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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51026 01/07/14 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
There is no question that holding back, grade repeating, and reclassifying are all done for one reason. It is to gain a competitive, unfair advantage over your competition. This is an indisputable fact. It is also the definition of "cheating" as defined by google, should you decide to search the meaning of the word.
Again, the benefits of taking an athlete and dropping him into a group of kids 1 to 2 years younger and having him compete are very clear.
You need not go any further than the BCS National Championship game last night to see the potential benefits of holding back your kid. The Hiesman winning, Championship winning "FRESHMAN" quarterback was 20 years old! That's right, a 20 year old freshman. Not 17 or 18. Many, many kids are 20 in the beginning of their SENIOR year of college. The afore mentioned QB could play in college till 24 or 25. Surely, he'll be in the NFL before that.
Whether you agree with reclassification or not you cannot dispute the potential benefits. Of course, those benefits come at the expense of others. Hence, the concept of "cheating". Obviously, with Lacrosse there is no NFL, so the big benefit is the prized colleges.
Moving forward, all tournaments, camps, showcases and recruiting events need to be age based with proof of age. Its the only way to take the benefit out of doing this. Clearly, there is nothing you can do about the HS piece. However, by adopting age based, enforced events outside of HS, coaches will be able to determine how good these hold backs really are. Surely, when playing in the HS environment they will excel, when forced to play on age, they may not be so stand out. Better for the colleges and better for the kids.
For those parents that have already done this, no this not whining. It is a clear presentation of the facts and the truth, something you folks don't do well with.


Winston was 18 when he entered Florida State; his birthday is in January and he red-shirted.

Maturity and academic development are both legitimate reasons for parents to hold back their child; it's not all about gaining an athletic advantage.

Reclassifying may affect some "normal" aged children in their ability to be recruited, but it does not affect so many that you think. Where reclassifying really affects other children is at the younger ages where size disparity can lead to injuries.

Reclassification is a reality that parents and children will need to deal with and accept because there is nothing that can prevent it.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
lax516 #51044 01/07/14 05:18 PM
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Good post. I agree with premise that it will ultimately come out in the wash. However, I also think the recruiting of 14-15 yo kids is the main driver of reclassing.

A few points on the age issue:
- USLacrosse claims to be "working on" an age verification system to include birth certificate submission;
- USLacrosse can enforce rules by refusing to provide supplemental insurance for the events that don't comply with its age restrictions;
- States have a variety of cut offs for school age. VA is 9/30, NY is 12/31. Current date of September 1 makes us older in VA, but 3 months seems trivial;
- Lax may not have the numbers in non-hotbeds to do individual years (U7, U8, U9 etc);
- Under current guidelines, U15 isn't just 8th grade, it includes 9th grade too (provided kid doesn't play JV).

Assuming USLacrosse gets it together and implements a reasonable system, it seems pretty easy to fix youth lacrosse age issues. In addition, limiting kids to 4 years of HS/JV play will eliminate most of the transfer/repeat/reclass issues during HS years.

Biggest problems are in the U15 year, which is when kids are hitting puberty, are about to start being recruited, and an extra year is very meaningful. Not surprisingly, this is when majority of reclassings occur.

Absent a NCAA recruiting fix, or Gentlemens' agreement among coaches to delay recruiting, I don't think there a perfect solution. Many of the reclassed kids play HS ball anyway, and enjoy best of both worlds. 4 yr HS rule would help.

Bottom line, this is on USLacrosse to fix.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51048 01/07/14 06:39 PM
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Wow that was a great post. Did you put a lot of thought into it. I bet you are one of those parents who reclassified your child. Do you pound your chest and feel proud that your child , who is a year older or more is a star on their team ? This thread must have hit a real nerve with you Dad. Try and add something constructive next time.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
VaLaxDad #51049 01/07/14 06:49 PM
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Well said VA Lax dad. I have read all of your post. We are on the same page with all of this nonsense . I just wish US Lacrosse would do something about it. Thanks Again. Long Island Lax Dad

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51050 01/07/14 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Well said VA Lax dad. I have read all of your post. We are on the same page with all of this nonsense . I just wish US Lacrosse would do something about it. Thanks Again. Long Island Lax Dad
BOTC has actually e-mailed our contacts here on Long Island and we have asked that this thread be passed along to our US Lacrosse peers as a lesson in what is really happening on the ground. Would it surprise you to hear that the Long Island organization responded within five minutes ... and the US Lacrosse organization ... well, let's just say we hope that they opened the e-mail.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51052 01/07/14 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
There is no question that holding back, grade repeating, and reclassifying are all done for one reason. It is to gain a competitive, unfair advantage over your competition. This is an indisputable fact. It is also the definition of "cheating" as defined by google, should you decide to search the meaning of the word.
Again, the benefits of taking an athlete and dropping him into a group of kids 1 to 2 years younger and having him compete are very clear.
You need not go any further than the BCS National Championship game last night to see the potential benefits of holding back your kid. The Hiesman winning, Championship winning "FRESHMAN" quarterback was 20 years old! That's right, a 20 year old freshman. Not 17 or 18. Many, many kids are 20 in the beginning of their SENIOR year of college. The afore mentioned QB could play in college till 24 or 25. Surely, he'll be in the NFL before that.
Whether you agree with reclassification or not you cannot dispute the potential benefits. Of course, those benefits come at the expense of others. Hence, the concept of "cheating". Obviously, with Lacrosse there is no NFL, so the big benefit is the prized colleges.
Moving forward, all tournaments, camps, showcases and recruiting events need to be age based with proof of age. Its the only way to take the benefit out of doing this. Clearly, there is nothing you can do about the HS piece. However, by adopting age based, enforced events outside of HS, coaches will be able to determine how good these hold backs really are. Surely, when playing in the HS environment they will excel, when forced to play on age, they may not be so stand out. Better for the colleges and better for the kids.
For those parents that have already done this, no this not whining. It is a clear presentation of the facts and the truth, something you folks don't do well with.


