to hear from coaches in a variety of ways, including email, text messages, social media messages and by phone. Student-athletes may also initiate the contact. Verbal offers and commitments are also allowed.
  • Beginning August 1 of junior year: Official visits to a school are now permitted. Men’s swimming recruits are allowed one visit per school and are limited to five total school visits. Off-campus contact is also permitted.
  • Senior year: College coaches may only make three off-campus contacts with the NCAA swimming recruit.

NCAA Division 2 Men’s Swimming Recruiting Rules

NCAA Division 2 swimming recruiting rules do not have a ‘dead period’ like D1 recruiting rules. Recruiting is year-round. Here’s a breakdown of the D2 recruiting rules:

  • General materials: College swim coaches and recruiters may contact a recruit through the sending of questionnaires, camp information, NCAA materials and non-athletic collegiate publications at any time.
  • Printed recruiting materials: Starting July 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year, college swim coaches and recruiters may send other recruiting materials like camp information.
  • Telephone calls: Starting June 15 after a men’s college swimming recruit’s sophomore year, a college coach is permitted to contact a recruit via the telephone.
  • Off-campus contact: The college recruiter may also make off-campus contact with the potential men’s college swimmer after June 15 of sophomore year.
  • Official visits: During the senior year of the college swimming recruiting process a collegiate coach may only make three off-campus contacts with the NCAA swimming recruit. Read more about official visits and unofficial visits.

NCAA Division 3 Men’s Swimming Recruiting Rules

The NCAA swimming recruiting rules for Division 3 are not as stringent as the rules in D1/D2.

  • As a freshman/sophomore, you may receive brochures for camps and questionnaires as well as recruiting information from D3 coaches. Coaches are also permitted to call you an unlimited number of times and you may also call them at your own expense. You are allowed to make unlimited unofficial visits at any time, but official visits aren’t allowed until after January 1 of junior year.
  • Men’s college recruiters may also make off-campus contact after your sophomore year.
  • Beginning on the first day of your senior year, you may make one official visit per college.

NAIA Men’s Swimming Recruiting Rules

NAIA swimming recruiting rules are vastly different than those established by the NCAA. For the high school student-athlete:

  • There are no restrictions concerning contact with coaches. Student-athletes and coaches can contact each other an unlimited number of times.
  • There is no recruiting calendar. Recruiting is year-round.
  • All methods of contact with a coach are permitted, including e-mail, text, phone call or in-person.                                                          

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS                                       

Q. When Can Colleges Start Recruiting for Swimming?

A. The NCAA swimming recruiting rules allow student-athletes to be contacted initially by an NCAA D1 and D2 college coach or recruiter only after June 15 of sophomore year.  However, it is not like college coaches wait until June 15 of a recruiting class’ sophomore year to begin looking for prospects. Leading up to that time, coaches are watching results, searching prospect databases and can send non-recruiting materials, such as questionnaires, camp information or non-athletic information at any time.

Along with the new rules, the role of high school and club coaches has also changed. In the past, college coaches could pursue recruits indirectly by working with their high school or club coach. College coaches are no longer allowed to engage in that type of recruiting before they can officially contact a recruit.

Q. When Can College Swimming Coaches Contact Recruits?

A. On June 15 after sophomore year, NCAA D1 and D2 college coaches and recruiters are permitted to begin contacting recruits. On August 1 before junior year, NCAA swimming recruiting rules permit student-athletes and their families to take an “official visit.” This means that recruiting efforts really ramp up during your junior year. Coaches can send non-recruiting material, like brochures or camp information, at any time.

This is also the same time that college coaches can begin communicating with high school and club coaches about their student-athletes.

Q. Are there websites available to help me find a college that fits me?
There are many websites that allow you to sort colleges by specific criteria such as majors, sports, etc. A couple of these are where y0u can also register for your SATs and ACTs, and Most of these sites also contain suggested timelines for the college selection process. A college swimming site that is helpful is:
Q. What is the difference between Division I, Division II and Division III?
Both Division I and Divsion II schools may offer athletic money and have specific academic and SAT requirements. You can find these requirements Divison III does not offer athletic monies and has no specific academic and SAT requirements, except of course, what each individual school requires. For the official NCAA explanation of the difference between divisions click here
Q. I am interested in a Division I or II school, anything else I should know?
There are many rules and regulations involved with these two divisions. First, be sure to go to as this website can answer most, if not all, of your quetions about many things. Second, you must register at www.ncaaclearinghouse.netto receive a Ceritificate of Amateur Status should you end up visiting or attending a school in either of these divisions. The process is begun in your Junior year and will be completed upon their processing of your final transcript after graduation from high school. Before you can go on to an official visit to a school in either division, you must begin this process.
Q. Can I contact a coach?
Absolutely! Do not hesitate to send the coach an e-mail with all of your best times listed. You never know what a coach is looking for. If you have a strong academic background be sure to include this as well. Whatever you think may catch the coach’s attention. If you do not hear back from the coach of a school you are interested in you should mail him a letter so you are sure your e-mail did not get passed over. Most college athletic sites have a Recruiting Questionnaire on them, print it out, complete it and send it with your letter. If you do not hear from them still, speak to your club coach and see if he will make a follow-up call on your behalf.
Q. What is the difference between an "unofficial" and "official" visit?
A simple explanation is that an unofficial visit is not paid for by the college and you can make unlimited numbers of these to any school regardless of what division and an official visit is one paid for by the school. For Division I and II you are limited to five official visits in total. For all three divisions you may only may only make one official visit per school. More specific information may be found at
Q. Am I fast enough to swim in college?
There are a lot of colleges out there and coaches need to fill a lot of lanes. If you are interested in a school contact the coach with your best times, academic background and any other information you that might help before you visit the school and see if he will meet with you.
Q. What does "early decision: and "early action" mean?
Here is a link that explains each and the differences between them along with a proposed timeline should you choose to go either way - . Not all schools offer either or both options so be sure to check the college’s website.