Community-based boys youth lacrosse league in Massachusetts

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MTCO Scheduling
Measure Twice, Cut Once
 
Email: mtco.scheduling@gmail.com
Twitter: @MTCO_Scheduling
Instagram: @mtcoscheduling
Phone: (781) 789-8453
 
 
A Message From the Board of Directors
The MBYLL Board of Directors hired MTCO Scheduling as a service provider to deliver Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League's Classic game schedule each spring. Delivering a game schedule to our member programs that meets both their logistical needs as well as their competitive desires is one of the most important endeavors the league prioritizes. 
 
The MBYLL Classic schedule is one of the most complex and challenging projects in New England youth sports. With a large number of programs varying in size, experience, make-up, and field access, creating a complete and balanced schedule takes an enormous amount of planning, communication, coordination, and flexibility. In an effort to deliver a final product that meets (and hopefully surpasses) our members' expectations... we've been dissecting the process over the past few years to figure out the best ways to get this accomplished smoothly and in a manner that is fair and painless for all of our town programs. Therefore, we've come up with guidelines and scheduling policies designed to allow our schedulers the platform to deliver a high quality schedule that is published on time, complete, and evenhanded to all. These policies stem from many candid conversations with town leaders, league leaders, officials, and schedulers alike. 
 
The feedback about the MBYLL schedule over the past three years has been extremely positive. Even with the positive response, MTCO has continued to work with the MBYLL Board of Directors to improve communication, logistics, and other pivotal aspects of the process year after year.
 
We want to thank our programs for their cooperation throughout this process and for your understanding of how our league operates with buy-in from the members and constant dialogue for improvement. We hope you find pages like this from service providers like MTCO Scheduling to be a helpful resource and insight into the important work being done to grow community-based youth lacrosse in our area.
 
 
Introduction
MTCO Scheduling creates the MBYLL Classic League game schedule as well as the MBYLL Jamboree schedule. Formed in 2018, MTCO Scheduling strives to provide Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League with game schedules that honor the creed "Play Who You Like, Like Who You Play" with an emphasis on accurate information collection, clear and expedient communication, and a complete final product by the deadline.
 
This page is designed to give member programs (and other league stakeholders) some pertinent information about the scheduling process.
 
 
New Scheduling Process for 2022
The process for collecting and reviewing scheduling information will be slightly different for the 2022 season.
 
Step 1: During Town Registration on the MBYLL website (July 12, 2021 - November 30, 2021), registrars will identify their program's primary scheduling coordinator by name and email address.
 
Step 2: Shortly after a town has registered with MBYLL for the 2022 season, MTCO Scheduling will email the identified scheduling coordinator with a link to Form A. Form A is to be completed upon receipt (deadline of December 15, 2021) and will seek the following information:
 
  • Competition Index & Travel Index
  • Desired Opponents List (the towns you'd expect to see on your schedule)
  • General preferences (color-blocking, double-headers, miscellaneous)
  • The window (timeframe) in which you'll have your field and slotting information
 
Step 3: During the timeframe identified by the program in Form A, MTCO Scheduling will email the coordinator with a link to Form B. Form B is to be completed by January 31, 2022 and will seek the following information:
 
  • Expected number of teams at each level (based on current player registration)
  • Conflicts, blackout dates, and other hosting restrictions
  • Town fields (names, addresses, surface types, sizes, etc.)
  • Field availability and slotting preferences
 
Step 4: MTCO Scheduling will absorb all of the town's scheduling information from Forms A & B and recap the essential information via email and follow-up with any outstanding questions or issues. Scheduling Coordinators are asked to verify with an affirmative email response.
 
Step 5: Towns will register their Classic League teams via the MBYLL website by the deadline: Friday February 11, 2022
 
 
Scheduling Timeline
Town Registration: Monday July 12, 2021 - Tuesday November 30, 2021
Team Registration: Saturday January 1, 2022 - Friday February 11, 2022
First Draft Published: Tuesday March 1, 2022
Draft Notes Due: Monday March 7, 2022
Final Draft Published: Friday March 11, 2022
Schedule Uploaded to MBYLL: Friday March 18, 2022
First Classic League Games: Sunday April 3, 2022
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Is it better to add a team late or drop a team after the deadline? Both scenarios are highly problematic for the schedule and for the surrounding towns which will be impacted by late drops and added teams. To best eliminate potential for wreaking havoc on the league's schedule, towns should align their player registration timeline with the league's team registration timeline (February 11, 2022) and register the appropriate number of teams based on their player count on that date. Towns should not register teams based on historic numbers nor keep their player registration open past the team deadline (unless it's to bolster current roster sizes only).
 
