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8U vs 10U

Feb 10, 2020
10
3
My daughter is 8 but will turn 9 during softball season. Her and a few others have the option of staying in 8U or moving up with most of the other girls from their previous team. My question is, would they benefit more by staying back in 8U to master more of the basics they learned last year, build confidence, leadership, etc... or move up with their team, so they aren’t behind next year when the other girls have a year of kid pitch under their belt?
 
Jan 13, 2020
22
3
I think at that age you should keep her with her friends. What’s the difference between 8u and 10u? In our case 8u is pitching machine and 10u is kid pitch (minors). The pitching can be very shaky. So if you think the players need to develop more I would try to convince your group to stay in 8u. To keep the kids interested at a young age I think giving them the opportunity to be with their friends is a big benefit.
 
Aug 2, 2019
329
63
In my opinion, if the girls can make basic plays, and more importantly, you have a pitcher or two, go ahead and move up. My daughter joined a team that was mostly playing up. At the end of the season they ran into a team that used to smoke them in 8U, and was playing up in their first tourney. They were something like 33-0 in 8U. Our girls beat them handily, and their pitching was equal to ours. The difference in the development was astounding.

The flip side of that, not every girl is ready. My DD wouldn't have been at that age. The game would have been too fast for her to handle mentally, and she physically couldn't make a lot of play. 40 mph pitching would have been impossible to deal with.

Try to honestly assess your team. Where are they mentally? Where are they physically? Are they dominating in 8U? I'd suggest if they were mid pack or better last season, it may be time to move up. If below, keep them down for a while. You can still sign up for a 10U tourney later in the season. Or you could even play a mix all year. Play up for experience, then play down for confidence.
 
Feb 10, 2020
10
3
I think at that age you should keep her with her friends. What’s the difference between 8u and 10u? In our case 8u is pitching machine and 10u is kid pitch (minors). The pitching can be very shaky. So if you think the players need to develop more I would try to convince your group to stay in 8u. To keep the kids interested at a young age I think giving them the opportunity to be with their friends is a big benefit.
All but 2 of her friends have to move up bc they are already 9. The difference between 8U/10U is coach pitch vs kid pitch. She was one of the better ones on her team last year... really good hitter, played 3rd base and did really well at stopping the ball but didn’t always make the right play. So part of me thinks she could develop more infield skills and confidence by staying back but hitting wise she’s more than ready to move up.
 
Feb 10, 2020
10
3
In my opinion, if the girls can make basic plays, and more importantly, you have a pitcher or two, go ahead and move up. My daughter joined a team that was mostly playing up. At the end of the season they ran into a team that used to smoke them in 8U, and was playing up in their first tourney. They were something like 33-0 in 8U. Our girls beat them handily, and their pitching was equal to ours. The difference in the development was astounding.

The flip side of that, not every girl is ready. My DD wouldn't have been at that age. The game would have been too fast for her to handle mentally, and she physically couldn't make a lot of play. 40 mph pitching would have been impossible to deal with.

Try to honestly assess your team. Where are they mentally? Where are they physically? Are they dominating in 8U? I'd suggest if they were mid pack or better last season, it may be time to move up. If below, keep them down for a while. You can still sign up for a 10U tourney later in the season. Or you could even play a mix all year. Play up for experience, then play down for confidence.
I feel she is ready as far as hitting but she plays 3rd base and did well but didn’t always make the right play so I thought maybe she would benefit from staying back and getting more confidence with that. So basically we will either play another year of 8U (would make it her 3rd season) or we would move up this year and play 3 years of 10U. I would say she’s above average hitter and average infielder. So just debating between bettering skill set with younger less experienced girls (some are just coming out of tball and it will be their first year at 8U) or move up with a team that it will be their first year in 10U kid pitch where they all may struggle but she would be able to stay 3 years.
 
Mar 26, 2019
82
18
Central Ohio
My DD didn't have the 8U option. She was 8 when she started travel ball at 10U. It worked out great for her. She adjusted just fine and played 3 years of 10U. If she is above average, I would move her up to 10U.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,592
113
8U is a ton of fun. Coach pitch so all the girls get to hit the ball. Plenty of grounders to work on fielding skills.

10U is a bore. Most girls can't pitch so most girls walk. Most catchers are lousy so the first two pitches will result in the girl easily strolling to third base. Another passed ball and they score. Rinse, repeat, hit the max run limit for the inning, and you're done.



So that's the worst case scenario, and hopefully you've watched enough games at your league to know if you're on track for a 10U year like that. And if so, stay in 8U.

If this is travel, or the league has good players and good pitchers, moving up to 10U makes sense.
 
Oct 2, 2017
1,438
113
Personally, My opinion is, What is the rush to move up, staying 8u will give more opportunity to have more reps at bat and getting hands on the ball. When you make the move to 10u a lot of that goes away. Just my opinion
 
Jul 14, 2018
468
63
So just debating between bettering skill set with younger less experienced girls (some are just coming out of tball and it will be their first year at 8U) or move up with a team that it will be their first year in 10U kid pitch where they all may struggle but she would be able to stay 3 years.
The reality at that age is that kids don't really get much better playing in games. The pitching is too inconsistent, and many girls are still learning the rules. If you go into 10U hoping to see your daughter get lots of reps fielding balls at 3B, you're going to be disappointed. She won't see a whole lot of strikes at the plate, either.

The real improvement happens during practice, and you should find that you can challenge 10U girls at practice more than 8U, especially if many are just moving up from T-ball. Kids at that age are sensitive about age differences as well. Your daughter will probably feel better about herself and her skills if she's playing with the older girls and not the younger ones. Finally, if her friends and teammates are moving up, she'll want to stay with them.

The only advantage to staying is that she gets to be the big kid on the team, and hopefully develop some leadership skills. At 8U though, leadership can be a little like herding cats :)
 
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