During an evaluation period coaches are allowed to attend student-athletes’ sporting events and visit their high schools, however they cannot have any in-person conversations or contact with an athlete. Likewise, athletes and their parents are allowed to visit college campuses but they cannot talk to coaches in person. Coaches and athletes are still allowed to correspond with each other via phone, mail and email during this time. Coaches tend to like evaluation periods because it gives them a chance to view multiple student athletes in short periods of time, without having to travel very far.
Not all sports use evaluation periods in the recruiting process. At the NCAA Division I level the only sports that have evaluation periods are football, men’s basketball, and women’s volleyball, softball, and basketball. NCAA Division 2 sports that have evaluation periods include football, and both men’s and women’s basketball.
Rules and the nature of evaluation periods can vary widely from sport to sport. See the NCAA’s recruiting calendar and recruiting guides to find out about the recruiting calendar in your sport.
NCAA Division 3 and NAIA schools do not have an evaluation period. The recruiting rules for NCAA D3 and NAIA schools are typically simpler than NCAA D1 and D2 recruiting rules.