Everybody Plays

Like most of the regions in our areas, PCSSL supports the "3 before 4" interpretation of Everybody Plays. That is, before any player can play a 4th quarter of a game, every player must have played at least 3 quarters. This definition stresses the point that all players on a team should be seen as equal members of the team -- and this explicitly avoids the idea that there are some players in 50% of the game while a few play 100% of the game. In the tournaments you can tweak with your playing times to give your team your best advantages, but for all your PCSSL games expect to play everyone more equally. PCSSL is a developmental league, and we believe we are here to help develop every player on our rosters.

One of the key insights about coaching teams at this level is that raising the skills of the weakest players on the team can have a greater impact on a team's success than if only the strongest players get better (sharpening a team's strength might lead to a few better plays in some games, but addressing a team's weaknesses will improve a large part of the plays in most games).

It is worth noting that Everybody Plays does not mean a coach is forced to play someone just because they are present at the game. If a player is hurt, or unprepared, or unable/unwilling to play properly, then for their safety remove them from the game and have them recorded as injured for that part of the game. If a player comes late (or must leave early) have that player in the game for a proper percentage of the time they are really ready to play. Note: If there are players who are commonly marked as injured or absent game after game, be prepared to explain the situation -- PCSSL will follow up with RCs and RCAs for any team's region where we see patterns of players not getting their full time across games, and in such cases in order to continue coaches may need to defend their decisions to their region's board.

For the older age divisions that utilize free substitutions rather than on the "quarters", we still expect teams to adhere to "3 before 4" -- this just means if any player is still playing in the last 20-odd minutes of a game then every other able player should have been in the game for at least 60 minutes (3/4 of 80 minute game). It is understood that during free-substitution games it is not possible to get substitution timings to be precise -- the point is not the difference between 70% and 75% of the minutes, the point is whether a reasonable attempt has been made to play all teammates equally.