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8U vs 10U

Mar 22, 2016
Southern California
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.
This depends on where the original poster plays/lives, and those rules.

In So Cal rec, 8U is kid pitch to start season, then coach pitches after four balls (to avoid walk fest). At midseason, it becomes all kid pitch. Because girls have already been pitching, 10U is much less of a bore fest.

I was in the same situation as the original poster. Daughter just finished her 8U fall season. She was one of the top players, but the pitching overall in the division was just not good. Lots of walks - bore fest. Rather than have her play 8U and not get pitches to hit and not be challenged, I decided to move her up to 10U for spring. It's going to be a big challenge physically and mentally for her, but after three practices I can already tell this was the right decision. She has a couple of friends on her team that she played with last spring when she was 7, and she's basically mid-level player on the team. I think she'll end up catching a lot, which is going to be stressful, but again, she's going to grow a ton.

And then come All-Stars, she's still 8U eligible, and can play all summer with top girls her age to get that tournament/competition feel. And practice 10-12 hours a week : /
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Jul 14, 2018
I disagree about the getting better in games statement. The skills come in practice, but they get better at the game, by playing the game. 8U is glorified practice.
I agree, I didn't mean to suggest that games don't have any value. Just that at 10U, there's not much action on the field while the pitchers are learning to do their thing. Game IQ can only be talked about so much, they have to put it into action to learn.
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Aug 2, 2019
I agree, I didn't mean to suggest that games don't have any value. Just that at 10U, there's not much action on the field while the pitchers are learning to do their thing. Game IQ can only be talked about so much, they have to put it into action to learn.
I was assuming 10U TB as well. 10U rec can be quite a crap shoot. Our 10U rec league has a coach come in to finish the count if a batter earns a walk, so they do get a little action. In 10U, even at C, we rarely had a game without seeing serviceable pitching.
May 2, 2018
Central Virginia
I still say don't overthink this but......

The only (albeit HUGE) benefit that staying in 8U gives is a consistent coach pitch to hit and the ball being consistently put in play for defensive game reps.

If your daughters team has inconsistent pitching (that is the nice way to state it) then it becomes 9-10 girls standing in the field watching girls walk/steal around the bases until a run limit or batter limit is reached. Furthermore, most hits off of kid pitch in rec result in a dinky hit back to the pitcher in my experience (not all but quite a few). Another plus, whether it is good pitching or not, she gets to experience a kid pitching at her instead of a perfect coach pitched ball right down the middle. Look at it as gettng a head start.

I 100% agree that the biggest benefit of moving up is going to be what she hopefully learns in practice. Girls actually pitching opens up new aspects of the game for kids to learn both offensively and defensively that they wouldn't learn at 8U. So while the games could get pretty boring, the practices are going to be learning new (more advanced and age appropriate) things she otherwise wouldn't learn at 8U.

Of course this is all hard to judge with out truly understanding the level of play your rec league is at, especially with pitching.

On another note, if your daughter has any aspirations to pitch this is a good time start!
May 6, 2015
also, baserunning is really not able to be taught in coach pitch (not certain about machine pitch, only had that a couple of times in games), as you cannot have stealing (once had a team argue they were able to steal home in a modified kid pitch game, opposing coach was pitching on 4 ball count with bases loaded, went to backstop (off coach pitched), they tried to argue it was fine, until I mentioned that I intended to sail it over the backstop the next time I pitched on 4 ball count, that made them rethink their stance).
Sep 29, 2014
You said the whole team moved up except for your DD and maybe one or two other....you said she was one of the better players on the team. IF you really like the team, coaching, parents and its a good situation team wise I would say just follow the team as long as you think she would probably stay in same spot on the field and in the batting order....was the team going to recruit a couple new player to take up the open slots? I would be more worried in a couple years moving to 12U if the team stays together if she has not had her big growth spurt yet...gotta remember their will be a few 13 yr olds on that 12U team and the difference can be crazy.
Oct 16, 2019
To each his own I say. I actually asked my DD what she preferred and she agreed with me to stay 8u, but mainly because of friends. :) She played last year at 7 yrs old on a 8u team and did very well - all but one tournament was coach pitch. Hitting has never been an issue with her thus far - pitching machine in the cages- coach pitch - or player pitch (if the player pitches well) - she seems to do okay. She batted clean up and drove in most of the runs for the team. But I am keeping her down in 8u again this year just for the confidence and for more instruction on defense. Another local dad from another team agreed with me - confidence and defensive skill would improve even more - and his daughter did really well in 8u as well. Plus, my DD did not know any of the girls last year until she walked on the field for the first practice she attended - different school district...this new team she will know everyone and likely have more fun - she is definitely excited.