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Should Youth Lacrosse Players “Play Up” an Age Division



Deciding if your child should play up an age group can be a very complicated decision. Each case should really be looked at differently and there is no right or wrong answer. There are a lot of important factors to consider before you decide if your child should play up. Here are some factors that really can help clarify this process.

Reasons to Consider

The first thing you should consider when making this decision is the physical and mental maturity along with the skillset. All athletes on the field should be competing as physical equals. Because not only should these athletes have great stick skills to compete with older athletes, but need to be able to handle the added pressures. In lacrosse, your child could have great stick skills but constantly get beaten up by bigger and more aggressive athletes. So, looking into your child’s overall physical and mental maturity case by case should be a crucial part of making this tough decision.

Another major factor in making this decision should be focusing on the development of their game. Your child plays lacrosse to have fun as well as develop at all times and constantly improve. And a major way of doing this stems from playing time and in-game experience. If you decide to play your child up, but they do not get many minutes or touches, it could be better for them to play their own age group. Because not only would this stunt their development but could cause them to lose interest and not have as much fun as they would if they got more playing time.

And the last factor you should consider is their peer group. While decisions should not be 100% based on friends and siblings, this is something to consider as it can be more fun to play with people you know. If you are still on the fence after the first two things to consider, this could decide the best fit. This extra support and excitement could really keep your child enjoying the game longer.

Reasons to Not Solely Base Your Decision off

  • My child plays up in other sports
  • Their siblings played up
  • Their best friend is playing up
  • We like the upper-level coach more
  • I heard if my child plays up, he has a better chance of making the high school team
  • We can carpool with the neighbors if we play up
  • It’s “cooler” to play up

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