Frequently Asked Round Robin Schedule Generator Questions (FAQ)

The Round Robin Schedule Generator is a free online tool that will help you generate a simple round-robin schedule for the number of teams.

We have had many requests for help on different combinations of teams, locations, and byes. Although the generator doesn't automatically handle every case, most cases can be handled by exporting the schedule to Excel, and then manually modifying the schedule to meet your needs.

This page answers some of the commonly asked questions when using our generator.

Be sure to read through all of the questions and answers, because some of the techniques used here, may help you with your question.

If this page still doesn't have an answer for your question, try visiting our Round Robin Discussion Forum.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am trying to generate a bowling schedule, so if have 2 locations per game what can I do?

    You can try entering in you own locations into the location list separated by a comma. For example try entering the following into the locations text box:

    Lane 1-2,Lane 3-4,Lane 5-6,Lane 7-8,Lane 9-10,Lane 11-12

    Then generate the schedule and it will display the locations accordingly.

  2. I have 14 teams, and 11 locations. 6 of the teams are based out of a single location (home location), how can I schedule them so they do not play a "home" game all at the same time?

    What you might want to do is create the schedule for 14 teams like you normally would. To make things a little simpler, make sure "Display team summary" is left unchecked. Then export the schedule to Excel.

    Once you have the schedule opened up in Excel, just go through each round, and do a little manual round robin for the locations. This will switch up the locations. Since you will have 4 extra locations (with 14 teams you will need 7 locations, and you have 11 or 4 extra) each week/round. you might want to increase the location number by 4 for each round.
    For example:

    • Round 1 - Leave locations the same
    • Round 2 - Manually increase each location number by 1. This will give you locations 2 to 8.
    • Round 3 - Manually increase each location number by 2. This will give you locations 3 to 9.

    Keep doing this for each round. When you reach location #12, just rename it back to 1, 13 back to 2, and so on.

    This way you will have a somewhat random distribution of the locations. Then Do a find and Replace on all of the locations to have them display the actual location names, and you should be good to go.

  3. I have 12 teams, and only 4 courts. The generator creates too many locations than what I have, what can I do?

    What you might want to try is enter in the court names under location names, but duplicate the location names. What this will do is assign teams to the same courts in the same round. But if you rename the courts with an "a" and "b" indicator like the following (just copy and paste into the generator):

    Court 1a,Court 2a,Court 3a,Court 4a,Court 1b,Court 2b,Court 3b,Court 4b

    So you can have a sub-round for playing half the teams playing in round 1a, and the other half play in round 1b. You can also try exporting the schedule to excel, and then play around with the court assignments, and round numbers so that you can maximize the court usage each week.

    Also uncheck "Display Team Summary" so that you will only get a single schedule and it won't be as confusing if you need to edit things in excel.

  4. I have 12 teams, but only 5 locations available per week. How can I ensure 2 byes per week?

    Try running the generator with 14 teams. Then whoever plays team 13 or 14 gets assigned a bye for that round.

    Then reassign the locations of all the other matches to tables 1-5 for each round.

    Then, for the round that has team 13 and 14 playing against each other (which are both byes), delete that match, and you will have to pick a match that round and assign byes to the 2 teams playing. Plus you will also have to create a new match somewhere (say after all the rounds have finished) for the 2 teams with the bye (since they still need to play each other at some point)

    Also, you might want to try unchecking "Display team summary" so you only need to consider 1 set of schedules, so it is not as confusing to work out.

  5. I have 8 teams and only 3 fields

    Your best bet would be to generate the round robin for the 8 teams and assign a "placeholder" 2th location. So you would have in your location list:

    Location 1,Placeholder,Location 2,Location 3

    We use the 2nd location in the list as the placeholder instead of the 4th location because it will spread out the games a bit more evenly (than using the 4th location in the list).

    Then after the schedule has been generated, export to excel and remove the 4th game from each round (because the 4th game is assigned to the "placeholder" location), and using the extra game from each round, create 2 additional rounds of 3 games and a 3rd round of a single game. So then you will have a total of 10 rounds with 3 games apiece (except for the 10th it will only have 1 game). Then for rounds 8,9,10, just assign the locations in order for each game. So for example you would have:

    Round 8
    # Home Away Location
    1 2 7 Location 1 (From Round 1)
    2 8 6 Location 2 (From Round 2)
    3 7 5 Location 3 (From Round 3)

    Round 9
    # Home Away Location
    1 6 4 Location 1 (From Round 4)
    2 5 3 Location 2 (From Round 5)
    3 4 2 Location 3 (From Round 6)

    Round 10
    # Home Away Location
    1 3 8 Location 1 (From Round 7)
  6. I want to generate a double round robin schedule that alternates the home/away games for teams each week

    Our round robin generator evenly distributes the home and away games, although it doesn't alternate home and away games exactly for each team each week.

