College Athletic Recruitment

lifesavacation

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Jan 24, 2016
There's a book called Outliers that ties birth month to athletic success. I read it a long time ago so am fuzzy with the details but I remember thinking it was interesting and made sense.
 

js

Been around since before the disboards 90s crash
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Jan 18, 2000
My son plays college ball (RHP) and was a recruited athlete. He went to an Independent HS...he didn't red shirt or stay back a year during 1-8 or HS but
I can tell you I know of many who have held their child back a year and let them repeat 8th or 9th grade and also know a few that red shirted.
It is pretty common (easy) for an athlete in an Independent School to repeat a grade but I don't have experience for Private, Catholic or Public Schools so maybe
just as easy.

Like all sports when a child is serious, it is expensive and time consuming. Being on travel team with tournaments, going away, staying in hotels, food/drink, etc. gets very expensive. Lessons are very expensive. Equipment is very expensive. My ds would go to school, go to practice or a game and then have a pitching lesson.
I remember one year my dh taking him out about 10 pm when it was snowing for a lesson, but my son was committed so my dh did everything he could to help him.
College is even more time consuming for them. They have to keep up with their studies and miss class and the work and assignments still need to be made up.
My dd is in law school and went to a very good UG college and is a student. She applied to law schools based on UG and was accepted, some with free rides.
Pretty cut and dry. For a recruited athlete, not only do they have to do well enough to be accepted into the school, they also have to be liked well enough by the
coach to be able to be on the team and play. You may be able to get into a better school if you can play a sport well but you still have to keep up on your studies. I'm not so sure how I feel about that since I have a college playing son and a serious student daughter that works so hard will graduate in May and had a job lined up for September from last summer. So I see both sides.

My ds has played in MANY MANY tournaments and some great spring training facilities playing other parts of the country (best was WWoS, where his HS would go every year).

We just came back from a week in Boca (we live in NY) watching my son and his team play during Spring Break (two weeks prior they were in Myrtle Beach). Again, lots of money and includes flying. There were the games, but if you are lucky, you can have a fabulous group of parents that you can hang, talk, eat and drink with, which is exactly what we do. We have always been lucky, our travel families were all so fun so that helps me since my ds doesn't always play since he pitches and has to wait in rotation.

Enjoy all the time and it is very hard not to compare the kids (heck, I guess you really have to since your child is competing for a spot) but it goes by so quickly
and when it is done, it is done. Enjoy every day you get to watch them on the field or court!
 

cats mom

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Oct 25, 2000
One of my friends in middle school repeated 8th grade for this very reason, and this was back in the 1970's, so nothing new. My friend was a big time star in both football and baseball in high school and went on to play football in college.

No idea if the practice is becoming more common, but I wouldn't be surprised.

For DD's club sport age groups are by a specific birth year until you get to 18U and then kids born a year earlier can also play as long as they were a high school student during the academic year. I assume most sports have the same set up?

As to the question of whether it would be considered when looking at an athlete for recruitment, scholarships, etc I'm going with a solid no. As long as the athlete meets NCAA eligibility requirements and fits the needs of the program I don't think a coach is going to care whether they repeated a year and/or are one year older at graduation. Red shirting is very common in collegiate athletics, so it's all very familiar to them.
 
  • js

    Been around since before the disboards 90s crash
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    Jan 18, 2000
    As to the question of whether it would be considered when looking at an athlete for recruitment, scholarships, etc I'm going with a solid no. As long as the athlete meets NCAA eligibility requirements and fits the needs of the program I don't think a coach is going to care whether they repeated a year and/or are one year older at graduation. Red shirting is very common in collegiate athletics, so it's all very familiar to them.
    I agree 100%. My ds had to fill out NCAA information and for NCAA your SAT/ACT scores need to be at/above different points for Division 1 and 2 but there was
    never a mention of staying back. All NCAA, if I remember, needed to know from 11th or 12th grade regarding actual school was that your scores are above what is needed and your HS I think had to send transcripts. We only had to fill out the information once so don't fully remember. Getting paid, etc., were other categories but for school, it was just SAT/ACT scores for the Divisions. A coach NEVER asked about if my ds repeated any schooling, they don't need to care about that if scores and grades are up to par. For NCAA, my ds gets random drug tested too, so does his team.
     

