Softball Athletic Skill Measurable

Student athletes need to meet particular skill levels to qualify to play. Our list of softball athletic skill measurables provides a baseline of the measurables D-I, D-II, D-III and NAIA coaches look for.

Division I Softball:

Similar to baseball, the typical DI softball players are ‘polished’ and possess the necessary tools to be successful as freshman.  Most DI players come from large high schools or play on elite club teams.  Many of these high school and club programs are considered the best in their area or in the state.  In addition, most DI players have been awarded accolades such as All Area, All County, or All State.

  • Pitchers: 60 – 63 + MPH; command of at least 3 pitches; sub 1.00 ERA
  • Catchers: 1.8 Pop Time or below, superior leadership ability
  • Middle Infielders: 3.0 or less Home to 1st
  • Corner Infielders: 3.0 or less Home to 1st, tremendous power potential
  • Centerfielders: 2.8 or less Home to 1st
  • Corner Outfielders: 2.9 or less Home to 1st, tremendous power potential

Division II Softball:

  • Pitchers: 58+ MPH; command of at least 3 pitches; sub 1.70 ERA
  • Catchers: 1.9 Pop Time or below, superior leadership ability
  • Middle Infielders: 3.0 or less Home to 1st
  • Corner Infielders: 3.0 or less Home to 1st, tremendous power potential
  • Centerfielders: 2.9 or less Home to 1st
  • Corner Outfielders: 3.0 or less Home to 1st, tremendous power potential

Division III and NAIA Softball:

Similar to baseball, the discrepancies in characteristics can be somewhat severe when it comes to schools competing at the DIII and NAIA level.  Be sure to fully research each individual program to get a better idea as to what type of player they are looking for. With that being said, pitchers, catchers, and position players interested in competing at the DIII and/or NAIA level should strive to meet the following measurables.

  • Pitchers: 55+ MPH
  • Catchers:  2.0 Pop Time or below
  • Position Players: 3.0 or less Home to 1st

Evaluating College Recruiting Resources

The amount of recruiting resources available to student-athletes can be overwhelming.  If you type college recruiting into any internet search engine, you will easily be bombarded with hundreds of different resources aimed at helping student athletes in the college recruiting process. These resources include elite showcases, college camps, summer exposure travel teams, and college recruiting services. 

However, does the existence of these resources make college recruiting easier to understand?  Do all of these services provide each student-athlete with a greater chance of achieving success in the recruiting process compared to past generations when few of these resources existed?  Does the cost of these recruiting resources justify their benefits?

While there are certainly a greater amount of recruiting resources available to today’s student athletes, DNA Sports believes that their existence has caused greater confusion about the process, in addition to thousands of dollars wasted. 

Many families are also unclear as to how to properly utilize these available resources, a fact that further hinders student athletes from being successful with this process.

Not only do prospective college recruits and their families need to be educated about the recruiting process in general, but they also need to understand the truth behind all of these recruiting resources and their limitations in order to avoid destructive traps that can take student-athletes off the correct path.

The Facts about College Recruiting Services

Many student athletes say: “I hired a recruiting service that sends my profile to hundreds of schools. This service has a success rate of 95%, and their student athletes receive on average $9,000 a year in scholarship dollars.”

FACT: The benefits of recruiting services rarely justify the cost.

A recruiting service will never hurt you in the process—in fact, it can only help. However, many of these recruiting services cost thousands of dollars for the creation of a profile and/or video, which they then email to hundreds of coaches nationwide.

The overwhelming majority of the schools these services send your information to are probably schools you would never consider attending. With that being said, it is clearly much cheaper to create your own list of schools, and send your own information out to them yourself.

FACT: Recruiting services send out multiple profiles and videos each day to the same college coaches who rarely evaluate them.

Because there are numerous recruiting services doing the same thing on a daily basis, college coaches are inundated with similar emails from recruiting services who are recommending prospects that the services themselves barely know.  In short, many of these emails are considered nothing more than junk mail, and are consequently never opened.

