Behind the Scenes – Schedules Edition

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 13:00
Manager of League Operations

Managing your own schedule can be hard, can you imagine how hard it is to manage the schedule of over 800 teams a season?! The SSC works tirelessly before your first game to ensure each team has the best schedule possible. Did you know that every single schedule posted on the website gets there only after going through over 10 steps, and the actual building of the schedule is just one of them!

Back in the day each schedule was built by hand, but now we have some help from technology, but some schedules can still take up to an hour to complete! Why? Because we want to balance things like the opposition matrix, facility matrixes and timeslots, while also taking into consideration special requests.

Opposition Matrix – the story of who plays who, and when. The goal is to ensure teams do not repeat match-ups more than needed, and when repeats occur, they are as spread out as possible. The catch, sometimes repeat match-ups are closer than ideal to balance out facilities and times.

Facility Matrix – the story of where people play, and at what time. This is the part of the schedule you are all likely most interested in. In this part of the puzzle we are looking at balancing overall early and late slots.

What is early vs. late? Well for an Indoor schedule, we’d be looking at games 8:15 or earlier as “early” and games starting at 8:30 or later as “late”. The next step is looking at the dreaded 10:00pm and later starts and doing all we can to ensure each team has no more than other teams, sadly as much as we wish, there is often no way around getting a couple of these slots in a season. On top of working away at balancing when people play, we also look at where teams are playing. We want to try and balance facility quality and location.

Although we have some pretty fancy tech support on the schedule building front, if we don’t take time to make manual changes, your schedules would look more like this:

Instead of this:

As an experienced schedule builder, the above adjustments to balance out the facility/time matrix would take 10 minutes, for a beginner schedule builder the above change probably takes an additional 10-15 minutes.

In a season the Club builds anywhere from 90 – 175 schedules, and it takes anywhere from 5 minutes – 1+ hours per schedule just to complete the building step! In a spring season, where we are closer to 175 schedules to be built, there can be 90+ man hours spent on just building schedules alone. We wouldn’t want it any other way and hope to provide the most balanced schedules possible!