Toronto Beaches Lacrosse Club
Equitable Playing Time Policy

The Toronto Beaches Lacrosse Club (“TBLC”) House League (“HL”) and Representative (“Rep”) Equitable Playing Time Policy governs the behaviours of all TBLC members and spectators, including players, coaches, volunteers and parents, and is binding upon them.

The TBLC Board of Directors shall post the most current approved version on the website. This document augments and does not replace or in any way invalidate governance issued by Lacrosse Canada, the OLA or OWFL.

Possibly the most difficult challenge that any coach can face is the question of playing time. Equitable Playing Time means that we balance the desirability of developing every individual player against the collective goal of working as a team.

Equitable Playing Time should never be confused with equal playing time. The former means fair and reasonable, whereas the latter means everyone plays the exact same amount. But it can never be equal. For example, no one would ever complain that a goalie had more time than a runner. And there will always be a degree of imprecision during the rotation process.

The better approach, TBLC’s policy is Equitable Playing Time, where playing time is allocated based on principles of fairness and reasonableness depending on the circumstances of the practice or match, and on the idea that everyone should have the opportunity to derive benefit regardless of their skill level. Although relatively equal playing time is a factor for every coach to keep in mind, the objective of Equitable Playing Time is equal benefit, not equal playing time.

Every HL player shall receive Equitable Playing Time on the condition that they and their family comply with the Code of Conduct.

For Rep teams, every player was selected because the Head Coach believed that they belonged and have the potential to help their team compete. TBLC wants to see every one of its players experience the joy of improving and playing lacrosse at a high level. As a competitive team, we want to win, but we also take a principled approach and we do not attempt to win at all costs.

Every Rep player shall receive Equitable Playing Time on the condition that they and their families comply with the Code of Conduct and the following paragraphs:

(1) The player exhibits Dedication. This means that a player regularly attends matches (regular season, tournament, and exhibition), practices, and other team events. When a player is absent, it affects the team. 

A player must inform the coach as soon as possible when they cannot attend a team event. Important and unmovable school or family events should always come first, but on a competitive team, it is expected that players shall make real efforts to attend team events and to provide the coach with a reasonable and timely explanation when they cannot. In addition to notifying the coach at the earliest juncture possible, a player or their parent(s) shall ensure that their TeamSnap Availability profile (or whatever platform the team chooses to use) is up-to-date because it allows the coaches to plan practices and identify if they need to contact call-up players.

(2) The player demonstrates Solid Effort. Rep players are expected to work hard during practices and games. Lack of focus is detrimental to the other players, and TBLC coaches and trainers reasonably expect players to listen and behave properly. If a coach believes that a particular player is not demonstrating a solid effort, the coach may withdraw that player from the practice or match.

(3) The player and their parents are Courteous and Cooperative. They are respectful of all other players, not only teammates, but also players from the opposing team. Players must refrain from derogatory comments about any teammate, team staff member, opposing player or coach, or game official. Parents are to conduct themselves in an orderly, non-aggressive fashion during practices and matches, and refrain from instigating or perpetuating verbal or physical altercations with anyone. The player and their parents always observe a 24-hour (“cool down”) rule, which is that they and their parents refrain from expressing dissatisfaction with, or engaging in public criticism of, a coach within 24 hours of the event in question. Parents and players are to be respectful and cooperative with all members of the team’s staff.  The player must play without protest any position that the coaches ask them to play. The coaches reserve the right to require any player to play goalie without advance consultation, except where the player has already played goalie for an entire game within the past 7 matches and does not wish to take another turn.

(4) The Rep coach has the right to play Situational Lacrosse. There are certain situations where competitive strategy outweighs Equitable Playing time. For example, if the team is playing in a close match which affects its ability to remain in contention, then the coaches reserve the right to play the players who they believe will give the best chance of playing in a subsequent game. The Provincial playoffs are an example of this situation. Coaches reserve the right to reward players who they observed exhibited the finest efforts during the earlier part of the game. Developing or advanced players are equally eligible. Advanced players can expect less playing time when there are developmental opportunities for developing players. This is most often the case when they are playing an obviously weaker team. Rather than crush the other team, the team will play its developing players more. Conversely, where the team is playing a strong or superior opponent, advanced players can expect more playing time.