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I'm a firm believer players in general always feel better, at high school level, if they win rather than lose because of weaker players being substituted in just for the sake of getting them in.  Trying to get equal playing time for all players has always been a challenge for coaches.  This can be a very sensitive issue and good communication on this subject is important with your team.  Here are some guidelines to help.

At the middle school level we want all girls playing the same amount of minutes.  Do your best, as we all know it is difficult, to be totally fair while trying to substitute.  Work on mixing up players during the game as well.  Don’t just get in the mode of 5 in and 5 out, game in and game out.

At the freshman level we still want everyone playing every half of every game.  It is at this level where better players start to get more time.  If it is a game we are easily winning continue to give all plenty of time to play.  If it is a game we are struggling to win the better players should be spending more time on the floor and especially at the game end, if close, we should have our better players in.  On games where we are easily winning try and give more time to girls who may have been sitting more in the game that was close.

At the JV level we will have even more playing time for the better athletes if needed to win the game.  It may be more like a 70-30 split depending on the game.  At this level, if it is a close game from start to finish, there may be some players who will not even get in the game.  The coach should possibly substitute weaker players at the end of the first quarter or end of the third quarter, but always with 4 other starters.  On games where we are easily winning try and give more time to girls who may have been sitting more in the game that was close.  Substitute to win at JV level.

At varsity level substituting will occur as the coach sees fit to win the game.  Some players may see very little playing time over the course of the season.  In close game situations the best players will be playing the most with adequate substituting for rest and instruction.  Once again on games where we are easily winning try and give more time to girls who may have been sitting more in the game that was close.

Also read our "A Guide for Sports Parents"

 

Good luck with this,

Coach O

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