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.