Dear Student-Athletes, Parents, and Coaches,
We find ourselves at an unprecedented time in world history. The CoronaVirus (COVID-19) is having a growing impact on the day to day lives of every human being on the planet. As the process of public safety unfolds, our mission is to provide the baseball community with accurate and creative information to support your future endeavors in education and play. This is the first article in a series of ongoing updates that we will be providing to serve our community with the most up-to-date and relevant information, insight, and guidance we can possibly offer.
We are all aware that the Global Sports Community has been severely impacted by the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) at all levels from youth to professional sports. More specifically in the United States, most sports activities, seasons, and events have been suspended or canceled for the time being.
As a sports organization we have been working around the clock, in routine talks with college coaches (NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and JC), MLB professional scouts, student-athletes, and parents from all levels to stay informed. At a time like this it is critical stay informed, accurately, and avoid decisions that are based on poor information. We aim to create and maintain our community with your best present and future in mind.
As you, and we, move forward, it is important that you continue to take responsibility for your own actions, and be mindful, handling your educational responsibilities and continuing to prioritize your overall health and wellness. To benefit these values with action, we are embarking on a steady stream of dialogue that is headed your way in the form of updates, designed to support your focus and clarity.
Below, we have organized the most up-to-date information that we have accessed from real sources and decision-makers to share as resources for the ongoing direction of our broad baseball community. Please take the time to review this and its entirety, it is for you. Status updates from all levels as follows:
HIGH SCHOOL SEASON
– Most seasons are postponed and/or canceled.
– In addition, most school campuses are and/or will be closed. This means your access to facilities will be limited or non-existent based on the potential liability.
– Most state governing bodies are planning to reconvene to evaluate their next appropriate actions in the coming weeks, months perhaps. We are going to help you plan your way through this.
– You should be prepared for all high school activities/operations to be affected for the rest of April and May as well.
– Most summer events are not subject to district, or State High School Governing Bodies.
– We are in close contact with many privately held companies that administer events and all have said they will adhere to community guidelines and plan to continue with scheduled events unless forced to adjust. We will shed more light on this as it becomes more clear.
– We strongly encourage families to look into the refund policy of any summer showcases. If the event is cancelled or postponed you want to make sure you have an opportunity to get your money back.
TRAVEL/CLUB TEAM BASEBALL
– Contact your team to understand their game plan moving forward. We have spoken with numerous programs and each is taking a different approach.
– Please realize some travel ball teams and training facilities are wanting to continue to train, please only do what you feel 100% confident about based on your health and safety.
– Be wise and please understand the scope of your eligibility and finances before making certain decisions.
– Be aware, and as you will find in our upcoming dialogue, there is time and space to keep yourself competitively trained and ready for games once they return.
– Anticipate quality videos, with substance, becoming the critical component for college action, traction, and even follow up in the near future.
– Anticipate larger roster limits and possibly more ambiguity for both committed and uncommitted 2020’s as the NCAA and other collegiate governing bodies make room for players with eligibility and to handle the crossover of roster management that will be the new normal for a little while.
– In our discussions concerted efforts at this point are being made at all collegiate levels to accommodate.
– Anticipate summer programs being pushed back slightly. We advise you to be able to adjust plans, and adhere to quality, “in-the-know guidance.”
– We strongly encourage student-athletes to ensure they are staying focused on their academics. The recruiting process is very competitive for prospective student-athletes and college coaches will be evaluating your grades and test scores to help determine their recruiting offers and financial packages.
The Spring Season has been canceled. Each current rostered player will receive an exemption for this spring season so no eligibility has been used. NCAA newslink
NCAA D1 – New Rules
Division I Council extends eligibility for student-athletes impacted by COVID-19
Schools can authorize an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility – March 30, 2020 6:50pm
Full Press Release Below & Web Link Here
The Division I Council on Monday voted to allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.
Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of eligibility who decide to stay.
In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the Council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for 2020-21 without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20. This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20.
Schools also will have the ability to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for students who take advantage of the additional eligibility flexibility in 2020-21.
Division I rules limit student-athletes to four seasons of competition in a five-year period. The Council’s decision allows schools to self-apply waivers to restore one of those seasons of competition for student-athletes who had competed while eligible in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 spring season
The Council also will allow schools to self-apply a one-year extension of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes, effectively extending each student’s five-year “clock” by a year. This decision was especially important for student-athletes who had reached the end of their five-year clock in 2020 and saw their seasons end abruptly.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Penn. “The Board of Governors encouraged conferences and schools to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities, and now schools have the opportunity to do that.”
