Home > About FIFFA > Venues & Scheduling: 11 April 2009

Venues & Scheduling: 11 April 2009

Either of the two hard courts at Bukit Timah campus (BTC) were our regular venue for a long time. Court 2 was preferred as it was airier and had less hazardous lamp-posts and drains, but if it was not available, we would take Court 1 (which was enclosed on three sides), if that one was available.  At S$10.50 per hour, they were cheap.

Alternative venues became an issue in early December 2007, when the hard courts at BTC were closed for repairs.  In fact, the first post on this blog concerns the hunt for alternative venues.  This was in the days when we only had one session a week, on Monday nights.

The first alternative venue we tried was at East Coast (now known as Sports Planet), on 10 December 2007.  We continued at East Coast until the end of January 2008.

By the time BTC re-opened at the beginning of February 2008, many new people had joined us, a significant proportion of whom preferred to continue at a venue in the east, so I arranged for two sessions a week, one at BTC and the other at East Coast.

Due to a combination of circumstances, we first had two sessions in one week at the end of January 2008 – both at East Coast.

We continued with one or two sessions a week for a while – 8 to 10 pm at BTC on Mondays, and/or 8 to 9 pm at East Coast on another day of the week, both subject to availability of a court or pitch.  Sessions at BTC were also subject to the weather.

We tried The Cage on Monday, 24 March 2008.  Although we had had two sessions a week a few times by then, two sessions a week only became a regular feature from May 2008 onwards.  We first had 3 sessions in a week at the start of July 2008, and four sessions in a week for the first time in the week of 8 September 2008 (more regularly from the start of November 2008).  Including 11-a-side games, the 7-a-side game on 25 April 2009 and other sessions at the weekend, we’ve managed more than four sessions a week a few times this year.  We even managed 6 sessions in the week of 12 January 2009.

We also switched the one-hour sessions from 8 to 9 pm to a later time (from 9 to 10 pm) in May 2008, initially because the later time slot was more readily available, but since then, because it works better.

We haven’t played at BTC since the end of September 2008, and, for the reasons discussed on 23 July 2008, I do not intend to schedule regular sessions there any time in the foreseeable future.  Since October 2008, the regular venue in the Bukit Timah area has been the Premier Pitch at Turf City.

If anyone is keen to play at BTC, you could always try booking a court, and put it forward on the blog as a proposal under “Other Activities”.

For the rest of this month, the regular weekly schedule will be:

  • Mondays, 8.50 pm to 10 .00 pm, at The Premier Pitch, Turf City, Bukit Timah.
  • Mondays, 8.50 pm to 10 .00 pm, at The Cage, Kallang.
  • Tuesdays, 8.50 pm to 10 .00 pm, at The Cage, Kallang.
  • Wednesdays, 8.50 pm to 10 .00 pm, at The Cage, Kallang
  • Thursdays, 8.50 pm to 10 .00 pm, at Sports Planet @ East Coast.

(Don’t forget to put your confirmations under the correct weekly “Schedule” post.  If you put it here or under the wrong week, I won’t remember! 🙂 )

The aim is to sustain at least one session each night from Mondays to Thursdays, a minimum of 4 sessions a week.

For almost the whole of March 2009, the Tuesday night sessions were regularly cancelled due to insufficient numbers.   On the other hand, we’ve had two sessions on the same night (or a mini-tournament),  for either Wednesday (3 times) or Thursday (2 times) on several occasions since the start of the year.

For most of the year so far, Wednesday nights have been the most popular.  However, since the week of 30 March 2009, Tuesday nights have become the most popular.  Dirk has explained that he can’t make Wednesday nights anymore, and it is now Tuesday nights for him.  For the rest, perhaps it is the lure of Dirk and the beer? 🙂

Tuesdays were more popular than Wednesdays or Thursdays at various times in the second half of last year as well.

I’ve had a second session in hand for Wednesday and Thursday nights for most of the year so far, in case either night is oversubscribed, as these have been the more popular nights since the start of the year.  Now that Tuesday nights have become more popular, I’m looking at how to get two sessions on Tuesday nights if required.  It’s proving tough though.

I book the pitches at The Cage, Sports Planet and The Premier Pitch a month at a time, at least a month in advance.  I booked for this month (April 2009) in February 2009.  There is a degree of non-availability for May 2009 as I left the bookings until 2 April 2009.  I’ll come that that in later posts.

