One of the questions I’ve been discussing with some hockey parents has been how have the new recruiting rules and Covid impacted the timing of college commitments for female hockey players. So I decided to analyze the commitment dates by DI college start year for those student-athletes starting in 2021 vs. 2022 and 2023. As you can see, the rate of 2023 Women’s College Hockey commits is significantly behind previous years.
As of September 30, 2021, what the data shows is that for 2023 grads, the % of commitments expected for 2023 grads is significantly below where 2021 and 2022 grads were. To be clear, 23 months before a player would start at a DI program, only ~26% (57) of the expected available spots have been filled compared to the equivalent time period for 2021 (64% / 132) and 2022 (49% / 105) players.
The number is even more dramatic for goalies which have only seen a single 2023 commit (Holy Cross) occur since coaches were allowed to talk to potential recruits this summer. Only 4 goalies in total have committed for 2023 compared to 16 for 2022 and 22 netminders for 2021.
Top 10 Schools are Moving Slowly
For the Top 10 Schools, more than half of the 2023 commits were made before the recruiting rules changed in 2019, and only half have had a 2023 commit announced this year.
Interpreting the Data
My hypotheses for the significantly lower 2023 commitment rate are:
- Many girls still haven’t had an on-campus visit yet. Many have likely been waiting until after the summer to visit DI teams when teams are back practicing and playing.
- There is still some ambiguity for 2023 recruiting needs due to the extra year of eligibility for all NCAA players. This can be from transfers or 5th year players.
- Covid has restricted or impeded on-campus visits for many prospective student-athletes
- Data commitment dates – source: collegecommitments.com
- Transfers between DI programs are not included in the number of commits
- Total number of commits for 2021 was 215
- Please keep in mind there were no adjustments in the number of schools each year (e.g. RMU, St Michaels, Stonehill)