FIOFAFI Archive

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

Session Seedings & Player Swaps

Posted by rajiv on 3 April 2009

Since early October 2008, I have been using the player rankings to determine line ups for each regular session.

I first list those playing in a session in order of their rankings, and then place each pair of players in opposing teams.  For ease of reference, I shall call the order in which the players in a session are listed as their “seeding”.

Currently, the order is as follows:

  • For a 5 v 5:
    • Team A:  1st seed, 4th seed, 6th seed, 7th seed, 10th seed
    • Team B:  2nd seed, 3rd seed, 5th seed, 8th seed, 9th seed
  • For a 4 v 4:
    • Team A:  1st seed, 4th seed, 5th seed, 8th seed
    • Team B:  2nd seed, 3rd seed, 6th seed, 7th seed

In the event of a 6 v 6 game, the order would be as follows:

  • Team A:  1st seed, 4th seed, 5th seed, 8th seed, 9th seed, 12th seed
  • Team B:  2nd seed, 3rd seed, 6th seed, 7th seed, 10th seed, 11th seed

In every case, the highest and lowest seeds are in the same team.

I put the line ups for each night’s session up on the blog by 5 pm that day.

It is apparent that each pair of players can be easily swapped around, which is what I have done whenever I have changed the sequence.  For example, the earlier sequence for a 5 v 5 was:

  • Team A:  1st seed, 4th seed, 5th seed, 8th seed, 9th seed
  • Team B:  2nd seed, 3rd seed, 6th seed, 7th seed, 10th seed

However, to make the process objective and transparent, the sequence is fixed.  Any change to the sequence has been made only after all the sessions in a week have been played and before the following week’s sessions start.

Each pair of seeds in a 5 v 5 session can be listed as follows:

Team A Team B
Tier 1 1st seed 2nd seed
Tier 2 4th seed 3rd seed
Tier 3 6th seed 5th seed
Tier 4 7th seed 8th seed
Tier 5 10th seed 9th seed

In preparing the line ups, it sometimes appears that one side is stronger than the other. However, I have refrained from changing the sequence to keep the method of determining line ups objective. Deciding which pair(s) to switch would be highly subjective.

I also know that some participants play better or worse when in the same team with particular other participants.  For example, if I know that the 7th seed plays better when in the same team as the 2nd seed, should I swap the 7th and 8th seeds so that the 7th and 2nd seeds are in the same team?  Or if I know that the 6th seed plays worse when in the same team as the 1st seed, should I swap the 5th and 6th seeds so that the 6th seed is not in the same team as the 1st seed?

The simpler way to manage player swaps is to leave it to those playing.  Swaps have been available from very early on, even before I started using the rankings to determine the line ups.

I’ll try out a swapping system from next week onwards:

  • When putting up the line ups, I will identify on each side the lowest seeded player who has played in 5 or more sessions.  That player can swap with any higher seeded player on the opposing side at any time before the start of the session.   It is up to that player to decide whether, and if so, with whom, to swap.
  • Once the session starts, a swap can take place if those playing agree to it.   There was a player swap at last night’s session, which worked out well.
  • If the side that is leading when the swap took place goes on to win the game, the winning side will get 3 ranking points, and the losing side will get 0 ranking points, as in a usual regular session, except that the player who swapped to the winning side will get 2 or 1 points and the player who swapped to the losing side will get 1 or more points, depending on whether the swap took place before or after halfway through the game.
  • If the side that was losing when the swap took place goes on to win the game, the winning side will get 2 ranking points, and the losing side will get 1 ranking point, as in a non-regular session.
  • If there is more than one swap during the session, the whole session will be put down as a non-regular session.

For the swapping system to work better, every player should bring both colours for each session.

There is another issue with fixing line ups based on seedings – how to place new players who are unranked.   I have tried seeding them last, seventh, or giving them a notional ranking equivalent to the 70th percentile of the ranking list.

It would be useful to know whether the new player has futsal or football experience, and if so, when was the last time he played.  Currently, as far as possible, I put new players in the same team as their introducer.

Ultimately, the aim is to make the sides as even as possible, which makes the session more enjoyable, without any one or two of us having to make potentially adverse assessments about other players’ footballing abilities.

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25 Responses to “Session Seedings & Player Swaps”

  1. […] Session Seedings & Player Swaps […]

  2. Boris said

    2,3,5,8 and 9 is Me, Adam, Sushil, Murray and Rajseran! 😀

  3. Boris said

    I know.. I was just wondering if the top 10 played then that would be nice..

  4. rajiv said

    If before I put the line ups for each session up on the blog (between 4 and 5 pm of that day), the two highest ranked players playing that session decide on the line ups between themselves and add it as a comment on the blog, I will take that as the line ups.

    I’ll leave it to the two highest ranked players to do so between themselves. I won’t be administering the process. All that is required is that both of the highest ranked players agree to the line ups, and add it as a comment on the blog before I put up the line ups based on the seedings.