Winston was 18 when he entered Florida State; his birthday is in January and he red-shirted.

Maturity and academic development are both legitimate reasons for parents to hold back their child; it's not all about gaining an athletic advantage.

Reclassifying may affect some "normal" aged children in their ability to be recruited, but it does not affect so many that you think. Where reclassifying really affects other children is at the younger ages where size disparity can lead to injuries.

Reclassification is a reality that parents and children will need to deal with and accept because there is nothing that can prevent it.


Winston IS a 20 yo freshman, red shirt or not. As reported by ESPN last night.
Correction: We may have to deal with cheating I mean "reclassification", but we definitely don't have to accept it.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51062 01/07/14 11:47 PM
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This is college sports. This is life. It sucks, but it's the way it is. And we all make choices that build our personal character.

Yes, I agree US Lacrosse should do something about it. I agree colleges should do something about it. I agree parents shouldn't make initial contact so early...and yes, I agree those trying to gain unfair advantage with age and physical maturity should wear a big red 'L' on their chest.

Know what's interesting though? I just did a 15 minute search on wikipedia for the top ten lax players that came to my mind...starting at a time of a famous goalie to a recent Tewaaraton winner. Would you believe they all started college at 20 years old? Try it for yourself. I was shocked and saddened. Birth year/first year of college.

I chose not to list them out of respect, although much of that respect is now lost... (I can see them all now, frantically removing their birth dates!)...and ironically(?), they are all the main ambassadors of the sport we love. So we consumers are at fault too, giving them the support.

I instantly realized this issue has been going on for a very long time, my friends. And for a brief moment, I was jealous I didn't take an extra two years of development to dominate even more, and become part of the money making machine.

This is not a recent phenomenon.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51070 01/08/14 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
This is college sports. This is life. It sucks, but it's the way it is. And we all make choices that build our personal character.

Yes, I agree US Lacrosse should do something about it. I agree colleges should do something about it. I agree parents shouldn't make initial contact so early...and yes, I agree those trying to gain unfair advantage with age and physical maturity should wear a big red 'L' on their chest.

Know what's interesting though? I just did a 15 minute search on wikipedia for the top ten lax players that came to my mind...starting at a time of a famous goalie to a recent Tewaaraton winner. Would you believe they all started college at 20 years old? Try it for yourself. I was shocked and saddened. Birth year/first year of college.

I chose not to list them out of respect, although much of that respect is now lost... (I can see them all now, frantically removing their birth dates!)...and ironically(?), they are all the main ambassadors of the sport we love. So we consumers are at fault too, giving them the support.

I instantly realized this issue has been going on for a very long time, my friends. And for a brief moment, I was jealous I didn't take an extra two years of development to dominate even more, and become part of the money making machine.

This is not a recent phenomenon.


I am a huge proponent of enforced age based rules and despise those that game the system. That being said, there is a tremendous difference between gaming the system at 16 and playing with 14 years olds to increase your standing at a freshman recruiting event and taking a PG year after you earned your way fair and square. Many times that PG year is truly academic based. Even if it is athletic based, those that chose to do it are not doing it at another's expense. Big difference between the two situations. I'm sure the majority of the guys you're talking about are PG type guys... Let's hope.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51072 01/08/14 08:50 AM
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Correct this is a sport where they have been playing down for as long as I can remember. I remember going into homeroom on the first day of school (a long time ago) and seeing new faces... Not to the school but to the grade. And it was for Lax. Going age based takes care of this on the youth level (which I wish US lacrosse would enact ASAP) however, it will still be done on the school level. It doesn't bother me on the school level - but on the youth level it is gaining an unfair advantage because of the disparity of how kids mature. But it makes no sense to spread the age groups in two year intervals. Just go U9, U10, U11, U12 etc. to U15 - put a corresponding birth day rage with each age (Sept 1st - Aug 31st) and then go grade in two year intervals on the JV & Varsity level. Really, why is so hard. This would end the debate and if parents choose to hold back their child (which I don't begrudge) the child plays with the right age group up to HS.

I may be over simplifying a very hot topic, but what am I missing.


