Smashscore’s League Schedule Maker (and why it works)

Leagues are like long-term relationships; they require cultivation, and a steady dose of nurturing love. Unlike their sexy cousin, tournaments, also known as the one-night stand version of organized play, leagues tend to breed communities a wee bit better.

But managing them is tough – and sustaining them over time is even tougher. We live in an age of distraction and time is increasingly fleeting. With the right balance and dynamics however, a community will form with enough stick that can have people coming back for years.

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Traditional league setups are great for team sports (volleyball, baseball, soccer). You have a pre-registration deadline and once you pay, you get a pre-defined schedule. But individual sports and game leagues (pong, tennis, darts, gaming, chess) have a problem: what happens if your opponent doesn’t show up that week? Playing short a person or two is manageable in a team; after all, you still get a game so as long as you meet the minimum squad requirements.

Today, 9-5 schedules are less the norm, and convenience and services on-demand are (e-commerce, pay-as-use plans)

P-vs-P leagues however, don’t have such luxury; if a player doesn’t show, the person that does show also doesn’t get to play. And it sucks. A lot.

The other problem? Pre-registration deadlines just aren’t cool anymore. Not only do you miss the deadline, you have to wait months for the next season. Today, 9-5 schedules are less the norm, and convenience and services on-demand are (e-commerce, pay-as-use plans).

Smashscore’s league format attempts to solve these  problems with its open league format managed by a feature called ‘live match scheduling’:

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Live match scheduling schedules matches based on who shows up that day. It’s an open league system whereby anyone can join the league at anytime. In many ways it’s a glorified league ladder but in every way, it’s the best of both worlds: league mechanics to keep the competition relevant, but flexible to maintain regular and recurring league play.

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Over the last couple of years we’ve helped SPiN run their leagues. We’ve had over 4000 players checking into our ‘pay-as-you-play’ League Ladder with a total match count of over 13,000 (and counting).

I call our league schedule maker the league format of 2016. It follows the tech trend lines of cloud services (on-demand IT, pay as you go) and the growing movement of open computing. Why not open, non-restricting, super flexible, pay-as-you-go leagues?

(ok, a stretch, but just a bit).