FACT: College coaches want prospect information from sources they trust.

If student athletes are paying a recruiting service to market them to college coaches, the recommendations and evaluations that these recruiting services provide will clearly be biased.

FACT: Any college coach will tell you that they want to hear directly from the student athlete, not mom or dad, and not from an outside source that is being paid to recommend and represent you.

Contacting college coaches on your own is a proactive approach to the recruiting process that shows maturity, poise, and responsibility, aspects that college coaches are looking for in all of their potential players.

FACT: Recruiting services are profit-driven organizations whose primary focus is to sell as many programs as possible.

In order to keep enrollment high, recruiting services often dishonestly evaluate potential prospects and make promises they cannot keep. While many recruiting services insist that their primary focus is on student athletes, in all reality this is secondary to meeting their enrollment numbers.  With such a large number of student athletes enrolled in a particular recruiting service, they cannot possibly provide everyone the individual attention that they need and deserve.

FACT: It is unclear as to the role the recruiting service actually plays in the recruitment process.

Similar to showcases, many recruiting services publicize the names of their student athletes and the scholarship offers they receive. In all reality, the role the recruiting service played in the process cannot truly be determined.

FACT: Many recruiting services provide inaccurate success rates and inflated scholarship dollars awarded.

Recruiting services get their success rates from graduating seniors who CHOOSE to fill out a survey indicating their overall satisfaction with the recruiting service during the process. Thus, the satisfaction rate can represent a VERY small portion of a service’s entire client base.

The same can be said for average scholarship dollars awarded. These numbers are also accumulated by those graduating seniors who CHOOSE to fill out the survey and disclose this information.

In addition, some recruiting services may include academic scholarships and financial aid into this average scholarship number. Clearly, student athletes do not need the help of a recruiting service to earn an academic scholarship or to be awarded financial aid dollars.  Secondly, there is a clear difference between academic scholarships, financial aid, and athletic scholarships.

FACT: A recruiting service is a tool that has its limitations.

If you decide to go with a recruiting service, understand that it is still really critical that you do some work on your own as well. At the end of the day, you need to be your own advocate.

In addition, be sure that you consistently communicate and follow up with your recruiting service, and hold them accountable for everything they say they will do for you.

The Facts about College Camps

Many student athletes say: “I am going to the U. of Illinois Camp and then the U. of Iowa Camp.  I received brochures from both coaches in the mail, and this will give me the opportunity to showcase my talents for them.”

FACT: College camps are revenue generators for the coach and program that sponsor them.

As a result, college coaches want to fill their camps with as many student athletes as possible. The greater number of student athletes in attendance, the higher the profits.

FACT:  If you are not personally invited by a college coach to attend their camp, chances are your invitation was sent out simply to increase the attendance numbers of the camp.

In other words, just because you received a camp brochure in the mail does not mean that they are sincerely interested in you. In fact, chances are the coach sent you this camp invitation without even knowing who you are at all.  In many cases, college coaches got your name and contact information from a list of players who attended past showcases, camps, or exposure tournaments.

FACT: Receiving camp information from Division I or Division II schools does not mean you are a serious prospect.

Division I and Division II schools make up the majority of schools who offer college camps. Their goal is to invite as many athletes as possible in order to keep their attendance numbers high.

FACT:  Similar to showcases, college coaches use their camps to evaluate players they already know.

The chances for student athletes to be discovered at a college camp are slim. If the college coach does not know who you are prior to the camp, chances are slim that they will not be seriously evaluating you for their program during the duration of the camp.

FACT:  College camps can be a valuable recruiting tool for student athletes if they have had prior contact with the college coach.

Attending college camps gives student athletes a great opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a college coaching staff.

If a highly personalized letter accompanies your camp brochure, or you receive a phone call from a particular coach inviting you to their camp, then attending the camp is certainly worth considering.

