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Equal Playing Time: Should It Be the Rule, Not the Exception?


Tip For Parents

  • At the pre-season meeting, ask the coach if he or she plans to give players equal playing time and offer to help set up a substitution grid and keep track of the time with a stopwatch.
  • Ask the coach to put the playing schedule in a place where all can view it.
  • If you notice your child sitting on the sidelines during a game, approach the parent who has been designated as a go-between parents and coach, to relay a question to the coach. Don't automatically assume that the reason your child isn't playing is that the coach is playing favorites. Your child may have told the coach that she is not feeling up to playing in the game but would rather cheer for her teammates, or has forgotten her asthma inhaler, or has an injury. 

Tip For Coaches

Don’t assume that your top players are always going to be there. At the sub-varsity level and below, developing all your players insures that someone will be able to step in if a player gets injured, becomes ineligible, switches to another sport, moves away or decides to enroll in a different school.

Tip For Kids

Players should remind the coach that if all kids got equal playing time, they all would have an equal chance to develop new skills and the team would be stronger for it!