GamePlanTM Software User Manual

Version 2.3 for Windows
Copyright 1997-2007 by Greencourt Software, Inc.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Installation Instructions
3. Common Functions
4. Challenge Ladder
5. Tournament Draw
6. Match Scheduling
7. Shortcut keys
8. About the software and user manual

1. Introduction

The GamePlan software package includes three programs with which you can schedule and run many types of sports and recreation events. Although originally written for tennis events, the programs are equally suitable for many other individual and team sports and games. The three programs are:

Challenge Ladder -- for operating a challenge ladder in which players are ranked and results of challenges are tracked to update the rankings. A challenge ladder is an excellent way to help members find others with whom their skill levels are compatible.

Tournament Draw -- for creating the tournament draw, and tracking the results of a standard single elimination tournament.

Match Scheduling -- for creating several types of match schedules:

Information on new features and software upgrades is available at

2. Installation Instructions

The installation program copies the GamePlan software and sample files into a directory. The default directory is c:\Program Files\Greencourt Software\GamePlan; you can change the drive or directory name during the installation if you wish. The installation also creates a Windows Program Group (in the Start menu) called GamePlan.

To install GamePlan software from a CD:

  1. Insert the CD into the CD drive.
  2. If it doesn’t start up automatically, do the following. In the Start menu, click on Run, type "d:setup.exe", and click OK (assuming that “d” is the CD drive). OR, navigate to the CD in Windows Explorer, and double-click the icon for the setup program on the CD.
  3. On the installation screen, modify the drive or directory name if desired, then click Install.

To install GamePlan software from an electronically downloaded distribution:

  1. Run the downloaded program.
  2. On the installation screen, modify the drive or directory name if desired, then click Install.
  3. You must be connected to the Internet during the installation, so that the actual program components can be downloaded and installed. Or, you can also use the installer to create an installation CD. You can then use the installation CD to install the software later (without being online). The installation CD can also serve as a backup copy. (Note: the "installation CD" does not have to be an actual CD; it could also be a directory on a hard drive.)

If you are installing the demo version, no serial number is required. To activate a licensed version of the software, you need to enter the serial number. If you made an electronic purchase over the Internet, you received the serial number during your transaction and/or by e-mail confirmation. If you purchased the software by mail or through a retailer, the serial number is on the back of the printed user manual.

The serial number can be entered on the installation screen. Or, later, click on Start, Programs, GamePlan. Then click on any of the GamePlan programs. Click Help/About_GamePlan to install the serial number. The serial number consists of four digits and four letters. (Note: if you purchased all three programs in the Standard Edition, you only have to install the serial number once.)

To un-install, click Start, Programs, GamePlan, Uninstall. (Or you can use your installation CD to select the Uninstall option.)

If you need to move the software to another PC, you will need your serial number again. You can find it by clicking Help/About_GamePlan.

3. Common Functions

This section describes functions, such as saving and printing files, that are similar in many Windows software programs. It also covers various functions that are common to all the GamePlan programs, such as importing player data.

3.1. Printing

To print a report from any GamePlan program, use the File/Print dialog box. The dialog box allows you to select a printer and certain other options for printing.

You can specify a heading to be printed on your report, by using the Setup/Report_Heading_and_Notes dialog box. You can also specify up to five lines of additional notes, which are printed with the heading at the top of the report.

You can direct your output to a file (instead of a printer), by using the File/Print_to_File dialog box. This creates a simple text version of the report.

To create an HTML version of the report, use the File/Print_to_HTML dialog box.

You can e-mail a text version of the report to the members by using the Tools/Email... menu item. This sends a copy to each member who has an e-mail address listed in their information.

Click Tools/Preview_Issue to see what the output report will look like. The resulting window shows the text of the report. (Note: it is not formatted in the same way as the printed report or HTML output, but is intended to give a quick preview of the report content.)

3.2. Saving and Retrieving Files

You can save data in any GamePlan program using the File/Save_As dialog box. When you are updating data from an existing file, you can save the results at any time with the File/Save option. To retrieve a previously saved file, use the File/Open dialog box.

To clear the entire screen and start over, use the File/New option. For the Ladder and Tournament programs, it is here that you can choose to create a singles or doubles event. (For the Match Scheduling program, the choice is made later.)