    Try generating a single round robin and export to excel. Also make sure that "Display team summary" is unchecked. This will constitute the games for the odd weeks (Weeks 1,3,5,7, etc.), so rename the rounds Round 1,3,5, etc. on the spreadsheet

    Then make a copy of the spreadsheet and rename the rounds Rounds 1,3,5,7 etc. to Round 2,4,6,7 etc. And finally rename the headers "Home" to "Away" and "Away" to "Home". (Or you can switch the home and away team name columns, to prevent confusion for people looking at each schedule).

    This way you will have alternating home and away games for each team each week. Of course they will be playing the same team for 2 weeks in a row, but this it is an easy solution.

  7. I want to create a round robin for players instead of teams

    Just choose the number of players in the team drop down, and enter in the names of your players instead of team names.

  8. I am trying to generate a 9 team round robin, however my players can physically only play a maximum of 5 games per day

    Because you have an odd number of players to schedule, one player will have a bye per round. So, for the first day well be playing 6 rounds in total. But the 6th round that is generated has some players playing a 6th round and others playing 4 rounds. What we want to do is somehow modify the schedule to let the players with only 4 rounds so far to play their 5th game, and give a rest to the players who have already played 5 matches.

    It just so happens that Round 7 has games scheduled that will meet our needs. Here is what you need to do.

    1. Generate a 9 team round robin, and export the schedule to excel (but be sure to turn off "Display team summary." so you are not confused by the individual team schedules.). Next we need to manually change some things...
    2. Switch the games for Round 6 with Round 7 (just copy and paste the tables, or rename the headers).
    3. Then for day 1, play Rounds 1-6 (which is the "new" Round 6, formally Round 7), but don't let game #3 (which is team 7 & 3 play) until the next day. Also Team 7 gets a bye that round, so all of the others will be playing their 5th game for the day.
    4. Then continue the next day with Game #3 from Round 6 and continue with Rounds 7-9.
  9. What are the different location distributions?

    We have 3 different ways in which locations are assigned to events:

    • Regular - It doesn't attempt to enforce any location balance for the games in each round. There is no overlap for locations however, some teams might play at one location more than others.
    • Random - Locations are assigned to games at random. There is no overlap, however re-generating the schedule will assign different locations.
    • Balanced - We attempt to evenly distribute the locations between the teams. However, the algorithm is not perfect.
  10. Why is the "Balanced" location distribution currently beta testing?

    The task of distributing locations between teams and rounds sounds deceptively simple, however it is no easy task.

    The balance mode makes an attempt to assign locations based on the number of locations a team has already been assigned to.

    The interesting thing about balancing locations is you will only have an even distribution of locations when you have an odd number of teams. (An odd number of teams results in an even number of rounds a teams actually plays since one round is a Bye)

    The following chart demonstrates this:

    # Teams # Rounds # Games Each # Locations Possible Balance?
    3 3 2 1 Yes
    4 3 3 2 No
    5 5 4 2 Yes
    6 5 5 3 No
    7 7 6 3 Yes

    This means if the number of games each team plays is an odd number, then it is not possible to evenly balance the locations.

    If you want to see the how balanced the locations are, simply generate a schedule with Display Team Summary enabled, and view the team's schedule to summarize the locations assigned to the team.

    The balanced mode is our first attempt to try to even out the locations, however it is far from perfect. Use this mode at your own risk.

  11. I have entered in 5 teams and 5 locations but only 2 locations are ever assigned

    The reason why it only uses 2 locations instead of 5 is because only 2 locations are needed at one time for 5 teams to play against each other. The following table demonstrates this:

    # Game Team 1 Team 2 Locations
    1 1 2 Location 1
    2 3 4 Location 2
    3 5 Bye Not Required

    If you need to use all five locations, you should run the round robin generator, export the schedule to excel, then manually assign the correct locations.

  12. I have a mixed doubles schedule where players and teams change each week

    When you have different couples pairing up to make a team each round, then you are essentially creating brand new teams, so it would be impossible to create a true round robin for this scenario.

    Rather than generating a schedule indicating specific partners and teams, we recommend you try and keep things simple.

    You might just want to adopt a rule where individuals must pair up with a partner they haven't played with before, and must choose a team in which one of the partners either:

    • Hasn't played one of the opponents previously
    • Is only allowed to play another opponent a set maximum number of times (say 2 or 3 times max)

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