AAU Basketball Holdbacks and Reclassification – Pros and Cons

Created By: jchamarahome

Jalen Rose on Holdbacks

The most talked about topic in AAU basketball today is “Holdbacks.” People think a holdback can be a good or a bad thing. So I’m going to give you the pro and cons about it and let you be have a final choice on it.

There have a few other external articles to give you more on this topic that have come out recently.

'HOLDBACKS' Have Become Common in High School Sports - LA Times - Eric Sondheimer


  • A holdback can help a young kid out, if the kid is maturing at slow rate than the people in his class.  An example would be:

Ex; If a kid who is in the 7th grade but who still 12 who has a late birthday (Bday comes after the AAU cut off after September 31) that would a be a great time to hold him back.

  • If you know for a FACT that your child is going to destroy a age group younger, then do it. I believe if you’re a holdback you have to be the best player on the court at all times.
  • If your child is small and your parents are big, and the growth spurt is really slowing, maybe you should consider.
  • A holdback is not that bad when speaking to parent.  They hold their kids back so they can be on an even playing field.


  • If you’re a holdback and your child’s birthday comes late what’s the point.
  • If you get held back and you’re not the best player on the court at all times, can be detrimental to your game.
  • You as a parent can you take the crap your going to get from other parents calling your son a holdback.
  • A double holdback.
    - Your game can stagnant in that year that you are dominating and you can get a false sense of confidence.

A holdback can be a good and bad thing because you get held back once you go to college right? That what a 5th year senior is? I’m going to give you an example of a young kid life dealing with a holdback.

  • Jon is in the 5th age 12
  • Jon’s gets held back to the 5th grade age 12 about to turn 13
  • Jon’s gets done with middle school at the age of 15 is on the pace to get down with high school at 19,
  • Jon’s mom and dad decide to send him to prep school is 19 about to turn 20.
  • Jon gets down with prep school at 20 didn’t like the offers he had so Jon decide to go to junior college.
  • Jon age 21 go to junior college and wants to redshirt.
  • Jon decides gets done with junior college at the age of 23
  • Jon goes to a four-year school and gets done with school at the age 25.

I have couple a couple of question for you……

Is a 5th year senior a holdback?

Is going to prep school consider a holdback?

When is the right time to hold your child back?

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