16u vs 18u

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May 24, 2021
22
3
My 08 DD has an opportunity to play with a national team that have scheduled the tournaments that most of the schools she is targeting usually attend. The team has 4 24’s and the rest are 26 and 27. Due to the 24’s they are playing in the 18u division. Are there any downsides to her playing 18u vs 16u? I am thinking she is with that same age range playing school ball and college camps so what’s the big deal?


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Aug 5, 2022
345
63
If the alternative is playing with a team that doesn’t have a strong following then I’d say 18u doesn’t matter. Coaches will still be following their recruits. They still come to watch dds games even though she’s signed especially in the fall right before the NLI. I’m assuming the 24s are signed, how many of the 25s are signed, will your dd get attention or will the coaches be focused on getting their 25s signed?


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Apr 8, 2019
212
43
My daughter played both this year. I know this is anecdotal, but I saw more scouts at 18U games. The biggest difference I noticed had to do with the player's priorities related to their age. The seniors in particular are all over the place. Some of the girls that are unsigned are playing like their hair is on fire in hopes of getting that last-minute offer. Others have given up and are skipping practices and chatting about parties in the dugout. Some of the girls that do have offers have taken an "I don't have to tolerate this anymore." attitude. Either way, they are all pretty bad teammates so winning and losing feels like an afterthought.

You are looking at a national team, so maybe you won't experience this. But I don't really enjoy watching her 18U team play. They just don't seem to care like they used to.
 
May 13, 2023
1,403
113
California High Desert
My daughter played both this year. The biggest difference I noticed had to do with the player's priorities related to their age. The seniors in particular are all over the place. Some of the girls that are unsigned are playing like their hair is on fire in hopes of getting that last-minute offer. Others have given up and are skipping practices and chatting about parties in the dugout. Some of the girls that do have offers have taken an "I don't have to tolerate this anymore." attitude. Either way, they are all pretty bad teammates so winning and losing feels like an afterthought.

You are looking at a national team, so maybe you won't experience this. But I don't really enjoy watching her 18U team play. They just don't seem to care like they used to.
Unfortunately that perspective is noticeable!
 
Nov 5, 2014
350
63
To provide the OP with an additional viewpoint for my DD playing on a national team they had dramatically more college coaches at her games at 16u vs 18u but this was not inherently about the age group but rather all of the players at 16u, especially prior to September 1, were contacting multiple coaches and sharing schedules so you could have multiple coaches show up to see each player. It was common when playing another high level team to have 20-30+ coaches watching. At 18u all of the players were committed so at most you would have each players future coach there to watch them. Coaches watching at 18u were
typically 5-10 tops
 
Dec 19, 2021
259
43
My daughter played both this year. I know this is anecdotal, but I saw more scouts at 18U games. The biggest difference I noticed had to do with the player's priorities related to their age. The seniors in particular are all over the place. Some of the girls that are unsigned are playing like their hair is on fire in hopes of getting that last-minute offer. Others have given up and are skipping practices and chatting about parties in the dugout. Some of the girls that do have offers have taken an "I don't have to tolerate this anymore." attitude. Either way, they are all pretty bad teammates so winning and losing feels like an afterthought.

You are looking at a national team, so maybe you won't experience this. But I don't really enjoy watching her 18U team play. They just don't seem to care like they used to.
Yikes. Sounds like a tough year.

We haven't run into much of this. DD played a two summers and the year between in 16u and is now in her 2nd year of 18u.

How many and what kind of coaches show depends more on the team than which level. DDs 16u teams were good, with plenty of D1 players but no P5 girls. There were coaches around but it didn't compare with the elite 16u teams who had LOTS of attention.

DDs 18u team is a different case. Even with most of the girls committed, there is a lot of attention. But it is a top 10 national team with multiple P5 kids every year.

Bottom line... if she can play at the level and it is otherwise the right team, go ahead. If she can't handle the pitching or general speed, don't do it. You'd rather have her look good/competent at 16u than out of her league in 18u. There isnt really a huge difference. How does she hold up to good HS pitching?
 
Apr 23, 2023
32
18
To provide the OP with an additional viewpoint for my DD playing on a national team they had dramatically more college coaches at her games at 16u vs 18u but this was not inherently about the age group but rather all of the players at 16u, especially prior to September 1, were contacting multiple coaches and sharing schedules so you could have multiple coaches show up to see each player. It was common when playing another high level team to have 20-30+ coaches watching. At 18u all of the players were committed so at most you would have each players future coach there to watch them. Coaches watching at 18u were
typically 5-10 tops
100% agree with this.
 
May 24, 2021
22
3
Yikes. Sounds like a tough year.

We haven't run into much of this. DD played a two summers and the year between in 16u and is now in her 2nd year of 18u.

How many and what kind of coaches show depends more on the team than which level. DDs 16u teams were good, with plenty of D1 players but no P5 girls. There were coaches around but it didn't compare with the elite 16u teams who had LOTS of attention.

DDs 18u team is a different case. Even with most of the girls committed, there is a lot of attention. But it is a top 10 national team with multiple P5 kids every year.

Bottom line... if she can play at the level and it is otherwise the right team, go ahead. If she can't handle the pitching or general speed, don't do it. You'd rather have her look good/competent at 16u than out of her league in 18u. There isnt really a huge difference. How does she hold up to good HS pitching?
thx - she has faced several P5 pitchers ( while they were in HS) and can handle them, so I dont think that would be a big leap
 

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