The are always going to be exceptions where a child is so
better than other children his age that “Playing-up” makes sense for everyone involved. This is the exception. PYL discourages playing up. No child is allowed to “play-up” without both the Coaches and the Board approving it. All children must register at their proper grade level. No exceptions.
Some children mature faster and others just pick up the required skills quicker. This is most evident at the Grade 1/2 level where passing and catching often elude the majority of the players. Parents of a player who has mastered these fundamental skills can often feel frustrated. It is important to remember that one of the most important lessons a child can learn is “to make their teammates better”. In addition, being a leader on the field and/or “the best player” is something that should not be overlooked. More often than not, the child who is the superstar at 8 years old is often not the best player at 12 years old. My advice, is to enjoy being the parent of the best player and help them understand that they need to make every teammate better. They will learn a lot more by doing that than by moving up.
As players progress and move up subsequent levels, the size, speed, and intensity increase. There is a significant difference in the skills of the players from 1/2 to 3/4 but the largest leap comes when moving to 5/6. The field nearly doubles in size and more physical contact is allowed. The size difference between a 9 or 10 year old 4th grader and a 6th grader (who may be entering puberty) can be significant. More than one child has given up the game of lacrosse after receiving their first big hit. We don’t want a child to lose their love of lacrosse because they are put in such a position.
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