To date, the suggestion of a weekday night session at FICO in Jurong West has not been popular.

I need “predictive powers” to anticipate which night(s) will be popular each week.  I rely to some extent on participation trends, but as is apparent from the above, these can change.  If anyone knows that their preferred date is going to change in the future, forewarning me would be useful.

If a particular night is oversubscribed, and I don’t have a second pitch available, I will just have to apply the priority system strictly (subject to the limited variability that the different venues allow me), so it makes sense to confirm early.

I’d settle for between 3 to 6 sessions a week for the foreseeable future.

Categories: About FIFFA
  1. rajiv
    Wed 6 May 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Scheduling for Monday nights has been a bit of a headache for me. We need to have a minimum number a day or two before the session for it to go on – for Monday night at Turf City, by Saturday night, and at The Cage, by Sunday night. However, many of you only have a look at which day(s) you’d like to play in the coming week over the weekend or on Monday itself, so there is a great risk that the numbers for Monday night won’t reach the minimum threshold until Sunday or Monday itself.

    All Monday night sessions have been cancelled over the past three weeks, and even before that, Monday night sessions required a fair bit more work on my part to make sure we had enough people in time.

    Looking ahead, I was thinking of not scheduling a session for Monday nights at all, but that may be too draconian.

    Sessions at The Cage are easier to manage for me, as they only require 24-hour notice of cancellation. Therefore, I can wait until Sunday night to see if the session can go on. I will stick with The Cage for Mondays.

    I’ve tried booking a pitch at Turf City from 9 to 10 pm for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but they have a strange system of reserving pitches each night for “regulars”. As far as Turf City is concerned, I book regularly for Monday nights, so I can only get Monday nights.

    I don’t think Saturday afternoon at Turf City is sustainable in the longer term, as very few of the Monday night Bukit Timah regulars seem interested in playing on Saturday afternoon. In the alternative, I’ll try Sunday nights at Turf City to see how that goes. It’s similar to Monday nights, in that it is the night before a working day early in the week. Further, the Sunday night session will be included in the Schedule one week earlier than the Monday night session, so there is more time for it to fill up. It is also much easier to get pitches at Turf City and Sports Planet at the weekend than on weekday nights.

    We’ll have more sessions scheduled in total, but then, I’m also cancelling sessions more liberally (if we don’t have the minimum number in time).

    More details in the Schedule that comes out tomorrow.

    • rajiv
      Thu 7 May 2009 at 11:59 am

      For the Sunday night session at Turf City, I am open to any of the following:

      • 6 to 7 pm (the time slot for the several occasions on which we played at FICO on Sunday evenings, and the time slot proposed by Tom in his “Questionnaire”).

      • 8 to 9 pm. A bit earlier than our regular 9 to 10 pm slot for weekday nights, and the time we used to start when we played for two hours at Bukit Timah campus on a Monday night. As it is a Sunday, being held up at work won’t be as readily available as an excuse for any late-coming.

      • 7 to 8 pm. Something in between.

      • Mark L
        Tue 12 May 2009 at 5:39 pm

        Monday Nite at Turf City is fun. We had a blast last nite with 12 pax.
        i read your post and understand the challenge in sorting Monday Nite at Turf City given the cancellation policy.
        Perhaps, the Monday Nite session can join the regular weekly sessions? But instead of your ‘workweek’ being Mon- Sun.. it could be Tues to Mon? Does that make sense? i am sure the Monday nite Turf City regualrs would appreciate that? 😛

        • rajiv
          Tue 12 May 2009 at 7:37 pm

          Good to hear it was a good game last night Mark.

          I have thought about running the schedule from Tuesday to Monday, but if the issue is participants only looking at what day they want to play during the week the weekend before or on the Monday itself, it doesn’t really resolve the problem.

          Several regulars also play other games or participate in other physical activity over the weekend, so if they pick up injuries or are fatigued after the weekend, there’s also the risk of late withdrawals too.

          I’ll think about how to move it forward and put up something tomorrow or Thursday.

          • Mark L
            Tue 12 May 2009 at 10:13 pm

            Thanks. Would be great. But if its too much hassle as per your original post, then would understand too! 😛

  2. rajiv
    Thu 7 May 2009 at 9:33 am

    The switch in venues between Wednesday night and Thursday night is due to availability.

