The dream has been realised, you're in a team and at your game with your new team (and best) mates.


The following guides are here to help everyone be a good sport when your team have extra players to make sure everyone shares game time evenly. Remember the old adage: Teamwork makes the dream work!

Netball Subs Guide

Basketball Subs Guide

Futsal / 5-a-side Subs Guide

Touch Subs Guide

Footy 7s / AFL 9s Subs Guide

Volleyball Subs Guide

Indoor Cricket Subs Guide

Multisport Subs Guide

Read on to see how you can make the magic happen with your team!

Netball Subs Guide

Most netball competitions will only let you sub in between quarters or at half-time, and with these breaks normally being only 60 seconds long, it's important to act quickly when making subs to ensure the game doesn't get delayed. A good idea is to plan out your subs ahead of the game so that when the time comes it's straightforward and you know who to hand your (hopefully not too sweaty) bib to.

If you have 1 Sub
1 person subs each quarter. Only 4 of the 8 players will go off for a quarter (if you are one of the 4 players that play a whole game this time, then perhaps be one of the 4 players having a quarter off next game).

If you have 2 Subs
2 people sub each quarter. 8 of the 9 players will go off for a quarter (if you play the whole game this time, then perhaps be one of the players that have a quarter off next game).

If you have 3+ Subs
This is really rare for Netball and might happen in the first few weeks of a season. A few people will be off for half a game, so we say thanks to those generous souls and really do stress that this is a rare occurrence that is necessary for us to not be short of players following the first few weeks of the season - when enthusiasm and attendance are at the highest, and injuries / illness / work / travel / life getting in the way are at their lowest.

Related: Number of players in a team

Basketball Subs Guide

The best way of managing subs in basketball is to divide the total game time by the number of players at the game and plan to sub that frequently (for example if you have 6 players for a 36 minute game, you would make one sub every 6 minutes, with each player subbing off once during the game)

It can be easy to get caught in the flow of a game and lose track of time, so it's always a good idea to decide ahead of the game who is going to come off when and who will replace them. Pro-tip: Set up a timer on someone's phone to go off at whatever interval you decide on so that everyone knows when it's time to sub and can do so at the next opportunity.

If you have 1 Sub
1 person subs every 3 minutes of each half (you will play 15 of 18 minutes in each half).

If you have 2 Subs
2 people sub every 6 minutes of each half (you will play 12 of 18 minutes in each half).

If you have 3+ Subs
This is pretty rare, but it can happen earlier in a season when enthusiasm and attendance are at the highest, and injuries / illness / work / travel / life getting in the way are at their lowest. We recommend subbing as frequently as possible, with blocks of approximately 3 minutes generally working best - it's a great opportunity to work hard while you're on the court and then get some rest before you're back out there in no time!

Related: Number of players in a team

Futsal / 5-a-side Subs Guide

The best way of managing subs in futsal is to divide the total game time by the number of players at the game and plan to sub that frequently (for example if you have 6 players for a 36 minute game, each player would sub off once per game every 6 minutes, or twice per game every 3 minutes).

It can be easy to get caught in the flow of a game and lose track of time, so it's always a good idea to decide ahead of the game who is going to come off when and who will replace them. Pro-tip: Set up a timer on someone's phone to go off at whatever interval you decide on so that everyone knows when it's time to sub and can do so at the next opportunity.

If you have 1 Sub
1 person subs every 3 minutes of each half (you will play 15 of 18 minutes in each half).

If you have 2 Subs
2 people sub every 6 minutes of each half (you will play 12 of 18 minutes in each half).

If you have 3+ Subs
This is pretty rare, but it can happen earlier in a season when enthusiasm and attendance are at the highest, and injuries / illness / work / travel / life getting in the way are at their lowest. We recommend subbing as frequently as possible, with blocks of approximately 3 minutes generally working best - it's a great opportunity to work hard while you're on the court and then get some rest before you're back out there in no time!

