Automatic Appointments

Schedula provides Associations and competitions with the ability automatically appoint match officials based on certain criteria. Allowing Schedula to automatically appoint match officials can reduce the amount of time it takes for an Appointments Officer to finalise appointments for upcoming matches.

When processing appointments, Schedula takes the following configuration items into account:

  • Ranking of Panels (eg. from Senior panels down)
  • Ranking of Competitions (eg. from Division One down)
  • Number of Match Officials required for each competition.
  • A Match Official’s availability.
  • Number of Match Officials who qualify for a particular discipline.
  • Whether an Official has officiated at a particular club for a given number of weeks.

1. Getting Started

To get started with the automatic appointments function, you need to:

1. Define Custom Panels of match officials;

2. Qualify match officials within these custom panels; and

3. Configure one or more Appointment Groups

Note:

You cannot use built-in panels within an automatic appointment group. You must define at least one custom panel to use this functionality. Configuring your custom panels and appointments groups only needs to be done once per season. After defining your panels and appointment groups, you then need to trigger an automatic appointments process for every week you want to perform appointments.

2. Defining a Custom Panel

A panel in Schedula is a logical grouping of match officials. If your Association has a large list of match officials, then creating a series of custom panels either based on seniority, accreditation level or discipline can cut your entire list down into more manageable chunks. At the same time, you are able to Qualify match officials to certain disciplines based on the panel they are a member of.

To create a Custom Panel:

1. From the menu, select Official List Administration>Manage Official Panels

2. Select the Organisation and Season you want to create a custom panel for.

3. Click Create New Panel. A popup window will appear.

4. In the popup window, enter in a name for your panel.

5. Click Save & Close You have successfully created a new Custom Panel.

3. Assigning and Qualifying Match Officials

Once you have created a custom panel, you need to assign and qualify match officials. To add a match official to a custom panel:

1. From the menu, select Official List Administration>Manage Official Panels

2. Select the Organisation and Season for which you want to adjust your custom panel membership. 

3. Select the name of the custom panel from the Panels list.

4. Click Show Panel. The Modify Panel dialog will appear.

This dialog contains two columns. On the left hand side is a list of all registrations for the selected season. The right hand column contains the names of the people who are a member to this panel.

5. Click on the Add button next to the person you want to add to this custom panel. When you click Add, an entry with their name will appear on the right hand side as follows:

6. For each person you add to the panel, you need to Qualify them. Tick the box under the appropriate discipline to specify what role that match official will have within the panel.

Info: One person can be a member of more than one panel. Also, a person can be qualified for more than one role in the same panel.

4. Configuring an Appointment Group

An Appointment Group brings together competitions and panels for which you want to run an automatic appointments process over. When building an appointment group, you specify a list of competitions, associate and rank panels to each competition and specify how many officials to appoint to each discipline. To create a new appointment group:

1. From the menu, select Automatic Appointments>Configure Appointment Groups

2. Select the Organisation and Season you want create your appointment group for. 

3. Click Create New Group. A popup window will appear.

4. Enter in a name for the appointment group (Eg: Saturday Seniors)

5. Click Save & Close

You have successfully created a new Appointment Group.

Now that you have an appointment group, you need to configure the group and assign some competitions and panels.

To configure a new or an already existing appointment group:

1. From the menu, select Automatic Appointments>Configure Appointment Groups

2. Select the Organisation and Season for which you want to modify an appointment group for.

3. Select the appropriate group from the Appointment Groups dropdown.

4. Click Show Appointment Group.

The Appointment Group configuration dialog appears. This dialog has three main areas:

1. Appointment Group Settings – Where you can set overflow and Club Repeat rules.

2. Appointment Group Information – Shows an estimate of how many officials you have qualified within your panels compared with how many are required.

3. Competitions – A list of competitions that are a part of your appointment group where you can sort from higher ranking competitions to lower ranking competitions, and add source panels (see below).

The following section details each of the three areas pictured above.

Appointment Group Settings

In the settings dialog, there are three settings that can be configured:

1. Allow Officials to be appointed below their selected panel – This option allows you to specify if you want to allow Officials within a particular competition to be appointed below to lower ranked competitions, and how many levels below you will allow them to be appointed to.

