NOTE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have drafted this FAQ section to present both our typical, standard process and those changes we anticipate making in response to the pandemic. We will continue to provide updates to this document as relevant information becomes available.


 

UVA SQUASH PROGRAM FAQs

WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL RECRUITING TIMELINE?

A: We welcome inquiries and introductions from players at any stage. However, based on CSA and NCAA recruiting guidelines and our own internal calendar, we can only begin official correspondence with Prospective Student-Athletes (PSAs) within a specified period of time. Our recruiting timeline typically looks like this:

  • If a player contacts us before September 1 of his or her junior year in high school, we can only provide limited information and link to our prospective player interest forms (see below)—as dictated by NCAA
  • We recommend that interested players contact us in September of their junior year in high school. All interested players should fill out our prospective player questionnaire:
  • We typically END our recruiting process for next year’s incoming class by November 1 of senior year at the very latest. For example, for the class entering UVA in 2020, all slots were allotted by late October of 2019.

NOTE (COVID AND IN GENERAL): The developing trend across the CSA seems to have many schools making binding offers as early as November of a recruit’s junior year. While we would prefer to maintain our traditional timeline—making most of our offers between June and September—we will likely accelerate our timeline for the UVA class of 2026 due to factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO DEMONSTRATE MY POTENTIAL AS A RECRUIT?

A: We encourage players interested in being recruited to/attending UVA to take opportunity to get in front of the coaching staff by any or all of the following:

  • Attending our Summer Junior Camps. Check the McArthur Squash Center Residential Camp website. Camp dates are typically finalized and the application portal opened by the first week of January. This is by no means a prerequisite for recruitment but it does provide an unparalleled opportunity for us to develop a personal relationship with a player, which is very important to us. When we are considering players with very similar results and ratings, our decision is often made based on how we believe a player will develop over time. Camp sessions offer us that insight. We also encourage camps if you feel your US squash rating is a poor representation of your actual playing level. There is no better chance to impress us than a week of camp.
    • COVID UPDATE: We are hopeful that there will be adequate progress in the treatment, prevention, and containment of the COVID-19 virus in time for us to hold camp sessions during the summer of 2021. For the most up-to-date information on session dates, please continue to check back on the McArthur Squash Center Residential Camp website.
  • Playing in one or more tournaments where members of the UVA coaching staff will be present. There is a section to indicate your intent to play certain events on our prospective player form so certainly fill that out as appropriate. But also be sure to follow up with us a week ahead of the tournament so we can do our best to arrange to watch you Typically we attempt to have a member of the coaching staff present at the following tournaments.
    • Philadelphia JCT
    • US Junior Open Championships
    • Mid Atlantic JCT
    • US Junior Championships
    • Virginia Junior Summer Gold
  • COVID UPDATE: Based on current guidance from US Squash, there will be major adjustments to tournament competition during the 2020-2021 season. The CSA is working in conjunction with US Squash to create a system to facilitate exhibition matches for squash PSAs. These matches would be recorded, streamed, and made available for review for college coaches. Due to NCAA and CSA recruiting rules, college coaches may not arrange, organize, or facilitate the match play. As such, the current model being proposed is that private, interscholastic, or other non-collegiate coaches would take the lead in creating these evaluation opportunities and providing the means for college coaches to view.
  • Visit UVA and schedule a time to meet with our coaching staff (see section 5).
    • COVID UPDATE: Currently, there is a ban on any face-to-face, in-person interactions between coaches and PSAs and parents of PSAs. This ban is now set to remain in place until at least January 1 of 2021. As such, we are currently working to create virtual/remote tour options. Additional details on the structure and availability of these visits are provided in Question #? (“HOW CAN I SCHEDULE A VISIT TO UVA?”)
WHAT METRICS DO YOU USE IN EVALUATING RECRUITS? AND WHAT IS THE ANTICIPATED LEVEL OF PLAY FOR RECRUITED PLAYERS?

A: We start by looking at ratings to give us an overall sense of where interested PSAs roughly fall in relation to one another. This is by no means the only thing we consider, and we understand that this does not provide the entire picture—especially for international players. But those caveats aside, we anticipate recruiting men’s players with ratings of no less than 5.4 and rankings (or sets of results) that place them in top 15 in US Squash BU19 competition. For women’s players, we anticipate recruiting players with ratings of 4.6 or higher and rankings (or results) that place them in the top 20 in US Squash GU19 competition. International players are encouraged to provide results against US Players so we can make a comparative analysis.

