Category: Generating a Schedule
If you have selected to "Add a New Rule" or to Edit and existing Rule, the resulting screen (shown below) will allow you to create or edit the parameters of the scheduling rule - Who, What, Where , When and How.
- Rule Name
- This should easily identify your rule to other Administrators with scheduling rights. Since you can have several rules created on the same site, you may want to make this name descriptive and unique from other rule names.
- For this entry, you'll first need to select the appropriate season. This entry will default to the current season. In the event that there is not a season that is current, the next future season - determined by Start date will be selected by default.
After you have selected the season, All available teams within that season will be available for you to select. Use "CTRL" + Click to select multiple teams to use within the schedule. Alternatively, you can quickly select a range of teams by first clicking the top or bottom team of the range, then scrolling to the other end and while holding down the Shift key, click the opposite end team. This will highlight and select all the team in between.
- Game Type
- Select an appropriate Event (Game) type from the drop-down list available here. Optionally, if you are creating a NEW Event type - one that is not currently available from the drop down list - select "Other ->" and then enter you new Event Type in the provided space.
- From the list of Facilities provided, select the location(s) where the scheduled events are to be played. Use CTRL+click to select/de-select multiple facilities or use Shift-click to select a range of facilities. If the various teams have "Home" facilities defined on their team forms, the system will try to assign the home team to one of these, if it's also highlighted above. If home teams have not been defined or a team's home facility isn't selected here, the system will simply assign the game to the next available location selected above. You may also choose whether to distribute the games evenly in this situation throughout all facilities or to fill a facility before moving on to the next selected one. The later option may be useful for filling facilities with games of the same age group so that referees don't have to travel as much to officiate at events they are qualified for.
Note that the system will use a combination of the times specified below and those specified on each facility's information form (if any) as well as any existing schedule data in order to avoid conflicts. You can also specify the number of simultaneous events that can occur at a facility on its information form.
If no venues are selected, all generated events will have their location and time listed as TBD. This may be helpful with larger programs that allow the home team to determine where their games are played.
- Beginning On/Through
- Enter the date that you want the schedule to start being generated on and the date that you want the schedule to be generated through. If the start date does not fall on a weekday specified below, the next available date will be used instead. Depending on other parameters selected, the last playing date may fall short of the end date specified here. Similarly, events may need to be scheduled after the end date as well depending on other constraints of the schedule.
- Begin Events
- Use this field to specify odd start times for events. Enter the number of minutes after the hour to begin each event.
- Enter the approximate time for each game/event. All times must be entered in terms of minutes - for example, one and a half hours should be entered a 90 (minutes). Only numeric characters will be accepted.
- General Availability
- On the Grid provided, you can create a General Availability for the selected facilities. Select the days and times that games are generally available to be played on. Keep in mind that the availability for individual facilities, if entered will override these settings. If available days and times are listed both here and with the individual facility, schedules will be created only where they overlap.
- Except From
- Enter a time span that the facility may be unavailable - i.e. holidays, previously scheduled tournaments, etc. You can enter as many of these blackout periods as you like. As you enter new ones, extra blank ones will appear. Note that you can also specify location specific blackout times on any facility's information form.
- Schedule Type
- From the drop down list provided, select the type of schedule that you want to create.
- Practice Schedule
Generates a series of practices for the selected teams on the weekdays specified on the When tab. You can specify whether one or two teams will be assigned per time-slot and also whether teams will occupy a regular time-slot for the whole series or whether teams are alternated.
- Game Series
A "Balanced Round Robin" schedule type will match each selected team against each other the same number of times. You can specify how many times each team should play all other teams by entering a number in the Games Per Team field. In cases where there is not enough available time for each team to play all other teams, the system will generate as many events as possible between the start and end dates and use one of the following methods to favor the possible pairings:
- Random, unique matches
This choice will simply match opponents at random but make sure teams don't play each other twice unless they've first played all other teams.
- Between opponents with similar power ratings
When selected, the system will try to select pairings between teams that are similarly ranked. Power Ratings can be entered for each team on its information form. Note that all teams must have power ratings entered in order for this method to be effective.
- Between closer opponents
This selection will use the location of each team's home facility to determine the distance between the two opponents and try to match opponents that are closer together. This option may be helpful in scheduling events for large state or regional organizations in order to minimize travel times for participants. As above, all teams must have home facilities specified on their team pages, and those facilities must have zip codes specified in order for this method to effectively match nearby opponents. The system uses zip code center locations to determine the distance between teams.
- Random, unique matches
- Single Elimination Tournament
This option will schedule several rounds of games based on the number of teams entered. You can create tournament seeding by entering a numeric number below next to each team. If you have specified an unbalanced tournament - where the number of teams selected is not an exponent of 2 - i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, etc - the system will create "Play-In" games for the lower seeds or Byes for the higher seeds. The first round of the tournament will be created with the highest available seed playing the lowest available seed - for example in a tournament of 8 teams, seed #1 will play seed #8; seed #2 plays seed #7, etc. If there are standings for the given teams, seeding will automatically be determined based on their current standings.
After you have set the parameters of the scheduling rule, you can choose to save the rule for future use or, optionally to generate the schedule when saving.
Don't be afraid to experiment with the scheduling system as it's easy to delete an entire generated series of events or overwrite them by subsequently regenerating the schedule. You won't loose or overwrite schedule data entered elsewhere and the system won't overbook any of your facilities, regardless of how other events are generated.