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Team of 10 - how best to rotate?

I have a team of mixed age girls from year 4 to year 5. 7 of the players are playing together for 2nd or 3rd season together with 2 of these players having low ball and motor skills. 3 of the players are in their first year, 1 of which demonstrates good ball and motor skills, the other two with beginner skills. What is the best way to rotate the players for games to ensure they are all developing? The section we are playing in does not require mandatory position changes at half time, although I have been doing this to develop their overall skills, is this right? Thanks in advance, Mel

Hi Mel.  I have the same problem as you this year.

i have had teams in the past that had 10 skilled players and i use to just rotate them through positions and found that disruptive.  so i organised them into postional areas (defence, center court, and shooting) and then rotated the players within their areas only.  this meant that certain players had more off court time than others, but it made us a stronger team.

this year i have 10 players, of only 4 who have played before.  i tried the above rotation, and although we are still winning games, it is very disruptive to play, and the players werent liking staying off the court so often.  

so i took a suggestion from here to only have 9 players play per game, and put a roster in place to sit one player off every week.  i spoke to my players first, and they decided this was the best system, even though they know i am only sitting 6 of the 10 of them off in the rotation.  i made this point clear to them, as i wanted to make sure they understood why the other 4 would be playing every week.  

i have only played one week like this, but i must admit its a lot better, as i can keep one player on the whole game, and everyone else is only off for a quarter.

hope that helps.

I have this, however I asked the girls whether they would be happy for two of them to have half a game, or two of them to have a game off every week so then I had 8 players and only one person had to come off every quarter meaning that I could leave a center court player, defensive player and attacking player on every quarter to keep a steady play going that would stay the same and be a reliable three and rotate the rest of the team around them. They weren't so happy at first, but then they chaned their mine when we had lost the first 4 games of the season, so they tried it, and then they were happier seeing themselves sail up the league table to finish second, and we have done that every since and won the league last season. 

My girls are year 8, and are less sensitive now they're older, so this might not work on young girls because they might not understand as much, but I hope this helps.

First of all, whatever it is that you decide, everyone needs to be very very clear about what happens. I currently have 11 girls in my team, but most weeks there is at least one girl absent, so we play with 10 (2 have a half game, which we give the 2nd and 3rd quarters). When all girls are available, we ask two girls to not play - I keep a really good record of how much court time each girl has, so it's usually who has had the most time on court that gets asked to roster off. I've had a few angry replies from parents though... 


In terms of mixing up their abilities, I would recommend giving them all as equal amount of time on court as possible, but try to make sure that there aren't two weak players in the same region of the court - have one strong and one weak shooter, etc. Make sure that there will be someone who can be relied on to get the centre pass!

Thanks everyone for the responses - there are some great suggestions here for us to consider and work through.  One of the things I have consistently done is balanced out our defensive, mid-court and shooting thirds by having a strong/experienced player in each end with a newer player on court.  So far that seems to be working as the more experienced players can support the newer players, and therefore there is less pressure on these players and they still gain good experience and game time - it also helps the team morale overall.  

I have 11 players. Originally i had 10 and one player joined mid season. I work it using court time available v no of players. With 10 players everyone plays 3 quarters with 2 having 2 quarters. This works extremely well. The 2 players that only have 2 quarters can be different players each week. To make this most effective, i wouldn't have players from the same playing zone. i.e. one defender and one mid court player would work but you wouldn't have both your best shooters off in one week. This requires common sense as you aren't going to sit your key players out unless you are confident of your opposition. 

With 11 players, it has gott infinitely more complicated. However, every week at least one player can't make it. But if i follow the above exercise, 6 players play 3 quarters and 5 players are on for 2. Under this scenario someone will probably need to sit out a game. A maximum of 3 quarters per player works very well. Most of my girls, even the fitter ones, still struggle in the 4th quarter on court.

Thanks everyone - I have used 8 players playing 3 qtrs and 2 players playing a half for the last two weeks and it has worked well!

I was careful in planning what changes were going to happen to avoid confusion and too much disruption and so far things have gone well - all girls have had a fair share of game time (to be continued) and all players have been developing from playing varied positions and the bonus is we have won our last two games :)

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