MSTW Bracket Builder – New Release & Planned Builds

Version 1.1 of the MSTW Bracket Builder Premium plugin is now available. It is primarily a maintenance build, including:

  • Extensive work done in the plugin’s default stylesheet (/css/mstw-bb-styles.css). The tournament brackets display beautifully in my development theme (a WP Twentyeleven child theme). See http://dev.shoalsummitsolutions.com/t-test/. Some CSS work may be required for your theme. The primary driver is the width of the bracket’s containing element. It should be at least 750 pixels wide for basic single elim brackets and 900 pixels wide for double elimination brackets with consolation games.
  • Fixed bug that displayed -1 in the League column of tournaments table on the Tournaments screen when no league has been selected.
  • Fixed bug that displayed -1 as the team name when no games had been entered (updated) on the Update Games screen.
  • Updated the users manual. Check it out at http://shoalsummitsolutions.com/category/users-manuals/.

Upcoming versions of the MSTW Bracket Builder Premium plugin will include:

  • Restructure tournament set-up. The current tournament setup of the first round is awkward and non-intuitive. We will try to improve it. The improvements will also accommodate the two enhancements described below. If you have some suggestions, please send them along ASAP.
  • Better display of multiple first round BYEs. Ever build a 10 team tournament? It’s annoying to deal with six first round BYEs, and the team receiving the BYE can be advanced to the second round, the first round byes need not appear in the graphical display of the bracket.
  • Group or round-robin play. There have been many requests to better incorporate group play to fill the bracket (or knockout round). Round robin play can be handled with (small) leagues in MSTW League Manager. How we can do this without further complicating the first round setup remains to be seen, but we’ll push the rock some distance down the road.

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MSTW League Manager Add-ons 1.1

MSTW League Manager Add-ons 1.1 was released today. It is a minor release containing the following features and fixes:

  • Nonleague games are now shown by default. So you only need to use the show_nonleague argument if you DO NOT want to show nonleague games, then use show_nonleague=0 in the shortcode.
  • Media icon with link appears in all shortcodes when a game has a media link. (Update games or Manage Games screen).
  • All shortcodes now support multiple seasons.

If you have already purchased version 1.0 of the plugin, you should be able to download version 1.1 using the same link you received with your purchase. Otherwise, what are you waiting for? You can purchase the plugin from the MSTW Store.

MSTW League Manager 2.1

MSTW League Manager 2.1 was released today. It is a minor release containing the following features and fixes:

  • Nonleague games are now shown by default in all displays. So there is no need to use the show_nonleague=1 parameter. If you DO NOT want to show nonleague games, then set show_nonleague=0.
  • Games can now be marked as postponed in the DB and in the front end displays (shortcodes).
  • Fixed bug that prevented display of the media column’s data in schedule tables.
  • Minor clean-up of CSS stylesheets in a number of areas.

It should show up in your Dashboard Plugins page, or you can download it from WordPress.org.

MSTW League Manager Add-ons

Happy New Year! New for 2018, MSTW League Manager Add-ons are now available in the MSTW Store.

The MSTW League Manager Add-ons are designed for websites that use MSTW League Manager to maintain league schedules and update game results (not simply to maintain league standings). On such sites, league standings can automatically calculated ‘on the fly’ based on the league games and results every time a page with the standings shortcode is loaded. There is no need to create and maintain team records. This can be a huge time-saver on large sites with multiple leagues. It also eliminates errors (typos) when entering team records. In anticipation of what is soon to be a Frequently Asked Question, YES, YOU CAN STILL USE LEAGUE MANAGER WITH TEAM RECORDS, league schedules and games are not necessary. In fact, you can choose to use the new auto-update feature or the older team records to update standings on a sport-by-sport basis.

In addition, the Add-ons provide four new shortcodes for TEAM sliders, SCHOOL sliders, SPORT sliders, and LEAGUE SCOREBOARDS. Team, School, and Sport tickers and scoreboards are already in development for a future releases, which will be included as part of the plugin’s support. Read more about these features in the MSTW Store and on the MSTW League Manager Add-ons man pages.

The MSTW League Manager 2.0 plugin combined with the MSTW League Manager Add-ons have been in development since May of 2017, and have been running on three large sports sites since September of 2017. So these plugins have been exercised under “real” conditions, and they are probably the best tested MSTW plugins released to date.

