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Old 11-11-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
jmknpk2
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Method to scheduling off days?

Ok. I know this is something I could probably figure out myself if I spent some time, but I know there are those of you out there who already understand the process. So I ask for help.

I am trying to have a balanced schedule. What I envisioned was playing two five game series against each division opponent, with one day off between series. I have twelve teams in the division.

So, I went about creating my schedule file. I rotated opponents as I went, scheduling five days on and one day off for all teams in the league (all teams had the same day off). But then I got down to the last few series of the first half.

Now I have groups of three teams that need to play each of the other two teams in the group. I come to realize that I need to have one team sit out a series while the other two play each other. Not only that, but because during the series slot when one of the teams is sitting out, another team is playing twice, that still needs to sit out. This means I need to tack on an additional buy week. So I think I could schedule five series time-frame slots, with some teams having a buy in one of the slots, while other teams have a buy in a different slot. I think I would be able to finish out the season (with the three remaining match-ups played out) this way. But since these are five-day series with an off day buffer, teams are sitting out for 6 days. This is something I really don't want.

So I realize that I need to do something more like a normal MLB schedule where a few teams have an off day while other teams are playing which gradually over the course of the season allows the teams to finish out all their 3 day series against each other. But I don't know how to plan that out.

So that brings me to my question. How do I taper out the off days so that over the course of the season teams have no more than one off day at a time, yet complete their five game series against all opponents? Is there a system to spreading the off days out to come up with a decent schedule? How do I decide how many teams to schedule on each off day? Do I need to schedule some series with less than 5 games to get things to balance?

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Old 11-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #2
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Nevermind.

The way I was able to figure it out was to make a grid in Excel with each team across the top and bottom. Then I slotted in the series numbers. When I got to the last two series I was able to get the right matchups by trial and error. I'm sure there was some pattern but I didn't recognize it.

It was not necessary to stagger the off days. All teams have the same off days, which is what I had hoped for.

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Old 11-11-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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Nope, I had a team scheduled to play against two teams on the same day.

Back to the drawing board.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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PM or Ping GMO, perhaps in another thread. He is indisputably the King of Schedules. I'm sure he will be able to help you.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
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It is mathematically possible to do what you want (assuming you want 11*5*2=110 games), if that helps. You just need to find the right combination. I find a grid as you've tried to be helpful. gmo may have a better idea, or if you are patient he will probably do it for you.

gmo is indeed the king of schedules.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:59 PM   #6
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If you have a balanced schedule where it is truly balanced (all clubs play the same number of series against every opponent), then just set up a simple rotation method and rotate the opponents through the matchups to get your schedule.

Yes, it's rather predictable, but you can always tweak it afterwards once you've got everyone playing the proper number of series and games.

So, you might have 1v2, 3v4, 5v6, 7v8, 9v10, and 11v12 as the first matchups. Then slide the visiting clubs down one and you end up with 11v2, 1v4, 3v6, 5v8, 7v10, 9v12 for the second set up matchups. Keep doing this until you've got all the away clubs rotated through each home opponent. Then you can just invert this (i.e. reverse the home and away matchups) and now you've got a complete series of matchups. Now, of course, these aren't in any sensible order, so next you begin moving around the sets of matchups to provide a decent variety of home and away series.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replys.

I wanted to document exactly what I did. LeGrande you got me through the first half, but maybe I didn't follow what you said, because I got stuck on the second half. But I was able to work something out. Here's what I did.

Make match-ups of 1vs2 3vs4 5vs6 7vs8 9vs10 and 11vs12.
Then shifted the visitors by one slot ending up with
11vs2 1vs4 3vs6 5vs8 7vs10 9vs12.
Continued this shifting until all of the odd versus even match-ups were completed, with each set being a separate series date within the season. (This part was just what La Grange Orange recommended)

Then I made a grid.
I listed the team numbers down on the left hand side of the grid,
starting with the odd numbers and then continuing on down with the even numbers (1,3,5,7,9,11,2,4,6,8,10,12).
Then across the top I listed the remaining series numbers 7,8,9,10,11 (e.g. schedule date).
I needed to identify the remaining, odd vs odd, and even vs even, matchups.
I started going, across the grid, column by column, entering a team number to represent a match-up.
Starting with the first row (for team 1) I entered the teams that team 1 would play
(e.g team 3 in series 7,5in8,7in9,9in10,and 11in11).

As I entered each team number, I went down the same column and put an "X" in the grid for that team's row. For example, after the first matchup of 1vs3 in the first row, I put an "X" in the second row (team 3's row) at the series 7 column, indicating that team 3 was already playing during that series 7, and could not be playing again.

I continued with this method down each of the next rows for all of the odd team rows.

The first row (team 1) was easy because there were no conflicts. For the other rows, it took a little arranging, planning and sometimes re-arranging to get the required matchups to fall in place. But it was not too difficult.

I continued this process on down for the even vs. even matchups and was finished.

By the way, this allowed me to have the same off days for all teams, which is what I wanted.

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:34 AM   #8
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Well, there is no one 'right' way to create a schedule. As long as you get a final result that you're satisfied with, that's all that matters.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:21 AM   #9
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Woo Hoo. I finally finished my first schedule. Now I need to put it to a test and sim a season to make sure it works.
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