This is the most difficult step in the Division Commissioner role. It is tedious and takes a little practice. Once you have practiced it a bit, it will become clear and easy to do. If you need help or someone to show you this step, contact the chief commissioner, firstname.lastname@example.org
The team practice slots must be assigned before this step, so that player's practice days can be matched with the team's practice days.
To assign players to teams we use the Div Coord menu and the sub-menu Team Formation.
Information regarding team assignment is confidential until the rosters are approved and released. This includes information about whether a player is wait listed or not.
Number of Teams
It's a good idea to confirm that the Number of Teams you are working with is close to the Ideal, and within the range of the Minimum and Maximum range, and is an even number for U10 and U12.
Commissioners use the Geographic/School Zones for the U7 through U12 divisions in the Instructional Program to help ensure children are on teams close to their neighborhood. You can group schools together, and the system will try to balance the teams within the Zone. Other Commissioners may leave all schools in the default, Zone 0.
By default, all the schools are in Zone 0. To change this click on the button Configure Zones. This will show you the list of schools pertinent to your division, and the number of players, the total rating of the players, and the number of Coaches for each school. You use the drop down for each school to assign the school to a zone. You will only see the schools listed that players in your division actually attend.
For U7 and U8 it is a good idea to put a school into a zone by itself if there are enough players to form a team. If not, perhaps you can combine two or three schools into a single zone to get 1 or 2 teams.
One suggested generic method is as follows;
Coach Assignments First
It is hard to progress far with assigning players to teams without first having your coaching teams in place. When you assign coaches, the players who are kids of the players are automatically assigned to their team. Moving a coach, or assigning a coach usually moves a player, and vice-versa. You must have all your coaching teams finalized before using the system to distribute the rest of the players amongst the teams.
On the Display Division page is a column titled, Rating. That number shows the averaged offensive rating of the team, taking into account all its players.
It's finally time to form the teams. Click on the Continue with Team Formation button. You may form teams and save configurations, experimentally. The save and recall function is at the bottom of the page. This permits you to generate experimental scenarios and save them, or perhaps just save work in process to come back to later. BE SURE TO USE THIS SAVE/RECALL ABILITY.
Manually Place Coaches and Assistants
Finish forming your coach teams before continuing. It is critical to have a head coach for every team you are going to form, before continuing.
Assign Practice Fields/Times to Coaches
Coaches and players have indicated the days on which they cannot practice. The fields are available only on specific days, and in combinations of days for two practices a week. Use this button to match the coach teams with fields with the same availability. For U7-U10 divisions be sure to assign fields to coaches at or near to their children's school.
Team Formation Configuration
Here, you set conditions of the team formation to influence the balancing of the players.
Set the Minimum number of classmates on same team for U7 and U8 to as high a number as you can, depending on your team size. This will influence the system so that players will be assigned to teams with their school mates. For older teams, such as U10 and U12, a good number is 4, ensuring up to 4 classmates are together, yet giving the system enough flexibility to take player strength into account.
Set the Consider practice days in forming teams to Exact Match. This will prioritize player assignments so that they are not placed on a team that practices on a day they indicated they could not.
Set the Rating to use when balancing to Average Both so that offensive and defensive ratings both count in the balancing.
Hit the Submit button.
Finally, save the results using the Save/Recall Team Assignments at the bottom of the page. This will save your work thus far, so that if something does not go well later in forming teams, you can recall to this step. Name the Save file, "Coaches". Always save your version at this point, and each time you change the coach configuration.
STOP, TEAM FORMATION
You should not proceed past this point unless you have all the coaches you expect to get, and have assigned the coaches to teams. Once you go beyond this step, if you get coaches and create another team you may have to come all the back to here and proceed again. If that is what is happening now, and you are coming back to this step, then you need to press the link, Move all players back to available pool, now, before proceeding.
Manually Manipulate Teams
Use this button to set up the players in the correct list prior to running the automatic team balancer. Click the Manually Manipulate Teams button, now..
Enough Coaches for All Players
If you have enough coaches to form all the teams required to accommodate all your registered players, then simply move all your players from the Wait List to the Unassigned list. This is accomplished by clicking on each players' name and clicking the link for Move player to available pool, and afterwards skip down to the heading on this page, Form Teams From Available Pool.
Not Enough Coaches for All Players
If you do not have enough coaches to form teams to accommodate all your players, some players will have to remain on the Wait List. You will need to move players manually between the Wait List and Unassigned pool to get the correct players ready for placement on teams.
Ensure you can see the Priority of the players and the Reg field in the purple bar. If not, you need to enable these columns by clicking the Show/Hide Columns button. Check the columns you want to see, especially ensuring you have the Priority and Registration Date columns checked.
Your goal now is to move enough players to the Unassigned list to populate all your teams. Remember that you may have some players already assigned to the teams. Begin by moving the players with the highest priority to the Unassigned list, and the players with a zero priority to the Wait list. Now you can move players one by one from the Wait List according to their Priority, and finally by their Registration date for the remaining players, such that the earliest registered gets moved onto a team first. You move as many players as you need, to fill the teams. To move individual players to the Wait List or Available Pool, click on the player's name and click the appropriate blue link.
When done click the Done button at the top of the page. You may want to save these results in another file, named Pools, with the current date. This will allow you to come back to this point after attempting to use the automatic team formation.
Form Teams from Available Pool
Most players are initially in the Available Pool, meaning they are not assigned to a team. When you push the Form Teams From Available Pool button the system will assign the players to teams, obeying the configuration parameters for schools, player ratings, and the practice day preferences.
If you want to redistribute the players again, because you have changed the coaching teams, fields or new players have joined, you can move all the players back to the available pool with the link Move all players back to available pool, or Recall the configuration back to an earlier point, and try again.
You may wish to save interim results of building teams using the Save/Recall Team Assignments at the bottom of the page.
Manually Manipulate Teams
Use this button to move players between teams, the wait list and the available pool. You may have received special requests or know of special situations that require you to move a player. When you move a player, you must maintain the balance. This may require you to move one or more other players around. Be careful not to get into a 'domino effect' situation where one change generates a chain of needed changes to maintain the balance.
Check Volunteer Distribution
Check to make sure the volunteers, such as Referees and Team Managers are well distributed to the teams. You may need to do some manual moving of players between teams. Their volunteer parents will automatically follow the player's team assignment.