notahomer
Do the majority of AAU tournaments enforce 16U/15U/14U age limits, go by grade, or some combination of the two? Or is this completely dependent on the organizer?

This weekend I was at the NY2LA Sports Invitational and witnessed a few protests against out-of-state teams mixing age levels (one involved 15Us in the platinum bracket playing for the 14U team). The example was allowed as the boys were playing for the same grassroots organization (just a note, the accused team playing 15Us on their 14U team refused to show proof of age). Going by the NY2LA rules outlined here a 15U team which came in second in their age bracket could go play as 14U.

My question is, are the majority of AAU tournaments ran like this? Is so what's the point of having 16U/15U/14U? Why not just go by grade level to avoid protests like which happened?

If anyone knows of tournaments which adhere to the 16U/15U/14U rule and enforce them I'd love to know about them.
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traviswilson
The majority of club team tournaments are not run under the auspices of AAU anymore. So there's no standardized set of rules or eligibility. It seems the U16/U15, etc. were carried over from the days of AAU, but don't necessarily apply anymore, leaving it up to each event to decide on how they want to handle it. There were also unsigned 2014 players that played on U17 teams at that event, which is becoming more popular as well. Going by grade level would seem a better way to go.
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pogue
I will lay out an example to see if this makes sense under AAU rules.

14u - (8th grade), player must be in 8th grade, and cannot turn 15 before Sep 1st. If he does turn 15, before sep 1st, he mus still be in that grade, and is now considered an "Age Exception". Think Travis Diener, being held back a year. Teams may have up to 2 age exceptions.

for 17u teams, its is very common for unsigned 18s to play on the 17u as an age exception. I dont think there is really enough particpants to have an 18u level event by itself. Not sure if anyone has actually even tried to do it in recent years. I cannot recall a tourney that had an 18u divison, except maybe for the Dean's Sponsored event up in Sheboygan years ago.

Most teams only play in 2 AAU events. State championship and the Nationals. Older kids, like 16u and 17u, top level teams, typically do not play nationals anymore. Cost is prohibitive to register every player, and the team itself, then the events are usually very high priced.

If there is no governing body running the event, like USSSA or NAYS, or somthing similiar, the rules should be very clear on age. NY2LA, is not a governing body, nor do they run any sanctioned events that I am aware of. They ar just tournaments with very high level teams that come in to play. Quality is typically very good at the tournaments.

The quality of these events, that are not sanctioned or operated under governing rules, comes down to how they are run. I have seen complaints on age made, and the organizers, typically don't care. They just want teams playing. Some are very dilligent on ages, and will require teams to bring in Birth Certificates, and school report cards (copies). Coaches should carry copies of these with to every event to address these issues.

An event organizer that doesn't have a plan in place to address age questions, is typically not one you want to be involved with IMO.

The hard part to enforce in all this is, how do you follow up on complaints. How do you know if the tournament was run properly? How do you check on the history or quality of an event? It is usually all word of mouth, and your own personal experience. without a governing body, it's sometimes a bit of a crap shoot, and you want to ask questions. I have found the NY2LA events to have top notch teams and while they may be expensive, local teams save alot of money on travel costs, by playing in them. I havent seen any other events in WI that consistently draw the number of quality teams. The Jimmy V in the Dells area is one of the only other high level events. My experience is they are much more dilligent on their age requirements and verification. Though how they resolve any challenges, I just don't have any knowledge of.

I think the summer basketball scene is tremendously valuable for some players and a great experience, but it is buyer beward and you better do your due diligence into these programs and events.
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notahomer
Thanks for your extremely detailed response Pogue! I was completely unaware of the age exceptions allowed for under 17U players as I thought those were reserved for unsigned Seniors. That fact alone clears up a large portion of my follow-up questions.

If age exceptions are the norm it would make sense to make the switch to grade level as I'm certain there are plenty more people out there questioning age. I heard a lot of them Sunday.

One other thing I was witness to Sunday was a college coach going on an epic rant concerning the Player Profile packet he had purchased from the organizers. Wish I could have gotten my cell out in time to capture that one.
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afan1
notahomer wrote:
Thanks for your extremely detailed response Pogue! I was completely unaware of the age exceptions allowed for under 17U players as I thought those were reserved for unsigned Seniors. That fact alone clears up a large portion of my follow-up questions.

If age exceptions are the norm it would make sense to make the switch to grade level as I'm certain there are plenty more people out there questioning age. I heard a lot of them Sunday.

One other thing I was witness to Sunday was a college coach going on an epic rant concerning the Player Profile packet he had purchased from the organizers. Wish I could have gotten my cell out in time to capture that one.



Remembering a couple years ago when this very same thing made a national newspaper out of NYC I think.
Same stuff, different year.
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pogue
As far as the coach's rant over the player profile packet, any more details to offer? Cost? Lack of info? Hard to say what the issue is. I would guess it was the price that was paid and a lack of either detailed info or contact information for a team and player
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notahomer
pogue wrote:
As far as the coach's rant over the player profile packet, any more details to offer? Cost? Lack of info? Hard to say what the issue is. I would guess it was the price that was paid and a lack of either detailed info or contact information for a team and player


What I caught was "I paid $475 for this? I can see this on the web". More colorful language omitted and he knew his way around a curse word . What I saw looked very similar to what NY2LA has for player profiles on their site. Whomever he was talking to was doing the worst possible job trying to keep this guy happy. Kind of got the vibe "Well, moneys in my pocket I'm good".
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rmosley
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