Major League Baseball has 30 teams playing in 30 stadiums. Scheduling a 162-game season for each team is a challenge.
The NBA has 30 teams in 29 arenas (the Lakers and Clippers call the same stadium home). Scheduling an 82-game season for each team, especially considering some share their arenas with college and/or NHL teams, is a challenge.
Your rec soccer league has eight age groups for each gender, two coed divisions for younger kids, and 6-12 teams in each division. Scheduling an eight-game season for as many as 216 teams on multiple fields at multiple parks can be more than a challenge: It can be an all-out headache.
Unlike professional leagues, youth sports directors across many sports don’t have the luxury of full-time schedulers and the unlimited support of the venues they work with. Admins often schedule their seasons by hand, which can take a long time (we hope you didn’t have any weekend plans …), require coordination with park district employees and your director of officials, and put your puzzle-solving skills to the ultimate test. And scheduling so many teams definitely can be mind-bending.
Fortunately, league management software with an online sports scheduling tool can help navigate this maze, save time, and reduce the amount of Tylenol you’ll need in the preseason. Here are some ways how:
Ditch the Spreadsheets
Some leagues turn to Excel spreadsheets to keep track of schedules as they are being assembled. Though this is better organization than trying to use Post-Its or a spiral notebook, and an advanced Excel user can set up a spreadsheet so that a game entered on one page shows up on another, the approach does none of the math required to create the schedules—it’s more data entry than anything. A sports schedule maker allows you to ditch spreadsheets by assembling and housing schedules for you. These schedules are then automatically posted online and easily updated—enter one score and it shows up on every schedule webpage (as well as standings pages).
Many Divisions, One Tool
The chaos really sets in for league directors when they try to coordinate schedules for multiple divisions. Although this situation is more pronounced for soccer, it can be just as challenging for other sports. Moreover, games aren’t the only scheduling concern—you might also need to set practice times and locations for every team in your organization. Sports scheduling software allows you to create cross-referenced schedules for your entire league at once. The scheduling tool can account for times when fields aren’t available, fields that can only host certain divisions (you don’t want 5-year-olds playing soccer on a 130-yard field), and keeping certain teams closer to their own neighborhoods.
Rainouts happen. Courts and fields get double-booked by the park districts and schools you are renting the venues from. Even teams request schedule changes for a variety of reasons. These events shouldn’t throw your schedule into chaos, yet often, they do, thus leaving you to move heaven and earth to make the changes. Online league management software helps you reschedule without most of the hassle. With a sports schedule maker tool, you can easily discern the best days/times/locations that can handle a makeup. And once you make the change, it is applied everywhere on your website, with the appropriate coaches, parents, and officials notified of the rescheduling.
How much do you struggle with scheduling each season?