In this day and age, it’s very common for kids to be playing two different sports or on multiple teams in one season. This type of schedule inevitably creates conflicts with games. Sometimes a player misses an entire game, while other times they need to arrive late or leave early to fit both into their day.
Regardless of how a parent decides to handle these situations, they must communicate with the head coach of any team that’s being affected.
If the player is leaving one game to get to the start of another, it’s impossible for the parent to declare at what point of the game their child is leaving. If the decision is to be at a 2 o’clock start and it’s a 30-minute drive, departure from the first game has to be a set time, not “end of the third quarter.” Therefore, the departure time is set based on real time, not game time.
When this happens, parents have to realize that the coach might react to this decision in a few different ways. They might say the child can’t play at all if they aren’t willing to commit to the entire game, or that they can only play in the first half so as not to disrupt substitutions.
The same holds true if the player is going to arrive late to their second scheduled game of the day. The coach might tell the player not to bother coming at all, or that when they do arrive playing time will be determined based on how the game is going with the players that were there from the beginning.
Gone are the days when kids played just one sport a season or for just one team at a time. With conflicts being inevitable, parents must be prepared to communicate with the necessary coaches and deal with whatever decision is made about their child’s playing time.
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.