If your travel league is like any of our clients, you probably have..
- coaches who coach more than one team
- field availability that varies from week to week
- parents who with children that are on different teams who only want one travel trip per weekend.
- drive time limitation for leagues with large geographies
- and no software program that deals with these and other schedule related issues.
Travel Leagues tell us–
- When they use software: 85% of the effort takes place after the software has generated the initial schedule.
- It takes them: 1.25 hours (or more) per team to complete a schedule.
- 30 days (or less) to get done from time of final team registration.
- Their month is shot: For a 130 team league it takes 162.5 Hours (1.25 x 130 ) which is a 5 1/2 hours commitment every day of the month in order to complete the schedule. To make matters worse, the scheduler probably also has a day job!
Scheduling is an important component of any league’s play. TeamsCompete specializes in travel league game scheduling and developed its Scheduling technology to manage the complex scheduling scenarios that off the shelf software solutions doesn’t support. The unique scheduling capabilities of TeamsCompete are below. These capabilities work in combination with each other to create a schedule that conforms to your league’s structure and requirements.
LINK RELATED TEAMS
In many travel leagues, two teams might share a coach, or some players, or even siblings. Some leagues permit their member organizations to “link” these teams together to form “blocks” that can play home and away games together. While important to the functioning of the league, these “blocks” add significant complexity to the scheduling process. Off-the-shelf scheduling software doesn’t accommodate team blocking. TeamsCompete currently provides two types of blocking: Multi-Age Division and Single Age Division Blocking.
MULTI-AGE DIVISION TEAM LINKING: Finding qualified and experienced coaches for youth sport teams is difficult. Many youth sport organizations are forced to have coaches that coach multiple teams. In addition, parents with multiple children in an organization can’t be in two different locations at once. Multi-Age Blocking solves this problem by allowing organizations to specify teams that need to be travel together to facilitate overlapping coaches and siblings.
SINGLE AGE DIVISION TEAM LINKING: Each year youth sport organizations struggle with a the results of player registration. There always seems of one age group at issue; too many players on the teams reduces playing time for everyone while teams with too few players risks attendance issues. Single Age Group Blocking solves this problem by allowing member organizations to block these teams together. This allows the teams to “borrow” players in thinly rostered teams. Single Age Division Blocking allows organization to maximize playing team by fielding an the extra team that they might not have otherwise done.
The divisional structures in the TeamsCompete system are very flexible, allowing us to map the many different types of divisions our clients use into our software. We work closely with our clients to create the divisional structures to foster the competition they are looking for in their league. Divisional structures are also unique to each season allowing clients to adjusting divisions without impact historical records maintained in the TeamsCompete scheduling database.
DIVISIONS: Divisions are the highest level structure in TeamsCompete. Division can be built around any combination of categorization whether age group, gender, geographic region, etc.
SUBDIVISIONS: TeamsCompete software permits the divisions to be broken into any number of sub-groupings. Subdivisions can be “locked” to insure that teams in any given subdivision only play games against other teams in that subdivision, or team can “crossover” to play teams in other subdivisions. TeamsCompete’s software can schedule divisions that contain both “locked” and “crossover” subdivisions.
CROSSOVER GAMES: Where permitted by a league, teams in a particular subdivision may play a team in other subdivision. When crossover games are turned on, teams play teams in their subdivision first before they then play games against teams in other subdivisions. Each crossover subdivision can have its competitive level ranked in comparison to the other subdivisions. This permits teams to be segregated into any number of groupings based on your leagues assessment of a given team’s strength. Teams can only crossover to play another team if the opponent’s subdivision is ranked one level above, one level below, or at the same level as its own subdivision. For example, a league might have a “Boys 12U” division broken into Strongest, Above Average, Below Average and Weakest groups. Using TeamsCompete crossover algorithms, the Strongest teams would only play Above Average teams while Above Average teams could play the Strongest and Below Average teams.
OBSCURING SUBDIVISIONS: For many different reasons, leagues may not want to make public their subdivisional assignments . TeamsCompete software can also “obscure” the subdivision assignments so that a published schedule only displays “Boys 12U” displays and not “Boys 12U Strongest” or “Boys 12U Weakest”.
DIVISION ONLY DATES: Do your league have divisions where the 9U and 10U play on Saturday and the rest play on Sunday? TeamsCompete scheduling system can flag these divisions and assign games to the appropriate date
CONTROL WHO TEAMS CAN PLAY:
TeamsCompete’s Scheduling software contains a robust set of rules that control which teams in your travel league can play each other. Controls can be specified at each division to take in to account the differences between your U9 players and teams U13 and up. Examples of season criteria used in TeamsCompete are:
- LIMIT THE NUMBER OF TIMES A TEAM CAN PLAY DIFFERENT OPPONENTS FROM THE SAME ORGANIZATION: Does your travel league have a member organization that always submits a large number of teams into each division? Are the other “towns” or “clubs” unhappy when they are scheduled to play them 3, 4 or 5 times. TeamsCompete solves this issue by allowing leagues to limit the number of different teams that any one team can play from the same opponent.
- LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT A TEAM CAN PLAY MULTIPLE TEAMS: This criteria works in conjunction with the criteria outlined above. If you limit your league to permit a division to play no more than two teams from the same organization, you can further limit how many programs (“clubs”) this applies too. For example, your league may set this limit to two clubs- which means that any given team in the division may have a schedule where they play two different teams from two separate clubs.
- SET DRIVE TIME LIMITS:For some travel leagues, limiting the driving time for teams is important. It might be that teams at the extremities of the league geography are too far apart to travel to each other for games. It may be that the league wants younger teams- say a U9 team- to travel in a smaller radius than older teams. TeamsCompete can apply separate drive time limits for each division. If your travel league has “league fields” or “meet-in-the-middle” fields, our technology can identify if this is an appropriate field to hold the game.
- PLAYING TEAMS MORE THAN ONCE: TeamsCompete allows leagues to either permit or not allow a team to play an opponent more than once.
- PLAYING TEAMS FROM THE SAME ORGANIZATION: TeamsCompete allows a leagues to specify whether a team can play another team from their own organization.
- REQUIRE A DIVISION TO USE LEAGUE FIELD SPACE: Some leagues have brought and paid their own field space for the season. Divisions can be required to use League Field Space for their games
SEASON DATE MANAGEMENT:
Travel Leagues tend to make a number of accommodations for clubs in order to make it easy for their teams to participate in the league. It might be that certain age groups don’t play on certain dates or that boys only play in the afternoon. Some travel leagues allot teams a certain number of blackout dates where they can elect to not play on the selected season date. All of these accommodations make scheduling more complex and generate a large amount of data to track.
- HOME BLACK OUT DATES: Member Organizations can black out the entire organization from playing at home on various dates- maybe due to graduation or other event at the field location.
- DIVISION SPECIFIC GAME DATES: Some leagues have game dates, such as mid-week games, where only a specific division plays a game (ex. U15 Plays on Thursdays). The TeamsCompete flags these dates and builds a schedule around these factors.
- DIVISION BLACK OUT DATES: In many leagues, not all divisions play on the same date. Some divisions have a longer season then others or might play on Saturday while others play on Sunday. TeamsCompete permits leagues to specify dates where certain divisions, along with their associated Subdivisions, can be excluded from playing on certain season dates.
- TEAM BLACK OUT DATES: If permitted by your league, individual teams can black out specific play dates when they are unavailable to play.
- SUNSET AWARENESS: TeamsCompete Scheduling Engine knows the local league sunset time for each season date and manages the end time of the last game based on the field’s lighting capabilities.
- DO NOT PLAY LISTS: In some rare instances, leagues may decided that certain clubs should not play each other. It might be due to competitive imbalances or bad blood.
PLAYING SURFACE MANAGEMENT:
TeamsCompete knows that playing surfaces are a critical portion of generating a season schedule. TeamsCompete organizes playing surfaces into complexes and identifies who “controls” the rights to play on any given surface on a particular date and time.
- FIELD SIZE: Specify the size of field that teams play on. It is common for younger age groups to play on fields that support small sided games. TeamsCompete’s SchedulingEngine technology also knows if fields are lined for the appropriate sport and gender.
- LEAGUE PLAYING SURFACES: Some Leagues arrange for their own field space and utilize it to various ways, such as playing games on a neutral site for playoffs, playing games at a mid-way point between two teams where distance is a factor, or to provide for festival days for certain age groups during the season.
- ORGANIZATION PLAYING SURFACES: Most Member Organizations have facility rights in order to play home games. Some larger youth organizations have multiple sites where their teams play. Organizations can assign teams to play home games at the various complexes they have access to.
- U-LEVEL AND GENDER SPECIFIC FIELD AWARENESS: For many leagues, younger participants play on smaller sized fields and are dedicated to specific age groups that play small sided games. In addition, some sports- such as lacrosse- have fields that are lined differently for boys and girls. TeamsCompete handles all of these scenarios insuring your teams are assigned to the right field.
- FIELD SURFACE PREFERENCE: Leagues can play in many different climates during a given season- especially in the Spring. It can be cold and frozen during week 1, muddy and wet on week 2, hot and humid on week 8. The SchedulingEngineTM permits leagues to specify if they prefer turf or grass for league play during any given week of the season. In addition, organizations can specify the order in which their playing surfaces are assigned.