Using Spawtz, it is possible to create fixtures where the participants of those fixtures are automatically calculated. This is particularly useful for things like semi finals or finals, or for knock out style tournaments.
You can specify that the participants of a fixture should be based on the standings of a league, or on the results of a previous fixture.
So take the example where you have a division of 8 teams, who play each other once over 7 weeks. In the 8th week you want to have a semi finals round, and in the 9th week you want to have finals between the winners of the semi finals.
To create the semi finals, you would do the following:
Start the new fixture creation process either by adding a fixture to the calendar or clicking "Add fixture" on a fixture list
Specify the venue, playing area, date, time and duration of the fixture
Specify the league, season, and division of the fixture
Enter the name of the fixture. Usually, it's not important to add a fixture's name, but for automatically calculated fixtures, it IS important, as this is the text that will be displayed to players until such time as the participants are decided. So you should enter something like "Semi Final 1" or "Final" or "Losers' playoff" or something like that which accurately describes the fixture.
Change the "Fixture Type" drop down list from "Standard" to "Automatic". This will cause the home and away team drop down lists to disappear, and instead for the automatic fixture calculation sections to appear.
For each team, specify how the participant should be calculated.
There are two methods of calculation available. Either "Standings based" or "Fixture result".
Standings based calculations allow you to specify that a fixture participant should be the team in a particular position in the standings. So in our example, if you wanted your first semi final to be between the team in position 1 and the team in position 4, you should set the selection method for both home and away teams to be "Standings based" and then for the home team select "1" in the "Standings Position" drop down list for the home team and "4" in the "Standings Position" drop down list for the away team.
Standings positions only become finalised when there are no fixtures left to play in the league. Until that time, the "Selected Team" field will show "Waiting for results..." as the team. Once all the fixtures have been played, the participant of the fixture will be automatically calculated and the "Selected Team" field will show the team that actually IS in that position.
So to create the semi finals, you can follow the steps above to create the first semi final between the teams in positions 1 and 4, and then repeat the steps and select the teams in positions 2 and 3 to create the other semi final.
The other method of automatic participant calculation is "Fixture result". Using this method, the participant of the fixture is based on the result of some other fixture. So in our example, we want the final to be between the winner of the first semi final and the winner of the second semi final. To do so, you would set the selection method for both the home and away teams to be "Fixture Result" and then for the home team, select the fixture on which this participant is based to be "Team in position 1 vs Team in position 4 (Semi Final 1)". You can then specify whether it should be the winner or the loser of that fixture. In our example, you can leave the "Team" field as "Winner", but equally, you could create a "3rd/4th place playoff" fixture which would be between the losers of the semi finals.
Again, if you select a fixture that has not yet been played, the "Selected Team" field will show as "Waiting for results...". As soon as that fixture is completed, the participant of the automatically calculated fixture will be finalised, and the team's name will show in the "Selected Team" field.
You can specify different selection methods for the home and away teams, so if for example you had only 3 teams in a playoff section, you could create one semi final between the teams in positions 2 and 3, and then create a final between the team in position 1 and the winner of the semi final.
When the participants of an automatically calculated fixture are finalised, those teams will also get a fixture fee of however much has been specified in the league details screen entered onto their statement.
Once automatically calculated fixtures have been played, the items on which those fixtures are based can no longer be modified. For example, if you have a semi final between teams in positions 1 and 4, then as soon as the last "standard" game of the season is played, the teams in positions 1 and 4 will be finalised, and the participants of the semif final will be set. At that point you are still free to modify any of the results of the standard fixtures, but once the semi final has been played, you will no longer be able to update the results of the standard games, or indeed modify them in any way, as that could change who was in position 1 or 4, and so the semi final participants would be invalidated. If you want to modify those fixtures, you would first need to either delete the semi final or clear the results of that semi final. Similarly, if a fixture which depends on the results of another fixture has been played, you won't be able to delete or modify the base fixture until the automatically calculated one is deleted or the result removed.
Automatically calculated fixtures will appear on the external side of the website on both the full fixture lists and on the fixture lists for individual teams. Once the participants are finalised, the team names themselves will be displayed, and any fixture reminder emails that need to be sent to the newly assigned teams will sent accordingly.
You could use automatically calculated fixtures to create quarter finals, semi finals and finals for a standard league, or you could even create a knock out competition that took place over one day only, or over two days, or a tournament with multiple groups etc.