    tex1989

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    Mar 13, 2018
    Holding back kids in school for athletic reasons has been going on for years, I saw it when I was a kid and I am 60 years old. I was on the other end of that lottery as a kid, Born in September I was sent to private school for two years before entering public school in the second grade. As a result I graduated high school at 17 and attended my first month of college while still 17. I was in school sports competing against the kids that were a year ahead of me in Little League Baseball. I was the president of Little League baseball in our community and president of the parent organization called the Dads Club for several years while my son played. I saw the growth of "select" teams also known as travel teams, or competative teams and the lengths parents would go to have their kids succeed. It was sad. My son played because he enjoyed it, and his friends played and he was pretty good. But even to him it was apparent at some point he would not have a career in sports and enjoyed other things as well. He acted was on Student Council and did well in class.

    It was truly interesting watching the dynamics of how these people thought and what their expectations were. Girls Parents at the time seemed to be really into the whole sports idea. It was Title 9 time and colleges had to offer equal numbers of scholarships for men and women. There were average female golfers who shot in the 80's getting full ride offers. Girls softball players were getting a lot of scholarship offers. On the boys side there were not a lot of offers coming and if they came they were for much smaller colleges. I begrudge no one the potential to play a sport that they love into college, but I saw a lot of kids who were decent at a sport, but certainly not some one who would compete at the next level or play beyond that. We had numerous kids accept scholarships to go play a sport at a small out of the way Liberal Art's college with an enrollment of 2,000. Don't get me wrong I am not saying that is bad, but I personally knew these kids and their families and knew the kid could get into a good school and that their family had the financial ability to send them. Their love of the game had them earning limited degrees that would not serve them well for the remainder of their lives. They were forgoing better futures just to play. One kid I knew in particular who was a decent baseball player and had a father who owned a very successful business who lived in a huge house with plenty of ability to send his kid to any school and I were talking one day his senior year. I asked him where he wanted to go to college. His response was anywhere they will let me play ball. He wound up at two Junior Colleges before he went to a small East Texas Baptist College to play baseball for two years and came out of school with a degree in English Literature. Okay but he was a bright kid with good grades and had tremendous potential. He now has a lawn mowing business that I suppose can be good, but I had so many hopes for the kid.

    Yeah I guess most of it was and is none of my business, it's just when you calculate the odds of success in sports at the professional level you just have to weigh that against what you could be doing with the rest of your life.
     

    agame2323

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    Dec 28, 2006
    So, current events seem to have demonstrated the measures some parents will go through to get their kids into a college of their choice. I think this is related:

    In a previous thread, I mentioned that my son's lacrosse teams have played in tournaments (unfortunately, often organized by High School graduation year) against plenty of teams that seem to have kids that are all a year or so older than traditional/average/expected ages for their school grade. For example, they have played a team full of 7th graders that had 14 year olds on it. Although somewhat annoying for a team that tries to follow the spirit of the age groups, it is unfortunately something we expect. I believe some tournaments even stipulate that a team can have a certain number of older kids. Whatever - that is not the reason for my post.

    I had heard of the practice of holding a kid back a year for athletic reasons for some elite lacrosse middle schools. There was an article about this some time ago about schools in Maryland. However, I now know a parent that is going to do this very thing. My son plays on the same rec team as his son. His kid is going to be held back to repeat his 8th grade year. The kid has no problems academically or socially and is average age for his current class - the only reason, as admitted by the parent, will be for athletic considerations. In fact, the parent has said that he will not be allowed to repeat the grade by the public schools, as he has met all requirements for advancement. Therefore, the kid will have to either go to a private school or be home schooled for a year.

