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How to Schedule

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How to Schedule

Postby  The_Prophet » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:38 pm

The Art of Scheduling
A guide to quick and effective scheduling for leagues and tournaments

You might think that it is hardly necessary to have a guide for something that has been part of AoC for almost ten years. However, as we can all see, the art of scheduling has been mastered by very few. There are still many players nowadays who have difficulty scheduling, and many leagues and tournaments are forced to resort to admin times/admin wins after scheduling ends in deadlock. This guide does not only tell the usual dos and don'ts of scheduling but mainly introduces new and more effective ways to deal with it.

Before Round 1 starts

Each team must have a leader who is responsible for scheduling matches for his team. In case of 1v1 tournaments, players usually schedule for themselves. The leader's most important duty is to be active and check the tournament's website/forums at least two times a day for announcements and important information. The leader must also be in direct contact with his team.
For this guide I will create a fictional leader called Bobby who will demonstrate how to schedule effectively :)

Step 1: First Post

When a tournament announces the start of round 1, Bobby reads the instructions (most importantly the dates when teams can play and the deadline of round 1) and contacts his team, asking for days and times when they are available.

With this information Bobby either replies to a topic created by the staff, or creates a new topic for round 1. There he greets the other team and lists his team's availability (TA) - a list of times when it is possible to start playing (ie. if Bobby says 14 - 20 GMT, it is possible to start playing at 20 GMT)



my team's availability is as follows:

Wednesday 10 - 14 GMT
Thursday 10 - 20 GMT
Friday 14 - 20 GMT
Sunday 8 - 21 GMT

The most common mistake here is to start the topic with "Hi, when can you play?" - such a post does absolutely nothing to speed up the process while Bobby's example post gives the other team many possibilities and saves valuable time.

In the next step we will learn how to proceed if the other team posted first.

Step 2: Replying and Making Suggestions

Bobby reads the post the other teamleader has made and compares their TA with his own.

Example of the other leader's post:


this is when my team is available:

Tuesday 18 - 22 GMT
Thursday 18 - 22 GMT
Friday 19 - 24 GMT
Saturday 14 - 24 GMT

Although their TAs are quite different, Bobby can conclude that it is possible to play on Thursday 18 GMT and Friday 19 GMT. He picks the first one of these options and makes a suggestion. He also makes sure to include his TA in case the other TA changed and they could for example play on Sunday.

Bobby's post:


Thursday 18 GMT is good, shall we confirm it?

for the record, my TA is:

Wednesday 10 - 14 GMT
Thursday 10 - 20 GMT
Friday 14 - 20 GMT
Sunday 8 - 21 GMT

Step 3: Confirmation

The other leader asks his teammates once again and now, unless there are some unexpected changes, the leader confirms Thursday 18 GMT.
If these changes occur, he informs Bobby and suggests the next possible time for playing -> Friday 19 GMT (having concluded it from TAs of both teams)

the other leader's post:

I'm sorry, it turns out we are unavailable on Thursday.

Friday 19 GMT is good, shall we confirm this one?

As mentioned further above, Bobby's most important duty is to check the scheduling topic at least 2 times a day so that when changes keep happening, it can be resolved quickly. Bobby reads this new information and checks with his team. He replies a few hours later and confirms Friday:

Sure, Friday 19 GMT confirmed.

See you then and good luck!

The other teamleader informs his players and to assure everyone else that he has read it and that it indeed is confirmed, he replies once more:

Okay, see you, gl to you as well!

Step 4: Keeping an eye on it

Even after it has been confirmed, both leaders need to keep checking the topic and tournament's forums two times a day in case there are unexpected changes or new announcements from the tournament staff.

If all goes well, the teams meet and play the games.

Following these simple steps can significantly speed up the scheduling process and any kind of difficulties can be overcome much more easily.
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Joined: Mar 25, 2010

Re: Important - How to Schedule

Postby  Fayt » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:23 pm

What happens if none of the teams' available times coincide with each other?
What determines who gets the admin win etc?
Top TG player
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sep 16, 2010

Re: Important - How to Schedule

Postby  The_Prophet » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:33 pm

Then the staff step in and players are asked to give more options, for example if their TA is 16 - 20 GMT and the other TA starts at 21 GMT, and if that is impossible we set an admin time or postpone the deadline. But decisions may differ depending on each particular situation. The main point is that even if their timezones and TAs are different, following these steps will give us more time to resolve it.
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Joined: Mar 25, 2010

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