AVAILABILITY IS for Parents but SELECTION is for the Manager..
an I make a suggestion:
there are key concepts which overlap but which are not the same. (a) is a
player available (b) is a player selected
At the moment the way I am supposed to select a team is to "roster off" the
players who I don't need. But I don't think that is quite right.
This is because in TS there is only one status per player. It can get
confusing if there are changes. When I pick the team, I need to show
that a player is not selected, so I "roster them off". But then if
someone can't make it or I change my mind about the team, I can't tell if a
"rostered off" player was in fact available, or not. So I have to ask the
Availability is something that the PARENT owns, whereas selection is
something the MANAGER owns, and I don't think they should be managed with
just 1 status.
A related problem is that if a parent updates a player's availability from unavailable to "coming", then that is the same as if they have been selected.
The system needs to only allow the manager to SELECT a player, regardless
of what the parent does to their availability.
This is a priority idea for development!
The "Available" status would be a great addition, which replicates how we also use the app. It would certainly be more useful than differentiating between "unconfirmed" and "can't make it" which for most practical purposes is one and the same (people generally can't be bothered to say if they can't come).
It would also be helpful if any player rostered off is made available for selection if someone drops out. We have been left short a couple of times now when players who have been rostered did not know that they could indicate availability to replace a late drop-out. And it's annoying as hell that you can't even roster people back on via the website, only via the mobile app.
To illustrate, below is my workflow:
1) Players sign up to play if available, with automatic rostering off once team is full
2) Manual un-rostering and using other means to find replacements for drop-outs
And how it would work better:
1) Players say if they are available
2) Team is selected based on order of response or manually
3) Late drop-outs automatically replaced by other "Available" players based on order or response
I need 10 players for Water polo - (7 minimum, 13 maximum) BUT I need the right 7! not all players are equal - perhaps some ranking or position could be added
Its pointless having 3 goal keepers - but a 1,2,3 ranking would help identify which was coming, and if unavailable who was asked next.
having more than 50% defenders reduces our ability to score....
SO if possible group players into A,B,C,D etc groups with the preferred number for each group
e.g. 1 x A (goal keepers), 3 x B (defenders), 3 x C (midfielders), 3 x D (wingers), 2 x E (strikers)
or by ability so that you don't have fast reactions from parents of weak players giving you a team which can never win!
I'd agree with Andy's suggestion about a 'selected' notification. We're just moving to TS and the biggest brain freeze for Captains is that pretty much every other system in the UK (including our old one) involves them selecting who from their squad plays in each individual match, after which they get a selection notification for that week. The process is basically - Captains hold selection meeting, captains enter their squad for that weekend's game on the system, player receives a notification and responds.
I can see the benefit of my squad having visibility of the whole season's games in the system, so they can put them in their calendar and let me know of any games they're not available well in advance. I can also see the benefit of having my core squad already included in all that season's games, since probably the majority of the squad won't change from week to week. If a player is dropped / promoted, we'd transfer them to the relevant other team squad (but this might only be for a week - so would they then lose my team's fixtures off their app for a week, or would I share them, so they have both on their app ?)
What I'm missing (and maybe it's the fact that I've not used the system in anger yet) is the point at which a player gets an email / app notification saying - you've been selected to play for me this weekend - check the details and confirm your availability if you haven't already done so. In my long (37 years) experience of playing hockey, most players struggle to remember more than one game ahead, and even if they've ticked available at the start of the season, they expect a communication at the start of the week about where they're playing on Saturday, or assume they haven't got a game.
I know there's an element of player education in this, but a 'selected' notification would give all those sensitive players out there the reassurance they so desperately need on a weekly basis ;)
Great post. This whole area could do with a small rethink.
We have a large squad and sometimes have more than one game scheduled at the same time. Close to the day, we will select who plays in each team. We manage this by creating an initial generic event to gather availability info, and then duplicate the info when it comes to selecting the teams and rostering off those for the match that they are not selected for. This sort of works, but where it causes confusion is that the 'rostered off' message does not say which match that player has been rostered off for! And so we resort to email...
Perhaps the option to send a message to say that players have been 'selected' (rather than 'rostered off') would be good. It could complement the existing system. This may mean that games need to also have a status as well.
Dave Cornfield commented
I have the same issue: Availability is not the same thing as Attendance
Here's the email I sent directly to support:
This is an all round great app and I've been using it for a couple of years now.
I especially like the feature of being able to share players between teams, which I just finished using.
The thing is I use this feature to work around dealing with spare players, and that's because I find managing spare players within the app a challenge.
* * *
The problem is that (available) spare players only get to attend when there aren't enough (available) regular players. Attendance & availability are not the same thing.
* * *
So let's be clear about the team roster, player availability, the game roster and the difference between regular and spare players.
The team roster lists all players, including both regular and spare players.
Player availability does not mean a player will actually attend a game, but only indicates that the player is available to attend the game.
The game roster lists players selected from the team roster that will actually attend.
There are a couple of things to note:
All players on the team roster have availability regardless of whether or not they are on the game roster.
Adding or removing a player from the game roster does not change their availability.
Typically only available players will ever be added to the game roster.
Any player on the game roster that becomes unavailable (or unknown) should be removed from the game roster.
Now comes the difference between regular and spare players:
A regular player is a player that is automatically added to the game roster when they say they are available.
A spare player is a player that is not automatically added to the game roster when they say they are available.
The moral is that spares must be manually added to the game roster after it becomes clear that there won't be enough regulars to fill it. If by chance a regular player that was previously unavailable becomes available, some spare gets manually dropped from the game roster. Note that the spare must be notified of their roster change, because it tells them to show up or not, often at the last minute.
Now I'm not looking to have the decision to add or drop spares automated, I just need the availability of spares, the roster control and the notifications and I'll make those roster change decisions myself.
Currently the app doesn't distinguish between regulars and spares when it comes to availability and the game roster, so I have to collect spare availability and do game roster adjustments and notification outside the app using good old fashioned email. It's a real shame to have to fall back to email for spares when the app is so good at collecting regular availability.
As it stands the app can only be used to collect regular availability. That's because if you include spares in the team roster, they need to be manually rostered-off each game if you want to see only regular player availability - yet as soon as you do that you lose the availability of the rostered-off player.
My guess it that you have a single attendance field that holds UNKNOWN / AVAILABLE / UNAVAILABLE / OFF which is actually blending together player availability (UNKNOWN / AVAILABLE / UNAVAILABLE) with the game roster (ON / OFF). All six permutations are valid states, but you apparently only have four.
If you used two variables /game/player - one for availability and one for the game roster - that would be a great start.
If the roster variable is set from a default held in the team roster (regulars default to roster ON, spares to OFF) - that would be better.
If the roster variable followed the availability variable - except for when a spare indicates they are AVAILABLE - that would be even better.
If roster changes sent notifications to the affected player - that would be the icing on the cake.
Hi TomJones, I am new to TeamStuff and switched because of the rostered off feature which I need for my teams. I'm still getting familiar with the program but from what I understand, the different status are:
3. Not Coming
4. Rostered Off
Where parents can only access options 1/2/3 (no access to the grey rostered off feature) but admin can access 1/2/3/4.
I haven't started games yet on the system so I could be wrong?