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Get Recruited to play NCAA Men's volleyball

There isn't any science to be recruited. Each person's journey is uniquely different. Each person has their own needs, as do the colleges and university teams. Herein is some basic information to make your journey a little easier. But remember, the MOST important factor in the recruiting process is YOU! You have to be heavily involved unless you're a top 150 recruited players from the United States. You have to be able to call, text or email coaches. Make your highlight videos, do research on the team, the school. Do they have the degree you want to earn?

Click HERE to see the list of colleges and universities offering D1, DII, D111

Also to note, men's NCAA volleyball teams carry far less scholarships than the women's program. They only are allowed 4.5 scholarships for the entire team. Women's NCAA has 12 total. Coaches also have discretion to "break them up", meaning you could get 1/2 scholarship for 2 years as an example. Some schools can also offer in state tuition which is a big help if no scholarships is available. 

Jim Seidel volleyball
Volleyball

Get Recruited to Play Volleyball in College

One of the best ways to maximize effectiveness throughout the college recruiting process is to target the right colleges and division levels. Not only is this a huge time saver when it comes to communicating with college coaches, but it also helps athletes and families find the right college fit. But in order to do so, potential recruits need to be aware of academic and athletic standards so they know they can compete at that level. This is where recruiting guidelines come into play. 

How good do you have to be to play college volleyball? The best way to get accurate, up-to-date recruiting guidelines is to get them directly from the source when contacting college coaches. Different coaches and programs have different standards, even if they’re in the same division level. Additionally, guidelines can and do change over time. In this section, we’ve included some key guidelines that potential recruits can reference to target the right level of competition, but it’s still important to get updated guidelines directly from college coaches.

Using the men’s volleyball recruiting guidelines

“What do college men’s volleyball coaches look for in recruits?” is a common question for us here at the SC War Eagles Volleyball Club. It’s important to remember that there are currently 220 men’s college volleyball programs in the U.S. The athletic requirements to play on each team vary, sometimes even within the same division level. However, understanding the basic height requirements and skill level that programs are looking for can help athletes target the level of competition that’s best suited for them. In this section, we’ve outlined some guidelines to help men’s college volleyball players get an idea of what recruits look like.

What volleyball stats do college coaches look at?

To get the most accurate answer, athletes should check in with college coaches individually to find out what their standards are for recruits. College coaches reference measurables for volleyball vertical jump, approach jump, block jump, attack jump, height and standing reach (position dependent) to make sure recruits have the baseline requirements for playing at that school. However, standards will change from school to school.

College coaches usually prioritize recruiting hitters and setters over libero/DS players. Coaches look for approach jump and block jump measurables first so they can gauge how a player plays above the net, with physicality (strength, quickness, etc.), and volleyball IQ (understanding the game and strategy) also considered.

What is the average male volleyball player height? 

These are just a "guide". This does not mean if you are 6'0 that you'll never play D1. It just means that this is a general guide.

Division 1; top Division 2

  • OH: 6’3”–6’6”

  • MH: 6’5”–7’0”

  • RS: 6’4”–6’8”

  • S: 6’1”–6’5”

  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’2”

Division 2; top Division 3

  • OH: 6’1”–6’5”

  • MH: 6’4”–6’8”

  • RS: 6’3”–6’6”

  • S: 6’0”–6’4”

  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’1”

Division 3; top NAIA

  • OH: 6’0”–6’4”

  • MH: 6’3”–6’6”

  • RS: 6’2”–6’5”

  • S: 6’0”–6’3”

  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’1”

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • OH: 6’0”–6’6”

  • MH: 6’3”–6’9”

  • RS: 6’2”–6’7”

  • S: 6’0”–6’5”

  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’3”

What is a good volleyball approach jump?          

Division 1; top Division 2

  • OH: 11’0”+

  • MH: 11’6”+

  • RS: 11’2”+

  • S: 10’6”+

  • L/DS: 24”+ vertical jump

Division 2; top Division 3

  • OH: 10’9”+

  • MH: 11’2”+

  • RS: 11’0”+

  • S: 10’6”+

  • L/DS: 22”+ vertical jump 

Division 3; top NAIA

  • OH: 10’6”+

  • MH: 11’0”+

  • RS: 10’9”+

  • S: 10’4”+

  • L/DS: 21”+ vertical jump

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • OH: 10’6”+

  • MH: 11’0”+

  • RS: 10’9”+

  • S: 10’4”+

  • L/DS: 21”+ vertical jump

Libero volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’2”

  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’1”

  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’1”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’3”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

Setter volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’1”–6’5”

  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter 

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’4”

  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’3”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’5”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1­–2 year varsity starter

Outside hitter volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

 

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’6”

  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’1”–6’5”

