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 General Discussion
 Holding Kid Back a Grade for Athletic Purposes
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RUSemiPro

52 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  08:59:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just curious what the thoughts are out there about the emerging trend of holding kids back a grade level to benefit them in High School Sports.

I'm seeing more and more people have their kid repeat 6th, 7th or 8th grade, not because of academics or maturity, but simply to gain an "edge" in sports.

Some of these kids are straight A's gifted/accelerated students as well.

Some of these kids are not even on the "small or under developed" end either, these are some big boys.

I am not judging, I am just trying to understand the landscape and what is driving these parents to make these decisions.

I would think academic scholarships pay more than baseball scholarships, and these extra years of private school (public schools wouldn't allow this) have to cost considerable amounts of money.

Little League had to change the rules so starting next years 13 year old grown men aren't playing on a 9-10 year old field.

Is it about time the High School governing body says, hey you can stay back but you lose a year of eligibility and tack it on the back end?

wareagle

296 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  10:44:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not really an emerging trend, its been happening for at least 30 years back when I was in school. Public schools do allow it as well.
They may discourage it, and maybe a few do not allow it, but most do allow it, I believe.

If you have a child with a summer birthday, you need to choose whether you want them to be one of the oldest or youngest kids in their class?

We have 2 sons with July/August birthdays and we spoke to lots of people before making the decision to "hold them back". The deciding factor for us was that everyone we spoke to that had held their kids back, thought that they had done the right thing. There were numerous people we spoke with that did not hold them back, and regretted it later.

Everyone has to do what is right for their individual circumstances, just like they do with school choices and many other decisions in life.

Do I feel like it gave or will give them any great advantage in the long run, NO. But I do believe that it have given them a small competitive advantage at times, in the classroom, on the field and with thier maturity at times in High school. Its not going to get them a scholarship to a better program in college, but it probably has gotten them more playing time as underclassmen in high school. In return, they probably enjoy it more and have remained involved.

There is no wrong answer, just do what you feel is right for your child. Most of the complaints come from parents whose kids may not be getting as much playing time, and they are looking for reasons to justify why they are not playing. I get it, but if they are good enough it will work itself out on the field.

Just FYI. I had planned on letting my first son start school late but we allowed his pre k teachers to talk us out of it. We realized pretty early that we had made a mistake. We held him back in 5th grade before starting middle school. It was partially social and also partially an athletic decision.
With my younger son (late July B day), we went ahead and started him late to begin with.

We feel as if it was the correct choice for both of our boys.

Edited by - wareagle on 09/12/2018 11:57:17
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Caseyatbat

9 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  10:48:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I rarely, if ever, comment. However, red-shirting is so ubiquitous that I barely notice it any more. If you have any doubts, look at graduation years and then the age group of many players.

We have played on multiple teams at the major level where there were only 1-2 players who were NOT held back. It isn't my business what other parents do; I have plenty to consider with just my own offspring!
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wareagle

296 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  10:58:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1.30 - AGE
To be eligible to participate in interscholastic activities, a student must not have reached his 19th birthday prior to
May 1st, preceding his year of participation.

This is the GHSA rule for participation, so you can't hold them back too long.
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Punishers

600 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  11:26:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Either parents are afraid for their kids to play on the big field. May they are too slow? Too much weight? Personally, I see more advantage in playing up than playing down. A kid can be 13yo and in the 6th grade and play 12u? If they were really sticking to the age rule, than stick to the age rule. Grade should not even be considered a factor. That's the parents fault if their kid is the oldest in their grade with a full goatee. All I see is parents setting their kids up for failure. They will have to play on the big field sooner or later and prolonging the inevitable rarely works. 60/90 can not be avoided unless parents want to keep their kids behind to be the man at a lower age.`
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743

196 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  12:46:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Top HS QB last year now at UGA was held back a year. Did it help absolutely. If my son was that good I would have done the exact same thing.
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Gus Ball Still Wins

76 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  15:28:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems difficult to me to tell my kids that school comes first, then hold them back in school to get an advantage in sports. But that is just me.
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wareagle

296 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  16:00:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Punisher - LOL

My sons were neither too small, or scared. They often played up and the game certainly has not caught up to them or passed them by. They are not the biggest and best, nor are they too small or too heavy. Its not about some dream of being a superstar! Its simply figuring out what works best for your own kid. Mine were not set up for failure anymore than not holding them back would set them up for failure or success.
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hshuler

1056 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  16:53:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it doesnít work out then the parents get an extra year of a teenager being in the house.

Sounds like fun, right?

All in seriousness, most parents of sound mind will do what they think is best for their children. Even if it doesnít work out, they probably thought it was the best decision at the time....so to each his own.
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corn dawgie dawg

26 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  17:09:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's all about getting an edge, I get it. The problem is so many people are doing it now you're not even getting ahead, you're just staying even. I honestly wish GHSA not allow it so we can get back on a level playing field again since if you don't do it with your July / August birthday kid you're essentially playing up in a sense when you play with your classmates.

