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Weather to play competitive vs rec

Mar 28, 2020
152
28
I was reading the discussion "Playing 10u and 12u teams at the same time?"

During that discussion a few people replied with statements that was referring to an athlete playing rec vs travel. I believe one stated something like "let her play with her friends" I think another one was "wait until 14U to start"

After reading many of the replies. I started wondering: when do most people think a kid is ready for playing rec verse competitive/travel teams?

For me I waited until summer of my athletes 6th grade (going into 7th grade) year to start moving towards competitive. I kept them on local rec teams mainly due to me. I didn't want to start the travel race. Once it starts it runs until they leave for college. Whew the time and money......BUT I LOVE the memories. So I don't regret it and I am looking forward to doing it with my baby girl.

With my youngest girl I am more for playing an age up in rec and waiting until summer going into 8th grade before we start the tournament lifestyle.

For this discussion when do most of you think is the ideal time to make that rec to competitive/tournament/travel transition?
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,246
113
My dd started playing TB at the age of 10. At age 9 it was a hybrid type of thing where she had a rec team and a TB team but that TB team was comprised of older girls and she was a "guest" player. What you have to weigh is the benefits of rec ball that you see your dd getting versus the benefits of the improved play and coaching in TB. None of us know your specific situation in that regard. If your dd is one of the better players in your rec league, you might consider TB on a decent A or B team.
 
Mar 6, 2016
271
63
SOOO many variables to consider for each of us really. What I've learned here on this board after only being on here for the time I have is the terms "Rec" and Travel" and when and why people begin "Travel" are dependent on where (regions of the country) they live. I've had many describe their "travel" team and level of play and it sounds more like B Rec in many cases. But, in many parts of the country, there really isn't enough girls in their area to have a full Rec league. Whereas, here in So Cal, every town has a B level Rec league and All Stars and Select level teams that are very competitive and better than some local travel teams. So, to me, that's the biggest variable for all of us. Options.

In my case with two DD's, the older started TB in between 10u and 12u and did both for a year and then went full travel ball into HS. My younger DD (now 12) played Rec until just this past season playing up in 14u. She was happy playing with her friends and was playing up for the competition level as a catcher. But, the local league we are in didn't have a plan or a guarantee of playing games due to Covid restrictions. Whereas all the travel teams around here were finding ways to play games and keep going. So, instead of waiting around not knowing about a Spring season, we made the jump to go full Travel ball. She has had the skill level for TB since 2nd yr 10u, but she was having fun and playing up in the league and no need. The unknown of a Spring Rec season and also some girls already jumping to TB made the decision easy.

She really likes her new team and also really likes that all the girls can play with good skill level. She kinda realizes now the big difference and is excited about the new challenge of full on TB.

Ideal time to move to TB? That's based on every girl's personal circumstances. But, if I had to say the "usual" age...it's around 2nd yr 10 or starting in 12u.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,101
113
Do you have a viable 12U Rec league? In many places, there aren't many decent players who haven't moved to at least weekend tournament ball by that age. Not every team at 12U travels to play tournaments. Find a lower level team that has reasonable expectations.
 
Nov 25, 2012
1,239
63
Texas
from a pitching perspective.......one of the best North Texas pitchers to ever play the game just a couple years ago NEVER played Travel Ball. She dominated in HS and still boggles my mind why she didn't go on to play in college. She ended up going on an academic scholarship to Texas A&M. Playing softball was just fun for her and something to do in HS. Amazing story IMHO.
 
Apr 20, 2015
541
63
In my area most girls leave rec league at 10u. Our rec league is so weak that games are just a walk fest so the better athletes with any skill at all go to travel.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Apr 28, 2014
2,202
113
Like above mostly driven by geography and how strong the rec scene is in your area. DD played a little "Sunday select" at 9 years old. That was local area travel. Then moved to first year 12u at age 11. What we found were kids who played rec in our area were more inclined to dust off their glove a week before the rec season started and put it away after the last game of the season. Most would move to a different sport in fall and winter. DD was looking for a year round experience and travel provided it for her. Our 12u team was good but I looked at our organizations 18u team, went to some of their games and thought that they were weak compared to some of the "elite" teams in our area. At the end of first year 12s our coach was moving on to start a business so DD wanted to move to an organization that was laser forced on high level ball.
You're right that once the pendulum starts to swing it is a full time commitment up till college. But so worth it!
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,858
113
California
Who says rec cant be competitive?
Beginners can compete with other beginners.
That said,
This topic is really the same topic that continues in travel ball.
People trying to find the right fit.

Whats your goals?!
Figure that out, and the answer becomes clear!
Find others with alike goals,
And team up!
 
Mar 28, 2020
152
28
Who says rec cant be competitive?
Beginners can compete with other beginners.
That said,
This topic is really the same topic that continues in travel ball.
People trying to find the right fit.

Whats your goals?!
Figure that out, and the answer becomes clear!
Find others with alike goals,
And team up!
On the "Playing 10u and 12u teams at the same time?" discussion there were a few people saying that many kids moving to TB was due to "parents ego"

That was the discussion I was looking for ...... why did your DD move to competitive ball and at what age?

What were your or your DD's goal or reason for moving to TB?

that was the discussion I was trying to have. Why did your DD make the move? What is your DD's story?
 

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