There are several additional considerations for recruitment. As mentioned above, we do use US Squash ratings as we assess where a player is likely to stack up against other players from his or her class. However, we usually find that direct head-to-head results are the most accurate way to rank our short list of recruits, with ranking and rating mattering slightly less than overall results in competition. In addition to results, we also consider the potential fit with our team culture and work ethic.

For players who are under serious consideration for recruitment, we go through a recruitment pre-approval process, which includes a check of academic/demographic info with our Admissions Department and a character reference interview with a coach, mentor, teacher, etc. If Coach Allen does not have first-hand experience (e.g. squash camps) of a player, we may ask for additional references from another coach, mentor, teacher, etc.

In order to get an official pre-approval, a player needs 5 semesters (or equivalent in trimesters) of completed high school course work and official SAT or ACT scores. This means that in most cases, we begin soliciting materials for pre-apps at some point in November or December of a player’s junior year—at the earliest.

HOW DO I SCHEDULE A VISIT TO UVA?

COVID UPDATE: NCAA restrictions have been extended through January 1 of 2021 and these make in-person visits as laid out below impermissible during that period. We do not expect to be able to offer in-person overnight visits during the spring, as we anticipate that even if the NCAA permits them, they will not be allowed by UVA.

We are continuing to work on remote/virtual options for visits in place of the typical activities laid out below. The same applies to these virtual visits as to in-person visits in terms of our ability to offer them to limited groups. We will extend invitations to our leading recruits and can speak over Zoom and offer some other resources to other PSAs.

A: We extend invitations for both unofficial and official visits to our leading contenders for recruitment. During a player’s junior year, these can only be unofficial visits—that is, the PSA must pay all costs associated with the visit. We offer a limited number of Official Visits for players in their senior years. The squash program can cover costs associated with the visit if it an official visit.

We set these up on a rolling basis and offer them to players who really do stand out at the top of our recruiting order. As we progress through the recruiting process we reach out directly to this set of players with suggestions/options for visit dates then work with them to schedule something that offers a chance to see what life is like for our Student-Athletes. These are typically overnight visits scheduled for a night during the school week and include opportunities to sit in on a class, tour the school and facilities, see an athletic event, and spend some time with our players.

For players who do not receive an explicit invitation to visit, we do welcome PSAs to come on their own self-scheduled visits and we will always do our best to ensure you have a chance to meet with a coach, talk with a few players, and see UVA. We recommend the following:

DOES UVA OFFER ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS AND/OR FINANCIAL AID

A: We do have a limited number of scholarship positions for both the men’s and women’s teams. We look to offer these positions to players who we believe will occupy a spot in the top 3 on our roster. In the past two seasons, all scholarships have been offered to international players who compete at the top level of World Junior Squash.

NOTE: Based on our current funding for scholarship positions, we do not anticipate being able to offer any scholarships for men’s players entering UVA in the Fall of 2022.

Need-based financial aid is available. However, because the University of Virginia is a public university, this is available only to US citizens. We advise PSAs who are interested in applying for financial aid to identify this need at the earliest possible point in communication. The evaluation process for determining whether a player qualifies for need-based financial aid requires additional paperwork.

DO YOU ACCEPT TRANSFER STUDENTS?

A: We only consider offering admission support to players transferring to UVA for entry as second years. The most important thing for transfer players to keep in mind is that they are on the same timeline as other recruits. We often end up hearing from prospective transfers too late in the process to be able to help. So players interested in transferring to UVA should be in touch with us as soon as they possibly can.

We do not have additional recruiting/admission support for transfer students. Whether we use a slot on a player applying directly from high school or as a transfer, it counts the same in terms of our number of available positions.

DO YOU TAKE WALK ONS? DO YOU HOLD OPEN TRYOUTS?

A: We do not hold open tryouts for the UVA teams. We use the recruiting process to bring in the appropriate number of players so that our squad size remains consistent and so that recruits will be on the team for their entire undergraduate career. “Closed” tryouts, that is, tryouts to which only select players would be invited, would be held in the event that we do not fill a recruiting spot, lose a committed recruit, or if a returning player is unable to play due to factors like injury, ineligibility, etc.

To summarize: the possibility that we will take a non-recruited player onto the team in the future exists but will be based on factors outside of an incoming non-recruited player’s control. As such, non-recruited players should not apply to UVA if competing for a varsity team is a priority for their college search.

WHAT ARE UVA’S APPLICATION DEADLINES?

A: UVA has three separate rounds of application: Early Decision (application deadline of October 15), Early Action (application deadline of November 1), and Regular Decision (application deadline of January 1). In the vast majority of cases the admissions department wants our recruited athletes to apply Early Action. That being said, if necessary we can come in behind a pre-approved recruits application as late as mid-March and still see that player admitted without any issues.