The following suffixes should be used for file names:
Challenge Ladder .lad
Tournament Draw .trn
Match Scheduling .pln

3.3. Setup Player List

On the Setup/Add_Player dialog box, you can add players to your player list, by entering their names, telephone number, e-mail address, and other information.

By default, players are added to the bottom of the list. Alternatively, you may specify a position in the list, when you add a new player (except when you are using a "points system" ladder).

After entering each name, you can press the Apply button, which enters the player and leaves the dialog box open, or you can press the OK button, which enters the player and closes the dialog box. As you enter names, you will see the player list in the bottom half of the main window.

For a doubles ladder or tournament, you will enter the first partner's name and other information in the dialog box. After pressing OK or Apply, enter the second partner's information. (Note: there is an indicator on the right side of the box to remind you whether you are entering the first or second player's information.)

You can use the Setup/Delete_Player dialog box to remove players from the list: select the desired player from the drop-down list, a nd press OK. You can also delete multiple players at one time by using the Shift or Control keys to select players from the list, then click OK.

To update a player's information, use the Setup/Update_Player dialog box; select the player, overtype the desired fields, and press OK. For the Tournament Draw and Match Scheduling programs, you can also change the position of a player in the list. Normally, this would be used to re-order players as needed, before an event schedule is created. Note that if you change a player's position number after the tournament draw or match schedule has been created, this may upset characteristics of the event such as seeding, matching criteria, and so on. You will probably want to re-do the schedule after moving players in the list.

3.4. Import Players

An alternative way to enter your list of players is by importing from a file. Use the Setup/Import_Players dialog box to select an existing file; the program will read the player data from this file. Any existing names will be overwritten by the new list. The format of the input file is as follows (one line per player):

First Name   Last Name   Work Phone   Home Phone
John         Doe         555-1234     555-5678
Mary         Smith       555-2890     555-4554
Bob          Jones       555-9854
Sue          Evans       555-8486

Data is separated with a tab character, and column headings are used at the top of the file (in the first line) to indicate what data is being imported. The input file can be created in many spreadsheet programs, and saved as a tab-separated text file. A maximum of 16 characters is allowed for each first name and each last name.

A sample spreadsheet file and corresponding text import file are included with the GamePlan software distribution. The sample files are available under the Help menu item. (Note: if you enter your data with a spreadsheet program, you must save the data as a tab-separated text file, and use that file as the input to the GamePlan program.)

To import a doubles list, create a new doubles ladder or tournament, using File/New, then import the player list from a file. Each partner is entered on a separate line in the file.

If you import a list of players from a file, you can use the Setup/Update_Player dialog box to make changes to the player list later.

Note: Regardless of which method you use to enter your player list, the order of the players may be important. For example, it determines the initial order of a challenge ladder; it may affect seeding for a tournament draw; and it may affect partnering or skill level issues for match scheduling. See each of those programs for more details.

3.5. E-mail Setup

If you will be using the e-mail feature, you must provide the following information in the Setup/Email dialog box: the name and e-mail address to be used as the sender, and the name of the e-mail server that you use to send e-mail. Note: this e-mail configuration information is stored on the user's computer, rather than in the GamePlan data file. Therefore, it is not passed from one computer to another if you move a GamePlan data file to a different computer. Also you only have to setup or change this data once, and it is available for all GamePlan processing.

More details on the setup and usage of the e-mail feature are available online at

3.6. Exporting Player Lists

You can export the list of players from a GamePlan file into a text file, for usage in other programs, by using the Tools/Export_Player_List dialog box. This allows you to move your player list from one program to another.

The exported data includes a column showing the player number. Please note that this number is not used when you later import a file into the program; you must sort the data into the order that you want, before importing.

4. Challenge Ladder

The Challenge Ladder program supports the operation of a challenge ladder for tennis and other sports involving matches between two players or teams. Creating and running a challenge ladder typically comprises the following steps:

  1. Set up your ladder by creating the initial list of players, and setting certain options. Print out and distribute the initial list to the members.
  2. Enter the results of each match as they are reported by the players.
  3. Periodically generate an issue of the ladder report (which will show results and current standing), and distribute it to the players.

A sample "challenge ladder guide" is also included with the GamePlan software. You may use it as written or modify it to suit your needs, whether for tennis or some other sport. The rules in this sample are based on the "traditional" ladder system, and the default values for various options in the Ladder program, which you may also choose to modify for your particular purpose.

4.1. Setup

See the Common sections of this user manual for information on setting up your player list.