If you are interested in a particular school, and you believe that the coach is indeed actively recruiting you, it is in your best interest to find out if they are either hosting a camp of their own or if they will be in attendance at another college camp.

The Facts about College Showcases

Many student athletes say:  “I am going to 10 Showcases during the fall and summer, and each showcase company has provided me with a list of 30 schools who will be in attendance and names of past student-athletes who received scholarships after attending this showcase.  I will certainly be discovered at this event.”

FACT: The chances for student athletes to be discovered at college showcase are slim.

College coaches use showcases as a means of evaluating players they already know. In other words, many college coaches attend showcases with a list of players they are interested in evaluating. The players on this list are student athletes they have had prior contact with. If you are not on a coach’s radar prior to the showcase, chances are slim that they will be watching you when it is your time to perform.

FACT: Many showcase companies do not provide the proper forum for college coaches to entirely evaluate a student athlete’s strengths and capabilities.

Fielding 4 ground balls, making 4 throws from the outfield, taking 10 swings, and throwing 5-8 pitches in a bullpen is not nearly enough for any college coach to make a true evaluation of your talents.

FACT: It's debatable either showcases are fully responsible for Division I or Division II scholarship offers.

Many showcase companies list names of past high school athletes who attended their events and were later awarded an athletic scholarship from a Division I or Division II school. You can be sure that these players did not need the help from this particular showcase to get signed. The truth of the matter is that they would have received their scholarships, regardless if they attended this showcase or not.

FACT: College showcases are revenue generators for the companies who sponsor them.

The main priority for college showcase companies is to make every event profitable. Student athletes come second to this. This is not to say that many showcase companies do not care about student athletes, because I am sure they do at some level. However, it is important to keep in mind that student athletes are not number one on their list.

FACT: Showcases can be a valuable recruiting tool if used properly.

If you are interested in going to a showcase, choose one that will be attended by schools that you academically and athletically qualify for. Before you go to any showcase, find out the schools that will be in attendance, and contact those coaches at least a week before the event. This will help ensure that you will be evaluated by your schools of interest.

Creating Leverage in the College Baseball and Softball Recruiting Process

Keep all of your options open when it comes to recruiting.

Do not shut the door on any coach who is interested in you, even if you are not interested in them. The bottom line is that the more schools that you are involved with, the greater leverage you have in the recruiting process. In addition, if the recruiting process does not work out favorably with your top schools of choice, you still have other alternatives as long as you keep your options open.

It is critical to follow up with all information that college coaches send to you.

Just as college coaches have a list of 15-30 recruits per position, you should have a list with many options as well. If you put all of your eggs in one or two baskets, you may run the risk of entirely shutting yourself out of the process. Never ignore college coaches because you have never heard of the schools they represent! You may find out that this particular school may just be the perfect place for you.

Understand that the more research you do on schools, the more you will understand what your personal preferences are.

You may find that what was once your last choice could soon become your first after taking a closer look. In addition, college coaches change jobs frequently. A coach who recruits you at a school that does not interest you may be one year away from getting a job at a school that does interest you.

Create a sense of urgency with other coaches by having as many potential and real offers as possible.

Coaches will ask you what other schools you are considering or if you have received offers from other schools. Be honest with them about other offers or interest from other schools; college coaches have a way of finding out the truth eventually, so it is best not to play games with this.

Understand that you as a student athlete represent your family, school, and coaching staff.

Show some integrity by taking the time to follow up with all coaches who contact you. If a school contacts you that you are absolutely not interested in, at the very least thank the coach for his/her interest, and respectfully let him/her know that you will be going in a different direction. By handling the recruiting process with class and integrity, you will not hurt the chances of your current and future teammates who may be recruited by that same coach.