    The Sports Planet session has been moved to Wednesday night as 9 to 10 pm on Thursday night is largely unavailable at Sports Planet. Thursday night is now at The Cage.

    The weekend sessions are at Sports Planet or Turf City as these venues are more readily available at the weekend than on weekday nights.

  3. rajiv
    Thu 30 July 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Earlier in the year, Wednesday nights were the most likely to be oversubscribed while Tuesday nights were the most likely to be cancelled.

    Over the past three weeks, the only mid-week sessions to be cancelled have been Wednesday nights at Sports Planet – two weeks ago and again this week.

    With the numbers we have, The Cage might work better, as it caters for a broader geographical area – those who live in the east as well as those who live and work more north/centrally.

    I’ll try having all three mid-week sessions at The Cage and see how that works out.

    In the meantime, the regular session at Sports Planet will be Saturday afternoons, 5 to 6 pm.

  4. rajiv
    Fri 25 September 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Since 1 April 2009, apart from cancellations, routine sessions have not gone on as usual for various reasons:

    • The session on Thursday, 21 May 2009, at The Cage didn’t go on due to a mix up over the pitch.

    • There was no routine session on Wednesday, 27 May 2009, as no pitch was available at Sports Planet, and we had the pre-UEFA Champions League Final mini-tournament in the early morning of 28 May 2009.

    • There was no session at Turf City on Sunday, 7 June 2009, as no pitch was available. Instead, we had a representative game against Mofoz113 United at Turf City on Saturday.

    • We didn’t have a session on Thursday, 2 July 2009, as no pitch was available. Instead, we had 2 sessions on Wednesday, 1 July 2009.

    • We didn’t have a session on Wednesday, 19 August 2009, as no pitch was available. Instead, we had 2 sessions on Thursday, 20 August 2009.

    • Routine sessions have also been converted into representative games on a couple of occasions.

  5. rajiv
    Fri 25 September 2009 at 5:20 pm

    As different weeknights have been more popular at different times, since early this year, I have had a spare booking at either The Cage or Sports Planet for most weeknights, so that if the one session from 9 to 10 pm is filled early, there is the option of having a second session at the same time, or if both pitches are at the same venue, an impromptu mini-tournament.

    However, we have rarely used the spare booking. We have also only had one impromptu mid-week mini-tournament since March 2009on 4 August 2009.

    Having to cancel the spare bookings each week is just more work. From now on, I will no longer me keeping spare bookings.

    We now have one session every day of the week other than Friday:

    • 8.50 to 10.00 pm on weeknights.
    • 4.50 to 6.00 pm on weekends.

    If any session fills up early enough (at least 2 whole days before the scheduled session), I will check whether a second pitch is available at the same time, or an hour later.

  1. Sun 12 April 2009 at 8:08 am
  2. Sun 12 April 2009 at 6:33 pm
  3. Thu 16 April 2009 at 10:06 am
  4. Sun 19 April 2009 at 8:56 am
  5. Tue 21 April 2009 at 10:00 am
  6. Sat 25 April 2009 at 10:39 am
  7. Sun 26 April 2009 at 10:17 pm
  8. Wed 29 April 2009 at 9:15 am
  9. Thu 30 April 2009 at 7:13 am
  10. Sun 3 May 2009 at 11:31 am
  11. Wed 6 May 2009 at 3:55 pm
  12. Thu 7 May 2009 at 9:54 am
  13. Tue 12 May 2009 at 8:46 pm
  14. Wed 13 May 2009 at 11:54 am
  15. Thu 14 May 2009 at 9:25 am
  16. Sat 23 May 2009 at 10:10 pm
  17. Sun 5 July 2009 at 10:11 pm
  18. Sun 12 July 2009 at 9:10 pm
  19. Mon 13 July 2009 at 1:12 pm
  20. Thu 30 July 2009 at 10:24 pm
  21. Sun 2 August 2009 at 7:41 am
  22. Tue 1 September 2009 at 10:53 am
  23. Sun 20 September 2009 at 11:38 pm
  24. Fri 25 September 2009 at 6:00 pm
  25. Mon 28 September 2009 at 8:59 am

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