2. Allow Officials to be appointed above their selected panel – This option allows you to specify if you want to allow Officials within a particular competition to be appointed above to higher ranked competitions, and how many levels above you will allow them to be appointed to.

More information on these overflow rules are described in Section 5 – Using Overflow Rules.

3. Enable Club Repeat Rule – This option allows you to specify how many weeks you want to lapse between an Official being appointed at a certain club, and when they are allowed to be appointed again. For example, you may not want to allow your Officials to officiate at the same club for a 2 week period. In this case, you would enable this rule and enter 2 in the field.

Appointment Group Information

This section will update as you make changes to your Appointment Group. Within this section, you will be able to see how many Officials you have qualified for the various disciplines you require, how many Officials you require per discipline for a given week, and whether you have enough people available to fill appointments in the Appointment Group.

The below screenshot is an example of what the Appointment Group Information dialog looks like:

These fields indicate whether you have enough Officials qualified for the various roles you are trying to fill. As you add competitions to the Appointment Group and tell Schedula how many Officials you require for games within that competition, this field will update and calculate in total how many people you require and how many are qualified. Each discipline will report one of three states:

Healthy – When you have more people qualified than you require. This is good because you have a buffer of Officials accounting for some to be unavailable.

Warning – When you have more people qualified than you require, however you are close to running out of people should some be unavailable.

Unhealthy – When you have less people qualified than you require.

In all cases, these numbers can be adjusted by changing your Custom Panel Memberships or reducing the number of officials you require per match.

Competitions

Use this area to add competitions to your Appointment Group. You need to tell Schedula what competitions you want to perform Automatic Appointments for. You can assign many competitions to the one Appointment Group, and rank those competitions in order of which ones you want Schedula to process first. To add a competition:

1. Click Add Competitions.

2. The following dialog will appear:

These lines indicate how many memberships in total you have a part of all your panels in your Appointment Group, how many unique people you have (ie. actual people) and a ratio of people to panels. This is helpful to understand if you have too many people a part of multiple panels. 

Select the appropriate competition from the list.

Note: You cannot add the same competition to the same Appointment Group more than once; however one competition can be associated with more than one Appointment Group if you choose.

When you have selected the appropriate competition, click Save & Close.

3. The competition will now appear in your appointment group as follows:

Keep repeating this process to list the competitions you want for this Appointment Group.

As you add competitions to an Appointment Group, you will see a series of green arrows to the left hand side of the Competition Dialog. These arrows allow you to rank your competitions after you add them to the Appointment Group.

When you go to trigger an Automatic Appointments process, Schedula will process the first (or higher) ranked competition first, and once all the fixtures are appointed, all of the overflow rules have been processed or there are not enough Officials in the panels, then it will move on to the next competition.

Note: Schedula will try to make sure that at least one official is appointed to a match, even though you may have specified that you require two or more. Schedula’s thinking behind that is that it’s better to have at least one Official at a match as opposed to none.

For each competition you add to an Appointment Group, you need to perform two tasks:

1. Tell Schedula how many Officials are required per game within the competition; and

2. Assign a Source Panel to the competition from where Schedula will try and pull Officials from.

When you add a competition to an Appointment Group, Schedula will automatically determine how many games occur within that competition per week.

You can then change the number of Officials that are required per game using the Change button. A popup dialog will appear when you can edit the number of officials required per game.

As you update these numbers, the Appointment Group Information dialog will update, advising you if you how many people you require within your Appointment Group. For example, if you specify you require 3 x Field Umpires, 4 x Boundary Umpires and 2 x Goal Umpires for the above competition that has 6 games per week, then Schedula will determine that you require:

  • (6 games x 3 umpires) = 18 Field Umpires per week  
  • (6 games x 4 umpires) = 24 Boundary Umpires per week; and
  • (6 games x 2 umpires) = 12 Goal Umpires per week.


‚ÄčAt this stage, you would not have added any Source Panels to your competition, so the above example, the Appointment Group Information dialog will look like this: 

Now, for each competition, you need to specify a Source Panel. A Source Panel is where Schedula first goes to pull Officials and appointment them to games.

