As we discuss on the freshman page, it’s important for high school underclassmen to have a good grasp of the rules and requirements for playing college baseball and to start high school off on solid academic footing. As a sophomore, you may be thinking that you don’t need to worry about getting ready for college. College may seem a long way off, but what you are doing right now directly impacts whether you will be eligible to play certain levels of college baseball. To be a college athlete (in any sport), you have to be aware of the requirements and rules established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), NAIA, NJCAA, or whichever level you wish to play. These governing bodies set the rules that determine whether or not you are “eligible” (qualified) to play at at their level. If you ignore the rules and requirements as a high school sophomore, you may end up not being able to play even if you have the skills.
What do you have to do while you are in high school to be eligible to play baseball in college (up to the D1 level)?
- Take all the right core classes.
- Get good grades.
- Take the required tests.
- Graduate on time.
- Don’t take money or any gifts for playing your sport.
- Register with the NCAA so they can let coaches know that you are academically eligible to play.
Easy, right? Sort of, but some players are confused about the classes they have to take and some players have to work harder than others to get good grades and test scores. But you know all about hard work: you’re an athlete!
How to Stay Eligible as a Sophomore
Your choice of classes gets more important every year. If you get behind, it will be harder to catch up as you get older. Get started by going to the eligibility website by clicking here. You’ll want to meet with your guidance counselor too because he or she can help you choose the right classes. Don’t guess which classes to take! The NCAA has a list of approved classes and those are the only ones that count toward your eligibility. The list of courses at your school are available on the NCAA website. Don’t use a list from another school and assume that the classes will be ok. You might need some help getting the list of approved classes at your school. Ask your parents or guidance counselor for help. Download the sophomore checklist to make sure you stay on track.
If you get behind or get bad grades, you should take summer school to catch up. Your grades do matter! Sure, you might get into the college of your dreams with so-so grades, but you might not! Your grades can make a huge difference in your opportunities to play college baseball.