Welcome to the Maryland Roughriders Recruitment Q&A. Since 2006, the Maryland Roughriders organization has grown into one of the most respected Boy’s Club Lacrosse programs in the nation, sending kids each year to play college lacrosse at the Division I, II, and III level. In efforts to continue our success with the recruitment of our players, we have created this page to help facilitate the communication that you should maintain with yourself, your parents, and your coaches as you experience the recruiting process. Make sure to also check out our Q&A with some former Roughriders >>>

*Information pulled from US Lacrosse and other lacrosse outlets

New Recruiting Legislation

What exact legislation did the NCAA pass in April?
On April 14, 2017, the NCAA Division I Council voted to adopt Proposal 2017-1 as non-controversial legislation with an immediate effective date.

This new legislation attempts to set Sept. 1 of a prospect’s junior year in high school as the first date of any form of recruiting contact. The legislation makes it impermissible for a prospect to do an unofficial visit with athletic department involvement prior to September 1 of a prospect’s junior year in high school, and it makes it impermissible for a coach to accept a phone call from a prospect or their parents/guardians prior to September 1 of junior year.

However, it also sets the date of Sept. 1 of a prospect’s junior year in high school as the first date for off-campus contacts with prospects, but to do so for juniors requires the contact to be at the prospect’s home or high school.

When does the legislation go into effect?
The new legislation is in effect NOW! In fact, the legislation took effect on the afternoon of April 14, 2017, and remains in effect. That means if a coach had an unofficial visit with a freshman set up and completed on the weekend of April 15-16, a violation could have occurred if the coach did not seek emergency relief of the new legislation. Please note though, per NCAA procedure, this new legislation is subject to the 60-day rescission period where member institutions can vote to overturn the decision. The rescission period will end on June 25, 2017.

What role will club coaches play moving forward?
The club coaches will continue to play the same role that they have in the past. They will offer advice to the prospects about the process and various schools. They will share their opinion with college coaches about the prospects talent and background. As has always been the case, club coaches cannot be used to circumvent NCAA recruiting rules. Specifically, they cannot be used to direct message a prospect that is not of legal age to receive recruiting communication. However, as we all know, this is a grey area that is extremely hard to regulate and monitor.

What happens to high school freshmen and sophomores who have already given a verbal commitment?
Freshmen and sophomores that have already committed are prohibited from calling their future coaches or meeting with anyone in the athletic department while visiting their future campus. They can send coaches electronic correspondence at their own discretion. The NCAA does not view a verbal commitment as a binding agreement and therefore does not offer exceptions to recruiting legislation for those that have verbally committed.

Can recruits still verbally commit prior to Sept. 1 of their junior year?
Yes, they can. There is no current legislation that prohibits a prospect from making a verbal commitment at any age.

Can and will coaches still evaluate players during the spring and summer prior to Sept. 1 of their junior high school year?
This is a question only a coach can answer, but being a former coach, I would say yes, it would still be part of my plans. If I was still in coaching, I would certainly take the time to watch and evaluate possible future recruits. The more evaluations you have on a prospect, the better it will be when you are ready to make a decision.

How will enforcement work? Will the NCAA openly look for violations or will they have to be reported? Are there any penalty guidelines currently available?
As with any NCAA rule, the primary mode of enforcement will be self-reporting, which makes education critical. As a compliance officer, education is always my main focus so that we can avoid violations rather than search for them. Another avenue available is investigative. The NCAA, member conferences and member institutions will investigate allegations from various sources to determine if violations did occur. Finally, each compliance office on campus will implement their own strategies of monitoring through phone records, visit documentation and simple observance. Everyone in the world of compliance was fearful of this rule passing because it is extremely difficult to monitor these areas, but we will try our best to maintain the integrity of the rules.
At this point, the NCAA has not given any guidance on penalties, but more than likely the initial penalties will be minor and could include short duration recruiting bans for specific prospects or possible letters of reprimand. Once we start seeing violations of the new rule, the penalty structure will become clearer.

