Game playing time is based on practice time. Those that practice more are better prepared to play more.
The Academy Leagues (grades 1-4) and the Competitive Leagues (grades 5-12) have no required playing time for each player (there is also a no practice-no play policy in place). Playing time is a privilege, not a right. Players that are showing up to practice and are actively getting better each week will naturally see more playing time. Players that are not taking practice seriously, being disruptive, or having an overall negative attitude may see fewer minutes than their teammates. If a player is late to a warm up or a game without notifying their coach in advance, your team coach reserves the right to not start the player. If a player is unhappy with their playing time, it is best practice to speak with the team coach to learn what they need to do to see more minutes. Coaches will always answer truthfully and respectfully should a player have concerns of this nature, and will offer guidance on what they can do better to contribute more to the game.
As you may notice, all the above is contingent on the laws of the game and the Referee’s interpretation/discretion as to when substitutions are made. Most referees allow you to only sub on your throw-ins, goal-kicks, etc. while others allow substitutions on any game stoppages including injuries. Therefore, it may take the coach several minutes to have the opportunity to get a player into the game due to the laws of the game and the Referee’s discretion as to when coaches can make substitutions. All players need to attend all team practices scheduled plus skills sessions in order to be prepare for league competition and tournaments. The player earns his/her playing time during practices therefore if absent, the player in question, may not be fit, technically and tactically ready, or mentally prepared for the contest. If you miss practices, this may lead to injuries and may affect the team's performance negatively.
HPSA's Policy on Playing Multiple Positions (including GK):
HPSA's mission of providing a positive environment for player development includes exposing players to playing numerous positions throughout the season. This is key to the player’s full understanding of the game. As players develop within the game they may gravitate to a position that suits their mentality and physical ability but they must experience variety in order for this to fully work. Rotating players through various positions increases their ability to read the game and to become a more versatile and complete player. It is particularly important in the younger ages to not limit players in one position. A player’s ability to be versatile teaches them to be able to adapt to changes (such as injury, player ejections, etc.) that will arise within the game as they develop. It is our objective to not only develop players, but find success on the field. Coaches are assigning players to positions that will help the team successfully compete—remember, not one person will make the difference on the field; soccer is a team sport and while we strive to develop each player individually, the team’s need comes first. The ability to adapt is pivotal in player and team development.
The coach, and only the coach, makes the decision on playing time and positions.