View Full Version : How Far In Advance Do You Set Line-ups?

06-13-2009, 06:22 AM
I captain, and I have been on many different teams with different captains. And I have noticed something.

I am the only captain who sets line-ups in advance. I look at the season schedule and I break it into chunks. The chunks are 3-4 weeks in duration, which will usually be 3-4 matches. I get my players' availability, and then I set the line-ups.

I don't do the whole season in advance because that wouldn't allow me any flexibility to adjust partners or see how strong certain teams are. I don't do it week-by-week because I think I'd wind up defaulting lines due to player unavailability, and I'd be in a constant state of doing line-ups.

I'm starting a new team in the fall. I am wondering whether I should start doing line-ups week-to-week. Thoughts?

Jim A
06-13-2009, 06:55 AM
we have taken everyone's availability but also worked backwards from the matches we anticipate needing our strongest lineups and go from there...

06-13-2009, 12:00 PM
I try to send out line-ups one week in advance. That seems to be long enough for the players to make any arrangements needed and not so far that I have to make too many substitutions.
I know many captains that give much less notice but I don't think it's fair to the players. Plus I would go crazy. Many of my players play on multiple teams so even with 21 on my roster, sometimes it's all I can do to get 8 players.

06-13-2009, 06:08 PM
I am co-captain... the captain and I usually consult on setting the lineup on Sunday night or Monday morning, and send it out on Monday for the following weekend's match. So we typically do one match at a time. However, occasionally we will send out the lineup for the next two matches, especially in the case where the next match is on the weekend, but then the one following that is during the week (but this is rare in our flight).

06-13-2009, 06:10 PM
One thing I should have added... we have all our players maintain their availability info up to date (using the Norcal website), so we can make our lineup knowing that the people we put in the lineup are going to be available.

06-13-2009, 06:46 PM
Line-ups go out two weeks in advance based on the availability info provided by team members at the beginning of the season and as updated. Reminder messages are sent a day or two prior to the match. Players are pretty good at coming to me re: potential problems. Very few last minute problems. Number of matches played by each player is constantly tracked so everyone gets her/his fair share of matches.

06-14-2009, 08:03 AM
For mixed I just send out an email the Monday after the Sunday match to see who is available. Usually the people who respond are the ones who WANT to play which is a big plus in my book. From there I create the line-ups. Usually by mid-week i'll get most responses and if I don't have enough people that's when I start twisting arms. For me it's a big deal if a player WANTS to play. They are more mentally into it when they get into the line-up. It's probably not the most efficient way of making a line-up and it's probably a lot more work but its worked out for me so far. For the tougher match-ups I will email the players I want asking them to make themselves available if possible though.

06-14-2009, 10:59 AM
I try to get lineup out a week in advance. That usually means asking folks about 10 days out for their availability. I've done the calendar thing in the past, but this year people's schedules changed too often due to work and kids.

Damn adulthood.

06-14-2009, 12:32 PM
This is fascinating. So I am the only captain who does the line-ups more than a week in advance? Wow.

As a player, it makes me nuts to get line-ups so close to the match. I feel like my personal schedule is being held hostage until I know for sure I'm not in the line-up.

06-14-2009, 12:46 PM
^^^I usually do a week out, but that's easier when the matches are always on the same day.

06-14-2009, 12:57 PM
How about your Virginia teams, Topaz?

06-14-2009, 01:55 PM
As a player, it makes me nuts to get line-ups so close to the match. I feel like my personal schedule is being held hostage until I know for sure I'm not in the line-up.

As a player and a captain, when I commit to play in a league that plays on regular nights, my thought is that I am holding those nights reasonably free for matches.

06-14-2009, 04:20 PM
As a player and a captain, when I commit to play in a league that plays on regular nights, my thought is that I am holding those nights reasonably free for matches.

As I've mentioned before, we don't have regular nights for the matches. Say the match is scheduled for Sunday at 3 pm. When my husband asks if I can host the in-laws for brunch (or whether I can play a round of golf with him, or whether we can go to NY to see a show), I have to say "I don't know" unless the schedule has been issued. This uncertainty is annoying to me and to him.

That's what I mean by "held hostage."

06-14-2009, 04:32 PM
I made a tentative schedule for the whole season, but everyone knows it's tentative thus it's usually pretty worthless.

When we play a match, I send an email out to everyone with the night's results and the lineup and directions for next week.

Some people are "locked in" to certain dates though depending on their circumstances, and if they what we would call a marque player.

My team is in it's 6th season though, so it seems other then when we add new players, it's not real rocket science as far as how we make our lineups.

06-14-2009, 05:44 PM
How about your Virginia teams, Topaz?

Usually about 5 days in advance, but if you ask the captains, you'll know which ones you are considered for. For my indoor team, I pretty much play almost every match (because of the singles spot), so unless I'm the one with the conflict, I'm there. Even tonight, which was the first time I was available and not scheduled, I still went to cheer!

The other team uses TennisOne, and it still comes out 4-5 days ahead. And again, the captain will let you know what she has in mind for when you're playing if you ask.

Grover Sparkman
06-14-2009, 06:04 PM
The team I captained, we generally had two matches per week (was a short league) and I'd send an email out soliciting availability for the matches and choose based on who hasn't played as much.

I don't like to schedule things far in advance just because things are too susceptible to changing that it's like trying to forecast next week's weather.

Just my two cents.

06-15-2009, 06:02 AM
For our mens league team I will tell people early in the week whether I know they will or will not be in the lineup. I'll then wait until the day before to actually set the pairings for the match. For our team people like to go to the bar on thursday after our practice to discuss the correct pairings.

I think that as long as people know whether they are going to be in the lineup or not in advance thats all that matters and then you can adjust pairings based on how people are playing and how people look in practice.

06-15-2009, 10:34 AM
I usually set my lineups at the beginning of the season. Usually have small teams here; with lots of people out on vacation in the early summer; so this allows some people to leave for a weekend in the season if they are not scheduled for that weekend. Almost all of our playing is done on weekends because it is not possible to get court time during the week with very limited courts to reserve.

This year, my 4 teams are all in the same town; but usually, we are travelling across the state to compete because we are in a rural town; so I do my lineups early. I may change the order; or perhaps the groupings, but usually try to keep them the same; of course, taking into consideration of injuries, etc. that sometimes, I need to find a sub or two to fill in.