Here’s how you would use ePonger for a typical “league night”. In this example, the league is playing three rounds of play, with just six players (to keep things simple!). The first round is round robin, 2 games per match. The second round is round robin, 3 games per match. The final round is a single-elimination playoff for the top 4 finishers.
First, you’d open ePonger, activate the main Check-In sheet, and click Start to get everything initialized for the day’s play. As part of this, the signup sheet prints automatically. It lists all players who have played in the last few weeks. This is typically printed out and put on the sign-in table, so players can sign in as they arrive.
Now it’s time to set up the first round. You click on the Set Up Groups button, which takes you through a five-step wizard, shown in the five screenshots below. The steps are:
- Select which round of play and how you want to assign players to groups, There are 3 different methods available for assigning players to groups: MIXED (players are assigned to groups so that each group has a mixture of high and low rated players, BY RATINGS (players are assigned to groups based on their rating) and BY WINNERS (same as by ratings, but makes sure that the first round’s winners are assigned to the top groups in the 2nd round). There is also an “accelerator” feature in the admin screen not shown here, where you can set up your leagues so that a player’s rating is temporarily adjusted up or down based on whether they won or lost their previous round-robin; this helps better players move up to higher groups faster than they would by rating alone. Regardless of which method you use, you can always manually override the assignments in step 4.
- Review the sorted list and make sure everyone’s signed in correctly,
- Select number of groups (1 to 12) and number of games per match (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 games, or best 2 of 3 or 3 of 5),
- Review the assignments and make changes if needed, and
- Confirm and print the score sheets.
ePonger then creates score sheets that can be printed and handed out to the players. The program can handle up to 12 groups and 8 players per group, for a total of 96 players. Here’s a score sheet at the start of play, before any results are entered:
Here’s the same score sheet after entering the results entered. Yellow boxes indicate the results entered manually; the program calculates everything else. If you’ve selected “best 2 of 3” or “best 3 of 5”, you enter both the number of wins and number of losses in each match. If you’ve selected a fixed number of games per match, you just enter the number of wins and ePonger enters the number of losses. You can also handle defaults by noting the number of matches won or lost by default and leaving that match result empty. And if you want, you can just leave a match empty if those 2 players simply did not play; in this case ePonger will warn you that you missed a match but you can override that and leave it empty.
Once you’ve entered the results and checked them for accuracy (!), click Save Group Results. This saves the results in a .PDF file and updates the info in various places including the Check-In sheet, as shown here:
Now it’s time for the second round of play. You’d use the Set-Up wizard same as before (not shown here). This time let’s say you want to play 3 games per match. Here are the results of the 2nd round:
And here is the Check-In sheet after the 2nd round results are in. Notice that ratings have been updated after each round.
Finally, let’s have a single-elimination playoff for the top 4 players. You enter them in the Playoff sheet by picking their names from a pick-list, then enter the number of games won and lost. The program automatically advances the winning player(s).
At the end, click Save Results to Playoff Results Sheet, which produces this:
Now you’re done with playing for the day. The program has automatically created aresults summary sheet that can be emailed to members afterwards.
There are also a few useful administrative screens. Here is the database sheet that holds a history of all results. It’s got one row per player and one column per league play date.
Here’s a useful help screen:
Here’s the screen that describes how to donate to keep ePonger up and running:
Here’s the Admin screen for various settings (described in detail on the screen itself via Tool Tips):
And finally, here’s the sheet that defines how ratings are adjusted based on games won/lost and matches won/lost. If you want, you can (carefully) edit the yellow boxes which contain the rules for how ratings are affected by wins and losses. The rest of the boxes are automatically calculated by ePonger and are used to adjust player ratings.