What You Need to Know About Softball Recruiting | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

What You Need to Know About Softball Recruiting

May 1, 2009 | Featured in the Summer 2009 Issue

Must See Softball Videos

We’re not here to burst your bubble, but if you’re a softball player looking for a “full ride” to play in college, you’d better stop at the STACK station and fill up on scholarship information.

Scholarship Breakdown
“It’s very hard to get a full ride,” says University of Missouri head coach Ehren Earleywine. “Players need to understand the reality of that.”

Most Division I programs are allowed 12 full scholarships, and since softball is not a headcount sport—meaning there is no set number of full scholarships—coaches can divvy up those 12 scholarships any way they want to fill the roster. “We have several players who are getting five, 10 and 15 percent scholarships, some on 40 to 50 percent, and then just a handful are 80 percent to a full ride,” Earleywine says.

So who are the winners of the scholarship allocation? Well, pitchers certainly aren’t scratching for money.

According to Earleywine, the pecking order starts with the pitching game, then moves around the horn from third to first in the infield. First basemen aren’t withdrawing much money from the scholarship bank, because “virtually anybody can play first base,” Earleywine says. “Scholarships for outfielders seem to be lower than most positions, because coaches feel there are plenty of outfielders out there, and it’s not a skill position.”

Scholarship allocation also depends on what positions a team needs to fill. “If we just signed a catcher over the past two classes, there’s a good chance we’re not going to sign a catcher for that third year,” says Scot Thomas, head coach at Virginia Tech. “You’ve got to have that need.”

Transfer Players
Tracking down scholarship money is even more difficult if you’re on the outside looking in, as are players hoping to transfer to a D-I school. That’s because most, if not all, D-I teams have already made their scholarship decisions for the incoming recruiting class, and often even the class after that.

“I think what transfer kids have to do is bite the bullet, because to play at a better school, they have to do it for less money, or maybe no money,” Earleywine says.

If you’re looking to transfer and come across a school that can offer a scholarship, don’t act too fast. “That tells me one thing,” Earleywine says. “They haven’t filled their current scholarships. If a program has money lying around, what does that say about their recruiting efforts?”

The Trend
“There’s a lot of parity in college softball right now,” says John Rittman, head coach at Stanford University. As the playing field levels out, more and more coaches are starting to recruit earlier in the process, meaning the heat is on to receive verbal commitments.

“It’s just the lay of the land nowadays,” Thomas says. “The fall and spring of their junior year is when we start receiving commitments. Generally all commitments are done before July 1.”

Key 2009-2010 Softball Recruiting Dates
August 1 – November 25, 2009: Contact Period
Except November 9 – 12: Dead Period
November 26, 2009 – January 1, 2010: Quiet Period
Except December 9 – 13: Dead Period
January 2 – July 31, 2010: Contact Period
Except April 12 – 15 and June 1 – 10: Dead Period

Definitions of periods, per NCAA rules
Contact Period: A college coach may make in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your school. You and your parents may visit a college campus, and the coach may write and call you.

Dead Period: A college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents on or off campus, at any time. However, the coach may write and call you or your parents.

Quiet Period: A college coach may not make any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents can visit a college campus. A coach can write or call you or your parents.

Closing Thought
Rittman: “There are different levels of softball for everybody. There’s more than just D-I softball, and I think that’s great for our sport. It’s given a lot of young women an opportunity to continue their education and play a great sport in college.”

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,082,826
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 4,379,603
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 20,340,071

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 147,463
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,254,658
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 23,946
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Practical Recruiting Tips for High School Athletes

recruiting tipsYou have been playing your sport since you are a little kid and you are pretty good at lt. Now its time for you to start to think about...

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

NCAA Recruiting Rules: Baseball

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

Understanding the NCAA Eligibility Center

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

4 Common College Recruiting Myths Debunked

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

Boost Your Academics: 4 Tips for High School Athletes

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

Tennis Recruiting: Official vs. Unofficial Visits

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

College Admission Tips for Ivy League and Division III

What's in a National Letter of Intent?

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?