    One of the parents asked the kid's father how the kid felt about it, and the father said that the kid wanted to do it because all the other kids on his travel program (my son plays on a more local travel team while this kid plays on one several hours away) are doing, or have done the same thing.

    Do other sports do this? The only thing I can think of is that the father feels it will give his kid an advantage in terms of a college scholarship. Also, for any of you familiar with college sport recruitment, wouldn't this be something the college would consider when evaluating athletes? If a kid is a year older than others in high school, then it may make a difference, but I have to think that once they get to college and can redshirt, or stop growing, or whatever, the difference is not as much.

    Not that it concerns me, but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. His kid is good, but not what I would consider elite. I also do not know how many full ride scholarships are given out for lacrosse. I have to think that most are partial, unless you are elite. And, if you are elite, that should be apparent to recruiters, whether you are held back a year or not. Furthermore, this family has money - this is not a story about a poor family trying to get their kid a chance for a good education. The amount of money they are spending on training and perhaps a year of private school may be better spent in a college fund. Lacrosse does not have a lucrative pro league, so it is not like they are trying to set this kid up for life. I really do not think he is good enough for that anyway. I think they are setting the kid up for failure, and giving him a real warped sense of priorities. And, no, I am not jealous - my son is a good lacrosse player, but even if he were elite, we would never consider such a thing. I wish nothing but the best for this kid, but feel a little sorry for the expectations that are being placed on him.
    I won't go into my background but I deal with athletes on a professional level and my niece plays in the WNBA. In the basketball world we called this process (a kid repeating the same grade or being held back) re-classifying and its very common. The idea is not based on how elite the kid is but rather if the kid needs more time to develop. The payoff can be very rewarding and the downside is pretty minimum. A lot of factors should be taken into account on whether or not to reclassify. In basketball some of those factors can be: height, skill development, exposure, injury, talk or interest from other programs or schools and money just to name a few.

    In basketball, kids who hit the ranking at an early age is big business. I know a kid now that is 6'1 in 8th grade. The ranking and expert recruiting sites project his as a top 50 player. But IF he reclassifies, he moves up in the ranking to a top 25 player in the nation.

    Reclassifying hinges a lot on the potential of the kid and maximizing the exposure he or she can get nationally. Personally, I believe in education first. I also deal with very under privileged kids who's simply can't afford college. Again... being nationally ranked in basketball can equate to millions of dollars 3-4 years later. My advice is, see where the kids natural abilities take them. If he or she so happens to get noticed by the recruiters and scouts that determine rankings, then weight the options. In most cases, being ranked in the top 100 is good enough to secure a d-1 offer.

    I don't know a parent would choose to do this in a sport like lacrosse. As someone pointed out, the pro leagues don't make a ton of money (as compared to the NBA). Plus schools hardly give a full ride for lacrosse. MLL players earn annual salaries in the $10,000–$25,000 range. So I don't get the point in putting a kid through all the hoops just to enter college on a partial scholarship and professionally play a sport that's going to require them to have a 2nd job.
     

    js

    Been around since before the disboards 90s crash
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2000
    Holding back kids in school for athletic reasons has been going on for years, I saw it when I was a kid and I am 60 years old. I was on the other end of that lottery as a kid, Born in September I was sent to private school for two years before entering public school in the second grade. As a result I graduated high school at 17 and attended my first month of college while still 17. I was in school sports competing against the kids that were a year ahead of me in Little League Baseball. I was the president of Little League baseball in our community and president of the parent organization called the Dads Club for several years while my son played. I saw the growth of "select" teams also known as travel teams, or competative teams and the lengths parents would go to have their kids succeed. It was sad. My son played because he enjoyed it, and his friends played and he was pretty good. But even to him it was apparent at some point he would not have a career in sports and enjoyed other things as well. He acted was on Student Council and did well in class.