    To see who are the two highest ranked players, download the latest Excel spreadsheet from the Participants page. The rankings are set out under the “Current Ranking” column on the first sheet (“Sheet 4”).

    Where the two highest ranked players decide the line ups, it will go down as a 2-point session for now.

  5. yaseen said

    How do you define a seeded and non seeded player Jiv? A bit complex this whole rankings thingy.. Thks

    • rajiv said

      Everyone is seeded Yaseen, 1 to 10 for a 5-a-side or 1 to 8 for a 4-a-side. The seeding is just the order in which they are ranked in the current rankings. That’s what I’ve been dong since October last year.

      The difficulty is in deciding how to seed a new player who is unranked. It would be useful to know if he’s any good.

  6. rajiv said

    The latest rankings can be downloaded as an Excel document here.

    On Sheets 1 and 2, the votes are shown in the second column for each session. On Sheet 1, I have started to use “P” for “Participation Point” and “WB” for “Win Bonus”.

  7. rajiv said

    From next week onwards, when putting up the line ups, I will identify on each side the lowest seeded player who has played 5 games or more. That player can swap with any higher seeded player on the opposing side at any time after the line ups are put up and before the start of the session. It is up to that player to decide whether, and if so, with whom, to swap.

    I will put an asterisk against the player’s name in the line ups under Current Schedule, and refer to the player as the “free swap” player.

    If the “free swap” player feels his side is much weaker than the other side, he is at liberty to swap with any higher seeded player on the opposing side any time before the session starts.

    The idea is that a player with sufficient knowledge of the other players has the choice. As the lowest seeded on his team, based on the rankings, he is the regular on that team with the poorest results. He has to give some thought as to who he swaps with. Swap with a player too strong, and the side he swaps to is weakened. Swap with someone not strong enough, and the swap makes little or no difference.

    I accept that the ranking position doesn’t necessarily equate to a strong or weak player. Winning or losing streaks are a bigger factor in whether a player is higher or lower in the rankings. Whatever the reason, a player who has been losing matches is more likely to be lower in the rankings, and more likely to be given the choice of swapping.

    Any other swapping of players before or during the session is left to the two teams.

    • rajiv said

      I’m leaving out the the “free swap” player for now. I might go back to it for the first 3-pointer of the quarter.

      It should make the player swap more tactical.

    • rajiv said

      As the “free swap” only makes sense in a 3-point session, and as every player in a 3-point session would have played at least 5 sessions/games, the qualification that the “free swap” player must have played at least 5 sessions is no longer necessary.

  8. Reza said

    does this mean that everyone is now expected to bring both colours to each game Rajiv?

    • rajiv said

      It’s encouraged, has been for a while. If any player doesn’t, he’s less likely to be swapped.

      In addition to the links above, since October 2008, it has been stated on the Line ups sub-page that:

      At the session itself, the two teams can also agree to swap players to make the teams more balanced.

      Further, since early February 2009, it has further been stated:

      It is in any event advisable to bring both colours in case any switching of players from one team to the other is required at the session itself.

      Any bright colour (orange, bright yellow) will do instead of red. Likewise, any light colour will do instead of white, and any dark colour will do instead of black.

      If anyone doesn’t have the right colours, they can always get the FIOFAFI jerseys.

      Alternatively, when swapping players, it might be possible for them to swap jerseys as well. 🙂

  9. […] captains taking turns to choose their sides is fine with me.  However, on top of everything else I am doing, I cannot co-ordinate the arrangements between the […]

  10. […] line ups are not determined using seedings based on the […]

  11. rajiv said

    Before seeding the players, I may add a notional 10 places to the ranking of any player who hasn’t played for a long time, say more than month.

  12. […] FIOFAFI on … And Sustainability, And FunSumming Up Two And Three-Pointers « FIOFAFI on Session Seedings & Player SwapsSumming Up Two And Three-Pointers « FIOFAFI on Playing On Two Pitches On The Same NightSumming […]

  13. dennis said

    clearly a step in the rite direction – albeit may not always be most accurate but definitely a good start – I hv always advocated something like this a long while back given the imbalance sometimes in the line up – have fun guys – hope to catch up wif you lot soon!

  14. […] in the current participation period.   The full rankings will continue to be used to determine seedings for the default method of determining line […]

  15. […] actually part of the system now, because the results and votes feed back into the rankings and seedings, on which the line ups are […]

  16. […] 4 to 5 hours before the session, I will use the default method to determine line ups – using seedings based on the rankings.  If if the default method is used, player swaps are […]

  17. […] the default method, the players are seeded according to their ranking.    The players have been allocated teams strictly according to one of […]

  18. […] off based on their seedings.  Each pair of seeds will be in opposing teams.  I’ll use a default sequence to allocate each pair to a team, but I may swap the pair around to try to keep the sides […]

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