High School District 219
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Determination of Playing Time
Playing time at every level is something that players must earn. You canʼt just show up to school and get Aʼs in all of your classes; you have to work hard and earn them. You canʼt just show up to work and get paid for doing nothing; you have to work hard and earn a paycheck. In this program, players must work to earn their playing time.
At all levels, players that miss practice will not be entitled to the same amount of playing time as players that do not miss. An unexcused tardy will be issued if a player is more than 10 minutes late to practice and does not contact their coach before practice. An excused absence, or an unexcused tardy, will count as missing half of a practice. An unexcused absence will count as missing an entire practice.
If a player misses two practices in one week, he will not be allowed to play in that weekʼs game. I understand that we all have other things going on outside of football, but tackle football is not something that can be practiced at home. Players need to practice with their team and their coaches in order to learn and develop the skills and schemes they need to be to be effective and/or safe on game day. There will be days during the week when we do not practice, so if players need to schedule an appointment, they should do it on these off days.
A football team is a machine that needs every single part to function properly in order to run successfully. If one part does not do its job, the whole machine breaks down. It is not fair to a player that shows up everyday and busts his tail to have playing time he earned taken away by someone that did not put forth the same time and effort. It is also not fair to a team that works hard all week in practice to have a player that does not know his responsibilities and/or plays, jeopardize their chances of success.
In 5th and 6th grade, as long as a player shows up on time to every practice and works hard every play, he will play in the game on offense or defense. This level is more developmental in nature than the 7th and 8th grade level. Players will be more likely to play multiple positions and need playing time in games in order to develop as football players and figure out if this is a sport that they want to stick with.
It is very difficult to tell at this age what position these boys will play when they get to high school. Whatever role players are given players, they are expected to embrace it and do the best job they can.
In 7th and 8th grade, we are more focused on getting players into positions that they will likely play in high school. This allows them to hit the ground running when they get high school instead of having to start from scratch. This is what we need to do if we want our football teams to be able to compete at the high school level in a conference as tough as ours.
Games at the 7th and 8th grade level are more competitive and intense than the 5th and 6th grade games. Our goal is to give players an idea of what football will be like at the high school level. Showing up on time to practice everyday and working hard every play will play the biggest role in determining playing time. Football ability and skill also plays a significant role in determining playing time at this level. It is our coaches’ job to find a way to get all of the players who have done everything they have been asked to do in practice into the game at some point.
However, not everyone will get equal playing time at this level. We are not a program that believes in trying to win at all costs; but winning at this level is one of the primary objectives. For example, if it is a close game in the 4th quarter, our coaches at this level are expected to go out and try to win the game by putting the players that give our teams the best chance of winning on the field.