Yeah, if he's going to sub for someone without saying anything to that person or the captain, and he's going to physically shove you, you're going to need to clock him on the head pretty hard with that clue-by-four.
Thanks for the update--I'm so glad to hear more of this. I think you've got a problem that has a lot of similarities to stuff other people go through (I recognize some work situations in your story).
Honestly, I think you should just touch base quietly with a few people, to manage the uproar on the team, and then kick him out. Be prepared--if he does this again, you need to.
Luke announced that his friend would play. Before I could say anything, another teammate showed up and the subject was dropped.
I don't think *you* should have dropped the subject. I think you should have gone directly to Luke and said to him (not announcing to everyone, just say directly to him), "Luke, you are not the captain of this team, and you are not to recruit substitutes. In addition to the whole 'chain of command' thing, and the whole 'other people have been paying team members for a long time' thing, you don't seem to be aware of the league rules. We will be punished if we use an unrostered substitute. Don't do that again."
Luke retaliated by subbing himself in for Joseph after he had some bad hits. It blindsided Joseph and myself.
If you'd stepped in and interfered with this--even if it WAS awkward at the time--you'd probably have prevented this:
Things went fine, Joseph had another bad hit, and Luke literally ran onto the court to pull Joseph out. He refused, and I backed him up. Later in the game, I quickly asked Joseph if he would be okay with subbing in Luke for the last few points, and he agreed. So, I called for the sub, Luke came in - and proceeded to literally shove me out of the way to get to a ball.
It's so easy for me to Monday-morning quarterback, and I don't mean to. It's hard to act on the spot. But I just want to encourage you--and any other people who might need it--to be
confrontational with Luke. It's the only thing that will work, and other people on the team need you to do this.
One thing that happens is, if -you- create a power vacuum (which you have, actually, by not directly addressing these things, and maybe by not announcing early enough what your plan is for rostering enough players--I have created exactly such a power vacuum by keeping my thoughts to myself, or by not being proactive enough), people like Luke will try to fill that vacuum.
We compromised that those who want extra help are welcome to show up early but he also needs to understand that several players are coming straight from work and getting there early is next to impossible.
How is that a compromise? You may have just reinforced his idea that he's the one who gets to decide whether things are acceptable.
This is a great start, but I have this feeling you're going to need to be even tougher, and more confrontational "in the moment."
Don't be afraid, going forward to be firm, stern, and really, really bossy.