Short Mat Administration

Short Mat Administration

Updated 3 November, 2017, to reflect the three-mat environment.

Third mat in Carnarvon house

The October 28 club tournament was the first time we used a
third mat, diagonally squeezed into Carnarvon House.


The following club members are responsible for the various tasks required to accomplish a successful short mat season.

  • Co-managers: Steve Rikley, Andrew Harley
  • Data collection: Chris Slade
  • Scheduling: Chris Slade
  • Registrar: Andrew Harley
  • Tournaments: Harnam Grewal, Steve Rikley, Andrew Harley

Scheduling Problem

Several tasks are involved in the smooth operation of our two short mat rinks, which are used by up to 65 players, playing more than 300 games in the course of each 13-week session.

The rink time is divided into six two-hour slots every day of the week starting at 9:00 a.m., so that a maximum of twelve games can be scheduled in one day. There are singles and pairs league games, daily draw games for up to 12 players at a time, and private games.

We have four leagues with up to twelve pairs/players per league. The league is round-robin, meaning that each player/pair plays one game against every other player/pair. So, if there are 12 pairs in a league, each pair plays 11 games; each game involves two pairs, so there are 66 games in a 12-person league. If there are eight, or less, competitors in the league, and provided there is sufficient room in the schedule, we organize a double round-robin e.g. with 8 competitors, 56 games would be played.

Every one of the 200+ league games has to be scheduled based on the varied availabilities of each of the players. There are 42 possible time slots per week. Some players are available as few as 8 slots per week. Others are available almost any time. When it comes to matching four of these players for a pairs game, there may be only a few slots in the entire session that match their joint availabilities.


The set-up and operational tasks are:

  1. Data Collection: League players use the short mat entry form to record their availability for all possible time slots in the session. This information is then used to schedule the league games. Daily Draw players no longer need to register for a session.
  2. Scheduling: Once the availability data is verified, an Excel computer program is used to produce a personal schedule for each league player and a session calendar showing all the scheduled games, including the casual daily draw games. The program manipulates more than 50,000 data items to develop a typical schedule. Even so, a good deal of manual intervention is required to produce the final outputs.
  3. Site Preparation: The Anderson House site has to be prepared for short mat play at the start of the season and cleared at the end of the season. Now we have two mats, this is a much bigger task than it used to be; almost 200 lockers need to be moved each September and restored to their positions the following April.
  4. Kickoff Meeting: At the beginning of each session, there is a kickoff meeting. Play commences immediately following the kickoff meeting.
  5. Booking and Rescheduling: Throughout the session, players continually reschedule their league games and book themselves into the daily draw games. Recording calendar changes and bookings is a daily activity for the registrar.
  6. Tournaments: Club tournaments will take place on two or three weekends each fall and winter session. Now that we have two permanent mats –and a third mat which is laid down in Carnarvon House for tournaments only, tournaments are much more social affairs with up to 30 players at a time. And since we can run three games simultaneously, tournaments take less time, so we are moving towards one-day rather than two-day club tournaments. Our second interclub invitational tournament will be held December 2017.

We welcome volunteers to assist in these activities.