What division should my 10-year-old play in?
This is a question that we have seen many parents struggle with. The Groton Youth Baseball League provides two options for 10-year-olds who have played at least one year in Cal Ripken Minors, including: Cal Ripken Minors - (for 9-10 yr olds) or Cal Ripken Majors 60 (for 10-12 yr olds).
Which division you choose for your child depends on factors, such as:
- How “old” is the player in both age and maturity? If, for example, a player regularly becomes angry or upset in the field, then the child may not be ready for the demands of the Cal Ripken Majors 60 division.
- What is the player’s skill level relative to his/her age group?
- What is the player’s skill level relative to the best 11 and 12 year-olds? Can (s)he stay in the batters box and hit a 50 - 60 mph pitch?
The Cal Ripken Minors program is a great place to hone skills. We have seen many 10-year-olds spend that extra year in Cal Ripken Minors so they can experience being one of their team’s leaders on the field and/or on the bench. It can be a big confidence boost to get a few extra hits and make the great play in the field. The time in Cal Ripken Minors helps the player develop the mental skills needed for Cal Ripken Majors 60.
Players born between May and July are considered one year younger in baseball terms (see Age Chart). This means that more kids get an extra year in Cal Ripken as 7th graders. The size and strength difference between 6th & 7th graders and 4th & 5th graders can be substantial. Children who are 10-years-old as a 5th grader, may want to play with their peers in the Cal Ripken Major 60 program. This gives them three years at Cal Ripken Major Levels, so there is no need to rush into the Cal Ripken Major 60 program. The Cal Ripken Minor program is just as competitive.
If you feel that you want your child to make the jump to Cal Ripken Majors 60, but want to ensure that your 10-year-old plays with kids in his age group in the Cal Ripken Major 60, please mention this on your registration form or at the March evaluations.
After the March evaluations we do move some 10 year olds to the Cal Ripken Minors teams even if they registered for a Cal Ripken Major 60 team. About 40% of the 10 year olds play on the Cal Ripken Major 60 teams and 60% play on the Cal Ripken Minors. Numbers is alwasy a factor when it comes to deciding who will play Major 60 as well, if we don't have enough kids to form an additional team the 10-year-olds that were not drafted on a Major 60 team will then be place into the Minors draft.
While we can’t give you the answer to this difficult question, many of us have been through it ourselves. If you have concerns, ask a league official or one of the coordinators. We are happy to help!