Recruiting Rules

NCAA Eligibility Process and Lacrosse Recruiting Timeline

Athletes interested in playing collegiate lacrosse must initiate registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center by completing a NCAA student release form during junior year.

Men’s lacrosse tournaments and camps are offered and promoted to prospect student athletes annually, and players as young as rising high school freshman are being encouraged to participate in the recruiting process.

Contact Period:
College coaches are allowed to have in-person contact with student athletes and/or their legal guardians. Coaches can watch student-athletes compete anywhere, and the coach can write and make telephone calls.

Dead Period:
The college coach cannot make in-person contact with student-athlete or their legal guardians. This prevents the coach from making any evaluations of student-athletes whatsoever. However, the coach can make telephone calls to student-athletes or their legal guardians.

Evaluation Period:
It is permissible for the college coach to evaluate student-athletes at their high school or any other place where they are competing. During this period the coach cannot have off campus in-person contact with a student athlete or their legal guardians. The coach can still make telephone calls to the student-athlete or their legal guardians, and student-athletes are allowed to make campus visits during this period.

Quiet Period:
During this time a college coach cannot watch student-athletes compete at any location. A college coach can make in-person contact with a student-athlete or their legal guardians if it occurs on the coach’s campus. Coaches are allowed to make telephone calls to student-athletes and their legal guardians, and student-athletes can make visits to college campuses during this time.

NCAA Initial-Eligibility Center

Initiate registration with the Eligibility Center by completing a NCAA student release form during your junior year. See your guidance counselor for forms and evaluation of your eligibility status.

All prospective Division I or Division II student-athletes must complete an amateurism questionnaire through the Eligibility Center. If the student-athlete is a two- or four-year transfer from a non-NCAA Division I or
Division II school, the amateurism questionnaire is still required before he is eligible to compete.


  • Letters/printed materials/emails are permitted from coaches (or others at the college) beginning September 1 of your junior year
  • Email and fax are considered correspondence
  • Text messages are prohibited until a National Letter of Intent is signed. Starting August 1, 2013, college coaches can call, text and communicate privately by any methods available without restrictions
  • Please keep in mind that the start date for phone calls and texts has not been decided. While the proposed date of August 1 has been adopted, it is currently in the override period and may not become official.

Phone Calls

  • Unlimited after September 1 beginning junior year.
  • Prospect or parent(s) may phone a coach as often as they wish.
  • Enrolled collegiate student-athletes may not make recruiting calls.
  • You may telephone enrolled collegiate student-athletes at your own expense.
  • Email is not considered a phone call, therefore, is not limited.
  • Please keep in mind that the start for phone calls has not been decided. While the proposed date of September 1 has been adopted, it is currently in the override period and may not become official.


  • Contact: Any face-to-face encounter during which dialogue occurs.
  • A college coach may contact a prospect or parent(s) off-campus beginning July 1 after your Junior year.
  • Limit of three contacts per institution.
  • A coach may not contact a prospect during competition.
  • A coach may contact parents during competition.


  • Evaluations: Any off-campus activity designed to assess athletics and/or academics.
  • Division I schools are limited to seven evaluations per recruit. There is no limit to the number of evaluations an institution may conduct in Division II or III.


  • Division II institutions may conduct one tryout per prospect, per sport on its campus, not to exceed two hours in length.
  • Only seniors who have completed their sport season or are in a term other than the “traditional” sport season may participate.
  • Prior to participation in a tryout, a prospective student-athlete is required to undergo a medical examination or evaluation administered or supervised by a physician (e.g. family physician, team physician). This examination must be completed within six months of the tryout.
  • High school potential student-athletes may use a physical that was within six months of participation in practice, competition or out-of-season conditioning activities during their senior year of high school as long as it was accepted by their high school for their participation in athletics during that senior year.
  • Prospect’s strength, speed, agility and sport skills may be tested; Ice hockey and lacrosse tryouts may not include competition.
  • During the academic year, competition is permissible against the member institution’s team in a tryout.
  • An institution may provide clothing and equipment to a prospect if it is returned at the conclusion of the tryout.

