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Why aren’t there 11u divisions/competitions?

Mar 4, 2015
212
43
New England
Well then by this logic why separate the groups at all? Why separate it in boys baseball? They have 8,9,10,11u, why bother splitting it all up then?why even have separate boys and girls teams?
Your concerns about pitting two unevenly matched teams is legit. I just don't think that further dividing by age is the best solution. The current setup -- having age divisions two years apart, then dividing by skill depending on who shows up to a particular tournament -- works best, IMO.

Look at it from a tournament director's standpoint. If you have more age divisions, you're more likely to have an entry list that too often just doesn't work. You might have three 11U teams & nine 12U teams on an given weekend. Better to have a larger number - 12 teams overall in 12U - and then divide them in half based on skill.

I have no real experience with travel baseball, but more age divisions might work if you have more teams. Guessing here, but I imagine that there are more travel baseball teams than softball teams.

What you say about having any age divisions is not that ridiculous, actually. But the age divisions make it easier for teams to find appropriate competition. Plus, teams want to measure themselves against teams of similar age.
 
Jul 16, 2013
4,064
113
Pennsylvania
Interesting conversation, but one I really never thought much about. When DD played rec ball, we only had two levels; 10u and 12u. She started playing 10u as a 7 year old and moved to 12u as a 10 year old. That gave her 3 years at each level. Throughout her travel ball days she would typically stay with her age group but often played up as a pickup player. As a 12 year she played on a 12u team and played several tournaments on a 14u team (pitcher). Same with 14u, etc. To me it was never really about the age or size. Skill was the biggest concern. That said, I do understand the concerns.
 
May 6, 2015
2,021
113
12u ...meaning players cant be 13 at all playing 12u. Would make sense simply because the age bracket singifies 12 years old and under. And obviously 13 is older than 12.
Like this
'Hey our 13 year olds won the 12u tournament' is awkward.


Glad players can play up in age brackets!
Because it helps to continue being challenged to grow=softball skills!
actually, you can have 13 year olds playing in 12u, if their birthday is after Dec 31 . they are considered whatever age they were on Jan 1 all the way until August or September. Last spring, DD was 13 playing 12u ball. now as her team was mostly 08s or younger, she had to find new team in fall.

that being said, I think there is no need to drill down the ages to one year brackets, especially not just for one particular year. the discrepancy mentioned about physical development and possible topics of conversation can happen at any level. DDs 10u team had a few girls taller than most of the moms of the team. on DDs current 14u team, when they first met DDs older sister, they though she was DDs younger sister, cause she was shorter than DD and almost all the girls on the team (one recently was amazed when older DD confirmed to her that she drove herself to the fields to watch younger DD play). but then on same team there are a couple of tiny girls who could pass for 10u probably.

I think having two year brackets works out, a year of most likely (but not always) being humbled, then a year where roles reverse. and it allows girls who need a new team more options in finding a home when they need one (like DD last spring), even if only temporary (and if this is known, gives family a whole season to look at options).
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
3,248
113
California
Pitching differences going from 35-40’ starting at 11. Strength of girls and ability to hit balls to the outfield. Put random sample of 13 year old vs 11 yr olds and the 13 yr olds will be hitting it harder. IMO it’s a big leap starting at 12u vs being at the end of 12u. Of course there will always be girls with more talent, regardless of size at any age. There are reasons why it’s segmented out at 8u, 10u, 12u.. I just think that 12u is right in the middle of a developmental stage where girls are on average going through puberty making teams that are comprised of older 12u girls difficult to beat vs a team of younger 12u girls. I just don’t think it’s that evident in other age groups. Just my opinion anecdotally. An experienced 13 year old has a higher potential of hitting off my newly minted 40’ pitcher over the fence. An experienced 13 year old can hit pitching speeds and have ball placement that my 11 yr old has limited experience seeing.
So you are concerned with talent level. Which is not determined by size.

I wrote this earlier, maybe got overlooked...
12u age players have more options in that in most cases they can still play rec ball.

And travel offers e wide range of teams levels.
Read in some area's even having
A,B,C divisions.

What i recognize in softball there are many choices of levels of teams to play on.

Agree it is a big leap having pitching move back 5 feet and ball get bigger.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
3,248
113
California
actually, you can have 13 year olds playing in 12u, if their birthday is after Dec 31 . they are considered whatever age they were on Jan 1 all the way until August or September.



Last spring, DD was 13 playing 12u ball. now as her team was mostly 08s or younger, she had to find new team in fall.

that being said, I think there is no need to drill down the ages to one year brackets, especially not just for one particular year. the discrepancy mentioned about physical development and possible topics of conversation can happen at any level. DDs 10u team had a few girls taller than most of the moms of the team. on DDs current 14u team, when they first met DDs older sister, they though she was DDs younger sister, cause she was shorter than DD and almost all the girls on the team (one recently was amazed when older DD confirmed to her that she drove herself to the fields to watch younger DD play). but then on same team there are a couple of tiny girls who could pass for 10u probably.

