Who's In First League Management

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Monday, February 9, 2009

How Many Teammates Should Be On Your Team?

The question always arises just before the start of any season, “How many guys should we have on the team?” and to this question, everyone has a different answer.

To get the right answer for your team, you should ask yourself and your team a three questions.

1) Do we want subs?
Sometimes the answer to this is a resounding YES and sometimes it is a definitive NO. This all depends on the sport you are playing.

In a slower paced sport such as softball or baseball, people may not want to sit out an inning or wait an additional person to bat. I have been on teams where we want to field exactly the 10 softball players that can play the field, as nobody likes sitting, and to me that is the right answer.

Same with volleyball. Not enough energy is expanded in a match to warrant subbing, although, since it is almost built into the flow of the game, sitting out in volleyball isn’t as much of a drag.

Sports that use a lot of energy have the exact opposite answer. You would never want to field a basketball that had only 5 guys, as one guy may get into foul trouble, or most likely someone will need a breather.

2) Will everyone show up each week?
If you have a softball team of 11 but one of the players travels a lot for work, or is unreliable, your options are to either field the 10 or scramble for a sub each week. The downside to bringing 11 into this mix is that if everyone does show up then someone will have to sub and you are back to square one. Also keep in mind that with 10 people, there will undoubtedly be a family emergency, last second business trip, or illness to fall upon someone most of the weeks. If this is the case, a guy on retainer may be a good bet. And as long as you can know far enough in advance that someone will be absent, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a fill in.

In hoops, you want to be weary about having 6 guys for the same reason. If you try and go with just one sub and you have the unexpected absences, then you are stuck running only with your 5 guys. This is why you may want to sign 7 or 8 guys to a hoops squad.

3) How easy is it to find last minute subs?
As discussed above, you may want to have a player on retainer in case you need a sub quickly. New fathers may be the perfect bet in this case. They will probably not be able to commit to an entire season, but can probably get out of the house once every few weeks to sweat with you or to swing a bat.

The easier it is for you to find a sub, the easier it will be for you to pick your perfect number.

So with a little planning you should be able to discern how many players you will want to sign up the next time a new season rolls around.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

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