Just curious what everyone would suggest a reasonable enforcement to fair playing time policies could be? Obviously this is not the right approach, but here is the opposite scenario.
The league my son plays in has no enforcement, although they do have the policy. We have situations in game where the head coach will play 2 centers, 4 defenceman and 8 wingers for a game. The centers and D who are either strong players or coaches favourites will then get additional pp or pk time (like putting both centers out at the same time) resulting in some kids playing around 60% of the game while some wingers (who had their shift skipped in favour of double shifting) play around 20%.
This is Novice (7&8 year olds). It is AA but that should make very little difference as our association tiers our teams and there is no option of competitive vs house. Remember that under this system the kid getting a fifth of the game was good enough to beat out most of the kids in town for a spot on the team but had no input as to which team they would play on, they would theoretically be the strongest player on our B team.
There is no mechanism to complain other than fill out a coach evaluation that will be reviewed when the executive chooses the head coaches for next season. Complaining to the coach will get you nowhere.
I don't expect the coach to use a stopwatch and spreadsheet to track ice time but make even lines and roll them! You want to shorten the bench? Last 5 minutes of critical games, maybe.
That's just wrong on multiple levels. First, 7/8 year olds should be playing every position - a different position every game. They should not be set center, wing or defence. They are just too young. Secondly, 7 & 8 year old should be all about development - making EVERY KID a better player. That only happens by spreading the ice time and again, rotating them through different positions. That is how they learn game. And a kid who may gravitate towards defense initially because of confidence issues may actually be a better forward once given the chance and the coaching.
My 15 year old daughter for example has migrated through many positions over the years. When she was younger she was more of a defenseman and gravitated towards that. I made her rotate through various positions with the rest but defense was her strength. When she was a second year peewee playing A travel we moved her from defense to wing because her speed wasn't quite there and she was one of the few kids who wasn't afraid to take a beating in front of the net. Upon moving to bantam she played on a girls team and her primary role was on defense again as her skating was above average for that group. We now have no girls team and she is forced to paly with the boys again. This year playing JV (mainly bantam age with some over agers - she is by one week) she was one of the best players on her team and her coach had her at center all season.
What I am saying with this long winded history or my daughter is a good coach won't lock a young kid into a certain role, position etc. Rather, a good coach will develop skills that will benefit the kids as they move from one age group to another. A good coach will also teach these youngsters all aspects of the game, not just "hide them" because they feel the need to feed their personal ego's by having the best w/l possible of playing their own and their best friends' kids. As our local referee in chief always says during our seminars - "Remember, it's all about the kids".