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I wanted to start a new discussion about kids ages at the club level. As I have said before, we are a club currently with  8U coach pitch team, a 10UAAA tournament team, and an 11UAA tournament team. What I'd like to discuss is players playing with their age group as opposed to being able to play up with older kids. It seems in our club that we allow kids to do so (in my opinion because parents get too involved with wanting THEIR kid to be more advanced) where I tend to believe that each team would be better overall if they had kids of their own age level and it would make our club stronger at each level overall. This would also force our coaches to go find kids to fill their rosters as opposed to allowing the younger kid to play up. I'm sure some of you in the less populated parts of the country might not see this as an issue, but I'd like to get your opinions and of course those who are in larger communities too. My 10UAAA team is currently made up of 5 (of 12) players that are actually 9U age. We do not have a 9U team currently. I would like to form a 9U team to put these kids on along with 5 more strong 9U players. Assuming I could replace them on the 10U team with competent kids. I believe that in the long run, this is better for the kids as they ascend through the age levels of club ball. What do you guys think?  Remember, this is not Little League, it's tournament ball where kids are divided up in divsions by year (9U, 10U, 11U etc).  Thanks in advance,  Darek Goetzman

Tags: age, appropriate, baseball, club, play, up, youth

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I kind of look at starting Varsity as a Freshman or being a 4 year starter in College way differently than playing up at a youth level. I guess this is probably part of my whole argument. A lot of parents think that playing their kid up as far as he can will make him better. I after seeing this think that if your kid blends in playing up then I would rather see him play down with his age group. The key to this for me is making sure that I have a team that is good enough for him to play down on. See, i'd rather see that kid play down with his age and be one of the few key players on his age level team rather than go up and blend in with older kids. Most of these kids that have the ability to play up already have at some point so they have gotten the benefits of doing so.

If my kid is in High School of course I'd like him to play Varsity if he is going to contribute as a Freshman his way he will own people as a Sophmore. This only helps him get into College, which to me is the point of this whole rat race. I'd really rather see my son or my players get College scholarships as opposed to being drafted in the 35th round. Sounds crazy to some of you, but school is my goal for these guys. And if somehow we come up with a top 10 round kid, then more power to him. But like you say not everyone is a bg-leaguer. This is why I do not like talking about the big leagues on this forum. You are comparing apples to lions....
My main point was about maturity.......which is at any level. Yeah your son may be able to play up, but will he be mature enough to handle it when he has a bad game and he will. Yeah your son may have the ability to play along side with them, but is he mature enough to blend in (as you mentioned) with the other older players that are already friends. (Sounds similiar to trades at MLB levels). The concept stays the same regardless.
This is not an easy task for a parent or a player. The physical aspect is the easy part, but the maturity part is the biggest factor and really needs to be looked at closely.

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