    It was truly interesting watching the dynamics of how these people thought and what their expectations were. Girls Parents at the time seemed to be really into the whole sports idea. It was Title 9 time and colleges had to offer equal numbers of scholarships for men and women. There were average female golfers who shot in the 80's getting full ride offers. Girls softball players were getting a lot of scholarship offers. On the boys side there were not a lot of offers coming and if they came they were for much smaller colleges. I begrudge no one the potential to play a sport that they love into college, but I saw a lot of kids who were decent at a sport, but certainly not some one who would compete at the next level or play beyond that. We had numerous kids accept scholarships to go play a sport at a small out of the way Liberal Art's college with an enrollment of 2,000. Don't get me wrong I am not saying that is bad, but I personally knew these kids and their families and knew the kid could get into a good school and that their family had the financial ability to send them. Their love of the game had them earning limited degrees that would not serve them well for the remainder of their lives. They were forgoing better futures just to play. One kid I knew in particular who was a decent baseball player and had a father who owned a very successful business who lived in a huge house with plenty of ability to send his kid to any school and I were talking one day his senior year. I asked him where he wanted to go to college. His response was anywhere they will let me play ball. He wound up at two Junior Colleges before he went to a small East Texas Baptist College to play baseball for two years and came out of school with a degree in English Literature. Okay but he was a bright kid with good grades and had tremendous potential. He now has a lawn mowing business that I suppose can be good, but I had so many hopes for the kid.

    Yeah I guess most of it was and is none of my business, it's just when you calculate the odds of success in sports at the professional level you just have to weigh that against what you could be doing with the rest of your life.
    Thank you for this other side. There is always good and bad and it's too bad you only saw most of the bad (or just not good). We have seen some of what you are talking about but really not that many, just a, what I call "crazy" few.

    The experiences that can only be had while in college, being able to go to good schools for usable degrees is a positive, at least for my son.
    I cannot see how a student-athlete who is not committed to the sport would want to be on a team, given the amount of time has to be given. In the spring, my son is either in school, practice or on the road. Can't go out and drink the night before if you have a game or hang out late and your work still has to be in and tests taken.
    If the lawn mowing child wasn't a student and couldn't succeed at the junior college level in academics, maybe he just wasn't meant for college, which isn't a bad thing either. He could have also went on to get his Masters if he knew coming out of college was only going to get him a job mowing lawns. He could have ended up teaching with his English degree.

    Anyway, as in anything in life there are good and bad and it is up to the student and yes, even though in college, the parents to help guide and support them. As a responsible parent, I wouldn't have my son go to college just to play ball and come out with a worthless degree he couldn't use. He could play on a men's league and go to a trade school. It wouldn't be up for discussion.
     
  • sam_gordon

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    Jun 26, 2010
    As to the question of whether it would be considered when looking at an athlete for recruitment, scholarships, etc I'm going with a solid no. As long as the athlete meets NCAA eligibility requirements and fits the needs of the program I don't think a coach is going to care whether they repeated a year and/or are one year older at graduation. Red shirting is very common in collegiate athletics, so it's all very familiar to them.
    I think where it comes into play for college is (in theory) the student who was held back is now bigger/stronger than those he's graduating with. Whether that equates to more skill, which I would hope would be more important than size/strength, would be debateable.
     

    Park Pirate

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    Jan 26, 2016
    Of course it happens. As @soccerdad72 said, it happens in multiple sports and can happen as early as kindergarten. But why worry about what other parents are doing with their kids. If your child is playing school sports, there's a good chance they'll play with and against kids that are 1-3 years older. Do I think it's "right"? No. But people do a lot of things that I don't think are "right". Not worth worrying about.
    I appreciate everyone's replies. Let me assure you that I am not really worried about this situation, other than I will feel sorry for the kid (my son's friend) if things don't work out as the parents are planning. Perhaps the length of my original post made it look like I was horrified. Parents will do what parents will do in the best interest of their kids. My son will go on enjoying playing and having fun, hopefully through high school and perhaps beyond. I just thought it was interesting and was wondering how common it was. Apparently, it is done and has been done for a while in several sports. I was also interested if college recruiters thought about the age of the player (not necessarily if they stayed back a year) when considering their performance relative to others. As others have said, an athlete can certainly redshirt (in the traditional college sense) once they get into college to develop more physically and mentally.
     