I think having two year brackets works out, a year of most likely (but not always) being humbled, then a year where roles reverse. and it allows girls who need a new team more options in finding a home when they need one (like DD last spring), even if only temporary (and if this is known, gives family a whole season to look at options).
Yes thats what i commented.
Its awkward to have 13 year old in a division that is 12 & under.

Right now i have a 12 year old catching student who had a 6" growth spurt. She is about 5'4 now. 110lb.
She still can play 12u a full year...and be 13 in final summer of 12u.
That said, her skills sets can Deffinetly move up to 14u befor that time a year from now.
That could mean playing with and against not only larger players, but also players with more experience.
I would NEVER hold back a players growth in developing skills simply because others may be bigger.
This example she may or may not get taller. Its about softball. Many times have students play up age divisions.
It can offer more competition and better level of coaching

Ie--- coaches coaching beyond fundamentals.
 
Dec 2, 2013
1,800
113
Texas
As you get to the older age divisions the teams are separated by skill. Prospects vs Futures. Gold-National vs 18U-(insert coach name)

Baseball does it because they can. They have an abundance of teams. As I think back to the 10u/12u tournaments DD played there just wouldn't be enough teams entered into a weekend tourney to separate the teams. We played tourney where there were only 5 teams and the most maybe 18. Once we got to the older ages and playing National tourneys there were 80-100 teams. By that time it wouldn't even matter.

Again, it goes back to skills not size. I have seen younger teams playing up an age division win the tourney. Back in the 12U days we played a tourney and ended up playing in the championship game against a 10U team!!! That was an interesting group pic! Big size difference. Yes we won. LOL. But that team beat out all the other 12U teams to get there.
 
Oct 4, 2018
2,496
113
Correct.

Rather than further divide teams based on age (11U, 12U, 13U, etc.), it's better to further divide teams based on skill level (12U A, 12U B, etc.).

Further dividing by age will make it harder for tournaments to have full draws (only three 11U teams signed up!) and harder for coaches to fill teams (my '10 team can't ever have an '11 player, not even every other year!)

If a first-year 12U team can't compete with these ''great big'' second-year 12U teams, then stick to other first-year 12U teams or ''little bitty'' second-year 12U teams, IMO.
Problem with that is that it can't be enforced. At least not well. A teams dip down to B to win trophies all the time. And when one of them does it, another does too. Domino effect.

With ages, at least it seems to be enforced.

And around here at least, there's simply no way for our baby 12U team to stick to tournaments with other baby 12U teams. Unless, of course, they have 11U tournaments.
 
Nov 13, 2020
43
8
appreciate all the feedback.. probably just a pipe dream of mine.. I get that it comes down to skill and that it’s not all about size, but it’s hard not to cringe a little when DD’s newly minted 12u team steps on the field and see them play another 12u team that has a year or so more experience than they do AND all are taller than our coaches 😂 maybe I exaggerate a little on the size.. but I have seen it. Next year I probably won’t care this.
 
May 6, 2015
2,021
113
Problem with that is that it can't be enforced. At least not well. A teams dip down to B to win trophies all the time. And when one of them does it, another does too. Domino effect.

With ages, at least it seems to be enforced.
is it though?

I have never seen any type of check on rosters, who the girls are that show up, etc. at any tournament (I will say we have only ever played USSSA and USA, really only options around here). now our nationals for this year (youth softball nationals) at least has parents digitally doing waivers ahead of time, so that might be somewhat of a deterrent (I know I would be reluctant to sign a waiver for someone elses kid). you could easily fake your entire roster, show up with girls all say 14 at a 12u tournament, and only if people recognized them, knew for ceertain their birthday, could you get called on it.

does softball need something like soccer has, where each player gets an ID card each season, and officials check them all at start of each game (along with checking cleats, etc.).
 
Oct 4, 2018
2,496
113
appreciate all the feedback.. probably just a pipe dream of mine.. I get that it comes down to skill and that it’s not all about size, but it’s hard not to cringe a little when DD’s newly minted 12u team steps on the field and see them play another 12u team that has a year or so more experience than they do AND all are taller than our coaches 😂 maybe I exaggerate a little on the size.. but I have seen it. Next year I probably won’t care this.
I'm with you on all of this. Yes, it comes down to skill. But we play at a level where all the kids have skill. So would you want a girl with a great swing and excellent skill who weighs 80 pounds or one that weighs 130 and is stronger. The size enhances the skills -- it makes hits harder/further, throws harder/faster, etc. etc.
 

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