  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’4”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’6”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

Middle blocker volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

 

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’5”–7’0”

  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’4”–6’8”

  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’6”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’9”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

Right side hitter volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

 

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’4”–6’8”

  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter 

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’6”

  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience

  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’2”–6’5”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’2”–6’7”

  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience

  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

2022–23 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Recruiting Rules and Calendar

When student-athletes start the recruiting process, one of their first questions is: “When can college coaches contact high school athletes?” For NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 volleyball, college coaches can start reaching out to recruits beginning June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year. NCAA Division 3 and NAIA coaches don’t have any restrictions on when they can begin contacting recruits, but they generally do their recruiting later than Division 1 and Division 2 colleges. However, there are still more dates to follow regarding dead periods, official and unofficial visits and more. Read on to learn more about the NCAA volleyball recruiting rules and calendar.

The importance of the NCAA men’s volleyball recruiting rules and calendar

The NCAA volleyball recruiting rules and calendar outline when and how college coaches can reach out to athletes. These rules are in place to protect athletes from receiving an overwhelming amount of contact from college coaches. However, they can be a little misleading as they don’t accurately represent when recruiting really starts. At the D1 and higher level D2 programs, coaches scout recruits prior to the June 15 contact date and many lock down top talent as soon as the contact date arrives. The important part is for athletes and families to be familiar with these rules, so they are ready for any opportunity that presents itself. 

When can college volleyball coaches contact you?

The important date to remember is June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year of high school. This is when NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 volleyball coaches can start to contact athletes, including extending verbal offers, phone calls and electronic communications (such as emails, texts, instant messages, etc.). This contact date is just one of the recruiting rules athletes and families should brush up on.

NCAA Division 1 men’s volleyball recruiting rules

The NCAA Division 1 volleyball recruiting rules outline when and how college coaches from Division 1 teams can start reaching out to prospects. As previously mentioned, June 15 after sophomore year of high school is the most important date for athletes and families to remember. Starting this date, coaches can extend verbal offers and can partake in almost all forms of communication.

  • NCAA materials, camp invites, recruiting questionnaires and non-athletic publications: Any time

  • Verbal scholarship offers: June 15 after sophomore year

  • Private correspondence (emails, phone calls, texts, DMs, instant messages, faxes): June 15 after sophomore year

  • Official and Unofficial visits: August 1 before junior year

  • Off-campus contact: August 1 before junior year

NCAA Division 2 men’s volleyball recruiting rules

The important date to remember is June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year of high school. At this time, all contact is permitted for NCAA Division 2 volleyball coaches.

  • Recruiting questionnaires, camp brochures and non-athletic publications: Any time

  • Unofficial visits: Any time, unlimited

  • Verbal scholarship offers: June 15 after sophomore year

  • Private correspondence (emails, phone calls, texts, DMs, instant messages, faxes): June 15 after sophomore year

  • Official visits: June 15 after sophomore year

  • Off-campus contact: June 15 after sophomore year

NCAA Division 3 men’s volleyball recruiting rules

Of all the NCAA divisions, D3 volleyball colleges have the most relaxed NCAA recruiting rules. There are no restrictions on most forms of contact. There are only restrictions on when recruits can start taking official visits and have off-campus contact with coaches.

  • Phone calls and electronic communications: There is no limit on when college coaches can call or digitally message athletes.

  • Unofficial visits: Any time, unlimited

  • Official visits: Athletes can begin taking official visits after January 1 of their junior year.

  • Off-campus contact: After the athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches may begin to conduct off-campus contact.

  • Recruiting materials: Athletes can receive recruiting materials at any time.

 

Men’s NAIA volleyball recruiting rules

College coaches at NAIA schools have a lot of freedom in the recruiting process and are not restricted in when or how they can reach out to athletes. Even though recruiting rules are more lenient, NAIA coaches usually start the recruiting process after NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 coaches.

 

2021–22 NCAA men’s volleyball recruiting calendar

Throughout the year, there are certain time periods set forth by the NCAA that regulate the way coaches can recruit athletes at that time. Remember: It’s up to the coach to follow these recruiting rules. However, it’s also important for families to know what to expect from coaches throughout the year so that they can make the most of the recruiting process. For example, student-athletes should avoid planning their campus visits during a dead period, as the coach will not be able to meet with them during that time.

Also, the NCAA Division 1 volleyball recruiting calendar is more restrictive than the Division 2 volleyball calendar. For D2 volleyball, all dates outside of a dead period are treated as a contact period. For D3 volleyball, the entire school year is treated as a contact period.

Dead period: During the dead period, coaches may not have any in-person contact with recruits or their families. Coaches can still keep in touch with recruits via phone, email, social media and other approved electronic means of communication.