    Park Pirate

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    Jan 26, 2016
    I think where it comes into play for college is (in theory) the student who was held back is now bigger/stronger than those he's graduating with. Whether that equates to more skill, which I would hope would be more important than size/strength, would be debateable.
    Actually, this is exactly what I was thinking with my original question. Do recruiters consider the potential physical differences between a 19 and 17 year old High School Senior when considering scholarships?
     

    soccerdad72

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    Oct 23, 2012
    Actually, this is exactly what I was thinking with my original question. Do recruiters consider the potential physical differences between a 19 and 17 year old High School Senior when considering scholarships?
    If the skill levels are the same, I would imagine that yes, a coach is going to prefer a bigger, stronger, older kid. But there's too many other factors to take into account.
     
  • barkley

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
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    Apr 6, 2004
    when we moved from california to washington i was surprised at how much older some of the high school student athletes (primarily male) looked, then i found out why-no education requirements until your kid is 8 years old. sure, plenty of people send their kids at the traditional age of 5 but there's also a good number of families into sports who hold off on purpose. so yeah-we routinely see 20 year old high school seniors.
     

    NotUrsula

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    Apr 19, 2002
    As the recent scandal shows, there is more to the recruitment status game than scholarships (although they are a bit better than they used to be due to NCAA rule changes; now they must be for at least 25% of fees -- which means there are fewer scholarships, but each one is better -- no more "book scholarships".) There *is* an admission odds boost when you are a recruited athlete at elite schools, and as the scandal demonstrated, you don't have to actually start for the team in order to benefit by it. (Though I'm sure that schools will now be requiring REAL proof of actual participation and achievement before a student can be placed on the recruitment targets list.) Do I think that boost is, in itself, worth all the expense & effort of getting a kid to that level? Nope.

    As for twisting your family finances into knots to support a kid's athletic development with the sole goal of getting a college scholarship? That is a total waste of time, money, and effort in any sports other than football or men's basketball, or (possibly) tennis or golf. If you put away the money that would have been spent on specialty gear, specialized training, and travel expenses starting when the kid is in grade school, you would surely have more than enough to pay for your state's flagship or an equivalently-priced school.

    In spite of my best couch-potato example ;-), my youngest DD is an elite athlete; at age 11 she competes on the national level and has very good odds to be on Team USA by the time she is 20. Her gear, training and travel expenses cost us about $10K/yr, and may go as high as double that before she's done. Will we get any of that back in discounts on college? No chance. It isn't an NCAA sport, and there are no scholarships. We do it because she loves it, because it keeps her fit, teaches her focus and teamwork, and will give her the ability to make a bit of money coaching as she gets older. We also love watching this sport as spectators, and some of our best friends are other team parents. Traveling to watch is a lot of fun most of the time, so we enjoy it. (FWIW, we cannot turn team trips into family vacations. Team rules are very strict and require athletes to travel to competitions only with the team; she has to travel to and from events with them, not with us. Parents who are not directly chaperoning must fly or drive separately, and pay admission of about $90pp if we want to watch.) She doesn't have opportunities to compete at WDW, as it is a winter sport.

    She also plays an instrument (not that well yet), and the school band does compete at WDW festivals almost every year. She'll hopefully make it to that playing level next year, and since we have AP's, we'll probably tag along to the WDW festivals.
     
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    LSUmiss

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    DD plays soccer and is good. She has been to i.d. camps and has been contacted by coaches.

    We went to a soccer in college fair last year where the speakers (parents of sports kids, coaches, and recruiters) all reiterated that it's a myth that there are lots of full ride scholarships available for athletes. Very few and far between. Their advice was academics have the best opportunity for scholarships.

