Game schedule for Competitive Teams All your games will be listed on your teams webpage and there is also a page with all games for a given day. Schedules get published up to 4 weeks in advance.
Number of games, double headers We schedule games such that each team should have 10 games at the end of the season (we guarantee 8, but have enough gym time for 10 games for everyone). However, if you require too many byes, specify byes only very late in the season, or cancel games after we started to work on the schedule for a weekend we might not be able to get you the 10 games.
Each team will get zero to two games per weekend. If your team has two games they are almost always scheduled at the same gym, with one game in between. Without this flexibility we would not be able to manage the schedule around all the tournaments, tryouts and other activities of all our teams.
Note that we are using software to check for scheduling times, byes, head to head games, so typos are important! We used to do this all by hand, but with over 130 teams thats no longer possible.
If you coach multiple teamsif you have more than one team and would like them to play back to back games (to make it easier if you need guest players and for the coaches) make sure that those teams have the exact same name as head coach ("Ben Smith" and "Benny Smith" are NOT the same coach) on your teams web-page. You can specify on your teams page that an assistant coach or manager is the main contact point if necessary. Note that it is not always possible to schedule games back-to-back.If you have too many teams however (the winner so far coached 6 teams) this may not always work. We never schedule two games at different places at the same time though, and if the two teams are of the same age group we try even harder to get them to play back-to-back to simplify guest player managemen. You can check if the computer believes that your teams are related on our [related teams] page.
- Friendly and Unfriendly teams: we allow you to select teams you really want to play against, and teams you definitely do not want to play against. This is mostly meant for teams that come from the same outdoor team, some of them absolutely want to play each other, some don't. You can change those entries, so if you don't want to play the other team during the first few weekends you can specify it as an "unfriendly" team first, and then change to a "friendly" team later. If this feature gets abused we will ignore such requests.
Games will not be rescheduled, no exceptions!
As soon as the schedule gets published we get regularly requests to reschedule games. This is not possible for a few reasons:
- We never have any free slots available. We calculate the cost for teams such that we cannot afford to leave a gym space empty, and therefore we have to fill all slots on a given weekend (if there are no games at a certain time at some gym we do not have access to that gym at that time).
- Switching games is in theory possible, but that requires that all 4 teams agree. Many of our teams are split teams (one outdoor team split into two indoor teams), and they want to play back-to-back if at all possible, and we do schedule their games that way. Moving one of the games then means that the game for the other team needs to be moved too, so now 4 games have to be rescheduled and 8 teams have to agree.
- Many teams have bye requests for parts of the weekend, so one would have to carefully check which teams can even be moved to the slot you want to trade.
- There are several constraint on games that make this even harder, for example U14 and older games are scheduled together to make it easier to schedule two refs for those games, some teams manage a gym and have a fixed game time, teams that travel from further away do usually not get very early or late games, coaches that coach multiple teams get their games scheduled so that they are usually in the same gym on one weekend, and if that is not possible the games are scheduled with enough time between them to allow for travel.
Getting this all correct, and getting all teams to agree to switch is time consuming, and the board simply does not have time to do this. For this reason we give all teams a lot of freedom to specify byes, preferred times, related teams, etc. but once scheduling for a weekend starts no more requests are taking into account (it takes about 2h to create the pairs for a weekend and 12h or so of computer time to find the best possible schedule).
Note that you can always contact other teams and see if they are willing to switch. If all teams involved agree to switch a game we will do this.
So please do not send an email asking if it is possible to reschedule a game, once the schedule has been posted the game has to be played or you have to take a forfeit, no exception.
Week days This year about 40% of our gym time is on Saturdays, the rest on Sundays. Requests of the form 'no morning games' or 'Saturday only games' are frowned upon.
Byes Byes must be specified on your teams web-page. Emails with bye requests will be promptly deleted!
- Be reasonable with bye requests, bye requests due to tryouts at night are not very believebal and will be ignored. Same goes for bye requests due to practice (games trump practice).
- Make sure your bye requests are listed on our [bye request] page. Make sure that your request covers the correct time. For example: if you request a bye from 9am-1pm you might get a game scheduled at 8:05am. Bye requests are also listed on the teams webpage so your parents can alert you if they spot a problems. One of the most common error is to specify the wrong year for a bye request.
- If your team participates in a multi-weekend tournament like Association Cup, State Cup, etc. please start by requesting a bye for all tournament weekends, and clearly specify in the comment that you might be able to play. Depending on how many teams participate we might delay scheduling that weekend for a few days.
- We schedule at most three weekends in advance, one the schedule for a weekend is out for a few days you can recycle the bye requests for already scheduled weekends.
Friendly and unfriendly Teams
We allow you to select teams you really want to play against, and teams you definitely do not want to play against. This is mostly meant for teams that come from the same outdoor team, some of them absolutely want to play each other, some don't. You can change those entries, so if you don't want to play the other team during the first few weekends you can specify it as an "unfriendly" team first, and then change to a "friendly" team later. If this feature gets abused we will ignore such requests.
This feature of your team webpage allows you to specify if you prefer your game during some time frame (for example Saturday afternoon). No guarantees that the schedule will be done that way, but the schedule programm does take this into account.
We use the zip code in the teams address to try to minimize driving for teams (this will not always work, so don't expect that you will get all your games in the gym closest to you, and other considerations like age have a bigger impact). However, you want to make sure that at least the zip code in the address field is correct (and don't put in a house number that looks like a valid California zip code or you might confuse the computer somewhat).
Home teams, First and last games If your team is listed as the home team for the first or last game of a gym you are responsible to get the goals or move them outside and lock them up. For some gyms this might include a short walk, make sure your parents know about this. All our facilities pages include the necessary information.
Note: visiting team selects which side they want to play first, home team kicks off first half.
How we schedule games
This is a multi-step process which takes quite some time (about 12h for steps 3-6) and is repeated for each weekend:
- Teams get a deadline to enter bye requests, and other relevant information for the schedule
- The website gets updated with an empty schedule for that weekend that shows all the available games
- Once the deadline has passed a copy of the database is taken
- Using all the information (ranking, available slots for a team taking bye requests into accout, friendly/unfriendly teams) we pair teams for that weekend until there are enough games to fill the schedule
- The games, plus all the other available information gets compiled into a program, that is then run on about 50 CPU for roughly one night in order to find the best possible schedule. The program takes into account:
- bye requests
- preferred time
- related teams should play back to back, especially if they are the same age
- distance of teams to gyms
- age of teams and time of day (young teams do not get to play at 9pm)
- age of teams and size of gyms (larger gyms for older teams)
- schedule several games back-to-back that require 2 referees
- The schedule gets published
- we get requests to change the schedule because teams forgot to put in bye requests before the deadline, or used the wrong date/year
- we tell all those teams that they have to play or take a forfeit, no exceptions