Equal Playing Time
The debate about equal playing time is in fact a debate about the value of inclusion in sport. At the heart of the value of inclusion is the belief that anyone who wants to play sport should have the opportunity. This would include access to fair try-outs, equipment, facilities and teams. Any version of fair sport requires that each participant gets fairly considered based on his or her merits. Within the value of inclusion sits the issue of playing time. One way of being inclusive is to ensure that all team members play the same amount of time in a game or, alternatively, over the course of a season all team members have roughly the same amount of playing time. That is, in both instances, if you make the team you get to play.
The CCES encourages Canadians to take a closer look at this hot button issue in community sport. As more and more community and school sports teams incorporate various versions of “equal playing time” into their competitive programs, perhaps we are seeing a subtle shift that will serve to instill character in our kids and increase our opportunities for excellence.