    That's what DD is focusing on and has decided not to pursue playing in college.
    That’s what I was thinking about scholarships.
     

    lovin'fl

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    Jun 7, 2011
    $5k for three kids? You're getting a deal.
    Yeah, we paid like $8K a year for our 2 DDs in softball, the last showcase years. And they were same team so only 1 hotel room. But for gear, extra lessons, gear, team fees, gear, hotels, gear...did I say gear (cleats $110, bats $300+, gloves $150+...each kid).
     
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    lovin'fl

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    Scholarships...best is academic. Don't cross off private colleges because they get the most academic money at those. We initially were focused on D2 public schools but it just wasn't happening. So we gave the private schools a look and saw what our girls' GPAs and SAT scores could get (we get 1/2 off of each in academic money). It brings it down to public school numbers. Now if they got offered a partial scholarship to play at a D2 public, that would have been nice but it was hard to break in. No D2s, they were interested in, were near where their team did showcases so they did camps down south and the schools already followed the southern showcase girls. DDs' travel coach wouldn't do southern showcases (have to get an invite I guess), stuck to NJ and PA.
     

    mjkacmom

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    Feb 20, 2006
    Yeah, we paid like $8K a year for our 2 DDs in softball, the last showcase years. And they were same team so only 1 hotel room. But for gear, extra lessons, gear, team fees, gear, hotels, gear...did I say gear (cleats $110, bats $300+, gloves $150+...each kid).
    Much better than Irish dance, $165 shoes, $3000 dress... I’m glad the sports of choice in our house are soccer and track (especially track).
     

    cats mom

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    Actually, this is exactly what I was thinking with my original question. Do recruiters consider the potential physical differences between a 19 and 17 year old High School Senior when considering scholarships?
    It may be something they look at as part of the overall picture, but I'd be surprised if it made much difference, and in your scenario I'm betting the stronger player at the moment would have the edge whether they were 19 or 17. As others have stated many things go into recruiting decisions though. I'm sure college coaches don't want that process to be fully transparent. LOL
     

    Boardwalk Jedi

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    Dec 28, 2016
    DD plays soccer and is good. She has been to i.d. camps and has been contacted by coaches.

    We went to a soccer in college fair last year where the speakers (parents of sports kids, coaches, and recruiters) all reiterated that it's a myth that there are lots of full ride scholarships available for athletes. Very few and far between. Their advice was academics have the best opportunity for scholarships.

    That's what DD is focusing on and has decided not to pursue playing in college.
    DH and I were both college athletes and our four kids have probably covered most sports available over the years. We are continually amazed at how things have changed. I was a walk on to a D1 gymnastics team (no money, no fanfare, no big deal, no problem). DH was a full ride football player (free tuition, room and board, signed letter of intent, picture in the paper, owned by the university). Back then if you were good enough for a scholarship, they found you...not the other way around. If ID camps and college showcases existed back then, he would never have gotten any offers because he couldn't afford it.

    With all our kids sports, I have found soccer to be the most disturbing and exploitative of wishful parents. Whether it's the expensive European camps the kids were "selected" for or glorifying a kid who "committed" to walk on to a D3 team, it's crazy what parents believe is prestigious. Don't think I'm knocking D3 either. It's a great chance to keep playing, but it was never something you "signed for" or "committed to". I walked onto a D1 team and never "signed" - I'd feel like a pathetic liar if I told people I did that. I know other sports do similar things, but college soccer coaches are the ones who blatantly skip over high school coaches and go straight to the high priced clubs...bad idea given some of the talent on city high school teams. Then each year the soccer clubs list where their athletes have committed to...and their usually third or fourth tier schools, many you've never heard of. Likely going to offend some people so sorry in advance. Not really.
     

