Question:  Should my daughter play 16U or 18U if she is an uncommitted sophomore. She has had some offers, but has not committed. I am hearing there are more college coaches looking at 16U?       

Answer:  I can't generalize to all players, but I personally like to see a player play "up" if she'll get equal playing time and competitive experience and is mature enough to play with the older girls.  While college coaches at bigger D-I schools may be following 14 U and 16 U teams, the majority of coaches at all levels will generally look at the 18 U age bracket first.  And the tougher competition will help her improve her game--if she's ready for it!

You'll get arguments from travel coaches on both sides of this issue, but since she's a sophomore, I don't think it's life or death which age group she plays with this year.  What's more important is the quality of the coaching, the exposure opportunities, and her (and your) understanding of the importance of conducting a comprehensive college search and not relying simply on travel ball tournaments to get her recruited!

                                                                               © Collegiate Softball Connection 2015