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Why aren’t there 11u divisions/competitions?

Oct 4, 2018
2,496
113
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.).
I don't believe there are many actively cheating and having girls play when their birthdate mandates they can't. But I'm in the "I believe people do the right thing" camp more often than not.

I know no girls on our teams are cheating. I'm sure a few are, but I hope/think it's rare.
 

pattar

Just a kid kicking dirt in a sandbox
Jun 8, 2016
7,895
113
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.
You show me a 12U team full of 130 lb girls all with excellent skills and you will be showing me a top 10 in the nation 12U team...I mean that Georgia Impact 08 Taylor team down in your neck of the woods is pretty dang good and I don't think they would qualify as having a team full of 130 lb girls with high skill level.
 
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Mar 4, 2015
212
43
New England
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.
Why does your baby 12U team need to play only other baby 12U teams? Is the team not competitive with weaker 'older' 12U teams?

It's not perfect either way.

If you have more age divisions, then a really good 11U team and a weaker 11U team are more likely to be forced to play each other for lack of enough teams.

But with fewer age divisions, you have more teams in one age division, so a tournament director at least has the opportunity to divide them up in ways that create more competitive games. The best 11U might play in A, and the worst 12U might play in B. Sometimes it won't work out, but there's a far better chance of having more competitive games this way than with more age divisions, IMO.

Also, on a slightly different topic, I don't believe that teams should be rated A or B except for a specific tournament. So let's say that I'm your local tournament director, and in 12U, I typically have an A and B division. Some teams are always in A because they're in the top 25% of teams in the area. Some teams are always in B because they're in the bottom 25%. The middle 50% might go in A or B depending on what teams show up that particular weekend. The idea that you're either an A or a B team regardless of the situation is a ridiculous myth.
 
Jul 14, 2018
651
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The age division is the only thing that’s completely objective. A,B, or C level is something that teams bestow on themselves. Dividing by age isn’t always ideal (especially in that 12U range), but it’s probably the best option.

Just as there are A-level teams that trophy hunt in lower level tournaments, there will be fully mature players who should be playing at a higher age level but stay down because they enjoy being the star player.

As others have pointed out, breaking out 10U, 11U, and 12U would not be practical in softball because there just aren’t enough teams or players.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Jul 16, 2013
4,064
113
Pennsylvania
I probably have a slightly different view on this than some other people. DD has a December birthday and has a lot of friends with January, February, or March birthdays. She was consistently moving up to play the next level while her friends played one more season at the previous level. In the long run, I think it helped her growth in the sport.
 
Oct 15, 2013
497
43
Seattle, WA
In my experience the dimorphism in
That wasn't our experience. 14U gets a range of girls from 13yos who still look like little girls, to 15yos that are starting to look like women. Dugout conversations can start to get interesting, too. My DD's team had a 6' tall, moderately thick girl, and a 5' tall pretty lean girl. We came across players on other teams who were bigger than our tall one, and smaller than our short one.

Have to agree. I think the greatest dimorphism is at the 14U level.
 
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Jun 19, 2016
641
43
My observation is most USSSA 11O (open) teams are far better than most 12B or 12C teams. It is pretty common in OK and it seems to be a tactic to (1) identify themselves as a younger team and (2) prevent the team from being moved up to 12A. There are very few 11O events.
 
Apr 16, 2013
1,079
83
No real dog in the fight, but I noticed this exact thing this past weekend. I've never seen a huge difference in 14u and up. 16 and 18u seem exactly the same. Between games though, a 12u game took place. One team had, very obviously, much more mature girls. I felt bad for the "smaller" team. The girls were launching the ball. One girl in particular even hit the fence (210' field). I'd consider that more of a safety issue. I think some of those girls would have been far better served playing 14u. It was zero challenge for them.
 
Jun 19, 2016
641
43
You show me a 12U team full of 130 lb girls all with excellent skills and you will be showing me a top 10 in the nation 12U team...I mean that Georgia Impact 08 Taylor team down in your neck of the woods is pretty dang good and I don't think they would qualify as having a team full of 130 lb girls with high skill level.
I wouldn't classify 130# as big in 12U.
 
Jun 19, 2016
641
43
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.
I seriously know several 80# girls that can knock the cover off the ball and girls that are 180# that can't hardly hit. I know this is obviously not a general rule. But at any rate....the big girls in 12U are not 130#. My DD is 5'5" and 160# and she just turned 12. I definitely would not consider her one of the bigger girls.
 

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