This may be because I haven't read enough, and I apologize in advance if this is obvious and therefore a 'dumb question but I have been browsing this site for awhile now and in many discussions there is talk of D1 versus D3. For example ' my son would rather play at a top D3 than a low D1' - I've seen this kind of cmment numerous times - D2 seems to be left out of the discussion in many of these. Taking the example I gave, would it make sense, given good school, good academic fit, a school that my son wants to attend, good fit with the team etc. - that it would be 'better' to play at a good D2 than a good D3?
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There is really no difference in the argument, the D1 vs D3 just frames it better as it has a broader meaning. D2 programs offer athletic scholarships and D3's do not which is why people may use it. In general D3's tend to be smaller high academic schools, while D2's tend to be smaller public institutions. In the end it is all about fit both academic and athletic.
learning, I noticed the same thing!! My son attends a top D2 and the competition there is fierce. His conference is one of the best in the country having had 5 teams in the top 25 most of this past season. Maybe it's what BOF was saying, but I have wondered why people have mentioned the options being D1 or D3 as well. I think D2 is a very viable option. There are MANY very good D2 programs out there that offer some of the best competition in the country.
Sometimes it comes down to what is available in a particular area or state. NC has a handful of D3's (five) that play baseball, but multiple D2's. VA has three D2's and only 2 play baseball, but multiple D3's that play baseball. SC no D3's.
So, in some states its more about D1 or D2, or in some states D1 or D3.
The competition for any of the top level teams at any division is always fierce. D2 has the added dimension of D1 drop downs that can show up at the last minute, which makes D2 unique in that respect. We also found that from a our fit standpoint the D2's on the West Coast tended to be state schools that did not fit the academic profile my son was looking for. UCSD was the one exception, but they do not offer athletic money (other than $500) and getting academic money from them was difficult at the time do to state issues.
I am not sure what the geographic profile of D2 schools are but there are around 300 and approx 360 for D3 so in theory the arguments are the same.
I think the most interesting dynamic of the competitive D2's is - they seem to make sure to find the D1 dropdowns and use CC's as a way for unproven kids that are D3/D2 capable to "prove" themselves. Perhaps more of a pitchers parent perspective.
I think as you read more in here you will see a common theme - make sure you find something that fits for you. A lot of D1 dropdowns are there because in the end they found D1 to be "A" too rigorous or "B" they weren't the top dawg any more. You'll also read many that tell you - be sure to visit, ask questions, know where you stand.
As a parent - take a step back and let your child figure most of this out. It's hard to do, but sit back enjoy the ride. I fully believe my D3 son could have played D2 *IF* he found a school that fit his *academic* needs just as much as I think my D2 son would be just as challenged to play at a D3 school. it's very important to get the academic and social match because if baseball isn't there for any reason, what will they do?