This is relatively easy unless you have players who just can't play or the skill gap is too large. Here is the latest:12U team with 12-14 players....how would you try and get some quality at bats and /or outs defensively without compromising teams competitiveness....I'm sure nobody has ever had this issue..lol
Can I just bring attention to this one piece? If you never do anything else to advance your players in the game, THAT is the most important thing you could ever do.- BENCH ROLES: There are bench roles - warming up the pitcher between innings, helping the catcher gear up, stats keepers, lineup tracking, sign-stealer, etc, etc. If they are on the bench, give them a role for the team. Whatever you want. If there are players just sitting on the bench with no role that is your failure - not theirs. Give them things to do.
This is very true at 12U. Even at older age groups, keeping a big roster happy will be a problem if they all show up. With the possible exception of the best team around that everyone wants to be on, if you're carrying a bigger roster and don't play people, you'll eventually lose them. Marriard's advice is very good and will work great with a HS team or competitive / tournament team where there are few other options. However, if there are other decent teams around, sitting your better players too often will send them looking for a situation where they'll play more. Sitting your weaker players too much will either encourage them to quit altogether or to start looking for a team where they'll play more.Plain and simple. You will not be able to keep 14 families happy at 12u. If the team was older this would be very possible.