Note that the order of players in the list determines the starting order for the ladder.

After you have created your initial challenge ladder, you’ll probably want to print out an initial copy of the ladder for your members (details on the printed output are described more in a later section of this manual).

4.2. Traditional Ladder or Points System

In the General Options, you can select to operate the challenge ladder as a "traditional" challenge ladder, or as a points-based ladder.

In the traditional ladder, rankings are determined by each players' position in the ladder list. Players may move up the ladder by challenging and defeating a higher-ranked player. You may also choose to penalize inactive players by having their position automatically drop during periods of inactivity.

In the points-based ladder, players win points based upon their activity, and are ranked by the number of points they have. For example, you might assign five points to winners of each match, and one point to the loser. You can also assign points for a tie. Although there is no specific penalty for inactivity, inactive players will tend to drop in the rankings as the active players accumulate more points.

In addition, points can be awarded based on these criteria:

The number of points awarded to a player for each match is the total of all the points that apply based on the match results and the criteria you specify. Fractional points are rounded off to the closest whole number.

4.3. Entering Results and Generating an Issue

After you have set up your challenge ladder, use the Tools/Enter_Results dialog box to post the results of matches. For each match, you will enter the date, the names of the winner and loser, and the score. If the result is a tie, check the corresponding box; in this case, it does not matter which player you enter as the "winner" and which as the "loser."

The date can be entered in a number of different formats. For example, to specify July 20, 1997, you can enter any of the following: 7/20/97, 7/20/1997, 07/20/97, 7-20-97, etc. The names of the players are selected from a drop-down list of players’ names. The score can be entered in any format, and is free-format.

Similar to the process for adding players, you can choose either the OK or Apply buttons, depending on whether you are entering a single result or a number of results, respectively.

As you enter results, you will see them appear in the top half of the main window. Although the results appear in the order in which you have entered them, they will be sorted by date when they are applied to the ladder.

If you inadvertently enter a wrong result, you can cancel the result from the list of pending results (if you have not yet generated the next issue). Use Tools/Cancel_Pending_Result to select and cancel a result. If you need to change a pending result, cancel it and re-enter. (Remember that the results are sorted by date when they are posted to the ladder, so don't worry if the pending results are out of order.)

For a points-based ladder, you can enter results for a doubles match that is played on a singles ladder. Points are awarded to both the two winning players and the two losing players, as appropriate. Use the Tools/Enter_Doubles_Results dialog box to post the results of such a match.

4.3.1. Generating an Issue

Periodically, you will generate a new issue of the ladder to be distributed to your members, by choosing the Tools/Generate_Issue menu item. Issues are numbered consecutively. Normally you will print an issue before any matches are reported; this first issue is called issue 0. The first time that you generate an issue, it will be called issue 1, and will show all the results so far. The next issue is called issue 2, and includes all results entered after issue 1; and so on.

The process of generating an issue applies the results to the ladder, moving players up and down based upon the results.

For the traditional ladder system, when the challenger (lower-ranked) player wins, that player moves up to the spot just above the loser. When the higher-ranked player wins, there are no changes in position. For a tied result, there are also no changes. In addition to movement based on match results, there may be movement of players to penalize inactivity, depending on your option settings (see the Options section of this manual).

For the points system, players are awarded points based on wins, losses, and ties (as determined by your option settings). The players are then ranked based on their point total. There is no inactivity penalty in the points system. (Of course, inactive players will tend to drop through the rankings because they are not accumulating any points.)

After you generate the issue, you will see the results reflected as players’ positions have changed, in the bottom half of the screen. The top half of the screen is blanked out, as all those results have been applied to the challenge ladder. (This is the default behavior; you can change the screen display by setting appropriate options.)

You can then print a copy of the ladder, which will represent the new issue and its results. (You must also save the ladder, using the File/Save option, or the changes will not be included in your permanent file on disk.)

Note: if you enter results for a player, and then delete that player before generating the issue, you will see the indication "*Deleted*" in the results section instead of the deleted player’s name. Also any movement that would occur from someone defeating that person will not occur. Therefore, you may prefer to delete the player after generating the issue. (See "Tips for Getting Started," at the end of this section, for more help.)

