@GraceT, I applaud your desire to have the boy play the field, especially at age 9. My advice to the parents of any kid that wants to play keeper is make sure the kid plays the field for half the games until U12 or U13 for boys. The exception being if the father is 6'4" and mom is 5'9, then there is a good chance the kid will be at least 6'2" to 6'3, so foregoing the field may not ultimately hurt. My son is 14 years old, 6'2", plays up on the 2002 team, and was the only freshman to be called up to the varsity team for the playoff run in HS. I didn't let him to be a full time keeper until U12. I would rather have him play with 2002/2001's on a defensively weak team than a strong 2003 team because he will get 4x more shots (often 20 per game) and those shots (harder and faster) will develop him quicker than sitting between the sticks on a team that receives 3-5 SOGs per game. But ... as you see, coaches have tremendous pressure to field competitive/winning teams (because parents demand it) and kids are their ammo to be spent as needed.