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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2013, 15:10 

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I'm taking over for the 8th grade coach since the regular season is over and we are starting to play AAU tournaments. I need advice on fair playing time. I always work to give each player equal playing time. They have 13 players on the team and I have 10 that could start and are very equal in talent. In order to be fair how should I work the other three with a lot less talent in the game. My life would much simpler if I only had the 10. I want all of the kids to be happy and the parents.

Thanks in advance for your advice,

Michael


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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2013, 19:07 

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Playing time.xlsx [9.72 KiB]
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Simple answer: You won't be able to give every player "fair playing time" with 13 on the squad. This is probably a moot question, but can 3 of the boys go to a team more on their level?

If you're stuck with 13 on the squad and determined to get equal play time for each one, you honestly can't be too concerned about winning in these tournaments. I think it's admirable that you want these players to have equal playing time, but usually AAU tournaments are pretty competitive. Other teams probably aren't going to have 13 players on their squad and might not have the burden of trying to figure out playing time for everyone. Or? They might not worry about playing the more developing players as much as you would. Just throwing that out there in case you run into it.

Only way I know to get fair playing time with 13 and not get brain damage is plan it out. Get a spreadsheet and put 1-5 in for X amount of time, sub 6-10 in for X amt of time, sub in 11, 12, 13, 1, and 2, sub 3,4,5,6,7 and so on. (See attached sample - based on 12 players). You can review sheet and see who needs more play time the next game and make it up then. With this system, you obviously give up any flexibility in subbing.

Another option is to have an assistant track the playing time and alert you during a game if someone needs to get in. Both systems will be cumbersome with respect to staying competitive.

Last option would be to play your better players, hope for some type of lead and get the more developing players in at that time. If you have a game that's more of a blow-out, you can let the developing players get more time in those. The problem with this strategy is people's memories are short and they will forget about the last game.

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CRob


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 08:26 

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CRob,

Thanks for the input. You are right I was trying to avoid brain damage. Honestly I was opening they wouldnt want to play but I didn't get that lucky. I like the spreadsheet! I'll see how everything goes in our first game, but if it is a tight game those three may not see the floor much.

Thanks again,

Michael


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 08:32 
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Rob, I was looking at this too... and as a coach.... we can't be thinking, hey, its time for X,Y, & Z to play....

I was thinking like this... Team A and Team B... use the 3 remaining as subs..... you have 24 minutes to deal with... and you can use those subs and get them 8 -10 minutes in the game somewhere.... some games you can get them more and other games a little less. Trust me, you will NEVER make the parents happy unless their sons are the starters

You will need a statistician IF you really want equal time. In practice, you can work with each player equally

Good luck with this... try to make these tourneys enjoyable for all the kids.... Coaches and Players alike need to have FUN......


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 09:24 
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Ideally you have 8-9 kids on a team. So everyone gets meaningful minutes. Having 13 on a team might be fine for practicing and development in practice. But when it comes to games that is too many. Maybe you can find other games and split them into two teams. Just an idea, not sure if it's a good one.

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Jeff Haefner
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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 09:46 

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Jeff,

I really wish I had the option of 8 players, but the Middle School coach decided to keep 14. I'm lucky that the 14th opted out. I only had 8 of these boys last year and it worked really well. I've never had to deal with 13.

I'm hoping for comfortable leads so I can blend those bottom three in some.

Thanks,

Michael


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 09:58 
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Michael, I know your pain all too well! When I was 22, I coached a 7th grade team with 14 boys. What I did that really seemed to help is that I documented a subbing pattern like mentioned before. I used a spreadsheet and had a parent sub for me during the game.

Another thing that also helped was that I scheduled a 5th Quarter. It was usually 10 minutes long and I had my less-skilled players play the entire time. It was like a mini-B game for the players who didn't get a chance to play as much during the first game.

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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 10:03 
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Maybe you can arrange for "5th quarters" and allow some of the second team guys to play then. When I was in 7th grade I played on the C squad. I didn't play on the "first team" until I was a senior. This year I'm coaching a freshman team that is undefeated and really good (13-0). Our 3rd best player (according to the stats and our VPS scores) played on the C squad last year as an 8th grader!! He's a nice player for us and a great kid. I'm really glad he's on the team and stuck with it.

Anything you can do to get those kids some minutes would be good. You never know who will develop.

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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 10:22 
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The 5th quarter is a great idea.... when I coached 7/8th graders I got the other coaches (in the non conference games) to schedule a 5th quarter.... those kids played first so they got me when I was fresh too LOL ... The kids loved it, the parents loved it, everyone was happy.I had 14-15 kids on my team.... so it was hard to get everyone meaningful minutes.

When I coached sophomore boys at the high school level I kept 14-`5 and it was impossible to keep them all happy... if you went 8-9 deep that was a lot. One year the AD wanted me to keep more kids... like 18.. I told thim that would never work but I would try it out for a couple of weeks.

So, I had a "extended try out period" - that lasted two weeks before I gave up on that.... I was a good coach but not a magician LOL ... by the way, we practiced on a half court most of the time... :-(

There is always a diamnond in the rough, IF we can stay with them long enough. I found that out when I became the varsity coach.... I had many B teamers play varsity ball..... and some became all conference.


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013, 11:16 
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Couldn't agree more on the diamond in the rough!

I coached a kid that was B team as a freshmen, then he was 1st team all-state as a senior. He wasn't a big either! He was a shooting guard.

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