Sunday, April 28, 2013

Automatic line up (seeding) function conforming TSA rules

Properly line up a meet is always a time consuming task.  I was told that coaches spent many hours working on this before a meet.  TSTM has a built-in function that can automatically calculate line up for a dual meet based on swimmer's past performance in a matter of seconds.  The results are based on past personal best and conform TSA max 3 main events per swimmer rule.  For top swimmers that are good at all 4 strokes, the program will attempt to drop a stroke so that the overall time is best benefiting the team.  Swim up is also supported as a premium feature.  Swimmers will be considered in the line up process only if they select the meet in their meet selection page.  Relay line up also honors swimmer's selection.  If you don't see your favorite swimmer to show up in a main event or relay, please check if that swimmer selects to participate the meet and relays.  Please inform families that it is very important to keep up with the meet attendance selection so the line up process can be more accurate.

To use to automatic line up feature, here are the steps.

Log in and go to the admin area (click the Team administration link at the top of the page)

Click menu Meets->Line up.  You will see a new window popup with swimmers' personal best from past meets in the current season.  Line up for the season's first meet requires results from the time trial.  Otherwise, the system has no data to base on when calculating the line up.

Click on the "Line up" link at the upper left corner of the page.  You should see the page with the following content.

Select line up options:

Select a meet that you plan to line up for.
Select the maximum events a swimmer can swim in the meet.  Note that even if you choose 4, all swimmers can only swim maximum 3 main events.  The 4th event will be arranged in heat 2 or later.  For 6&Under swimmers, their maximum events will be the selected number minus 1 because they don't swim butterfly.
Select maximum how many relay teams you want to generate (in the case of a large team that may have too many relay teams)
If your team does line up based on previous meet result instead of personal best time, check the checkbox "Use previous meet result".
When choosing "Use previous meet result", select "Use PB if NT" to use personal best time to be the default times when the swimmer didn't attend the previous meet.
Check the "Swim up" checkbox if your team needs that feature for relay line up (premium option)
Select the number of lane the pool has.  The system may already select it for you, but do double check it.
Select the lane type (odd or even).  The system may already select it for you, but do double check it.

When all options are set, click on the "Line up" button.

Wait up to 30 seconds, you should see the line up results coming back.  Line up results can be displayed by the order of swimming (heat) or by swimmer name.  You can click on the "Load/List by name" button if you want to see the results sorted by swimmer names with their heat, lane and stroke assignment.

To override automatic line up results, there are two things you can do.  One is to use the pusher list to eliminate certain swimmers from swimming a particular stroke.  To access the pusher list, you click on the Menu Meets->Setup.  On that page, find the meet you are working on and click on the 4th icon to open the pusher list.  On the pusher list, select an age group you want to work on.  When the swimmer names show up, you can click on their number to remove a swimmer from the meet (absence) or click on the name under a stroke to remove that swimmer from attending that event.  Then re-run the line up routine and the program will consider your pusher list selection when doing line up.

I am not recommending this second option because it is not easy to use, but you can manually edit the line up results on the web too.  Click on the "Edit/Refresh" button, then you can double click on a heat or lane for a swimmer and override it.  Once you start doing manual editing, you will have to manage the line up to meet TSA rules.  The system will no longer track that, so please be very careful if you have to use this option.

Important: If you made manual changes after an auto lineup, please click on the "Load/list by name" button on the lineup page to verify if you have any conflicts. Any items displayed in red must be fixed.

Once you are satisfied with the line up results, you can publish it (upper right corner) so the team members can see it.  You can also withdraw a published line up by Unpublishing it.  Team members can view the line up from their Meet selection page.

With the line up results, you can also print main event ribbon and TSA meet sheets.  On the Meet Setup page, click on the ribbon icon for the meet.  You will see a new window open with several functions.  You can print personal best ribbon labels after meet result is entered, print main event ribbon label and TSA meet sheets (blue or pink) before a meet.  Download these files from the web site and open them in Word or Excel to print.