If you need to "start over" at any time, you can clear all results by selecting the Clear_All_Results option from the Setup menu. Note that this deletes all results, not just those for the current period. This may be useful at the end of a season -- for example, to create a fresh list for the next season. (For the points system, this resets all players to zero points. Alternatively, you may use Clear_Results/Initialize_Points to clear the results and assign each player a point value as follows: one point to the lowest player, two points to the next higher player, and so on, up to the highest player, who receives a number of points equal to the number of players on the ladder.)

4.3.2. Interim Posting of Results

There are two approaches to posting results to the ladder.

As you enter results, they are considered to be "pending results" and appear in the list at the top of the screen. When you generate an issue of the ladder, all of these pending results are posted to the ladder, which is to say that the results are applied to the ladder, and the ladder is updated to reflect those results -- the player rankings are changed, etc.

If you prefer, you can explicitly post results to the ladder by using the Tools/Post_Results menu item. This will apply the pending results, and update the ranking, but does not generate an issue. You can post results as often as you wish. Eventually, when you generate the next issue, the issue number is updated. When you print the report for that issue, it includes all results that have been posted since the previous issue of the ladder.

4.4. Options

There are several options you can set, in the Options dialog boxes, that control the operation of the ladder.

4.4.1. General Options

In the General Options, you choose whether the ladder is operated as a traditional ladder or a points system.

The range for valid challenges is specified as a percentage of the total ladder. The default value is 25%, meaning that the number of players above oneself that one may challenge is one-fourth of the whole ladder (for example, 10 people on a ladder of 40 players). Alternatively, you may enter the valid range as a number of positions.

In either case, a value of zero indicates that challenge range is not checked, and is not printed in the report.

If you attempt to enter a result in which someone has won a match that was an invalid challenge, you receive a warning; you can press OK to enter the result anyway, or press Cancel to not enter it.

By default, the screen displays only the pending results -- i.e., those that have not been posted to the ladder. You may choose instead to display all results, or to display pending results plus those results that have already been posted for the next issue. (In either of these modes, you will see the issue number next to the result. A result without an issue number has not yet been posted.)

There are also a number of options that control the printed output; they are described in the "Printout" section below.

4.4.2. Traditional Ladder Options

The penalty for inactivity is also expressed as a percentage of the ladder size. This is the distance that a player is moved down each issue that they are inactive beyond a certain threshold. The default is 5%.

For the number of periods that a player may be inactive before the penalty starts to apply, the default is 4 issues. When players are inactive for more than this many issues, they are moved down in the rankings in each succeeding issue; the distance that they drop is specified in the preceding option.

(By default, this penalty is applied in each succeeding issue that the player is inactive. You can change the frequency in which the penalty is applied. Note, however, that the penalty may be applied to different players at different times, because each player's penalty is determined based on their own length of inactivity.)

You may choose to not apply the inactivity penalty to the top few players, by indicating the number of players in the Options. For example, the top player has nobody above to challenge, so it might be inappropriate to penalize that player for inactivity.

4.4.3. Points System Options

You specify the number of points that are awarded to a player for a win, a loss, or a tie. For example, you might award six points to the winner, one point to the loser, or three points to each player in the event of a tie.

4.5. Printout

The printed report consists of three parts:

  1. a heading area, showing the issue number, current date, and an indication of the range for valid challenges. It may also contain a heading and other notes.
  2. the list of results that were included in this issue (by default, all results that were posted since the previous issue).
  3. a list of players in challenge ladder order, showing the following information for each player: current position, change from previous issue, number of wins and losses (or number of total matches played, depending on your option), name, phone numbers, and e-mail address. For a traditional ladder, the report also shows the number of periods that the player has been inactive. For a points system ladder, it shows the number of points.

4.5.1. Printout Options

The printout options are selected by clicking Options/General.

By default, the printed report shows all results for the current issue -- i.e., all results that were reported since the previous issue. By checking the appropriate boxes, you may choose to show any combination of the following:

The following options control the Results section of the report:

The following options control the Player List section of the report:

4.6. Tips for Getting Started

This section describes how to use the Ladder program for a typical ladder.

To create a new ladder:

  1. Add the players’ information one by one, or by importing the list of players from a text file. Modify the various options, and put in report heading and notes, if desired.
  2. Print out issue #0, and distribute it.

Decide how frequently you will issue new versions of the ladder (once a week, for example). At the end of each period:

  1. Enter results for matches that were played during that period.
  2. Update player phone numbers, as necessary.
  3. Generate the issue.
  4. Delete any players that have left the ladder, and add new players.
  5. Save the file, print out the issue, and distribute it.

