Originally Posted by Mauvaise
That's why with the teams that I captain (thankfully only (1) this season), I try to put together 1) strong players, 2) good personalities and 3) just enough people to hopefully ensure I never have to default a court.
It's my philosophy that, as you said above, people join a team expecting to play. My goal is to play everyone equally and still be competitive. But I will sacrifice competition for equal play.
There are many different ways to successfully run a team. We had a team that was nicely balanced between social and competitive. Everyone on the team would play at least 3 times if they had good availability but in the biggest weeks and in playoffs we were going to put out the best lineup that we could. If we had space we would add the best players that we could that were also a social fit.
The problem was that the line 4 and 5 guys felt a bit squeezed as we added better players so our solution was to split the team and have an upper and lower team. The teams still practiced together and we basically just looked at it like we would play road matches at different spots but it doubled our lineup spots every week. The team split was wildly successful and everyone was much happier. It was so successful that we ended up splitting the team again so now we have 3 teams that operate and play together.
Our upper team is now at the highest level and they are very cut throat about playtime. Our lowest team keeps the roster small to try and make sure that everyone plays a ton. But even on the balanced team we still have an issue for the lower line guys who are feeling squeezed when it comes to playoffs because when we recruit we don't go out and try and add line 5 players. I don't think its possible to split the team yet again so at this point it is a situation for the lower guys to either deal with it, get better, or find a lower team where they can play a higher line. The balance has been that they will get their playtime in the regular season and if they are unhappy because they don't make the playoff roster then we just have to be OK with it.