Unofficial Visits

  • Unofficial visit: A visit made to the institution at the prospect’s own expense.
  • May make unofficial visits an unlimited number of times.
  • May be made before your senior year in high school.
  • Unofficial visits cannot be made during a dead period. Coaches may not speak to or entertain prospects in person on or off campus during a dead period.

Official Visits

  • A visit made to the institution’s campus at the expense of that institution.
  • Maximum of five official visits may be made, but only one per institution.
  • 48-hour limit.
  • You must provide the college with an academic transcript and an ACT or SAT test score prior to the visit.
  • Entertainment money may not be used to buy souvenirs for yourself.
  • Prospect may receive transportation.
  • Prospect and parents may receive meals, lodging and admission to campus events.
  • A prospect visiting an institution may participate in physical workouts provided the activities are not organized or observed by members of the coaching staff.
  • Prospective student athletes must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center; and be placed on the institutional request list (IRL).
Questions to Ask Yourself

Taking that next step after high school is a lot of work, but it can extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Before the college search begins, there are important questions that  you need to be prepared to answer….

How important is the sport to you?

  • What kind of time commitment do you want to play lacrosse? (DI, DII, DIII, MCLA, etc.)
  • How will the sport impact your goals for college?

What are your grades like?

  • How hard do you work in school?
  • What did you get on your SAT/ACT’s?
  • What kind of classes are you taking?

There are also a few questions the student athlete should ask himself….

  • What are my goals for my college lacrosse experience?
  • What are my goals for my college education?
  • What are my goals for life after college?

Be prepared to be asked by coaches….

  • What are your grades like?
  • What other schools are you interested in?
  • When do you want to make a decision on which college you will attend?
  • What are you looking for in a college?
  • Can you play any other positions?
  • What questions do you have for me?

When visiting schools, ask yourself these questions….

  • What does your gut tell you while walking around campus?
  • Is this right setting (rural, urban, suburban) for me?
  • Is the school too big, too small, just right?
  • Does the school offer academic programs that I am interested in?
By the Numbers

By the #’s – Men’s Game

  • High school men’s lacrosse players: 170, 632
  • NCAA – mandated maximum number of scholarships per program (over four years): 12.6 at D I, 10.6 at DII
  • Average scholarships per program per year: 3.15
  • Average players per recruiting class: 12
  • Average estimated scholarships: 26 percent
  • Fully funded programs: 35
  • Total scholarships available: 441
  • Players receiving some scholarship over four years: 1,470
  • Odds of any high school male landing any Division I scholarship: 0.86 percent
# of teams D1 D2 D3 MCLA NCLL NJCAA
71 93 236 210 131 35

Other Facts

  • For Division I schools, more than 160,000 high school players compete for about 500 spots each year. A balanced men’s college team will need between 10 and 15 new players every year. College coaches will typically look at about 100-150 new players annually. Many players and parents operate under the misconception that athletic scholarships are readily available. Less than half of the players Division I or Division II receive any athletic scholarship money at all, and most of those are not “full rides.” How the money is split depends on the coach and the positional needs of the program each year. In Division III, scholarships are based on academic merit and financial need, and no athletic scholarships are available.
  • The NCAA allows each Division I lacrosse program 12.6 scholarships for men. In Division II, there are 10.8 scholarships for men. At the moment, there are 59 Division I and 47 Division II programs that offer lacrosse scholarships for men. That’s a total of 1,251 scholarships (assuming all were offered).The numbers above may be reduced, as not all colleges are fully funded to the maximum number of scholarships allowed, so this is good information to ask about in the recruiting process.
  • Walk-ons: The opportunity for walk-ons has diminished. Coaches will honor recruits before they will accept walk-ons. Many schools, due to Title IX and squad restrictions, are unable to accept walk-ones as well. You need to discuss all the options with each prospective school.
  • The majority of college lacrosse players are playing Division III lacrosse. There are some differences when you compare Division III vs Division I and II. Unlike Division I and II, Division III does not offer athletic scholarships. Division III student athletes have the opportunity for merit scholarships and need-based financial aide. There is a large misconception with Division III programs in that if there are no athletic scholarships – than it must not be competitive. This is NOT true. Division III lacrosse is very competitive and some of the best lacrosse programs in the country are Division III.
  • Playing lacrosse at a Division III school also offers you a great opportunity for a broad college experience. What does that mean? As a Division III student-athlete, you will have opportunities to not only experience a serious athletic career, but also involve yourself in many other facets of the college/university – student organizations, Greek Life, multiple majors, intramural sports, etc.
Scholarship vs. Financial Aid