A sample Challenge Ladder Guide is included in the electronic version of the user manual.

4.7 GamePlan Online

GamePlan Online is a related service that allows you to operate your challenge ladder on the Internet. You can upload your challenge ladder to the Greencourt Software website, and give your members a web address where they can access the ladder and enter their own results.

More details on the setup and usage of the Online feature are available at (Note: there may be an additional nominal fee for this service; please see the website for more information.)

5. Tournament Draw

The Tournament Draw program creates a standard draw for a single elimination tournament. Creating the tournament draw and tracking the results typically comprises the following steps:

  1. Set up your tournament by creating the list of players, and invoke the automatic draw creation. After the draw is created, you may optionally enter date, time, and location information for the matches. Or, you can create the draw manually, or update the automatic draw to move players around if necessary.
  2. Distribute the initial tournament draw to the players.
  3. Enter the results of each match as they are reported by the players. Periodically print a copy of the tournament draw, and distribute it to the players.

5.1. Setup

See the Common sections of this user manual for information on setting up your player list.

If you use seeding in your tournament, you must enter the seeded players in order at the beginning of the list. All other players can be entered in any order, as they will be assigned randomly.

5.2. Creating the Draw and Entering Results

To create the tournament draw, use the Tools/Create_Draw dialog box. You specify the number of seeds (0 if you don't want any seeding). For a new tournament draw, a default value is provided, which is approximately 1/8 of the total number of players.

The program creates the draw by assigning the seeded players to appropriate positions in the bracket, such that:

Then, byes are assigned randomly, if needed to fill out the bracket. (See the option setting below that controls bye placement.) Finally, the remaining unseeded players are assigned randomly to the remaining positions in the bracket.

After the draw is created, you may enter data for dates/times and locations for each match. (Depending on your needs, you can enter a date, a time, or both; the field is free-form.) Double-click on any match (or highlight the match by clicking, or using the tab or arrow keys, then press ENTER), and a dialog box opens for this data.

Similarly, as the matches are played, you enter results for the match by using the same dialog box. Indicate the winner by selecting the check box next to the winner's name, and enter the score. After you indicate the winner, you will see that person's name automatically advanced to the appropriate position in the next round.

5.3. Options

There is one option that can be set on the Option dialog box, which controls the way that the draw is created. The default is to assign byes to seeded players first, then to unseeded players (if there are more byes than seeded players). If the option is turned off, byes will be randomly assigned among all the players, without giving any preference to seeded players.

5.3.1 Print Options

Several options control the appearance of the printed output.

You may select the size of the margins, in inches -- top, bottom, left, and right. All four margins default to 1.0 inches. You can also specify a type size to produce larger or smaller type in the printed output.

You may indicate the orientation of the page -- portrait or landscape. Or you may indicate that the orientation should follow whatever is already set up as the orientation for the printer.

Also, you may indicate the number of players and rounds of play that are to be printed on each page.

Note: depending on your selections for these options and the page margins, there may not be enough space to print the data clearly. If so, you should decrease the margins or decrease the number of players or rounds that are printed per page, and/or switch between portrait and landscape orientations in order to achieve a desirable output.

5.4. Manual Draw

As an alternative, you may manually modify a draw, or create your entire tournament draw manually.

To begin, click Tools/Manual_Draw. Then double-click on a first-round match, or select it by navigating with the tab or arrow keys and pressing ENTER. Select the players for that match, and enter the optional date/time/location data if desired. (If you select a player who is already assigned to a different position in the draw, that player will be removed from the other position.)

When you are finished creating or updating the draw, click Tools/Manual_Draw again. This completes the draw. (Note that you will not be allowed to do this unless all players have been assigned a slot in the draw.)

5.5. Printout

The Tournament Draw printout is a graphic representation of the draw, showing the players with the date/time and location information for each match. After a score is entered, it replaces the location information on the printout. Seed numbers are shown by seeded players' names. The printout also includes the list of players and phone numbers, sorted alphabetically by last name. You can print the draw at the beginning of the tournament, as well as periodically during the tournament whenever you wish to distribute the results.

5.6. Doubles Tournament

By default a new tournament is created as a singles tournament. The Tournament program can also be used to create a doubles tournament, by choosing File/New, and choosing the "doubles" option.

