They hold the rule at 12 for a reason. Your kid might be big enough to handle a gun and have some experience.
Many kids are smaller and have no experience. We have to vet them and decide if they need another year sometimes.
Its all about safety.
That said.......if you kid is turning 12 in that year, it should be up to the instructors....not the state. But you know how MA works. Honestly it should be any age that they
can handle a gun and shoot safely and have passed hunter ed, they should be allowed in the program is my opinion.
Same thing when my kid turned 15 but couldn't get his FID until after the pheasant hunt. Because the state is retardedly slow.
They made him use a muzzleloader on pheasant hunt day because he was 15 without an FID. Technically he had to have an FID to have a gun by himself but was too old for the father/son one gun rule at 14 and under. Dumbest rule ever.