If we have "in-between" player numbers, can we register multiple teams and ask for some scheduling help to be able to use players for both teams? In the past, we tried to help towns by keeping certain teams together or by separating certain teams to allow "roster fluidity." As a result, we saw problems and issues arise in other towns which we can no longer impose upon them. Therefore, we must insist that every registered team has its own unique roster of players (and coaches) as we can no longer favor teams with incomplete rosters.
 
Does MTCO Scheduling work with other leagues' schedulers to coordinate boys and girls dates? MTCO Scheduling is responsible for MBYLL teams only and we do not coordinate with the schedulers for other leagues. If your program has teams in another league and fields used by both, it is the responsibility of the town to designate dates and times for each team and communicate those restrictions with each league respectively. 
 
What is color-blocking? In an effort to help families with players at different grade levels, MTCO Scheduling tries to keep certain teams together (home and away). If a town has multiple teams at each level, we will aim to keep the "colors" together as often as possible (cannot be guaranteed). For example, a town's L78 Blue, L56 Blue, L34 Blue, and L12 Blue might all be home while the L78 Red, L56 Red, L34 Red, and L12 Red might all be traveling to the same town.
 
What is Competition Index? During the information collection phase, towns will be asked to identify on a scale of 1 - 5 their overall level of proficiency. 1 = New. 2 = Developing/Trending Upwards. 3 = Competitive. 4 = Advanced/Experienced. 5 = Elite.
 
What is Travel Index? During the information collection phase, towns will be asked to identify on a scale of 1 - 5 their flexibility with travel. 1 = the most local competition is desired. 5 = Willing to travel for a competitive game.
 
Are there any bye weeks? Aside from Easter Sunday (April 17th) and Memorial Day Weekend (May 28th-30th), MBYLL teams will be scheduled a game every weekend from April 3rd through June 5th. In the event of odd number of teams at any level, we will ask some towns to play double-headers in an effort to make sure that all MBYLL teams have at least 8 games in the season (and at least 1 game every weekend).
 
Can there be more than one scheduling coordinator? We will be glad to work with any director(s) who wishes to be involved with the scheduling coordination for their town. During Town Registration, we ask that you identify the one primary scheduling coordinator to receive the first email. Once we establish communication, you can let us know if anyone else from your program should also receive our messages.
 
How important is the team name? Because our schedule is uploaded to multiple sites that are synchronized (including local sites and the officials' assignment website), the team name is incredibly important and we kindly ask you to read and follow the team name instructions during Team Registration. 
 
Is there a difference between Expected Team Numbers and Team Registration? In the past we've had towns tell us their number of teams during the Form stage and forget to officially register them on the MBYLL website. The form is meant to give us a blueprint to work off of during our own preparation stage of the process, but we will only provide an official game schedule those teams that were officially registered on the MBYLL website.
 
Will we be able to review the schedule and request changes? When the first draft is completed, the towns will receive an email with the schedule (excel format) as well as a link for a form to make notes and change requests. It is expected that the change requests are for aesthetic changes only (time and/or field) and not for opponents or home/away status.
 
What happens if we need to change a game once the season starts? After the final schedule is uploaded to the MBYLL website, it will appear on all local sites that are synchronized. Once that upload is complete, if there are necessary changes (time, field, postponements, etc.), a town will fill out a Game Change Request Form (found under the Classic tab) and the Regional Game Change Coordinator will adjust the website according to information provided in that form.
 
Can my town see an advanced copy of the Form questions? For your convenience, here is a link to a PDF with the Form questions (and answer options for the multiple choice questions) so that you may be better prepared to fill out the forms. We do insist the form is filled out electronically and not the questions document returned with your answers. 2022 MTCO Scheduling Forms Preview