Regular indoor football, sport and other activity for working adults in Singapore

The Numbers Game

Posted by rajiv on 1 March 2009

The scheduling of the regular sessions sets out to accommodate working adults in Singapore.  When I sub-divided the “Current Schedule” page in June 2008, the “Venues & Scheduling” sub-page began with the following statement:

I book a number of slots for each week, depending on availability and preferences.

It still does.

I try to anticipate the number of sessions that are needed each week.  I also cover Monday through to Thursday. As I’ve said

The idea is that for any working day (other than Friday), if you really want to play, there is a session somewhere in Singapore you can join after work, provided you confirm early enough.

However, whether a session goes ahead on any particular day, or whether we have more than one session on any particular day, depends on the numbers who confirm for each session.

Last week, the sessions scheduled for Monday and Wednesday were cancelled due to lack of numbers. However, we had 20 for Thursday, so we had an impromptu mini-tournament that night.

This week, we already have twice as many confirmed for Wednesday as for any other day.  Wednesday tends to be to the more popular day each week.  Last week was an exception, with many of the Wednesday regulars away. That’s the nature of FIOFAFI.  People play when they can, and want to.  It shows that the system works.

It all boils down to the number of participants who confirm for each session.  A participant’s availability will in turn depend on the day of the week, the time of the session, and the venue.

At present, the regular sessions are on weekday nights, from 9 to 10 pm. I’m open to an earlier or later hour if they are popular, and players turn up on time for an earlier session.

For anyone who confirms for a session that is subsequently cancelled due to lack of numbers, there is always the option of a session on another day.  However, that requires some degree of flexibility on the part of that person’s schedule.  If the person can’t make any other day, I’m sorry, but there’s not much else I can do.  There’s always the following week.

Last week, for the first time in ages, someone who confirmed for a session didn’t get a game as that session was cancelled.  It was Dirk, who couldn’t make any day other than Wednesday.   Everyone else who confirmed for the cancelled sessions on Monday and Wednesday managed to get a game on another day.  Even Mark L got to play in Thursday’s mini-tournament.

To see the bigger picture, I regularly look at:

The pool of participants is larger than it’s ever been.  With more playing just once a week, or even once every two or three weeks, rather than two or three times a week, the number of places filled each week has remained fairly consistent, at between 40 and 50 since the early November 2008.  In the week of 12 January 2009, we filled 60 places over 6 sessions.

Even though we only had one regular session last week, and even then, a 4 v 4 game, including the 11-a-side last Saturday and the mini-tournament on Thursday, we still filled 45 places over the course of the week.  Like I said, if people prefer something different from time to time, that’s fine with me as long as the alternatives are feasible, both in terms of  numbers and ease of organising.  Such variation also reflects the rest of FIOFAFI’s tagline – “sports and other activity for working adults”.

Like I also said:

If you’re interested in participating in any activity through FIOFAFI, but there currently aren’t sufficient numbers of people for it, one way to increase the chances of that activity becoming a reality is to introduce other people who might be interested in that activity.

Keeping track of attendance helps.  Looking at numbers also involves maintaining the end-of-week rankings which are used to determine line ups for regular sessions, and the profile and ranking lists relating to participant details.  That’s just me and numbers and stats for you.

Looking at the numbers extends for me to making sure that if a session is to go on, we get 10 for the session (or at least 8 for a session at The Cage).

Having the numbers also applies any other sport and activity we cover in broadening the constituency.

The other “number” I have been monitoring for some time now is the daily, weekly and monthly page views, as an indication of the growth of the blog.  After jumping from 6,116 in November 2008 to 12,036 in December 2008, then dipping to 11,852 in January 2009, page views dropped further in February 2009 to 10,171.

It can’t be put down to February being a shorter month.  I suppose without Boris, Franco and/or Tom commenting regularly on the blog, page views were bound to drop, even though we still have Rajseran, Yaseen and Mark L.  In any event, page views for February 2009 were still about 70% up  from November 2008.

It’s all a numbers game.

34 Responses to “The Numbers Game”

  1. […] The Numbers Game […]

  2. […] The Numbers Game […]

  3. […] The Numbers Game […]

  4. […] of going to 4 v 4 at The Cage and 6 v 6 at Sports Planet allow me a lot more flexibility with numbers, and will spare me a lot of work in […]

  5. […] Having other kinds of sessions or activities at regular intervals (once a week, fortnight or month, or even every two months or quarter), depends on broadening the constituency, the application of the “pooling effect”, and numbers. […]

  6. […] Like I said before, it’s a numbers game. […]

  7. […] I’m always looking to broaden the constituency. As always, it’s in the numbers. […]

  8. […] the whole of March 2009, the Tuesday night sessions were regularly cancelled due to insufficient numbers.   On the other hand, we’ve had two sessions on the same night (or a mini-tournament),  […]

  9. […] line ups became popular, and much of the growth in our numbers took place after that.  It was an important part of the progression to short, sharp sessions, in […]

  10. […] the same reason, if we’re short of players and no one else is available, I’d rather cancel the session, even at a late stage (as was the case yesterday), than try to persuade players who are injured, […]

  11. rajiv said

    Despite both of yesterday’s sessions being cancelled, page views climbed above 600 for the first time since 30 March 2009.

    The highest number of page views in a day remains at 882, on 30 January 2009, the day after Franco’s last game with us.

    Controversy generates page views, but at what price?