MSTW League Manager 2.0


Happy New Year! Just in time for 2018, MSTW League Manager 2.0 is available on wordpress.org.

Why the numbering jump from 1.4 to 2.0? The entire plugin was restructured to support the automatic, on-the-fly updates of league standings from the league’s game results. With the introduction of the MSTW League Manager Add-ons, team records no longer need to be created and maintained. Instead records are computed from the standings shortcode is rendered. Of course the plugin can still be configured and used exactly as before for sites that do not maintain game schedules.

In addition, version 2.0 also includes these new and improved features:

  • The standings are now sorted based on a primary sort rule and two tie-breakers, which are selected on the Settings screen. AND they actually work!!
  • Games can be identified as conference and division, in addition to non-league. Conference and division win percentages and points (calculated from the existing fields in the team records) can be displayed in the standings tables.
  • New display options for front end displays have been added, some on the Settings screen and some via shortcode arguments.
  • League sliders and tickers can now display media icons and links to media sources when a media link has been provided for a game. Media labels and links can be entered on the Update Games screen, avoiding the need to edit the games one-by-one on the Manage Games screen.
  • Game (league schedules) can now be added in bulk via CSV file imports.
  • Added /lang directory containing a .POT file has been added for translators. (If you create a translation, send me the .po file and I’ll add it to the next release for you.)
  • Fixed several bugs including sorting venues by venue group on the Venues screen.
  • Changed URLs to Protocol Relative URLs to prevent some problems with https based sites.

MSTW Bracket Builder Updated

Both the free and premium versions of the MSTW Bracket Builder have been updated. The free version is available on WordPress.org, and the premium version is available on shoalsummitsolutions.com. (If you have purchased the premium version, you should be able to download the new version using the link you were e-mailed.) Tournament Bracket Builder - Knockout Bracket Thumbnail

Both updates address a number of issues with the layout of the bracket view (shortcode), and a couple of bug fixes on the admin side. The bracket layouts are now close to “pixel perfect” as you can see on the MSTW Dev site. The change logs provide more detail.

What are the differences between the free and the premium versions? You can read the details on this site, but in a nutshell, the premium version adds:

  • Support for double elimination tournaments.
  • Add team logos, customize display of team and venue names, links to team sites, links to Google maps, links to venue websites, and more via a teams database that can be shared with the MSTW League Manager plugin now, and with the entire MSTW family of plugins soon.)
  • Tournament Bracket Builder - Fixtures Table Thumbnail

  • Schedule the 1st round by established seedings (1v8, 2v7, etc), or with user-defined game pairings.
  • Automatically handle of “BYEs” (free pass to next round).
  • Automatically advance winners – winner is advanced to next round when game goes final (as well as first-time losers for double elimination brackets).
  • Specify and display home teams (very important for some sports, or just identify who is wearing white).

Thanks to those of you who have helped me improve both plugins by bringing problems to my attention. As always, please contact me through the user support forums with any questions, problems, issues, or improvement suggestions.

What’s Next? … MSTW League Manager

Team Rosters 4.1 has been released and the smoke has cleared (4.1.2). Up next are some needed upgrades to MSTW League Manager in time for football season. Planned enhancements include:

  • Automatic Standings Update. There have been numerous requests for this feature. Standings are updated when game scores are marked ‘final’ on the Manage Games or Update Games screen. So you may not have to update the League Standings, just the games. Standings can still be edited for those who may not track games and scores.
  • Update Games Screen Pagination. If a league has too many games, then the Update Games screen has too many data fields, and limitations built into WordPress prevent updates to the games on this screen. (They can be updated via the Manage Games screen.) Paginating the Update Games screen fixes this problem.
  • Improve the Schedule Slider(s). Make some cosmetic fixes and (hopefully, no promises) improve responsiveness. If you are having problems with the sliders on small screens, you might want to try the WP Mobile Detect plugin. One user has reported good results with it.
  • Add Colors to Team Data. This will allow some easy (no CSS) branding of front end displays with team colors. It will also increase integration of the MSTW plugins. For example, Team Rosters can use teams in the League Manager database.
  • Documentation & Help. Add Context Sensitive Help to all admin screens and update the users manual.

What else would you like to see in MSTW League Manager? Let me know as soon as possible since I’m starting this work soon.

