Short Mat Administration

Short Mat Administration

Updated 2018-11-26 reflecting the positive changes occurring following the Anderson House renovations and describing the “Tuesday League”.

Third mat in Carnarvon house

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

Responsibilities

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

  • Co-managers: Andrew Harley, Garry Anderson
  • Data collection: Chris Slade
  • Scheduling: Chris Slade
  • Registrar: Andrew Harley
  • Tournaments: Harnam Grewal, Garry Anderson, 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, drop-in sessions and private games.

We have three or 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.

In Fall 2018, we experimented with a pre-scheduled “Tuesday League”. Any member who could commit to be generally available on Tuesdays was eligible to play in this league. If the experiment is judged to be a success by the players, we might expand the format to 12-team Wednesday Leagues, Saturday Leagues, etc.  The challenging scheduling problem would then go away.

Tasks

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:  Following the 2018 renovations of Anderson House, we need no longer need to move the lockers our of Anderson House to accommodate our two short mats. We simply lay down the mats at the beginning of the season in late September and take them up again in mid-April the following year.
  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 annual inter-club invitational tournament is usually held in December.

We welcome volunteers to assist in these activities.