    • rajseran said

      I saw Franco the other night at the cage

      Has anyone invited him to play with us ?

      I believe he is always free to join us

      • rajiv said

        Franco is still on the Participant List and mailing list. He is at liberty to confirm for the sessions he wants to play in the same way as everyone else.

        Before he confirms for a session, it would be useful for him to recognize the values we play to, to avoid having the previous issues arising again.

  12. […] there is sufficient interest, activity on a Saturday afternoon could become a regular thing. Possibly related posts: […]

  13. […] first “numbers” aspect – we have a sufficient pool of participants to sustain 3 to 6 sessions a week, even if […]

  14. […] In order to keep at least three or four sessions going each week despite irregular participation, our pool of participants needs to be constantly growing. […]

  15. rajiv said

    Page views last week climbed to 2,930, the highest since we reached 2,981 in the week ending 8 February 2009, and only the fourth time weekly page views have exceeded 2,900. The figure of 2,981 remains the second highest, after the 3,129 reached in the week ending 25 January 2009, the only time weekly page views have exceeded 3,000. In the interval, weekly page views fell as low as 1,524 in the week ending 22 March 2009.

    What is good about the current figure is that it appears to reflect a wider range of people viewing the blog, rather than just a handful of regulars coming back repeatedly, or increases in page views due to particular incidents or controversy. The former is more sustainable than the latter.

  16. […] Like I said before, it’s all a numbers game. […]

  17. […] broad interest for a game of Cage cricket to take place.   As we don’t have sufficient numbers, I’ll put it on hold […]

  18. rajiv said

    I expect we’ll reach 100,000 page views by this weekend.

    After the enthusiasm of certain participants and controversies drove daily page views up to above 800 on a couple of occasions in January 2009, weekday page views had settled at between 300 and 400 by the middle of the year. However, in the past week, daily page views have exceeded 500 for the first time since early in the year.

    Further, with the introduction of regular sessions at the weekend, daily page views at the weekend have increased from around 100 to 150 early in the year to between 150 and 250.

    • rajiv said

      We reached 100,000 page views early this morning.

    • rajiv said

      For the first time, daily page views over the weekend exceeded 300 – 309 on Saturday and 330 on Sunday.

      Daily page views from last Monday to Friday were consistently between 400 and 500. Such consistency in page views bodes better for sustainability than the volatility in page views earlier in the year.

      Total page views for the week was 2,886, the third highest since the record high of 3,129 in the week ending 25 January 2009. Weekly page views have exceeded 2,900 only twice since then – 2,985 in the week ending 8 February 2009 and 2,936 in the week ending 26 April 2009, and had slipped to as low as about 1,500, first in the week ending 22 March 2009 and again in the week ending 14 June 2009.

      Talk about a double dip.

      • rajiv said

        Yesterday’s page views hit 344, the highest ever for a weekend day. It was higher than 3 of the 5 preceding weekdays.

  19. […] sessions are open to anyone, the system and the rules and principles are designed to accommodate a large number of participants of varying ages, playing styles and […]

  20. […] their are sufficient numbers, we could have both.  It all depends on whether there are a lot of people away for the long […]

  21. […] I’ve looked at other team sports such as Cage cricket and floorball.  We didn’t have the numbers for Cage cricket, and floorball is for a separate […]

  22. rajiv said

    Searches on “Monday night football” for 31 August 2009 pushed page views for yesterday up by about 50, and today by about 400. They might have been looking for this.

    Even discounting the 50 from yesterday, page views for August 2009 reached 10,341, exceeding 10,000 for the first time since April 2009, when it reached 10,490.

    As set out in the above post, monthly page views exceeded 10,000 on three previous occasions – December 2008, January 2009 and February 2009. It fell to as low as 7,218 in June 2009, before rebounding over the past two months.

  23. […] Schedule: 5 & 6 September 2009rajiv on Heads & Tails, And Remindersrajiv on The Numbers Gamerajiv on OPSAGE: 31 August 2009rajiv on Sunday Evening At Turf City: 30 August 2009rajiv […]

  24. rajiv said

    A reminder that how many sessions we have in a week, and how many we have in a session, are all in the numbers.

  25. […] We only managed 5 sessions this week.  While we had two sessions two Thursdays ago, we only had 6 players for this Thursday, including 3 new players, so the session was cancelled.   That’s the way FIOFAFI works I guess.   It’s all in the numbers. […]

  26. […] As I am no longer keeping spare bookings, the bookings will no longer be readily available for other suggestions.   If a session fills up at least 2 whole days beforehand, I will see if another pitch is available for the same venue at the same time.  If it is not, I will consider either a different venue for the same time, or a later hour at the same venue.  Whether the second session goes on will depend on whether there are sufficient players. […]

  27. rajiv said

    Page views for September 2009 were down to 9,255, including about 1,000 views arising from searches for American football’s “Monday Night Football.

    Now that the Monday FAFI game is included in the weekend schedule, there is no longer a weekly post entitled “Monday Night Football”. I prefer to forgo the extra page views arising from searchers mistakenly viewing the post for the sake of more accurate page views.

  28. […] views for September 2009 were down to about 8,250, but we managed 24 sessions/games, including 4 representative games and our first mixed session […]

  29. […] However, as the current games are filling up quickly on the GIFFA Message Board, and there is limited scope to increase the number of games in the foreseeable future, I have no choice but to restrict further growth in the number of players. […]

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