6. Match Scheduling

The Match Scheduling program was developed to simplify the difficult task of scheduling play at recreational social events. Although originally developed for tennis socials, it is equally suitable for any sport or game involving two or four players or teams. It also handles various forms of standard round robin and league scheduling.

Creating a match schedule involves three easy steps:

  1. Set up your configuration (number of courts, number of rounds of play, and list of players).
  2. Plan your matches using the spreadsheet-like interface, or let the program assign matches for you automatically.
  3. Print out the result and distribute copies to the participants at your event.

Included with the software is a sample plan, in which 30 players are attending a social event at which each player will play three times during the evening. There are four doubles courts and two singles courts, which is not enough to accommodate all the players at the same time, so a total of five rounds are scheduled to give everyone three opportunities to play. Click Help/Samples/Data to see the sample plan.

6.1. Setup

See the Common sections of this user manual for information on setting up your player list.

If you have an existing plan with assigned matches, and you delete a player, that player’s assignments will be deleted, leaving gaps in the plan. If you add a player, that player will not initially have any match assignments. If you overtype a player name, the match assignments remain unchanged.

Note: The order of the players in the list may be important. For a "mixer" schedule, you should list the players in order of skill level, either from advanced to beginner, or from beginner to advanced. This ordering is used by the automatic match assignment to attempt to match people with similar skill levels. Even if you do not use the automatic match assignment, you may use the skill level warning feature (described later). Of course, the skill level order is not relevant for other schedule types (round robins and leagues).

If you need to "start over" at any time, you can clear all matches from the spreadsheet, or all matches and the player list, by selecting the appropriate Clear option from the Setup menu. Note that there is no way to undo these operations (except to exit out of the program without saving any changes).

6.1.1. Setup Courts and Rounds

You can specify the number and types of courts, and the number of rounds of play, in two ways. If you are manually creating a schedule, use the Setup/Courts_and_Rounds dialog box. For automatic match assignment, use the Tools/Match_Assignment command, which also performs the match assignment. (Note: for some round robin schedules, the correct number of courts and rounds is determined automatically for you.)

First, you specify the number of courts you are using. You also indicate whether the courts are doubles courts (i.e., for four players) or singles courts (for two players). If all courts are the same type, simply click on the appropriate choice. If there is a mix of court types, click the Customize_Courts button, which brings up a dialog box where you can specify the type for each court. (Note: If most courts are of one type, you may want to select that first, then click the Customize_Courts button; the courts will be marked as that type, and you will only have to change the ones that are different.)

Note that it doesn’t matter what type the real courts are. If you want to use a doubles court for singles play only, you can mark the court as singles. That will guarantee that only singles matches are scheduled there. If you are creating a plan for a sport that involves only two players or teams, such as for a softball league, you will always choose "singles courts."

Then, you specify the number of rounds of play. This might be a number of rounds during the course of an evening "sports party," or it might be the number of weeks for a softball league that plays once a week. In addition, by clicking the Time Notations button, you may specify a comment line for each round, such as a date or time, which is printed on the output report; this is optional.

6.2. Assigning Matches

After you have set up your configuration, you will see a list of players on the bottom portion of the screen, and a spreadsheet for assigning matches on the top portion of the screen. Each round of play is a row on the spreadsheet, and each court is a column. In each box, the opposing players are divided by a horizontal double line (suggestive of the net on the tennis court).

                1          2         
  Rounds   |  22 | 27  |  18 | 21  |
     1     |  ===|===  |  ===|===  |  
           |  23 | 24  |  19 | 20  |
           |   3 |  6  |   2 |  7  |
     2     |  ===|===  |  ===|===  |  
           |   5 | 15  |   4 |  1  |
           |     |     |     |     |

Sample Plan

For example, if you look at the sample plan, you will see that players 22 and 27 are scheduled to play against players 23 and 24 during the first round, on court 1.

You can manually create your own customized plan, or let the Match Scheduling program assign matches automatically. (You can also make manual adjustments to an automatically created plan.) There are several types of automatic assignment, each of which is described in the remainder of this section. Use Tools/Match_Assignment to automatically create a match assignment.

Sports Party or "Mixer":   Select "Mixer" as the assignment type. This is appropriate for a social event, such as a "mixer," in which you want the participants to meet as many other participants as possible (but not to play others of widely varying skill level). This schedule type is also appropriate for a variety of other scenarios not covered by the round robin choices.

