Effortless Scheduling: How NLSA cut 90% of their Workload

Case study:
Learn how a legendary soccer league of 14,000+ players manages to cut its scheduling process by 90%.
Happy user since:
May 2023
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

In the world of sports, effective scheduling is crucial to ensuring smooth operations and fair competition. Manual scheduling was a stressful and daunting challenge for the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA), an organization responsible for managing 12,000 - 14,000 youth and 1000 adult players across the province. 

The sheer scale of organizing tournaments, managing disciplinary actions, and accommodating various constraints required countless hours of effort; however, a remarkable solution emerged.

In this case study, we will explore the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association, the scheduling tag team of Chris Bartlett and Judi Kelloway, and how Diamond Scheduler simplified the scheduling process while saving significant time and resources. 

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The challenge: Manually scheduling over 170+ matchups in four days

Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA) has a rich history, numerous accolades, and legendary alumni that date back to 1950. Its roots and long resume in soccer include three Canadian championships and Hall of Fame inductees that participated in the Olympics. 

NLSA leaders and the FIFA Women’s World Cup with Martin Jones of CBC

Via NLSA Facebook - NLSA female coaches and leaders talk soccer and the FIFA Women’s World Cup with Martin Jones of CBC.

It is no surprise that the NLSA has grown in size and popularity over the years, but its growth has also made scheduling tournaments and competitions increasingly complex. Since 1999 Judi Kelloway, Tournament Scheduler and Chair of the Competitions Committee, has held the enormous responsibility of scheduling games for 30 to 90 teams with multiple venues and time slots. 

Working manually with a pen and paper, Judi could spend over 100 hours crafting a single schedule, leaving little room for adjustments or last-minute changes. Judi, with the help of Chris Bartlett, Vice President of NLSA, needed to coordinate 170+ matchups for tournaments to be held in just a few days. 

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The volunteer tag team of two was constantly faced with a daunting and time-consuming task. Judi was also responsible for managing and tracking player violations and league disciplinary actions.

Apart from helping Judi, Chris was also responsible for software-related matters, handling player payments, and providing guidance to the president and NLSA team. The tight timelines for scheduling left little room for error, making it imperative to find a more efficient solution.

The solution: A professional league scheduler that can optimize operations

With the continuous growth of the league, Chris was determined to find a scheduling tool that catered specifically to sports leagues and that optimized operations. Through an online search, Chris stumbled upon Diamond Scheduler. Unlike other generic scheduling platforms, Diamond Scheduler offered the unique ability to handle large-scale competitions similar to professional football leagues

The software's user-friendly interface allowed users like Judi to input information and obtain fully formed schedules effortlessly, making it a groundbreaking experience. By integrating Diamond Scheduler into their workflow, the NLSA was able to streamline the scheduling process. 

“Diamond Scheduler was a completely new experience,” recounts Judi. “To have something that I could input information and get a schedule back where I only had to make little adjustments, compared to starting from scratch.” 

NLSA team

Via NLSA Facebook

The software allowed them to easily create schedules based on time slots, locations, and other constraints. Adjustments and tweaks could be made effortlessly, significantly reducing the time and effort required to craft complex schedules.

Most importantly, Diamond Scheduler also reduced stress. Compared to the past, one manual game change equaled 10 match-up changes to accommodate one game. Whereas now, with Diamond Scheduler, one-game change was fixed by clicking a button to redo the schedule again.

The result: 780+ hours saved per year with Diamond Scheduler

The impact of Diamond Scheduler on NLSA's scheduling process was profound. The manual hours spent crafting schedules were slashed by an astounding 90%. For instance, the same tournament that would have taken over 45 to 50 hours to schedule manually was completed in just 4 to 5 hours using Diamond Scheduler.

“The key numbers are scheduling went from 45 - 50 hours down to 4 - 5 hours which is an overall 90% reduction in workload,” Chris stated during our interview.

The stress levels of this tag team decreased significantly as they no longer had to worry about the arduous process of manually creating a schedule from scratch and juggling multiple changes to accommodate a single alteration. 

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The ability to create a schedule effortlessly and re-run the schedule if there need to be changes in just a few clicks, saved precious time and resources.

NLSA soccer

Via NLSA Facebook

“Diamond Scheduler cut down on the number of hours required to create a schedule,” said Judi. “For example, when I did our provincial league schedule before DS, I spent over 100 hours creating the schedule. 

“When I got to 100 hours, I stopped counting. So you can imagine how nice it was to find something to cut down on that time.”  

Moreover, the reliability and efficiency of Diamond Scheduler offered the NLSA an opportunity to improve the overall experience for players, teams, and spectators. 

With smoother operations and better planning, Chris and Judi can focus on ensuring players are following the rules, growing NLSA's membership, and updating their lines of communication, reinforcing the continued success of the NLSA.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association's experience with Diamond Scheduler is a testament to how the right technology can revolutionize an organization's operations. 

By addressing the challenges of manual scheduling and offering a comprehensive solution tailored to sports leagues, Diamond Scheduler saved valuable time and effort for the NLSA.

NLSA’s journey exemplifies the power of innovation in the sports industry. With Diamond Scheduler's continued support, the NLSA can focus on its core mission of promoting soccer and nurturing the talent of thousands of young athletes with the hope that a handful can represent Canada Internationally.

Deidra Hunter is a former athlete that now thrives as a content marketer and brand strategist. Her passion for sports has enabled her to contribute to diverse branding, content creation, and writing projects. In her downtime, she engages in lively discussions about sports and business with her friends and family.

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