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Equal Playing Time


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#1 manute42

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 12:38 AM

Hello - I am coaching a 5th grade boys bball team. Our league rules state that we must play everyone equal time. We started the season with 10 players - that made for easy substitutions (5 in, 5 out). We just picked up an extra player, giving us 11. Does anyone have any suggestions for substitution "methods" for an 11 man roster with equal playing time? We are currently running 20 minute halves - I tried doing 5 in, 5 out with one extra staying on the bench every 4 minuts or so - this worked okay, however I am looking for some other suggestions.

Thanks!

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#2 Charlie

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:18 PM

You need to have your league specify how the rule is handled for your situation. We had the same situation last year and the way we handled it was that every player except for two players played two full quarters. The other two on a rotating basis only played one quarter, so that by the end of the year every player had taken a turn at only getting 1 quarter.

The kids hated it when it was their turn to only get one quarter, but they also understood that it was fair. It sure made it less of a nightmare for me on trying to rotate and be fair with playing time for all of the players.

Charlie

#3 manute42

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:29 AM

Charlie - thanks for the reply.

That is a similar approach that I have been using - the kids do not like when they are sitting out, however it is a must when you have this many kids. It has also been suggested to me also to try and sub 2 at a time more frequently - that way they end up playing close to the same amount of time but don't sit on the bench quite as long although this involves more work keeping track of everyone's playing time. I may give this a try during this week's game...

Thanks, again!

Brian

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#4 Coach Roger

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 09:58 PM

Hello - I am coaching a 5th grade boys bball team. Our league rules state that we must play everyone equal time. We started the season with 10 players - that made for easy substitutions (5 in, 5 out). We just picked up an extra player, giving us 11. Does anyone have any suggestions for substitution "methods" for an 11 man roster with equal playing time? We are currently running 20 minute halves - I tried doing 5 in, 5 out with one extra staying on the bench every 4 minuts or so - this worked okay, however I am looking for some other suggestions.

Thanks!

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We had the same rule when I coached at our local Y and what I would do is make a chart before each game and lay out who was going in and out when. We also had 11 girls and I would just keep the chart as close as possible to equal but I also told parents that I kept all charts and if a girl didn't get equal time one week she got a little extra the next week. In the end it all came out in the wash. Add to that the number of times I had a full team show (2 in an 8 game season) it didn't turn out to be a major issue and all girls got their fare share. One last thing, most teams did not come even close to following this rule and some teams didn't even try. It bothered a lot of my parents and girls but I just told them they were there to learn, not win or lose and one thing they needed to learn is that not everyone will always play by the rules, on or off the court.

Coach Roger

#5 Coach Ronn

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:50 AM

For all you coaches on the subject of equal playing time:

You are all attempting to do the "right" thing, which is for the highest good. You are all correct, however I think what Coach Roger wrote is closest to the reality of the situation.

When I was Sports Director at our local Y, this subject of equal time was a given factor that had to be dealt with. It had been around long before I got there, so the coaches and parents associated with the program longer already knew how to deal with it. I tweaked it slightly, so as to have more control.

Coaches did a chart, according to the number of players. Then on game day, had to revise the chart according to those who showed up. The opposing coaches exchanged charts, and reliable parents or a teen kept track during the game that the substitutions were being made. Also, a copy of the final list was given to me, so if there ever was a question or dispute, I had the data to work from. Most teams had 2 coaches and the second coach made sure the chart was being followed. Even our referrees knew the routine, so every 2 minutes the clock stopped for those needing to make substitutions. No one liked it, but everyone saw it for what it was and lived with it. If I had coaches who didn't adhere to the policy, they were gone. Eventually, I had only coaches who would do the right thing. Those involved understood, that winning was nice, but through fairness and following the rules. Through our pre-season tryouts we tried very hard to make teams equitable, so games could be close. However, there were always those players far ahead of the others. There is just no way to be fully equal, so the playing charts at least gave the opposing teams some relief when that kind of player was on the bench. Also, the charts enabled both teams to attempt to have better matchups on the floor at the same time.

Coach Roger is correct in stating that the objective is to learn and to have fun. Winning is just a by-product.

Yours in Sport & Spirit,
Coach Ronn

#6 Antlers06

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 04:18 PM

Our Y league also promotes an equal playing time rule. We play 10 minute quarters. As an assistant to my husband I take the role of charting the playing time. Rather than divide it by quarters we use the 1/2 a quarter method. We have played with as many as 12 girls and this methods works out very well. Rather than seeing a child sit on the bench through an entire quarter, they are all almost guaranteed to play part of every quarter. We will even do extra substituting at the end of the 2nd or end of the 4th if we are playing above the competition. This is not as easy as it sounds when all twelve are present or when you chart it prior to the game and someone doesn't show up. Our parents appreciate the fact that we are going out of our way to try to make it fair even if there are times when one or two players play more than the others. We had a game where one of our players had scored 21 points by the 2nd quarter. We were winning by 40 points at the half so we talked to the player and her parents to let them know that we would not be playing her an extensive amount of time in the 2nd half. She played 2 minutes in the 4th quarter and that is it, but she did not complain and neither did her parents. I'm even pretty certain the other coach was quite thankful.
The constant mixing of players also ensured a fair mix of skills and we were able to allow players to try different positions. I've seen coaches try the 5 in 5 out but they do it with their 5 best players and their 5 worst players which is totally counter productive. We also have rules about starting... if you miss practice, you don't start, if you are suppose to start and show up late, you don't start. If you missed a game you cannot start the next game and so on. These rules mixed with the equal playing time promote fairness all the way around. A player that does not practice should not be rewarded with equal playing time awarded to those who do. This is a much understated factor that can just as easily rub people the wrong way.