FYI Hudson Valley Lacrosse is going to an age based system for this upcoming season. Obviously it doesn't address club teams, but it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully other organizations will do the same.
While definitely a step in the right direction, it really needs to be a country wide mandate.As long as club teams are the driving force in (early) recruiting, no Westchester teams would think of traveling to the main Mid-Atlantic recruiting events without reclassified kids in order to compete with similar teams there. Again a nice first step that really only affects town teams and public school kids.
Recruiting tournaments couldn't care less about what's fair and obviously the college coaches don't either. They'd accept 20 year old Freshman all day long if they could. So, it falls on the youth programs and the governing bodies to protect the kids and ensure fair play. Oh, of course the pathetic parents are really those that are responsible for holdbacks. But teaching ethics to children really isn't the job of parents, just how to cheat your way to success.
I can't speak for youth Hockey, which would be most similar to lacrosse as far as early recruiting/prep school imvolvment, is it grade based or age based? But generally speaking in baseball & basketball, while there are reclassified kids playing, it is age based, and if you want to be 'noticed' or taken serious by D1 schools you have to play up 1-2 years. When did lacrosse go so off the rails that parents and players think playing down is the way to go? I get that it's the current system, and pretty soon most elite teams will be one re-classified team playing against another....not sure how that will play out in the future for the growth of the game among public school players.