The Sports Software Associates Story

Sports Software Associates was formed in 1982 . The initial objective was to create a computer scheduling program that would generate balanced, round robin league play schedules. At that time there were many scheduling programs on the market, but not one could create fair, balanced, round robin schedules.

The problem our development team faced was that players, coaches, parents and families must also live a schedule. When an organization creates schedules that are unbalanced or not fair, bad feelings develop, enthusiasm drops, and the complaints start. Many times kids won’t sign up to play next year because mom, dad, brothers and sisters must also live a poor schedule.

Our founders had more than 15 years of experience of creating schedules by hand, and more than 20 years of computer programming experience. They decided to work together to create a program that would provide leagues and sports organizations the ability to produce fair, balanced round robin schedules.

At first it seemed like a relatively simple task. Two years later, the program was nearly complete, except for the mathematical part of the program that calculates; who plays who, what time slot(s) does each team play in each week, who is the home/visiting team for each game, who gets the bye when scheduling an odd number of teams, etc.

Our development team tried and tried, but just couldn’t get it right. When they changed the program to fix a problem, one or more new problems would be created. This went on for almost two more years. They did not quit, and became more determined to find the solution.

Then, in February 1985, a friend, knowing of their relentless effort trying to develop a computer scheduling program, gave them his copy of the “Smithsonian” Magazine that contained an interesting article describing the complexity of calculating league schedules with a computer.

The article contained important information they were looking for. The reasons why they could not get their program to calculate balanced schedules correctly became clear. The article addresses, “why a computer can’t or won’t produce balanced schedules raises an issue that has puzzled mathematicians for generations. The core of the problem is exponential growth. The fact that any team could theoretically play any other team on any given date in any time slot makes the number of possible schedule combinations literally astronomical”.

The complexity of the problem is better understood if one knows that to create a simple 10 team round robin schedule, the number of possible team and time slot distribution combinations is in the hundreds of millions, but only one combination is correct. Variables, such as distribution of opponents, home and visitor status, distribution of time slots, bye’s, etc., are just some of the variable components of calculating a schedule.

The article provided important information that allowed the development team to redefine their approach to solving the problem. Armed with this new knowledge, it took almost two more years from the time they read the article before Sports Scheduler finally cranked out its first, correct, balanced round robin schedule.

In late 1985, the first copy of Sports Scheduler was released. Since then, the program has been revised several times with scheduling enhancements. Many customers still use their copy of Sports Scheduler purchased ten years ago. They tell us, over the years, they have purchased and tried other programs, but none created fair, balanced round robin schedules like Sports Scheduler.

Once the scheduling problem was solved, they  focused their attention on another problem for most leagues. . . team standings. Calculating and publishing the team standings each week is not a big job, but it can be a time consuming chore when several weeks go by and the standings have not been updated. They went to work and developed a simple, easy to use program called League/Team Standings, that addresses the team standings task very nicely.

Since 1985, a frequently asked question from our customers is, “do you have a program that will help us schedule or book time slot reservations at our facilities?” The number of requests for this type of program got our attention. After a little research, we found there were programs available to schedule time slots. But, also found they were not only expensive ($2000 to $12,000), but were large programs that required extensive hardware and a significant amount of training to learn how to use them.

In 1994, the decision was made to develop a low cost, easy to learn and use facility time slot reservations program that would run on any PC, and be compatible with both DOS and Windows.

March 1997 …. Enter TimeSlot Scheduler

TimeSlot Scheduler is an easy to use, facility time slot reservations program. It is simple to learn, inexpensive, and powerful. The program allows a user to create custom databases of time slots for up to 40 locations containing over 3.7 million time slots per file. Many customers now using TimeSlot Scheduler can’t believe we solved their time slot reservations problem for only $299.00.


Sports Software Associates defines “tasks” that are tedious, time consuming and important. To determine what a program should do or not do, we put ourselves in the position of doing the task manually. The program is then designed to specifically accomplish that task quickly and easily. If you’re in the market to buy productivity software programs, that are easy to learn and use, inexpensive, please continue to explore our site carefully.

Bob Rioux
Sports Software AssociatesPO Box 512683
Punta Gorda,  FL  33951-2683

Tel: 941-833-2215
Fax: 941-833-2219
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