I am midway through a season of indoor cricket having put together, organised and captained a new team at the start of this season. Initially it was a struggle getting enough players together to be able to enter a team and we played undermanned for the first few games which in any 6 a side sport, especially indoor cricket, is a huge disadvantage and can be quiet demoralising.
This is a social comp/team and everyone has work and family commitments that make them unavailable from time to time, some more than others.
Originally I told everyone that I'd try and share the games around so that if we had more players than needed available on a given week, the player who had played less games would get a go. However we are now in the situation in which the players who have played more games are the ones who have been with the team "through thick and thin" having to cope with playing undermanned, which also costs them money since the indoor centre charges a flat rate per team per game. Other players have been unavailable less often and so have played less games but also therefore haven't had to put in the hard yards of building the team and making sure it could get off the ground. All of a sudden everyone seems available and I'm left having to work out who (potentially myself included) will have to miss games.
So, what is the standard etiquette in social sport in this situation? Should loyalty be rewarded or does fairness dictate the number of games be made as equal as possible for all players? Note that no one has done anything wrong by being unavailable, just that everyone has different levels of commitments to other things.
Edit: I should point out, for those unfamiliar with cricket, that substitutes are not possible in any form of cricket including indoor cricket. The logical option of sharing game time that is possible in most other sports is not an option in cricket.