FYI, the greatest player in the game right now, Mike Trout, has an August birthday and hadn't reached his 18th birthday when he was drafted in 2009. If only his parents would have held him back a year how good would he have been?! haha
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wareagle

296 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2018 :  20:00:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Iím not sure GHSA can handle more responsibility. They donít often do great things now.

If you donít think holding your kids back is right for you, thatís ok. Donít do it. But that doesnít mean itís wrong for me.

If you use Sept 1 then I held my kid back 3 weeks. Sept 1 is simply an arbitrary date and parents can and should be able to determine how that date works for them. Within reason of course.
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Punishers

600 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2018 :  03:03:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 743

Top HS QB last year now at UGA was held back a year. Did it help absolutely. If my son was that good I would have done the exact same thing.



Football is a different sport. Everyone I know who has a kid playing football hold back. I just can't see intentionally parent-flunking my kid for an assumed sport advantage. To each his own.

Edited by - Punishers on 09/13/2018 09:23:02
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bama21

208 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2018 :  06:50:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kids develop at different ages; obviously, some develop sooner than others. When I say develop, I don't mean just physically, to me, it is more on the mental side of things.

My son wasn't ready to start school when "society" deemed it necessary, so he started late. Did it help him, WITHOUT A DOUBT it helped and not just in sports.
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Critical Mass

260 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2018 :  08:36:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We held our son back (Aug bday) and it was really my wife's decision. I had no idea back then about this issue relating to sports and frankly at the time we were only thinking about school and his academics/behavior in the classroom. It worked out in the end for him and his was never the biggest kid so even though we did that at 12-14 he was always one of the smallest and thats when i i heard some of the baseball dads were considering having their kids repeat to gain that edge.
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RUSemiPro

52 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  12:08:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Totally Agree. What message are we trying to send.

quote:
Originally posted by Gus Ball Still Wins

It seems difficult to me to tell my kids that school comes first, then hold them back in school to get an advantage in sports. But that is just me.

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RUSemiPro

52 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  12:20:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think early on, for the reasons you mention, nobody questions those decisions. July/August birthdays done before or in elementary school nobody is questioning.

I think what we are starting to see and some really question are more of are perfectly good students academically, socially and size wise that are already in Middle School being held back simply for athletic reasons.

My first thought is the poor child will be bored out of his/her mind, most middle schoolers dread school to begin with, now they have another year of it?? And does it really gain that much of an advantage or benefit longer term?

As I talk to others I really equate it to the equivalent of playing down a level, I would think one would want the opposite and want to play up against the best competition to better themselves, not try to dominate a lower level.

If I recall properly didn't Chipper Jones always play up with older tougher competition when he could?

At the risk of being labeled an extremist, I actually agree with Punishers. And not to bring up the Wood Bats, but as soon as we hit 14U its all BBCOR and Wood so no more of these "Hot" bats. Although I think some parents will find a way to cheat or game the system.

quote:
Originally posted by Critical Mass

We held our son back (Aug bday) and it was really my wife's decision. I had no idea back then about this issue relating to sports and frankly at the time we were only thinking about school and his academics/behavior in the classroom. It worked out in the end for him and his was never the biggest kid so even though we did that at 12-14 he was always one of the smallest and thats when i i heard some of the baseball dads were considering having their kids repeat to gain that edge.

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wareagle

296 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  17:13:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Semipro

I donít think your thoughts are extremist at all. Just different from mine and thatís what keeps things interesting. I personally have still never heard or read from anyone that actually held thier child back that thought it was a mistake. But I do hear from many that believe it was the right decision. All the negative that I hear comes from people who have not done it, and only hypothesize why it may be bad.

I donít think everyone should hold kids back or all not hold them back. Just do the best we can with our own circumstances.

Edited by - wareagle on 09/14/2018 18:27:02
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Crazyforbball

341 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2018 :  17:51:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think anyone disputes holding a kid back in the early years for maturity purposes. Is anyone really doing it for sports then? That would be a pretty bold assumption by a parent that a kindergartner or 1st grader was destined to be an athlete. At that age if you are doing it strictly for sports that says a lot about the parent's approach to their child's destiny. What if you get the artist or musician instead? We see enough kids on the field who don't want to be there at younger ages, please let's not add to the mix. If it works out, then great.

As far as a middle school, decent sized kid with great grades, would anyone here seriously consider making such a kid repeat a grade just to be bigger? As the parent of a smaller such kid with great grades, I would feel my priorities were seriously screwed up if I made him repeat classes he aced to size up. They will all hit puberty eventually, if there is a lag year where he has to grind it out to wait and grow so be it. If he's got the right stuff it will shake out by 16, if not, then he can focus on academic excellence and move on. But as others have pointed out just whats right for us.

Edited by - Crazyforbball on 09/16/2018 18:46:00
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743

196 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  10:32:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Punishers

quote:
Originally posted by 743

Top HS QB last year now at UGA was held back a year. Did it help absolutely. If my son was that good I would have done the exact same thing.



