The NCAA allows athletes in all sports, except for tennis and hockey, a one year grace-period after they graduate high school. After the one-year period the NCAA can start taking away years of eligibility. The NCAA grants you five years in which you can compete during four of them. The fifth year, called a red-shirt year, allows athletes to take a season off for many different reasons, but still allows them to play for four full years. To stay up-to-date on the newest NCAA Regulations please visit the NCAA website.
To download an NCAA Recruiting Fact Sheet, please click here for the PDF.
If you are planning on not attending college the year directly after you graduate high school, a post-graduate year is a great choice. It won’t affect your eligibility, and you can still compete at a high level while continuing to take classes and build your academic profile. It can be difficult to get recruited to play in college if you take a year off from serious athletic competition; you can buy yourself some extra time by choosing the post graduate route.