Specify the number of courts and rounds of play, and the software does the rest. For example, if you had 20 people playing on five doubles courts for three rounds, there would be enough space for each player to play during every round. Alternatively, if you had 30 people on the same five doubles courts for three rounds, there is only enough time for two rounds per player. Any extra space is left unassigned. (Note: if you have an odd number of players, there may be a leftover player, and you will have to manually adjust the plan in some way. For example, you might give some player an extra match, or you will leave some player short a match.)

The auto-assignment algorithm generally produces good plans, trying to minimize warnings. (See the following section on Warnings, and the options that control auto assignment.) It is important to realize that some plans are mathematically impossible to produce. For example, if you have 12 players on 3 doubles courts for 3 rounds, each player could play with up to nine different people, and it might seem that such a plan should be simple to produce. However, it is mathematically impossible to achieve this; there will be some duplications in any plan. (Whereas, for 16 players, 4 courts, 3 rounds, a plan with no duplications can be created.)

Click the "Strictly Mixed Doubles" option if you have the same number of men and women players, and want to specify that all matches should be strictly mixed doubles.

Singles Round Robin:   To set up a round robin schedule, in which each player or team plays against each other player or team exactly once, choose "Singles Round Robin" as the assignment type. The Match program supports round robin schedules for 2 to 100 players or teams.

A round robin schedule requires that you have at least half as many courts as players, and that you schedule as many rounds as players. (If you have an odd number of players, each player will have one bye round, a round in which they are not scheduled. If you have an even number of players, you will have one less round than the number of players.)

Doubles Round Robin:   Choose "Doubles Round Robin" as the assignment type for a plan in which each player partners with each other player exactly once, and opposes each other player exactly twice. These plans can be created for 4 to 24 players (and it must be a multiple of 4).

Fixed-Partner Doubles Round Robin:   Choose "Doubles Round Robin" as the assignment type, and check the Fixed Partner box, for a round robin in which players remain with the same partner for the entire event. In the player list, player #1 is partnered with player #2, player #3 is partnered with #4, and so on.

Mixed Doubles Round Robin:   Choose "Mixed Doubles Round Robin" as the assignment type for a plan in which each player partners with each opposite-gender player exactly once (except for one player), and opposes each same-gender player exactly once. These plans can be created for an even number of players, from 4 to 24. Note that for some numbers of players, a perfect mixed doubles round robin schedule is not possible; in this case, the program creates a close approximation to the perfect round robin.

League -- Home and Away:   Choose "League" as the assignment type for a plan in which each player or team opposes all the other players or teams twice, once on their own court and once on the other's court. In this schedule, court #1 is considered to be the home court for player #1, court #2 for player #2, and so on.

Partial schedules:   For each of the round robin and league schedules, you can create a "full schedule" with as many rounds as are needed to complete the round robin, or you can create a "partial schedule" and specify the number of rounds desired. (For the mixed doubles round robin, there is also an "extended schedule," which adds one additional round of play to ensure that each player partners with all opposite-gender players.)

"Mixer" as a default type:   If your number of players is not supported for the type of round robin event that you want to create, the program will usually default you to the Mixer type, which can be used to create a wide variety of schedules. You can choose among the various options and parameters to create the type of schedule you want.

6.2.1. Manual Scheduling

To create your own match assignments, double-click on a match box on the spreadsheet, or use the arrow and tab keys to navigate to the box and press ENTER. Select the players from the drop-down lists. As you create matches, the program will always prevent you from accidentally assigning a player twice in the same round.

6.2.2. Preferred Partnering

The Tools/Preferred_Partnering command rearranges a plan so that each player is partnered with a "preferred partner" (spouse, etc.) during a specified round. You can use this command after creating any plan (note however, that it could potentially undo some of the skill level matching). Preferred partners are specified by listing them consecutively in the player list (i.e., players 1 and 2 are together, players 3 and 4, etc.).

6.2.3. Host Assignment

After creating any type of schedule (round robins, mixers, etc.), the program can automatically designate a "host" player in each match. For example, you may wish to designate a player to be responsible for bringing balls, reserving a court, or whatever. Host assignments are distributed evenly among all the players, to the extent possible. Use Tools/Designate_Host_Player to make this assignment, after creating your schedule. In each match, the first listed player is considered to be the "host."