Football is a different sport. Everyone I know who has a kid playing football hold back. I just can't see intentionally parent-flunking my kid for an assumed sport advantage. To each his own.


Sports Advantage or Money Advantage? It could be the difference in getting 75% of your college tuition paid or getting 25% or less.. So I think it does make a difference. It's funny people decide things are ok for grades or money but sports are always looked at as something bad or like cheating. Private lessons are ok for School, not for sports. Private schools ok for learning but not sports. I know I am playing devils advocate but think about it. In the end everyone does what they think is best for their children even if its not the best thing, Nothing usually ever happens the way we think or hope it will but it seems to all work out in the end.
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CaCO3Girl

1904 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  13:08:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i wish I would have held my son back....and he does too. At the time though he couldn't imagine repeating 8th grade and all his friends moving on. Now he is mostly friends with the kids a grade below him....funny how life works.
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wareagle

296 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  06:08:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many more positives than negatives. You always hear the argument about academics, but if anything it has helped my sons academically as well. I donít really see where it would hurt a child academically. The only potential downside I see is socially and my oldest did get some ďribbingĒ from kids initially, but I figured it just helped him realize which kids were his real friends. He is a senior now and I have zero regrets except for not doing it earlier with my first son. (Before he started school)

As I said, it was partially an athletic decision to begin with, but in the end, I think he has benefited as much from the increased maturity, etc. I believe the maturity and confidence gains will benefit him even more as he leaves home and goes off to school. I currently have no doubt that he will be able to handle that transition well. And thatís what it is really all about.
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sleeperzbaseball

5 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  08:11:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a son that is only 9 right now and will not be 10 until March. Someone once said that I should have held him back a year so he would be in 9U instead of 10U this season because he tends to be the youngest on his team. The thing is, he is always the tallest on his team so I couldn't imagine if he were playing with at a level where his is the oldest. Actually, I can. He plays 10U soccer which is 2009-2010 birthdays and most of the players don't come up to his shoulders (too bad headers aren't allowed). My point is that I would rather him be challenged now by playing against kids 9-10 months older than stunt himself developmentally to gain an alleged advantage when he gets to high school. There isn't any real correlation to predicting how someone will do at the MLB level anyway. There are too many stories like Noah Syndergaard (awkward overweight, 80mph FB in HS) or Jacob deGrom (didn't start pitching until much later) who are aces as there are 19 year old HS graduates who are studs in the Show.
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Punishers

600 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  09:29:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 743

quote:
Originally posted by Punishers

quote:
Originally posted by 743

Top HS QB last year now at UGA was held back a year. Did it help absolutely. If my son was that good I would have done the exact same thing.



Football is a different sport. Everyone I know who has a kid playing football hold back. I just can't see intentionally parent-flunking my kid for an assumed sport advantage. To each his own.


Sports Advantage or Money Advantage? It could be the difference in getting 75% of your college tuition paid or getting 25% or less.. So I think it does make a difference. It's funny people decide things are ok for grades or money but sports are always looked at as something bad or like cheating. Private lessons are ok for School, not for sports. Private schools ok for learning but not sports. I know I am playing devils advocate but think about it. In the end everyone does what they think is best for their children even if its not the best thing, Nothing usually ever happens the way we think or hope it will but it seems to all work out in the end.



It's a big gamble. The kid may or may not get a scholarship. Parents might as well do what Bryce Harper dad did or just home school them a year below their scheduled grade. Parents are holding back and not even all in on the game.

Example: When my brother got stationed in Italy and his son went to live with him, he was playing HS basketball in the 9th grade in Houston. Italy does not have HS basketball, so his son played for a professional team as an unpaid player. When he came back for his senior year, 3 years later, he was a man against boys. Had other HS teams contest that had played professionally overseas. Nothing in the HS rules about kids who have played pro ball in another country.

If I'm going to hold my kid back for an assumed sport, I would maximize that advantage. What parents are doing now is just trying to beat up on younger kids with a daily shaver. They are not really all in, and only see the quick for now small picture. I get it, most of these parents were born in the 80's. It will all shake out as soon as they have to play on a 60/90 field and wood is the only thing they can swing. So hold back as much as you want for the youth wins. Make sure you share those youth video highlights to the D3 and D4 scouts.
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corn dawgie dawg

26 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  10:59:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Punishers LMAO
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HighFive

6 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  15:13:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Will a school even allow you to repeat a grade in middle school where a child not only passed everything, but excelled, in all accelerated and honors classes? Does this apply if they don't have a close birthday?

Edited by - HighFive on 09/19/2018 15:49:40
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hshuler

1056 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  16:18:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HighFive

Will a school even allow you to repeat a grade in middle school where a child not only passed everything, but excelled, in all accelerated and honors classes? Does this apply if they don't have a close birthday?



I know of a few situations where the kids transferred to a private school for a year and them returned to public school in eighth grade.
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