The Holdback Debate

mikeyvthedon's picture
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The Holdback Debate

Earlier, somebody posted a topic about Cody Riley and his possibly beingslightly older than the players in his class of 2017. Cody is born in December of 1997. Having gone to school in both Canada and the US, here is what the typical cut off dates would look like for someone graduating from HS in 2016:

Canada: Tended to have it as January 1, 1998-December 31, 1998. Sometimes, kids born near the end of the year would be held back, though it typically would be the full year. Have found that many Canadian basketball players who end up going to the States do get held back a year, just if you are living in Canada, found that the full year was standard.

US: Tended to have their cut-off as September 1, 1997-August 31, 1998. Feel that some kids born in the late period of this also get held back. Still, this would be the typical cut off and Cody would be considered a sophomore under most accounts.

Guess I do feel that the "late" birthdays under Canadian guidelines, or "early" birthdays under American guidelines are always trickier cases for me. Cody may only be slightly older than some 2017's born in 1998, though you tend to look at the birth year and figure, "This guy is going to be a 20 year old NCAA freshman". He would not be the first, as Mitch McGary, Shabazz Muhammad and OJ Mayo among others can attest. It just seems to be hard to compare him to his class when most of them are around a year, or sometimes more, behind in physical development.

My questions would be:

  1. What do you feel about players being held back?
  2. What are the rules or guidelines for age cut offs where you are from?
  3. Do you think this maybe gives an unfair advantage in the rankings?
  4. Would you hold your kids back or maybe consider doing so to give them an advantage entering high school?

I know there are extenuating circumstances and I do believe there are cases where this can be very beneficial, in particular if one struggles with maturity or academics. It just makes it very difficult to evaluate players in a particular high school class if you do not know how old they are. Also sort of wonder what the benefit is for these top ranked players of playing more high school basketball is?

You see guys like Andre Drummond, Nerlens Noel, Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, Noah Vonleh and Karl Towns end up joining their original high school classes. Still, are we maybe giving the older players expectations that are really difficult to live up to by placing them above players who could end up catching up once they reach the same growth period?

Age is not the end all be all, though it has indeed been a factor in the draft when you are looking at a players point of development. A 20 year old college freshman will tend to be more physically capable than an 18 year old. It is just difficult to say whether that makes them a better prospect. Just sort of wonder if people from different countries have a different opinion on this and what people tend to feel regarding the fairly popular practice of holding back in high school basketball.

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I don't know the answer to #2

I don't know the answer to #2 but I'll answer the others. I'm not really a fan of it if they they don't end up reclassifying back later. I think it gives a pretty big advantage because a year difference at that stage is huge and I'll give an example of why. Back when I was in 9th grade I'd go to lifetime and play with a bunch of guys who were stud 8th graders and I just had my way with them, no one could guard me. I was mediocre for my grade too. Well by the time I was in 11th grade and these guys were in 10th they were on a completely different level than I was. It was like putting Kobe against JJ Barea, just completely unfair and I couldn't do anything against them. With that said I'd totally hold my kid back if he showed serious basketball potential. If he fizzled out he could stay a year older and if he blew up he could always reclassify back (which is what I believe all top prospects should do).

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I am from New York. In New

I am from New York. In New York,New Jersey,Conneticut and PA there is no cut off date to enroll in school. You can enroll in Kindergarden if you turn 5 within that year. No matter if your birthdate is late or early. I have a summer birthdate(July) which some people call late. My mother said they gave her the choice of waiting another year to enroll me in school due to my birth month but she decided to send me to school anyway.

Growing up I was not a big fan of anyone who got held back,athlete or not. Due to my birth month I felt so much younger than everyone else.I looked at people odd who were held back. I remember playing against Jayvuagn Pinkston who is now a Stud for Villanova and he murdered my team and when I found out he was born in November 91 and with me being born in July 92, I blamed the age differnce as the reason he killed.(That was pure crap he was just way better than all of us). My outlook on being a holdback is different now though. I feel a kid or a parent should do what ever they feel they must do to be successful at the sport. Now days it seems like everyone is doing it so if you do it,it will just even the playing field.

I feel it gives a big advantage to a player while in 8th 9th and maybe 10th grade but in the later grades like 11th and 12th you start to see other players catch up.OJ mayo was like that. Around about 11th grade was when other players began to push him for that number 1 spot.

As far as would I do it with my own child. Well I currently don't have kids but if I did I think I may consider it,if I feel it benefits him.

Side note: I like using birth year for determining age just like overseas clubs do. Your birth month matters but I like going by the year. That's what overseas countries use and that is what USA basketball uses.They don't have a cut off age they have a cut off year.

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Very good topic to speak on

Very good topic to speak on by the way.

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Felt the same way

I was young for my graduating class also since I was born in August 92' and graduated in 2010. I went to a private school and was on the basketball team but some of the guys would be forced to stay back by their parents so that they could dominate in sports. I was like 13 going up against guys who would graduate year earlier than me and be about 3 years older.

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What do you feel about

What do you feel about players being held back?

Personally I think it's pretty cheap and unfair. But it is what it is, there's really no policing it. It can be a wise move for some kids though.

What are the rules or guidelines for age cut offs where you are from?

In Illinois players are eligible through age 19. Once they turn 20 they are ineligible.

Do you think this maybe gives an unfair advantage in the rankings?

Of course it does. Give someone one more year of maturity, growth, training, practice, they are going to be better than they were when they were a year younger.

Would you hold your kids back or maybe consider doing so to give them an advantage entering high school?

If my kid had a late birth day in terms of grade level then yes, I would consider holding them back. There are also more positives with holding a kid back, just not going to get into them since it doesn't relate to sports.

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