NOTE: COVID-19 remains a factor in recruiting, particularly in its impact on visits. Please remain attentive to any communications from the coaching staff regarding applicable COVID protocols.


 

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
  • An early verbal offer to our highest-level recruits could come in December of a player’s junior year. However, the majority of our commitments will be made in the spring.
  • 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 2021, all slots were allocated by late October of 2020.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO DEMONSTRATE MY POTENTIAL AS A RECRUIT?

A: Above all, the measure we consider most relevant is a player’s recent set of results. With tournament play now resuming in the United States and many countries internationally*, our strongest recommendation is for interested players to participate in sanctioned events.

*For international players who cannot compete in sanctioned events due to COVID, we recommend providing video of a real and complete match under conditions that are as close as possible to those of an actual tournament.  

We also suggest players consider attending Squash Camps at McArthur Squash Center. Participating in one of our camp sessions provides an opportunity to learn more about UVA and to meet the program’s coaches. Check Coach Allen’s camp website for additional details. This is by no means a prerequisite for recruitment. However, 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.

For more information on visits, refer to section 5 (How Do I Schedule a Visit to UVA?)

WHAT ATHLETIC/SQUASH-RELATED METRICS DO YOU USE IN EVALUATING RECRUITS? AND WHAT IS THE ANTICIPATED LEVEL OF PLAY FOR RECRUITED PLAYERS?

A: As mentioned in the previous section, the athletic metrics that we consider derive from a player’s tournament results.

Ratings are a useful guideline for all PSAs, as they provide an indication of a player’s squash level relative to our current team and thus the likelihood of their being offered recruitment. As a starting point for the men’s team, we anticipate recruiting players with ratings of no less than 5.6 and results that place them in the top 20 in their graduating class. 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 their class year.

International players are encouraged to provide results against US Players so we can make a comparative analysis. We strongly recommend playing the US Junior Open, which is typically held in December.

WHAT ARE THE ACADEMIC AND CHARACTER REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO UVA AS A RECRUITED ATHLETE?

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, or other qualified adult. 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.

In order for us to submit pre-approval paperwork, a player needs 5 semesters (or equivalent in trimesters) of completed high school coursework. Official SAT or ACT scores are recommended. However, submission of these scores will be optional for candidates applying for admission in the fall of 2022 and 2023.

International students will need to provide results of the TOEFL iBT exam unless the student’s high school curriculum is taught and learned in English. Note that the “Home Edition” version is not accepted by UVA.

HOW DO I SCHEDULE A VISIT TO UVA?

A: It is important to understand the distinction between unofficial visits and official visits. For our highest-level prospects, we typically begin arranging these visits starting in September of a player’s junior year. These will be by invitation only.

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 and see UVA. If you do intend to come on your own for a visit, please reach out to us as early as possible—as soon as you know the dates of your anticipated trip.

We can offer official visits for players after January 1 of their junior year. We limit our official visits to those players who would be unable to travel to Charlottesville without financial support. PSAs should note that, for our program, the only difference between an official and an unofficial visit is the funding; the itineraries, activities, and interactions are all the same.

*Please be aware of the following COVID protocols and recommendations for visits. These are current as of 9/1/21 and will be updated periodically.

  • No overnight guests will be permitted to stay in residence halls. This is a UVA Athletic Department policy. Due to this policy, visiting PSAs coming for overnight visits will be required to stay in a hotel and should be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian.
  • In order to interact with current players, a visiting PSA must be vaccinated. Unvaccinated PSAs will be limited to interactions with the coaching staff only.
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 5 on our roster.

It is important to note that we do not offer scholarships that cover 100% of the cost of attending UVA. Every one of our scholarship players will need to cover some of the cost of attendance. Without putting an exact figure to this, we can say that there is a direct correspondence between a player’s anticipated roster position and the amount of financial support offered.

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, may 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: it is highly unlikely that a non-recruited player will end up as a member of the varsity men’s or women’s squash team. As such, non-recruited players should not apply to UVA if competing for a varsity team is a priority for their college search.

WHAT OPTIONS EXIST FOR NON-RECRUITED PLAYERS TO CONTINUE TO PLAY SQUASH AT UVA?

A: There is a thriving squash community here at UVA and players who are not recruited to the varsity team can continue to pursue squash through various channels. All undergraduates who are enrolled full time at UVA have access to McArthur Squash Center’s 16 courts, as well as the two courts at North Grounds, through their IM/Recreation membership. Organized play is offered in the form of a UVA-affiliated co-ed club team, which is coached and facilitated by the MSC club pros and managed by student officers. There are several players at the 5.0 plus level on the club side and a number of undergraduate and graduate students do pursue squash at a high level through both IM/Rec programming and leagues and ladders organized by the MSC staff.