Fair Play Policy
To ensure the development of all players throughout the course of the season.
To encourage the development of all players at all levels it is recommended that all players have a fair amount of time on field. This may not mean equal time between all players, as it is subject to a number of situations including position on the field, number of players on the team, or if the players are substitute players.
Waverley hockey club appreciates that players have different skill levels and abilities, however the junior unit recognises that this is junior sport have adopted the policy of fairplay. Fairplay does not necessarily mean equal time, it does however mean that all players are being considered when playing a game. Although a coach is in the best position to choose the right mix of players, positions and time on the field, consideration will be given to:
- It is envisaged that players will not spend more time on the bench than on the field.
- This however needs to be done in a way that is logical for the game and tactics the coach is following. For example it is expected that (in a game with equal play or highly attacking) the forwards will require more rest. As a result the forward line is to be rotated on a fair basis. If there is 7 players to play the 5 forward positions they may rotate every 10 minutes. If there is only 1 player on the bench who will be playing in a defensive position that game then the rotations through the defensive positions may be less often and may only be across the half line or the back line. In this case some defensive players may not rotate off at all. But across the positions that the players starting on the bench are to play in that game the rotations should be fair.
- Fair does not mean equal time to the minute, it means best efforts to be equal. The coach may ask the team manager, an assistant coach or a parent to assist with this to minimise the risk of a player staying on longer than planned.
- Where players are subbing in to a team (e.g. playing up to cover injuries or absences) it is expected they will have less game time than the regular players. Substitute players should be utilised but do not need to be given equal time. Substitute players should not have greater time on the field than a player who is a part of that team – unless that player is nursing an injury and is minimising their game time. This includes all teams during finals (including Shield level teams).
- Injuries – players who are injured should be played in accordance with their physician’s instructions.
- Importance of game – there may be times a coach chooses to play a different mix due to the importance of the game to the season. This includes but is not limited to finals, where the coach may choose to play his/her stronger players for longer periods of time and rotations may not be equal. A coach may not claim that all games are “important”, this exemption must be carefully considered and should be only invoked for finals and games where final ladder position will be impacted. Coaches should be working towards all players contributing to the end result, and this should play all players to ensure development and team cohesion.