There is a New York State Education Department (NYSED) program that permits physically and emotionally appropriate students to try out for an athletic team that is outside of their grade placement. It is called the Athletic Placement Process (APP).
The number of students who are allowed to compete outside of their grade levels should be few and far between. The program is intended only for the athlete who has the physical maturity, physical fitness, and sport skills to be placed with other athletes outside of his/her grade level.
The APP is not to be used to fill positions on teams, provide additional experience, provide an opportunity for middle school or junior high students when no modified program is offered, or to reward a student. Instead, it is aimed at the few, select students who can benefit from such placement because of their level of readiness.
Abuses in the program by decision makers who seek to satisfy the needs of the team, rather than considering the well-being of the student cannot be condoned. There are many potential physical and social/emotional pitfalls that must be avoided, and once a student is elevated, the decision is irreversible.