    Hrhpd

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    May 12, 2012
    So, current events seem to have demonstrated the measures some parents will go through to get their kids into a college of their choice. I think this is related:

    In a previous thread, I mentioned that my son's lacrosse teams have played in tournaments (unfortunately, often organized by High School graduation year) against plenty of teams that seem to have kids that are all a year or so older than traditional/average/expected ages for their school grade. For example, they have played a team full of 7th graders that had 14 year olds on it. Although somewhat annoying for a team that tries to follow the spirit of the age groups, it is unfortunately something we expect. I believe some tournaments even stipulate that a team can have a certain number of older kids. Whatever - that is not the reason for my post.

    I had heard of the practice of holding a kid back a year for athletic reasons for some elite lacrosse middle schools. There was an article about this some time ago about schools in Maryland. However, I now know a parent that is going to do this very thing. My son plays on the same rec team as his son. His kid is going to be held back to repeat his 8th grade year. The kid has no problems academically or socially and is average age for his current class - the only reason, as admitted by the parent, will be for athletic considerations. In fact, the parent has said that he will not be allowed to repeat the grade by the public schools, as he has met all requirements for advancement. Therefore, the kid will have to either go to a private school or be home schooled for a year.

    One of the parents asked the kid's father how the kid felt about it, and the father said that the kid wanted to do it because all the other kids on his travel program (my son plays on a more local travel team while this kid plays on one several hours away) are doing, or have done the same thing.

    Do other sports do this? The only thing I can think of is that the father feels it will give his kid an advantage in terms of a college scholarship. Also, for any of you familiar with college sport recruitment, wouldn't this be something the college would consider when evaluating athletes? If a kid is a year older than others in high school, then it may make a difference, but I have to think that once they get to college and can redshirt, or stop growing, or whatever, the difference is not as much.

    Not that it concerns me, but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. His kid is good, but not what I would consider elite. I also do not know how many full ride scholarships are given out for lacrosse. I have to think that most are partial, unless you are elite. And, if you are elite, that should be apparent to recruiters, whether you are held back a year or not. Furthermore, this family has money - this is not a story about a poor family trying to get their kid a chance for a good education. The amount of money they are spending on training and perhaps a year of private school may be better spent in a college fund. Lacrosse does not have a lucrative pro league, so it is not like they are trying to set this kid up for life. I really do not think he is good enough for that anyway. I think they are setting the kid up for failure, and giving him a real warped sense of priorities. And, no, I am not jealous - my son is a good lacrosse player, but even if he were elite, we would never consider such a thing. I wish nothing but the best for this kid, but feel a little sorry for the expectations that are being placed on him.
    You do seem quite obsessed with athletes playing down. I was thinking this on one of your other Lacrosse posts but never asked, so here goes...How do you know all these boys are overage? Have you examined all their birth certificates? Except for your son's friend that you know personally, are you absolutely sure there are so many playing in the wrong age.

    My one son played elite Lacrosse from 7 through high school. We have also been involved in football (tackle from 8-high school) and swimming with all the boys swimming through college. Luckily, my boys were blessed with a modicum of athletic ability and have managed to play and swim with some pretty great teams and coaches. While we did run across the occasional questionable athlete, it was certainly in the minority.

    The one thing that always struck me was the difference in boys and the differences in their development. I remember one year looking down the blocks during a 13-14 year old race and the stark differences in the different swimmers' development was evident. There were 5 ft skinny little boys standing next to 6 ft men with underarm hair and the shadow of facial hair. If I didn't know that we all had turned in birth certificates and they were carefully scrutinized, I would have sworn some teams were sandbagging with older swimmers.

    Guy's vary SO much in development from 12-18 that it is absolutely impossible to tell their age by looks. DS was a goalie during those years and he was somewhere in the middle on the development curve. I remember all those BIG boys standing in front of the net rocketing hard rubber balls at my kid, wondering if they were recruited from the local MLL team.:crazy: Yet, again, I knew there were carefully scrutinized birth certificates on record, so I knew they were eligible athletes.
     
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