Preparing a sports schedule is becoming more complex as it becomes harder to balance the objectives of a growing range of stakeholders that includes clubs, fans, coaches, players, media, sponsors.Clearly avoiding any bias to a particular club is central but at the same time travel issues need to be addressed, revenues need to be maximised for commercial interests, venue constraints, demands on policing and transport systems must also be accommodated.
Below is a list of examples of typical requirements that can be dealt with:
Maximise alternation of home and away games for each team
Avoid runs of 3 or more consecutive home or away games
Accommodate a 'conference-type' set up
Avoid 4 out of 5 home or away games - HHAHH or HHAHH
Accommodate home or away requests from each team
For pairs of teams it is often important that only one is at home. They may share a venue or for congestion/policing/resource/transport reasons it is helpful for only one to be at home.
It may be desirable to have a number of consecutive away matches.
It may be desirable for a team to minimise travelling by playing a run of games in one geographical area.
It may be desirable to have local derbies or rivalries on particular dates
It may be necessary for sets of midweek games to be between 'nearby' teams
It may be desirable to avoid 'big' teams playing at or near the start or end of the season
Matches which involve a lot of travelling may need to be played at particular times of the season
TV schedules can dictate the dates of games.
Split a league mid season
Strict home and away alternation at particular time eg start of season, end of season.
We engaged the services of Sports Fixture Systems to assist us with the ever increasing demands and intricacies of fixture scheduling the Danske Bank Premiership and NI Football League Championship leagues. We have many factors to consider when producing our fixture lists, availability of club venues, ground sharing, police and safety issues, travel distances and that specific fixtures which need to be played on specific dates, most notably our ‘Derby fixtures’ which alternate venue each Boxing Day. The experience and expertise of Sports Fixture Systems allowed us to develop our fixture lists in a less stress free and timely fashion. I would recommend the services of Sports Fixture Systems to any sporting body who require an efficient and reliable solution to assist with their fixture compilationAndrew Johnston, Managing Director Northern Ireland Football League Ltd
Sports Fixture Systems have compiled the fixture lists for the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League and Investec Women’s Hockey League, the English national hockey leagues, since 2015. This is a complex process involving 80 clubs in eight divisions playing home and away. There are many different factors that need to be accounted for including travel, clashes that have to be avoided, availability of clubs’ venues and specific fixtures being played on specific days. Sports Fixture Systems provide very methodical, prompt and accurate support which allows us to provide our clubs with an excellent service. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services to any organisation that needs help with fixture compilation.Stephen Barlow England Hockey Competitions Manager
We contacted Sports Fixture Systems during the 2015 off season to assist us with ever increasing difficulty of scheduling a WA Premier Cricket Season. Sports Fixture Systems were extremely thorough and diligent in making sure that all our criteria for fixtures were met and provided us with a suitable fixture list in a timely manner. We would recommend Sports Fixture Systems for any sporting organisation needing a way to troubleshoot any fixture issues.Luke Douglas, Competitions Coordinator, Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA)
As a cross border, and now a transcontinental championship, the Guinness PRO14 has unique scheduling and logistical challenges when putting its fixture list together. Sports Fixtures Systems were able to put together a bespoke solution to enable us to create our fixture list quickly and at the same time produce a set of matches that are regular and accommodate all our specific requirements. Their assistance to the Guinness PRO14 has been invaluable.David Jordan, Operations Director, Guinness PRO14