Financial Aid
Paying for college can be an overwhelming process for parents and student athletes alike. You should weigh all the options that are available to you. Look for scholarship opportunities in your local area, but also ask college
recruiters about the opportunities for financial aid and athletic scholarships. Before you start weighing your options, sit down with your parents, coach or guidance counselor to go over all preliminary steps associated with paying for college.

The first step is to complete the Free Application for Student Aid, commonly referred to as, the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA will allow you to see which federal grants and assistance programs you are eligible. This will also allow you to see what you will be able to borrow through federal loans programs like Stafford, Perkins and PLUS loans and what private lenders may be able to offer.

Consult your parents, guidance counselor, coach and financial advisor to what might be the best option for you.

When beginning your college search, you should also investigate what scholarships are available to you from local and national organizations. While this can be a painstaking initiative, it will ultimately lower the amount of student debt that you can accumulate through college. There are scholarships for everything, so don’t be reluctant to start the search regardless of grades. If you completed countless hours of community service or are focused on becoming an actor, doctor or marine biologist, there is probably a scholarship out there for you.

There are large misconceptions about scholarships when it comes to college lacrosse. The full-scholarship is rare in the sport, but partial scholarships or need-based aid are more commonplace. There are exceptions to NCAA scholarship limits as schools like Army, Navy, Air Force, Merchant Marine Academy and Coast Guard Academy are exempt from limits as every student and student-athlete receives a full scholarship. Ivy League institutions offer no athletic scholarships, but only academic and need-based aid. When you start to investigate schools, ask coaches what options are available to lacrosse players. Every school is different, so be sure to know all the rules and regulations when it comes to recruiting.


The Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association ( member institutions offer a wide range of educational opportunities all across the Country. Unlike NCAA Division I, II, and some III schools, the MCLA recruiting process is year round. Some things to keep in mind while you consider your options are:

  • Your grades will ultimately determine the choices you have. The higher that GPA the more options you’ll afford yourself.
  • Be proactive! MCLA Coaching staffs are smaller and the more leg work you do the better your chances of connecting directly with the head coach.
  • Be sure to love the school and consider playing lacrosse as a “bonus” since that’s really what it is.
  • Once you’re set on 4-5 options that offer your chosen academic path, and then take a look at where the team ranks nationally. The website as all sorts of polls and team information. The higher the ranking usually correlates to a larger time commitment (yes, similar to NCAA DI ball).
  • Coaches actually do enjoy a higher quality complete game film. Highlight reels are fine but seldom do they present the proper image.
  • YOU MAKE THE CALL! Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or write a direct email to coaches. They don’t have a lot of time so the easier you can make it on them the better.
  • Visit the school in and out of the lacrosse season. Most MCLA Teams are up and running by mid-January so you have a perfect opportunity to visit prior to your HS Season start.
  • Just about all MCLA Teams run a fall season which is another great opportunity to visit the school and learn more about the team
  • The bottom line is that there are some great educational opportunities at MCLA member institutions. There is a place for every interested player in the MCLA!