Adding divisi across multiple sections

I have a potentially dumb question that I’m having trouble wrapping my head around, would appreciate someone’s advice here!

I’ve come across a situation where I need to have the entire string section - not just Violin I or Violin II, but both - divided 3 ways for a section. An example on the score I’m working with, I have 28 total violin players - 14 in Violin I, 14 in Violin II - that need to be split up into 9, 9, and 10. If I divide Violin I into 9+9, I end up with more players (18) than are actually in the Violin I section (14).

Is there an elegant way to handle this? Curious to hear how others would approach this!

Don’t think numbers, think parts. You want 9+9+10 across V1 and V2. That sounds to me like V1 is split in two (9+5) and V2 is split in two (9+5) but the 2nd part of each is playing the same music, so a simple 2 part divisi in both V1 and V2 is sufficient. You can easily label each as 9 and 5 respectively and leave it to the players to decide exactly who is playing which line.

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Check out the slow movement of Shostakovich Symphony No.5.

He handles the identical issue by providing both Violin I and II with all three parts, and then leaves it to the concertmaster or conductor to assign who plays what.

For studio work, Violins I & II are often treated as a single section, all reading from the same part which can be divided in any number of ways. This, however, doesn’t translate well to concert practice. See Divisi - Divide and Conquer