MMM automates almost every aspect of the monthly league preparation process. This is made possible because MMM presents the matches to be played for every player, each of whom is self service in terms of arranging, booking, playing and scoring their matches. In addition players use MMM to sign in or out of next month's leagues (they are assumed in).
However, the league organiser needs to carefully review and possibly adjust participation or placements given exceptional situations that inevitably arise. For this reason the process is split into discrete steps so that the organiser has full "command and control" of the process at each step. The steps are outlined below and each is explained in detail afterwards:
- Initiate the Rollover process
- Review leavers & joiners for the next set of leagues
- Set the order of players in accordance with league promotion and relegation rules
- Segment this order into the individual leagues
- Build the leagues
- Confirm the leagues
- Allow players to see and book their matches
This whole process can take less than a minute if there are no specific issues to resolve. Each step is more or less one button push. Let's look at each step in detail...
Step by step league preparation process
For the purposes of the explanations below, let us assume our leagues run monthly and that we are closing July leagues and setting up August.
Initiate the Rollover process
In Manage events, choose the league event and press the Rollover button. This tells MMM to do the following, automatically.
- July leagues are moved to Completed stage (i.e. players can no longer book or score their matches)
- August leagues, to which members have been able to sign in or out of during July, are moved to In preparation stage (i.e. players can no longer sign in or out)
- September leagues are moved to Open stage (Players signed up for august are assumed to be participating, but now they can choose to sign out or others can sign in)
Review leavers & joiners for August leagues
Choose the In preparation tab to see the summary for August leagues and click the Review button against the number of joiners. This brings you into the Event joiners and draw creation tab of Manage draws where you see all joiners listed on the right and all non-joiners on the left. Here you can:
- Take out participants if you know they don't want to play
- Add in participants if you know they do want to play
- Check leavers and non-joiners (i.e. who was playing in July but not in August & vice versa)
Set the order of players in accordance with league promotion and relegation rules
Click the Set order button that will automatically sequence players in accordance with league promotion/relegation rules as set on the definition of the leagues themselves (a number of different rule options are available).
As a league organiser, you will know that this process is all about relative placement. A player who came top of their league in July will not necessarily be in a higher league in August as a number of new players may have joined in leagues above.
MMM is very clever in auto positioning even new joiners as it looks at their history in leagues past. However, the organiser can make adjustments at this stage by drag and drop. To help, MMM provides the following information for each joiner:
- Their rating (MMM automatically manages an internal rating of all players to guide organisers of leagues and tournaments)
- Contact details
- League placement history over recent months
- If they are new joiners or not, or if they are regular joiners
Segment this order into the individual leagues
Click the Auto set button to visually indicate the break points for each league. MMM sets the numbers in each league automatically according to the guidance number set on the definition of the leagues themselves.
Leagues are automatically named in accordance with preset league rules (they can be numbered, lettered and/or specifically named).
You can drag and drop the league titles and individual players as you see fit to change both the order of participants and the number of players in each league.
Build the leagues
Click the Build all button to build the leagues. This takes you to a new tab in Manage draws called Draw confirmation. Here you can review each league individually as it will be seen by players.
You can also go to the Draw selection and refinement tab to modify each league separately - again to reorder or take players in or out, but also now to change the league title. It's unusual, however, to want or have to do this.
Confirm the leagues
In the Manage draws tab click the confirm all button. This tells MMM to create all the matches involved in the leagues. It also allows you to review the full league table (View table button) as players will see it and as presented, for example, on the kiosk screen.
Allow players to see and book their matches
So far the process has been "behind closed doors". No members have visibility on the process and no players can yet engage with August's leagues. This final step is the "big button" to release the leagues so that players can organise, book, play and score their matches.
You do this from Manage events. With the August In preparation selected, click the Progress to next stage button. You will be given the opportunity to add a message that will be sent to all players.
The next stage is called In play which means players will see the leagues, where they are and what matches they now need to play during August.
It is not unusual for players to have forgotten or neglected to sign out or in for the leagues - or, failing that, even to notify the league manager of their intentions. It is also not unusual for players to question their placement. Here's some guidance on these two points:
The step by step process as described above provides the league manager with all the tools to get league preparation as right as possible. But post-publication adjustments are inevitably needed from time to time. The sooner these are done the better, for obvious reasons. Here's some scenarios:
- There are lots of people saying they want in or out unexpectedly. Once members are used to the system this is almost unheard of. But as a last resort you can backup the leagues to In preparation stage , recall specific leagues and adjust them, or even remove them all and start again!
- The happiest circumstance is when a player wants out and a similar ability player wants in. There is a Substitute tab in Manage events that allows you to do just that with no fuss
- If a player does not want to be in this month, then ask them to leave (It's an option in My events). This aborts their matches and makes it clear to others that they will not be playing the leaver. You can do this for them, if really necessary, in the Review scores tab of Manage draws (there's a force leave button once you've identified a player on the left of the screen). As organiser you are empowered to do other things here like score their matches, however this is rarely necessary as players do all this for themselves.
- If a player has been omitted and they want in, then go to the Draw confirmation tab of Manage draws and Recall the league into which you will enter them. Add them into that league in the Draw selection and refinement tab and then reconfirm the league. Because this changes the "shape" of the league, all matches are removed and recreated thus losing bookings (players would be notified) or scores if already played.
If you need to add a new player (in any of the above circumstances), remember you will have to first add them as a joiner in the Event joiners and draw creation tab of Manage draws.
If you have not made any manual adjustments to the ordering process that MMM performs (step 3), then you can be sure that every individual has been placed in strict conformance to the rules. The best (and simplest) way to explain to a player why they are where they are is by comparison. You just need to justify that, in relation to any other player, they are correctly above or below them. This is easily done by looking at the final scores of last month's leagues. No one with a higher score will be below a player with a lower score from the same league. No one with a lower score will be above a player with a higher score from the same league.
A player's absolute position, in terms of which league, can never be guaranteed on performance alone as they are subject to new joiners and leavers in leagues above them.
Of course, if you have made executive decisions to over ride the rules, that would be for good reason and would also be explainable.