We took the plunge when my daughter was going into 8th grade but i know someone personally who didn't join a club until 11th grade and received a nice scholarship. I think it also depends on the strength and reputation of the high school team. Our town is not known for lax and the club team is a much more enjoyable experience for my daughter as she gets to play with others who are as dedicated to the sport as she is. She has really been able to grow as a player. There are quite a few clubs around now to choose from. You also have to really understand how much your daughter wants it, as traveling and practices (and the expenses)can be a lot. But the tournaments do give the high school age girls exposure, which I think is especially important for those girls who are not from LI's top lax towns.