6.3. Warnings

When creating a "mixer" or manual schedule, you may receive one or more warnings about the plan. The possible warnings include:

A warning does not necessarily indicate that the plan is bad. For example, if you have a mix of singles and doubles courts, it may not be possible to give every player an opportunity to play singles. Also, the goal of scheduling matches with people of similar skill level conflicts with the goal of playing with as many different people as possible; you can decide what is the right trade-off for you. Any of the warnings can be turned off in the Options/Warnings dialog box.

As you are creating or modifying a plan, you can check to see if the plan has warnings by using the Tools/Check_Warnings command. After the warning summary is displayed, press OK to see the details of the warnings. This gives you a list of who has too many matches, which matches are unbalanced, etc. Press Cancel if you don’t need to see the details.

Two warnings are based on threshold values. The skill disparity warning occurs when two players in a match are farther apart on the list than the indicated threshold. A value of 50%, for example, means that a player that is over "half the list away" from another player will generate a warning. The diversity warning occurs when a player has many more matches with one player than with another. For example, if player A has three matches with player B, but none with player C, and the threshold is two, then a warning occurs.

Note that you may receive warnings even about automatically created plans. You may choose to ignore them, or you may try to make adjustments to the plan. In addition, the "quality" of a "mixer" schedule can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, if you have exactly the right number of players to fill the courts each round (so that each player is assigned in each round), this limits the choices in creating matches.

6.4. Printout

The printed report consists of three parts:

  1. a diagram of the entire plan, similar to the spreadsheet.
  2. a list of court assignments for each player, sorted alphabetically by last name. This provides an easy way for every player to find their assigned courts for each round.
  3. a list of players by player number (in the original sorted order).

Four options are available to control the layout of the Match Scheduling report. These options can be turned on or off using the Options/Report_Layout dialog box.

The first option specifies that rounds and courts should be swapped on the first chart, if necessary, in order to fit the most information on the page (i.e., courts across the page and rounds down the page, or vice versa, depending on how many courts and rounds there are). The default value is on.

The second option specifies that player names (instead of numbers) should be printed in the match chart. The output uses more pages, but may be easier to understand. The default value is off. When this option is selected, the third chart is not printed as the player numbers are not needed in the report.

The third option specifies that the second and third charts (the player lists) should be printed in two columns instead of one, if space permits. The default value is on. Note that player contact information is not printed in the report if this "two column" option is selected.

The fourth option specifies that players with no assignments should be omitted from the printed player lists (the second and third charts). The default value is off.

7. Shortcut keys

The following shortcut keys are available in the indicated programs.

shortcut key Ladder Tournament Schedule
ctrl-NNew File XXX
ctrl-OOpen File XXX
ctrl-SSave File XXX
ctrl-PPrint XXX
ctrl-FPrint to File XXX
ctrl-HPrint to HTML XXX
ctrl-AAdd Player XXX
ctrl-UUpdate Player XXX
ctrl-DDelete Player XXX
ctrl-REnter Results X  
ctrl-GGenerate Issue X  
ctrl-WCreate Draw  X 
ctrl-MManual Draw  X 
ctrl-CSetup Courts and Rounds   X
ctrl-MMatch Assignment   X
ctrl-GManual Assignment   X
ctrl-WWarnings & Match Analysis   X
ctrl-VPreview Issue XXX
ctrl-EE-mail Report XXX

8. About the software and user manual

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. More information is available at the Greencourt Software website, including some frequently asked questions (and answers) at The website also provides information on how to contact Greencourt Software with questions or suggestions.

Let us know how you’re using the GamePlan software programs, what you like or don’t like about the software, and any ideas you may have for new features.

GamePlan software is supported for Windows 95 and later versions.

Copyright 1997 - 2005 by Greencourt Software, Inc. All rights reserved. GamePlan is a trademark of Greencourt Software.

This software is protected by copyright law. In consideration of the purchase price of this product, you are granted a license to install and use this software on a single computer. You may also make backup copies of the software for the sole purpose of archiving your software.

This software and the accompanying files and documentation are sold "as is" and without warranties as to performance or merchantability, or any other warranties, whether express or implied. No warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is offered. Any liability on the part of Greencourt Software, Inc., is limited exclusively to refund of the purchase price. In no event shall Greencourt Software, or its shareholders, officers, employees, or other affiliates, be liable for any damages whatsoever relating to use of the software.

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Greencourt Software, Inc.
Champaign, IL  61822