Winter sports were not included in the decision. Council members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed.
The Council also increased the roster limit in baseball for student-athletes impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the only spring sport with such a limit.
- College Scholarships totals (TBA)
- College Roster Limitations (OPEN for most schools)
- College Tuition reimbursement (TBA)
- NCAA Transfer portal procedures (TBA)
NEW DEAD PERIOD RULE
The NCAA officially announced a dead period for both Division 1 and Division 2 sports which means no in-person recruiting on or off campus through at least April 15, in light of the concern over the potential spread of the Coronavirus.
To View ALL NCAA Recruiting Period Definitions – Click Here
NCAA & individual college programs at ALL LEVELS do not know enough about their current status for the basics listed below. These things will come to light in the near future and we will make certain you are up to date and valid with your understanding of them.
Non-Committed, Committed & Signed Student-Athletes are perhaps the most concerned right now, understandably so. The circumstances will affect ALL prospective student-athletes at ALL levels, but to what extent is TBA. We anticipate alterations to the traditional rules and regulations for scholarships and roster spots and will update you as this becomes more clear.
NAIA has cancelled its 2020 season. All seniors will get a season of eligibility back. We perceive many NAIA programs over-recruit underclassmen next year. NAIA schools do not have a roster size limit and many already operate JV programs. We believe more JV teams will arise next year (not a bad thing).
NJCAA (JC Baseball Outside of California)
All Spring Seasons have been canceled and all players will receive the same eligibility exemption that NCAA players are being granted. Some of these schools offer scholarships like NJCAA DI and DI programs and the extent of how they will proceed for the 2021 season is under construction.
CCCBCA (JC Baseball within California)
All spring sports seasons have been cancelled. The recruiting ban and dead period is until April 5th.
All spring sports seasons have been cancelled. The recruiting period is considered a contact period at this time.
This information can be taken a number of ways. In order to best guide you, we think it is important that you digest it and make value of guidance listed from here on out. Our large team of advisors has gone both internal and external to draft tips from scouts, coaches (high school, college, and professional), as well as educators and people who have served the athletic and academics communities for career lengths of time. As follows:
3 Key Recruiting Tips to Consider Right Now
Whether you choose to get professional help with your recruiting efforts or do the process on your own below are three key recruiting tips to consider right now.
#1 College Coaches are Recruiting
College coaches are not on vacation right now! We are actively talking with a number of NCAA DI, DII, DIII, and JC coaches everyday to get updates. Please avoid gathering and valuing information from sources that do not offer this type of thoughtful and “direct from the source” information. You are and will continue to get the best from us.
#2 Get Organized
College coaches are still recruiting players but it’s about getting them high quality video, and your most recent stats. Prepare your files, have them handy.
View Example Videos:
Infielder – Michael Snyder – Signed NCAA DI – University of Washington
Pitcher – Jacob Valdez – NCAA DI – St. Marys
Catcher – John Sheehan – NCAA DI – Grand Canyon
#3 Get Connected to the Right Colleges
College coaches want to have conversations with trusted people they know to get honest scouting reports. They desire player recommendations to help them finalize their offers.
That is exactly what we do for our selected college prospects to help them maximize their recruiting opportunities and have a competitive advantage. Perhaps more important now than ever.
- To get evaluated by our staff of recruiting experts, complete our scouting questionnaire.
Eligibility, for the now and future, has become a top priority for us. We will advise our families as we proceed but are here for you to offer guidance to your personal circumstance.
Contact us before making decisions to add, drop, avoid, or alter your college goals. We will help you with questions regarding meeting academic standards, transfers, and other pertinent topics. Be wise, plan with us before taking any steps that may jeopardize future play. All calls and contact will be purely confidential, and there are no bad questions.
So, let’s take a deep breath and invest in the planning part of this. Let’s streamline our thoughts and build strategies to adapt and progress towards a bright future ahead. And let’s get creative, together, on how we will achieve these things with a confidence that can only come with preparation. I am so proud of our SportsForce Team and the impact we continue to weave in our baseball community. They have stepped up and continue to benefit our families in ways we feel is unique to you.
On behalf of the entire SportsForce Staff,
CEO – SportsForce
About SportsForce Baseball:
SportsForce Baseball is a nationally recognized college recruiting advisory group with over 30 former college coaches, players, and MLB scouts in 13 different states.
View our Team Here
During the last 11+ years, we’ve personally assisted over 1,000 players to make their college commitments. We carefully maintain a nationwide network of NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and Junior College coaches that we are in communication with year around. We personally guide and mentor a select group of qualified college baseball prospects and help maximize their recruiting offers.