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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51074 01/08/14 09:10 AM
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I do believe that taking a PG year to mature academically and ready yourself for a school is very different from reclassifying in 8th grade or red-shirting in Kindergarten.

Many of the older players who took Post Grad years did so because they needed to as a contingency for acceptence to Lax U which would not of admitted them without lacrosse and without the PG.

I think this is a reasonable decision for an adult (18 yr old) to make and therefore very different from reclassifying and/or red-shirting in kindergarten.

In the post grad case there is no age based physical advantage gained during the recruiting period (no lacrosse cheating).

I am strongly opposed to reclassifying 13 year olds and red-shirting 5 yr olds, but if my son has an opportunity to attend a top school available only with a willingness to PG then I will support.

For your old school lax heroes you should check date of birth vs. HS graduation date. If you agree with me, perhaps you will start respecting some of them again

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51117 01/08/14 05:54 PM
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To me the schools take a big risk by committing earlier. What if the kid gets hurt or otherwise cannot play? If you get him as a junior then you have one more year of lacrosse (and other sports) to survive. But for every year earlier that you take a kid the university is at greater risk that he won't be able to play or be the player they hoped by the time he arrives on their campus. Of course he could work hard, get stronger, etc. and be more of a beast on arrival......but it just seems so early.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51124 01/08/14 08:16 PM
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A parent of a true 2017 14 yr old here who stands 5'11" about 177 lbs. middle of '99 birth date.

It has been my observation that while there are numerous reclassifieds out there; the lax abilities of those kids who are true 2017's are not overwhelmed by the age differential. Both large and smaller 2017's who are in the puberty stage appear to be able to hold their own quite proficiently.

However; the size discrepancy does present a challenge for those who have yet to reach the puberty stride and thus they are at a disadvantage in that respect, but I've seen some amazing "little" kids outshine these reclassifieds on so many occasions that it doesn't seem to matter after a while. Thankfully, there aren't that many injuries sustained as a result of these differentials in age and size. Sure some larger and older specimens need to rely on aggression to compete but that won't change significantly in their lax careers.

"Stealing" potential recruitment spots is probably less significant than assumed by most.
Clearly, those kids with talent will be noticed by recruiters eventually. Be it in the age appropriate class or a year later. The players who are destined to play in D1-3 programs will hopefully most likely get a chance to do so.

I would argue that most of the objections to all of this are generated by the families of players who are are on that proverbial cusp of being "elite" and who might likely be over shadowed by a reclassified player. I contend that given time, they will mature into the great players they want to be and land with a good program.

It's the early recruiting frenzy that has lit many fires of insecurity. I am not opposed to the early commitment process. It will eventually reveal itself to be just another wrinkle in the recruiting process that will be contended with and ultimately not be as large a factor as the hype is purporting it to be.

As long as the player(s) in question are mature enough, be they reclassifieds or not, and can be safely guided through this gauntlet by their parents and coaches, there should be little impact that will place them under undo stresses.

For these early commitment players, academic indices will be met or not. Abilities will prove to be sufficient or not. There will be "pressures" on committed players and non-committed players alike to continue to strive and achieve as they are wont to do.

This is not a new concept to these upper level players and they and their parents will choose that which is appropriate for them. They are all clearly high achievers with respect to lax.

It will remain to be revealed whether or not they can continue to develop both academically and athletically, as it will be for any player with hopes of playing at the next level.

Let them play. The chips will fall where they are supposed to.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
lax516 #51209 01/10/14 12:12 PM
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Seventh grader Oliver Wahlstrom has committed to play college hockey for Red Gendron at the University of Maine. Just weeks after Springfield Cathedral goaltender Keith Petruzzelli became the first '99 in the country to commit, Wahlstrom one-upped him. Wahlstrom was born June 13, 2000, meaning he won't turn 14 for another six months, which makes him the youngest player to ever commit to an NCAA college hockey program.

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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
Anonymous #51211 01/10/14 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Seventh grader Oliver Wahlstrom has committed to play college hockey for Red Gendron at the University of Maine. Just weeks after Springfield Cathedral goaltender Keith Petruzzelli became the first '99 in the country to commit, Wahlstrom one-upped him. Wahlstrom was born June 13, 2000, meaning he won't turn 14 for another six months, which makes him the youngest player to ever commit to an NCAA college hockey program.
Although off-topic to lacrosse, here are two videos of this junior league player at nine and ten years of age. He will be eligible to participate at the University of Maine in the Fall 2019 semester.

This child has incredible stickwork and skating skill as you can see. Being from Yarmouth, Maine, this is his home town college and the family might well be season ticket holders for Maine. (For those not familiar with NCAA Division I's Hockey East Conference, the level of competition is the very best in the country and the college varsity teams play a tremendous brand of hockey.)




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Re: Age and Reclassification. The good the bad the ugly!
CageSage #51218 01/10/14 01:52 PM
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By his birthdate he should be in 8th grade. Probably doesn't matter, I bet he plays for H.S. team already. You would think a kid with his skills would be playing Juniors in Canada and try to be drafted at 17-18.

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