Questions to Ask College Coaches

One of the key components to the recruiting process is asking questions.  College coaches are interested in student athletes who ask questions about their school and program.  In addition, many answers to the financial questions below are essential to know before signing your scholarship. Below is a list of sample questions you can ask a college coach:

Athletics

Academics

Financial Aid

Athletics:

  • What is the best means for you to better evaluate me as a player?
  • What characteristics do you look for in your recruits?
  • What position do you see me playing at the next level?
  • What other players may be competing at the same position?
  • Will I be redshirted my freshman year?
  • How would you best describe your coaching style?
  • Who else are you recruiting at my position?
  • What are the long term goals of your program?
  • How do you see me fitting into those goals?

Academics:

  • What are the academic strengths of your institution?
  • Who best should I contact to get a better insight on my intended major?
  • What academic support programs are available to student athletes?
  • If I have a diagnosed and documented disability, what kind of academic services are available to me?
  • How many credit hours should I take in season and out of season?
  • Is summer school available?
  • What percentage of players on scholarship graduate?

Financial Aid:

  • What does my potential scholarship cover?
  • What are my opportunities for employment while I am a student?
  • Am I eligible for additional financial aid?  Are there any restrictions?
  • Under what circumstances would my scholarship be reduced or cancelled?
  • Are there any academic criteria tied to maintaining my scholarship?
  • What scholarship money is available after eligibility is exhausted to help me complete my degree?
  • What scholarship money is available to me if I suffer a career ending injury?

Baseball Athletic Skill Measurables

Student athletes need to meet particular skill levels to qualify to play. Our list of athletic skill measurables provides a baseline of the measurables D-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA, and Junior College coaches look for.

Division 1 Baseball:

  • RHP: 88-90+ MPH consistently with movement; command of at least 3 pitches; over 1K per inning pitched in HS
  • LHP: 86-87+ MPH consistently with movement; command of at least 3 pitches; 1K per inning pitched in HS
  • Catcher: 1.9 Pop Time or below; superior leadership skills and ability to call games
  • 1B/3B: Tremendous size and power potential (8 + HR in HS)
  • SS/2B: 6.8 60 yrd or below; 85+ MPH from INF to 1B, 1.35-1.40 turn time
  • CF: 6.7 60 yrd or below; 87+ MPH from OF

Division 2 Baseball:

  • RHP:  85+ MPH consistently with movement; command of at least 3 pitches; 1K per inning pitched in HS
  • LHP:  83+ MPH consistently with movement; command of at least 3 pitches; 1K per inning pitched in HS
  • Catcher: 2.0 Pop Time or Below; superior leadership skills and ability to call games
  • 1B/3B:  Tremendous Power Potential
  • SS/2B: 6.9 60 yrd or below; 82+ MPH from INF to 1B; 1.45 turn time
  • CF: 6.8 60 yrd or below; 82+ MPH from OF

Division 3 Baseball:

  • Division III baseball/softball are highly competitive, despite the fact that they do not offer athletic scholarships.  Some DIII programs are playing on a D2 level, and professional players have been drafted from DIII schools.  Due to the discrepancies between DIII schools, it is important that you research each program that you are interested in order to get a better idea as to what type of player they are looking for.

NAIA Baseball:

  • Like DIII schools, the discrepancies are far too wide to find any similarities in characteristics.  Be sure to fully research each individual program to get a better idea as to what type of player they are looking for.

Junior College Baseball:

  • Junior Colleges have 3 divisions for the purpose of separating stronger JC programs from the weaker ones.  While there may be somewhat of a drop off in talent between Division III Junior Colleges and Division 1 and Division II Junior Colleges, there is little difference between a DI and DII Junior College.  Many Junior College players lack the ‘polish’ to be considered D1 players coming out of high school, but they already possess the necessary physical tools to be successful at the D1 level.

Recruiting Rules by Division

College baseball and softball recruiting rules vary depending on the level of play and the student athlete's year in high school.

