Playing time policy

The Tomball Kings assign playing time, playing positions, and batting order (collectively, “playing time”) in accordance with this policy:

High school and high school prep league

For varsity, subvarsity, and prep league rosters, head coaches determine playing time, positions, and batting order exclusively based on competitive needs and player performance.

No high school or prep league player is guaranteed a specific amount of playing time, position, or place in the batting order.

It is crucial for players to recognize that in high school, starters typically receive the majority of playing opportunities. However, competition remains a constant throughout the season, and players may experience fluctuations in their playing time based on their performance in games and practices. While player development remains a coaching priority, it is ultimately secondary to maintaining the team's competitiveness at the high school level during the season. Player development assumes the most prominent role during off-season training.

12U, 10U, and 8U divisions

For 12U, 10U, and 8U rosters, head coaches determine playing time, positions, and batting order (i) in accordance with league rules, (ii) to teach the relationship between effort and performance on the one hand and opportunity on the other, (iii) to teach the importance and benefits of competition, and (iv) based on competitive needs and player performance.

In keeping with these priorities, we advise 12U, 10U, and 8U coaches to keep what they determine to be the top six players, as judged on a game-to-game basis, in the field for all or most of the available innings and to rotate the remaining players on an inning-by-inning basis, with batting order to be determined solely for competitive reasons. This teaches the players outside the top six to compete to earn spots in the top six, and the top six to work to maintain their spots.

Individual player development and team competitiveness are both core values of our program, but cannot be maximized simultaneously. We must find a balance between the two values. In our youngest division we place the higher priority on player development; in our oldest, on competitiveness. Our priority weights change as we move from the youngest players to high school seniors.

In all cases unexcused absences and tardiness for team events, as well as misbehavior, will influence playing time.

Questions about playing time

It is in everyone’s interest for each player to develop and strengthen his athletic mindset and approach to being an athlete.

We encourage parents to teach players that playing time is earned and that if they are unhappy with their playing time, it is up to them to demonstrate to their coaches—through their performance at team events—that they deserve more playing time in the interest of team competitiveness.

We encourage players to focus on how they can improve their performance and to ask their coaches for advice in that regard.

We discourage parents from speaking with coaches about playing time for their players, irrespective of player age. In high school and prep league, coaches will not entertain playing time discussions with parents, unless a disciplinary matter affects playing time; only players may have these discussions with coaches.

Lesson, camps, and other outside activities to improve performance

We encourage players to inform their coaches when they are taking lessons, attending camps, or otherwise engaging in activities to improve themselves as a player. This will help coaches know when a player is making an effort to learn a new position, e.g., pitcher or catcher, or to improve in a particular skill, e.g., batting or fielding.

For more information concerning this policy please contact Philip Wilkins or John Harris.