How to Create a Round Robin Schedule

By Alan Bass

A round robin can be one of the most exciting types of schedules that a sports team encounters. It allows for every team to face each other once, which helps create good competition throughout the league. It also helps players get to know all the other teams, in addition to meeting opposing team players. Making a round robin schedule is simple and requires a chunk of time, along with pen and paper.

List All Teams

Make a list of all the teams you want to include in the round robin schedule. According to DraperSports.com, to determine how many games will need to be played, take the total number of teams, multiply that number by one less than the total number of teams, and divide that product by two. For example, if there are eight teams, then the formula would be:

8 x (8-1) / 2

For an eight-team tournament where everyone plays each other once, this would be 28 games.

Schedule Games

Schedule each set of games by ensuring that every team plays each other once. For eight teams, start by matching up team 1 vs. team 8, team 2 vs. team 7 and so on. For the next set of games, schedule team 1 vs. team 7, team 2 vs. team 6 and so on. Continue progressing through each possible matchup until all seven sets of games have been made. At this point, every team should have played seven games, and no team should have faced another more than once.

Schedule Bye Weeks

If there are an odd number of teams, then there will always be one team each week that will have a bye, or a week with no game played. Be sure to factor this in when creating a round robin with five, seven or any other odd number of teams. For example, if there are seven teams, team 7 has a bye in the first set of games, while team 1 plays team 6, team 2 plays team 5 and so on. In the second set of games, team 6 would have the bye, while team 1 plays team 5, team 2 plays team 7 and so on.

Determine How Many Games

If each team is to play the other teams more than once each, be sure to rearrange the schedule for the second part of the round robin. For example, if team 1 played team 8 first in the first round of games, then be sure that team 1 plays someone else first in the second round of games. Switching around the schedule like this keeps competition healthy and ensures that the schedule is not repetitive.