Team Rosters Version 4.1 Released

Cal Roster Table

Team Rosters version 4.1 has been released**. Improvements include:

  • Added new admin screen to add players to rosters “in bulk” (paginated, 20 at a time). This screen allows players to be added to a roster MUCH faster than via the Manage Players screen, which is one player at at time. But the quickest way to create a roster is via the Import CSV screen.
  • Added a new admin screen to edit players on a team “in bulk” (20 at a time). Note that on this screen, and the Add Players screen, you cannot modify the player description or the player photo. Use the Manage Players screen to change those fields.
  • Added the capability to link the teams in Team Rosters to teams in the MSTW League Manager plugin, in addition to the MSTW Schedules & Scoreboards plugin. Team logos can be pulled from the selected database. (Team Colors are available only in S&S currently, but that will be addressed in the next League Manager release.)
  • Added a Quick Start admin screen and context sensitive help to all admin screens.
  • Finally squashed the dastardly bug that ‘broke’ Featured Images (thumbnails) for posts in SOME THEMES. (I believe. Please let me know if you see this behavior again.)
  • Corrected a bug that prevented “sort roster by number” from working in certain circumstances, and a bug that prevented the CSV Import screen from using the team selected in the “Select Team to Import” control. (Thanks to those of you who have brought bugs to my attention.)

The plugin remains “translation ready”, but translation has been moved to WordPress’s new “PolyGlots” system, and the /lang/ directory has been removed from the plugin distribution. (I am happy to help translators. Send me an e-mail.)

The CSV import sample files have been moved to ShoalSummitSolutions.com, and the /csv-examples/ directory has been removed from the plugin distribution.

**NOTE: There was a problem with the initial upload of the plugin to wordpress.org. If you auto-installed the plugin from your admin screen prior to reading this, you MAY have encountered some errors. If so, simply de-activate and delete the plugin, then re-install. (You will not lose your data.) Sorry for any inconvenience.

MSTW Tournament Bracket Builder Premium Version 1.0 Released

The MSTW Tournament Bracket Builder Premium is the leading WordPress plugin for creating and managing tournament brackets. Nothing else comes close! Simply and easily build tournament brackets (knockout rounds) and game schedules (fixture tables). The automated admin process lightens your workload, and the simple shortcodes will make your site pop. See how easy it is in this short video!

Tournament Bracket Builder - Fixtures Table ThumbnailTournament Bracket Builder - Knockout Bracket Thumbnail

{Click on images to view entire screenshot}

Your purchase includes one year of free upgrades, and access to a full users manual, video tutorials, and a dedicated community support forum.

MSTW Tournament Bracket Builder features include:

  • Create single or double elimination brackets of 4, 8 or 16 teams.
  • Customize front-end displays using a large set of display options, and with custom CSS styling.
  • Link to a custom database of teams and game locations. Add team logos, customize display of team and venue names, links to team sites, links to Google maps, links to venue websites, and more. (This database can be shared with the MSTW League Manager plugin now, and with the entire MSTW family of plugins soon.)
  • Schedule the 1st round by established seedings or with user-defined game pairings.
  • Automatically handle of “BYEs” (free pass to next round).
  • Advance winners – winner is advanced to next round when game goes final (as well as first-time losers for double elimination brackets).
  • Specify and display home teams (very important for some sports, or just identify who is wearing white).
  • Plus much more!!

Did we mention your purchase includes one year of free upgrades, and access to a full users manual, video tutorials, and a dedicated community support forum?

MLB Logo Set Just Released

MLB Logo
Chicago Cubs MLB Logo
Cleveland Indians MLB Logo
San Francisco Giants MLB Logo

Just in time for Spring Training, a complete set of Major League Baseball Logos, is now available. Have an MLB site? Or maybe just a little league that uses MLB logos?

Over 100 images are included in the .zip file. These .png images are precisely scaled for the best appearance in the MSTW plugin displays on your site.

Special offer to all MSTW Newsletter subscribers. Use this code – OPENINGDAY – to receive 50% off your purchase until Opening Day 2017!

Get your copy now!

NOTE: Your purchase is for the labor expended to convert the images to the optimal sizes for use in the MSTW plugins – at least one 41x28px and one 125x125px image for each team. NO RIGHTS TO USE THESE IMAGES ON YOUR SITE ARE GRANTED OR IMPLIED. You must obtain the rights necessary to use each image on your site, which depends on your site (personal, commercial), and the organization owning the rights to the image.