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:

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

NOTE: The responses below provide the advice and recommendations that we would make to PSAs in a “normal” year AND the advice that we are offering based on the current restrictions and limitations. Until training and competition can resume without restriction, we advise all PSAs to evaluate both sets of options and prepare accordingly.

A: We encourage players interested in being recruited to/attending UVA to take the opportunity to get in front of the coaching staff by pursuing any or all of the options set out below.

  • Squash Camps at McArthur Squash Center: Our summer junior camp provides an opportunity to learn more about UVA and to meet the program’s coaches. 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: UVA has not yet made an official determination on whether summer sports camps will be permitted in 2021. However, we are preparing for the possibility that our typical residential camp sessions will not be able to proceed. As such, we ask that you take a moment to FILL OUT THIS FORM. Should camps be permitted, we will use the contact information you provide to notify you as soon as a decision is announced.

Boar’s Head Pro Dean Russell may be hosting day camps and clinics starting in June. For further information please contact Dean directly on drussell@boarsheadresort.com.

  • Tournament Competition: Playing in one or more tournaments where members of the UVA coaching staff will be present is another way you can demonstrate your level of play. These events can also provide an the opportunity to meet briefly with a program staff member—presuming the meeting follows all applicable NCAA and CSA regulations. There is a section to indicate your intent to play certain events on our prospective player form so certainly fill that out as appropriate. PSAs should follow up with us a week ahead of the tournament to allow staff members adequate time to plan. 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: There has not yet been a formal announcement of when US Squash intends to resume tournament play. Until tournament competition resumes, we recommend that players seek out opportunities to compete in the various college showcase tournaments that are currently being hosted at venues across the country. If you are competing in one of these events, please let us know and send us relevant viewing information as far in advance as possible.

  • Visit UVA Grounds: Full details on visits, including when they are permissible and how to schedule them are provided in section 4. But to summarize, PSAs can visit Grounds at any time and can meet with a member of the coaching staff beginning September 1 of their junior year. Visits can take a variety of different forms ranging from a day trip to an Official overnight visit. These are an ideal way to demonstrate your interest, learn more about the school and the squash team, and speak with a coach about the recruitment process.

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 May 31 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 #4 (“HOW DO 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 5.8 and rankings (or sets of results) that place them in the top 15 in US Squash BU19 competition. For women’s players, we anticipate recruiting players with ratings of 4.7 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 shortlist 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?

A: We extend invitations for both unofficial and official visits to our leading contenders for recruitment. These will resume in September of 2021 and will be by invitation only.

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:

  • Communicate with the coaches as far in advance of your visit as possible. This will ensure that we can schedule a time to speak with you.
  • Schedule an admissions tour and information session.
  • If possible, visit when classes are in session so you’ll have a chance to see what life is like here at UVA.
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.