Related: Number of players in a team

Touch Subs Guide

Subs can be made at any time during a touch game and it's always a good idea to rotate often to keep everyone fresh, so if you're standing on the sidelines you should be ready to come on when your time comes!

To make things run as smoothly as possible, subbing when either team scores or at a stoppage in play is a good idea.

Most touch games consist of 2 x 18 minute halves, so to ensure everyone gets a fair share of game time, a good idea is to divide up the game by the number of players in the team, and then plan to make subs in roughly even intervals - ie for 6-a-side games: if you have 9 players, you would sub off 1 player every 2 minutes so each player plays 12 minutes per half. Pro-tip: Set up a timer on someone's phone to go off at whatever interval you decide on so that everyone knows when it's time to sub and can do so at the next opportunity.

Related: Number of players in a team

Footy 7s / AFL 9s Subs Guide

Subs can be made at any time during a social footy game and it's always a good idea to rotate often to keep everyone fresh, so if you're standing on the sidelines you should be ready to come on when your time comes!

To make things run as smoothly as possible, subbing when either team scores or at a stoppage in play is a good idea.

Most touch games consist of 2 x 16 minute halves, so to ensure everyone gets a fair share of game time, a good idea is to divide up the game by the number of players in the team, and then plan to make subs in roughly even intervals - ie for 7-a-side games: if you have 9 players, you would sub off 3 players every 6 minutes so each player plays 12 minutes per half. Pro-tip: Set up a timer on someone's phone to go off at whatever interval you decide on so that everyone knows when it's time to sub and can do so at the next opportunity.

Related: Number of players in a team

Volleyball Subs Guide

Most social volleyball competitions use the rotational rule where players must rotate around the 4/6 starting positions on the court when the serving team loses the point. If there is a sub, they are included as part of the rotation, so when the serving team loses the point, the sub rotates onto the court and another player rotates off the court into the sub position.

Keep an eye out for players who are subbed off the court during a particularly long run of points won by the serving team during a set, and make sure they start on the court in the next set so they get a fair share of game time.

Related: Number of players in a team

Indoor Cricket Subs Guide

It is rare to have more than 6 players for an Indoor Cricket game, but in the instances that we do, batting/bowling responsibilities should be shared amongst players as below:

If you have 7 players

One player will play only the batting innings and one player will play only the bowling/fielding innings. All (5) other players will play both innings.

If you have 8 players

Two players will play only the batting innings and two players will play only the bowling/fielding innings. All (4) other players will play both innings.

Related: Number of players in a team

Multisport Subs Guide

The game you play varies each week with multisport (hence the name!), so there are no hard and fast rules in place about subbing and what works best. Most games will typically be about 40 minutes long (often divided into two halves), so try and make sure game time is shared evenly amongst everyone and discuss ahead of time (and at half time) how you can make sure everyone gets a go!

You're playing multisport because you wanted to try something new and test yourself, so don't be afraid to mix things up with your team and try people out in different positions to give everyone a go across all the sports you'll play throughout the season!

Related: Number of players in a team

Whew that was a long way to the bottom. If you made it this far, good job - here are a few extra tips, free of charge:

  • Remember that everyone in your team signed up to play and be part of a team, so try your best to make sure that everyone has a good experience and gets a fair go at playing each week.

  • Talk with your teammates and go in to the game with a plan - get to the game early and discuss with everyone how you'll handle substitutions so that everyone gets a fair go. After 2-3 weeks you'll all be on the same page and subbing regularly will be second nature.

  • Have fun with it and mix things up - try your hand in goal, put your GK at GS or put your shortest player in for a jump ball. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things, you never know if you'll have a superstar goalscorer in hiding.

  • Be vocal on the sidelines - if you're on the bench and it's your turn to go on, don't be scared to call for a sub. Players on the court can get caught up in the game and lose track of when they are meant to come off, so give them a helping hand and a hi-5 when they come off. If you've got a friend that has come to watch, they can help with managing this so you can keep your head in the game and save your vocal cords for cheering that last-second winner.

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