All other dates that don’t fit into the dead period are in the contact period, during which coaches can email, text, call, direct message and contact athletes and their parents through any NCAA-approved method.

College volleyball tips for recruiting

Every college recruiting journey is different, but many recruits and families will experience the same milestones along the way. Though these tips should not be treated like they’re set in stone, they can provide guidance throughout the process:

  1. Discuss as a family if college sports are right for your athlete. After all, getting admitted into the best possible college or pursuing academic scholarships may not line up with earning a roster spot. Then decide if you’re ready to start the recruiting process.

  2. Determine what division levels to target. This decision should be based on athletic, academic, financial and social fit.

  3. After researching schools, create a target list of 20–30 colleges.

  4. Put together at least one volleyball recruiting video to send to interested coaches.

  5. Reach out to coaches at targeted schools and follow up with all coach communications.

  6. Give coaches an opportunity to see you in person by attending tournaments, camps and clinics.

  7. Visit college campuses and meet coaches in person.

  8. Complete NCAA and/or NAIA academic eligibility requirements and send the appropriate documentation to those organizations.

  9. Start receiving offers. For each school that has offered a roster spot, determine how much financial aid is needed to attend.

  10. Choose the school with the best fit and commit! Work out scholarship details with the coach and determine if there is a National Letter of Intent (or an equivalent) that needs to be signed.

Researching schools and creating a target list

 

Success in the college men’s volleyball recruiting process is based on doing plenty of research casting a wide net and finding the right college fit. Too often, families try to make their college decision based on a school’s athletic pedigree without considering other factors that will impact the college experience. That’s why a target list of schools should consider athletic, academic, financial and social fit. Athletes should ask themselves:

  • What division level am I best suited to compete in?

  • Are my grades and test scores good enough to get admitted to the college? Is my preferred major available?

  • What is my expected family contribution when comparing athletic scholarships, academic scholarships and need-based aid at different colleges?

  • Do I want to be at a big school or small school; a rural or urban environment; to be far from home or close to home? 

 

Considering these questions, start with a list of 20 to 30 schools and then start contacting college coaches and whittling the list down to preferred schools. While putting together the list, organize it into the following categories:

  • 5–10 safety schools: These are schools that should be easier to get into. While they may not be top choices, student-athletes would be comfortable going to school there for four years. But remember to still reach out to these coaches early in the recruiting process instead of waiting until other options are not available.

  • 10–15 target schools: Target schools are top picks and student-athletes should have a good shot at getting into these schools. Ten is the minimum number of schools student-athletes want in this section of their list, as the best way to negotiate scholarship offers is to have interest from multiple schools.

  • 5–10 reach schools: These schools might be just out of reach due to their price tag or level of athletic competition. For most recruits, this list is comprised of Division 1 and academically rigorous colleges. Getting into these schools might be a longshot, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a shot worth taking.  

The best path forward is to create as many opportunities as possible, which means starting out with plenty of schools on the list. As recruits start communicating with coaches and learning more about each school, some might bump up a few spots on the list, and others might drop off entirely.

Creating a volleyball recruiting video

College coaches can’t see every potential recruit in person and that’s why their evaluation usually relies on a recruiting video (also called a highlight video). Most of the time, an athlete’s recruiting video makes the first impression on a college coach. That’s why recruits need to spend the time and energy to make a video that shows off their best attributes as a volleyball player.

Volleyball players need to create two different types of videos. The first is a skills video that shows repetitions of attacking, passing, blocking and defense (depending on the recruit’s position). The second is a video of a full volleyball game. Coaches will typically review the skills video first to evaluate the recruit’s fundamentals and technique. Then, they will watch the full game film if they are interested in the athlete.

The skills video is a quick snapshot meant to capture the coach’s attention and should be no more than three to five minutes long. The full game is much longer but families should shorten it by removing dead time (side changes, time outs, substitutions, etc.). To get a rundown of all the skills athletes need to include in their videos based on their position.

Volleyball recruiting tip: Families shouldn’t stop after making one or two high-quality videos. Instead, they should make a recruiting video after every major tournament. This way, they will have new footage to share with college coaches and can send a new recruiting video to coaches of interest every three to four months.

How to contact college volleyball coaches

Communicating with college volleyball coaches is an essential part of the recruiting process. To learn more tips, visit the contacting college coaches page.

  • Send an introductory email to the college coach. In the email, include your highlight video and key information, like height, vertical jump and club team name.

  • Follow up with a phone call and mention the introductory email you sent.

  • Respond to all correspondence from coaches. This includes emails, direct messages on social media, recruiting letters and more.

  • Keep following up with coaches. Send them new highlight videos and updated stats. Congratulate them on a recent win or invite them to watch you compete.

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