The Discussion of Playing Time

Every year emails and calls come from parents regarding playing time for their child.  The usual response is, “Has your child talked with the coach to see what they need to do to see more time?  Does your child show up to practices on time with a good attitude and give 100%?  Lastly, they are reminded that this is not a recreational sports organization, PAC plays at the competitive high school level. 

PAC sports is like other high school sports programs with tryouts and players competing for playing time every week at practice; but there are differences when someone plays PAC because families have to invest more time and money to allow their child/ren to play.  Many folks are willing to do this for their kids because they love to see their child compete and be a part of high school athletics and competition.  However, there are times when a player doesn’t see much playing time during a game or they sit the bench for several games in a row. This can be taken one of two ways, the player can become discouraged and the PAC or the player can see this as an incentive to work harder and develop during this season for the up coming seasons.

The board discussed this issue regarding each level of play from middle school, Junior Varsity, and Varsity level and all agree that playing time should be fairly equal on middle school/B-teams/Junior Varsity teams (if there is no MS team) because these are developmental teams preparing the players for the varsity level. On JV teams, time does not have to be as equal, but everyone should have playing time in the game.  Again this is still developmental but more competitive than MS/B-teams. 

The board does not feel like a requirement should be set at the Varsity level. The coaches are expected to take everything into consideration from skill level, attitude, practice effort, safety, etc when deciding who will start and play that day. If the coach knows at tryouts or at some point in the season that a player is not ready to actually play, the coach will meet with the player and parent/s to communicate the intentions and why.  The player should receive clear feed back as to what they need to do to develop their skills and possibly see playing time.

At practice varsity coaches will emphasize that not everyone will get equal playing time; players are competing at practice to see who starts and plays in the next game. Every player needs to realize that being on a varsity team is competitive and there is no guarantee of playing time.   

Parents should never approach a coach after a game to discuss playing time. All meetings between coaches, players, and parents should have a third party present. As a sports’ organization, PAC will never be able to satisfy everyone, but through God’s grace, wisdom, and humility it is our goal to make playing PAC the best experience possible for all levels.