Help

Here is a brief “how to” summary, which can also be found via the Help button in ePonger itself.  Also, see the FAQ (frequently asked questions) page.

Requirements. ePonger runs on a Windows PC with Microsoft Office 2010 or later. The program is a spreadsheet named something like ePonger v207.xlsm.  The spreadsheet is heavily modified by code written in the Visual Basic for Excel language.

The names of the worksheets are shown at the bottom of the screen. Some may be hidden because there isn’t enough screen space to show them all — in this case, just click the “<” or “>” icons in the lower left corner to slide the list of worksheet names left and right. To activate a worksheet (that is, bring it to the front), click on its name.

Sheet List.  Here is a list of the worksheets and what they’re used for. All worksheet names are shown at the very bottom of the Excel window.

  • Check-In – for checking in players when they arrive. It also shows the groups the players are assigned to, and the results of each round of play.
  • G-1 through G-12 – these are the score sheets. Print them as handouts for players, and use them to enter and save results after play.
  • Playoffs 1 and Playoffs 2 – two score sheets for playoffs (up to 16 players each)
  • Playoff Results – a summary of playoff results. See helpful comments in the Playoffs 1 and 2 sheets.
  • Results – a summary of all of the day’s results in a single sheet.
  • Sign-In and Sign-In 2 – these pages are automatically filled in using the “Print Sign-In Sheets” button on the Check-In sheet.
  • Player List – the list of all players, with one column for each day’s results. Each day’s play automatically adds a ratings column.
  • Help – the page you are reading now. 🙂
  • Admin – a page of technical notes and various settings.
  • Ratings Table – where we store the rules for calculating ratings changes. OK to change the yellow cells only.
  • Change Log – history of all new versions of ePonger and what’s changed.
  • Donate – information on why you should make a modest annual donation to pay for use of the program.

Installation

  1. Make sure you have Microsoft Excel (from Office 2010 or later) installed on your computer.
  2. Create a folder on your desktop, called anything you like, such as “Table Tennis Club Results”.
  3. Place the ePonger spreadsheet in the folder you just created. All files created by ePonger will go into that folder.

Physical Setup

  1. Plug in power cords for computer and printer.
  2. Connect computer to printer via USB cable.
  3. Put paper in the printer.
  4. Turn on computer and printer.

Software Setup

  1. Open up the folder that holds this spreadsheet. This is where you’ll find ePonger, and all results files.
  2. Open up most recent version of the ePonger program.
  3. Near top of spreadsheet, look for yellow bar “Security Warning” and click “Enable Content”.
  4. On Check-In sheet, click “Start Up” and follow the instructions.
  5. On Check-In sheet, click “Print sign-In Sheet”.
  6. Put the printed sign-in sheet(s) and pen on the table. Make sure everyone signs in and checks the correct box.

Getting Ready for Prelims (First Round)

  1. Select the “Check-In” sheet.
  2. Click the “Start” button to clear all old data and prepare for the current day’s play.
  3. Click “Print Sign In Sheets” to print a sign in sheet.
  4. See if the Check-In sheet is sorted alphabetically by first name. If not, click the little arrow in the corner of “First Name”, then select “Sort A to Z”.
  5. For everyone who’s playing in the first round, check them in by clicking on the “NO” next to their first name. This will change it to “YES” and turn the line green. To un-check them, just click “YES” again. Every time you check someone in, the “Checked In” number at the top of column N changes.
  6. Anytime during this process, you can click the green “Create New Player” button to add a brand new player to the database. After you do this, make sure you also check them in! Their name will be at the bottom of the list (not in alphabetical order).

Setting Up the Prelims (First Round)

When everyone is checked in,

  1. Click yellow “Set Up Groups” button
  2. Click “MIXED”, then “Next”
  3. Look at the list of checked in players. If it’s ok, click “Next”, otherwise “Cancel”.
  4. Select the number of groups (make sure there are 4 to 6 players per group), the number of games per match (must be 2), then “Next”.
  5. Look at the group assignments. If you don’t like any of it, change the assignments directly on the sheet. Then click “Next”.
  6. Click “Finish”, this will assign players to groups and print the sheets.

Making Changes

  1. If someone comes in late: click the orange “Check In Player Arriving While Groups Are Playing” button and follow the instructions.
  2. If someone leaves before they finish their matches: click orange the “Remove Player Leaving Early” button and follow the instructions.
  3. To move someone to a different group: click the orange “Move Player to Different Group” button and follow the instructions.
  4. To move someone up/down within a group: go to that group’s sheets (“G-1”, etc.) and click on the little orange up/down arrows on the far left. These arrows are used to swap 2 players’ positions.
  5. To change the number of games per match: select a group sheet (“G-1”, etc.) and just change the number in cell D2.

Entering First Round Results

After a group’s play is over,

  1. Enter results in the “win” column of each player, but only in the area to the right of the black box (“1 vs 2”, etc.), then hit the Tab key. If you are playing a fixed number of games, ePonger will automatically enter the number of games lost, and also the win/lost numbers for the opponent. If you are playing a “best of” match (for example, best 2 of 3), you’ll need to enter both the wins and losses. The other boxes are protected, and you’ll get an error message if you try to type in them.
  2. If player “X” forfeits to player “Y”, leave the results blank, but put a “1” in the red “Matches Lost by Forfeit” column for player “X”, and a “1” in the green “Matches Won by Forfeit” column for player “Y”. This will make the win and loss totals come out correctly.
  3. Check everything!
  4. Click the “Save Group Results” button. This will save results to the Results, Check-In and Player List sheets, and also create some PDFs.

Getting Ready for Final Round

  1. Select the “Check-In” sheet.
  2. Check in everyone who’s come late and didn’t play in the prelim round.
  3. Un-check anyone who’s leaving after the prelims.

Setting Up the Final Groups

  1. When everyone is checked in,
  2. Click “Set Up Groups” button
  3. Click one of the assignment methods, then “Next”.
  4. Look at the list of checked in players. If it’s ok, click “Next”, otherwise “Cancel”.
  5. Select the number of groups (best to have 4-6 players per group), and number of games per match, then “Next”.
  6. Look at the group assignments. If you don’t like any of it, change the assignments directly. Then click “Next”.
  7. Click “Finish”, this will assign players to groups and print the sheets.

Entering Final Results

  1. Same as before!

Finishing Up

  1. Email the Results sheet to whoever is responsible for emailing the results to members and/or posting it to the website.
  2. Save and close the ePonger program. (Don’t click Start, because you may decide later that you want to change some results from the last round of play!)
  3. Turn everything off and pack everything up.

Technical Notes

  1. Most of the sheets have some areas that are protected, to prevent you from accidentally changing things that might break the program. If you really, really need to change something in a protected area, select the Review tab at the top of the screen, select Unprotect Sheet, and enter password POTTC. Afterwards, make sure you re-protect the sheet using the same password.
  2. ePonger is written in Visual Basic for Excel. The source code is also password protected. If you would like to make an improvement to ePonger, contact me and I’ll give you the password for accessing the code.

Questions? Contact Jeff Pepper, jeff@touchtown.us .