College Hockey:
NCAA rules overhaul alters recruiting picture for college hockey coaches

The NCAA overhauled its rule book for Division I schools in voting Saturday at the NCAA Convention near Dallas, but two approved proposals will stand out to college hockey coaches.

The Board of Directors voted to dump its restrictions on ways coaches can communicate with potential players during the recruiting process. It also removed the rule that limited college hockey teams schools to two coaches recruiting off campus at a time.

The changes come as part of a drive toward “reducing the volume of unenforceable and inconsequential rules that fail to support the NCAA’s enduring values,” according to the proposals.

The end of restrictions on modes of communication with recruits means men’s college hockey coaches can make unlimited contact starting Aug. 1 after the player’s junior year in high school. Between June 15 after the player’s sophomore year and July 31 after the junior year, one phone call per month is allowed.

Limits on electronic communication such as email and text messages were removed as long as the messages are private.

The elimination of what was known as the “baton rule” — limiting schools to a set number of coaches who were allowed to be on the road at one time — frees up all members of the coaching staff to be involved concurrently.

The board approved 25 of 26 proposals in a large-scale overhaul of the rule book. Read more on the changes here.

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