NCAA Division I Recruiting Rules

For Sophomores

For Juniors

For Seniors

NCAA Division II Recruiting Rules

NCAA Division III Recruiting Rules

NAIA Recruiting Rules

Important Phone Numbers

NCAA Division I Recruiting Rules for

High School Sophomores

Recruiting Materials

You may ONLY receive camp brochures and general questionnaires

Telephone Calls

You may make calls to a college coach at your own expense

Off-Campus Contact

None allowed

Official Visits

None allowed

Unofficial Visits

You may make an unlimited number of unofficial visits

NCAA Division I Recruiting Rules for

High School Juniors

Recruiting Materials

You may receive recruiting materials beginning September 1 of your Junior year.

Telephone Calls

You may make calls to a college coach at your own expense. College Coaches can make one phone call per week starting July 1st after your Junior year.

Off-Campus Contact

Allowed starting July 1st after your Junior year.

Official Visits

None allowed

Unofficial Visits

You may make an unlimited number of unofficial visits.

NCAA Division I Recruiting Rules for

High School Seniors

Recruiting Materials

Allowed

Telephone Calls

Once per week

Off-Campus Contact

Allowed. A college coach may not contact you more than 3 times during your senior year.

Official Visits

Allowed beginning opening day of classes your senior year. Limited to one official visit per college and up to a maximum of 5 official visits to Division I and Division II colleges.

Unofficial Visits

You may make an unlimited number of unofficial visits.

Evaluations

Up to 7 times during your senior year.

NCAA Division II Recruiting Rules

Recruiting Materials

A coach may begin sending you recruiting materials after September 1st of your Junior year

Telephone Calls

A college coach may call you once per week beginning June 15 between your junior and senior year. You may make calls anytime to a coach at your expense.

Off-Campus Contact

Allowed beginning June 15 after your junior year. A college coach is limited to 3 in person contacts off campus.

Official Visits

Allowed beginning opening day of classes your senior year. Limited to one official visit per college and up to a maximum of 5 official visits to Division 1 and Division II colleges.

Unofficial Visits

You may make an unlimited number of unofficial visits at any time.

NCAA Division III Recruiting Rules

Recruiting Materials

You may receive printed materials anytime.

Telephone Calls

No limit on number of calls or when they can be made by the college coach. You may make an unlimited number of calls to a college coach at your own expense.

Off-Campus Contact

Allowed beginning June 15 after your junior year. A college coach is limited to 3 in person contacts off campus.

Official Visits

Allowed beginning opening day of classes your senior year. You may make only 1 official visit per college.

Unofficial Visits

You may make an unlimited number of unofficial visits at anytime.

While there is no limit as to when Division III coaches can send a prospect recruiting materials or contact them by phone, most Division III coaches will follow the Division I recruiting timetable.

NAIA Recruiting Rules

Similar to the NCAA Division III, there are limited recruiting regulations for NAIA Schools.  This is by design, as the NAIA uses the lack of recruiting rules as a marketing tool for their schools and athletic programs.  Despite this, many NAIA Schools will follow the Division I recruiting timetable.***

Important Phone Numbers

NCAA

317-917-6222

NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse

877-262-1492

NAIA

913-791-0044

NJCAA

719-590-9788

College Recruiting by the Numbers

Overall Statistics

  • The actual percentage of student-athletes fully funded at the Division I level is LESS THAN 1%. (0.8%)
  • There is a maximum of 11.7 scholarships available per school at the DI level.
  • There is a maximum of 9 scholarships available per school at the DII level.
  • Over 75% of all collegiate opportunities are at the DII, DIII, NAIA and JC level.
  • 5.6% of HS players go on to play collegiate baseball.
  • 75% (3 out of 4) of college freshman athletes will not be playing by their senior year.

Athletic Scholarships

Baseball

Division 1:  11.7 Scholarships

Division 2:  9.0 Scholarships

Division 3:  No Athletic Scholarships offered

NAIA:  12.0 Scholarships

JUCO:  24.0 Scholarships

Softball

Division 1: 12.0 Scholarships

Division 2: 7.2 Scholarships

Division 3:  No Athletic Scholarships offered

NAIA: 10.0 Scholarships

JUCO: 24.0 Scholarships