To add a Source Panel to a competition:

1. Click on the Add Panel button for the competition

2. From the list of panels, select the panel you want to be your source panel for your competition and click Save and Close

3. Your competition dialog will update with your selected Source Panel

Notice as well how your Appointment Group Information dialog has now updated advising you how healthy your panel memberships are.

You are able to add as many panels to a competition as you like. Whilst there are any number of combinations you can have in terms of how your structure your panels, you may want to have panels based on a person’s ability, seniority or preferred discipline. For example, for the 1 st Div Seniors 2012 in the examples above, you may have multiple panels similar to the following:

In this configuration, we have specificed three different source panels for the 1 st Div Seniors 2012 competition, and ranked them based on (in this case) their accreditation level.

You may want to create panels and rank them on how long people have been officiating instead – it all comes down to how you have your panels structured.

In this example:

Schedula will attempt to pull officials from the Division 1 Level 3 Umpires panel first and appoint them to games first over those in the lower ranked panels. Once the Division 1 Level 3 Umpires panel is exhausted (ie. There are no more available officials), then Schedula will move onto the Division 1 Level 2 Umpires panel and appoint people from there.

Schedula will continue to roll through each panel until one of the following conditions are met:

1. All games for the competition are fully appointed. Or;

2. There are not enough available officials to fill every position.

Either way, you will see these results after you trigger an automatic process, which is covered in Section 6 – Triggering an Automatic Appointments Process.

You can also configure Schedula to pull officials from other panels that are source panels for other competitions within the same Appointment Group. This can happen by implementing Overflow Rules which will be covered in the next section. 

5. Using Overflow Rules

Overflow Rules allow you to further configure source panels across multiple competitions in the same appointment group. Consider the following configuration:

 In this configuration:

  • Three competitions have been selected with each competition ranked against the other as to which ones Schedula is to process first.
  1. Only one panel has been specified per competition in the Appointment Group.


‚ÄčIf you configure the Overflow Rule for this Appointment Group to allow Officials to be appointed below their selected panel to a level of 1 (as displayed in this example) then the following will be possible:

When all games in the 1 st Div Seniors 2012 competition are full, and there are surplus officials who have not been appointed from the Division 1 Umpires panel, Schedula will make them available for appointment in the 2 nd Div Seniors 2012 competition. These surplus officials from the Division 1 Umpires panel will be appointed first over those in the Division 2 Umpires panel. However, because your level is set to 1, then no surplus officials from the Division 1 Umpires panel will be available for appointment in the 3 rd Div Seniors 2012 competition. 

The second overflow rule works in the opposite way.

If you configure the Overflow Rule for this Appointment Group to allow Officials to be appointed above their selected panel to a level of 1 (as displayed in this example) then the following will be possible:

When the Division 1 Umpires panel is exhausted and not all games in the 1 st Div Seniors 2012 competition have been appointed fully, then Schedula will go to the first panel in the next ranked competition – in this example it is the Division 2 Umpires panel and make them available for appointment in the 1 st Div Seniors 2012 competition. However, no officials from the Division 3 Umpires panel will be made available to the 1 st Div Seniors 2012 competition, because it is more than 1 level away.

As you can see, there are quite a number of ways to configure these rules, and depending on how you structure your competitions and panels.

Once your Appointment Group is finished, you need to Trigger an Automatic Appointment Process, which is covered in the next section.

Triggering an Automatic Appointments Process

Triggering an automatic appointments process is what is repeated on a weekly basis. When you trigger a process, Schedula takes all of your competitions, panels and settings into account and appoints officials based on your configuration and official’s availability.

Once you trigger an Automatic Appointments Process, you can continue to use Schedula as the engine performing the appointments is operating in the background. When the job is done, Schedula will send you an email advising you that the process is complete and a link to view the results.

To trigger an automatic appointments process:

1. From the menu, select Automatic Appointments>Automatically Appoint

2. Select the Organisation, Season and Week for which you want to perform an automatic appointment process for.

3. Select the appropriate group from the Appointment Group dropdown.

4. Click Begin Appointment Process to kick off the appointments engine. You will see the following popup:

You will then receive an email from Schedula once the automatic appointment process is complete. In that email, you will see a link you can click which will take you to a results page where you can view what Schedula has done.