Greetings everyone…first time poster, but long time fan of this website. I have a dilemma that my family is going thru that I hope to get some advice on.
a) My son is Little League age 8;
b) My Little League hosts a draft for team assignments. The League is discouraging my son from playing AAA because he’s only 8. The AAA division is one below Majors and the AAA division is typically for 9-11 year olds. Last year, there were four 8-year olds drafted into AAA and even though a couple of them were better than 1/2 of the entire AAA division, they were all forced to play in AA, solely because they were 8.
c) My Little League allowed 8 year olds to play in AAA two years ago, so there is a precedent in our league to allow for this.
d) Everyone tells me to let him play with his friends. This would be an easy solution, but his school classmates are ALL playing in Single A this year. He has one older (9u) buddy who will be playing in AAA and my son wants to play with him.
e) My son plays travel ball and is the top 2 or 3 players on the team. He plays P, SS, 2B and bats 2nd or 3rd every game. His travel ball teammates all play in a different Little League.
f) His travel ball coach suggests that he play AAA this year as it will be similar to the travel ball league that we play in (8u) currently.
g) The Little League Board says that he should stay down in AA for social reasons, but our AA division is always really bad. The AA division is the first year of kid-pitch and many kids in the division cannot throw or catch with any ability level. The pitching in this division is horrendous and most of the time, the game is just about walks. Kids get very discouraged about going to the plate because 90% of the time, they walk on 4 pitches.
h) My son has no friends playing in the AA division (where the League wants him to play). I understand he’ll make friends, but it’s more about baseball to him as he has a TON of friends at school. For some reason, not many of them like baseball and/or are not at his ability level.
i) I have spoken to a AAA manager who wants to draft my son (same dad as above in “D”). Another manager says he’ll draft my son too, based on talent.
I just want my kid to have fun and I think he’ll have the most fun playing with kids who know how to play baseball. Yes, there are bound to be a couple of kids in every division who can’t catch or throw, but I’m guessing that it’ll be limited in the higher divisions vs. common-place in the lower divisions. He’s not going to be a superstar in the AAA division, but I’m confident that there will only be a couple of kids better than him on his team of 12.
Your thoughts on where we should play this upcoming season?
Thanks so much