Support for MSTW Schedules & Scoreboards

Support for the MSTW Schedules & Scoreboards plugin is being phased out. The plugin will continue to be maintained on the wordpress.org plugin site in support of legacy users, all new users should go with the MSTW League Manager plugin, which is very actively maintained. Legacy users of Schedules & Scoreboards should also consider migration to League Manager for improved features and support.

It is still available on the WordPress.org site, and the documentation will be available on this site. So it can still be used, and it will work with future versions of WordPress for some time. If there are bugs, I will look into them. However, the plugin will not be enhanced in any way.

While the name might sound like overkill for small, simple sites, it really isn’t. While League Manager provides more features and advanced features for larger, regional sites, it can also be used just like Schedules & Scoreboards for simpler sites without the need for advanced features. So there is really no need to use MSTW Schedules & Scoreboards or continue to support it (at the expense of the other MSTW plugins).

New Video Tutorials

Installing MSTW League Manager Add-ons

MSTW Premium Plugins are now easier to update because recent versions of the plugins are always available on the shoalsummitsolutions.com website under Store -> My Plugins. This video shows how to get the premium plugins without digging out the link in your purchase confirmation e-mail.

Overtime Game Management with League Manager

Prior to Version 2.10, the only way to accurately display standings tables was to manually update a league’s records. This video shows a few tricks that may come in handy.

Overtime Game Management with League Manager Add-ons

Prior to Version 2.10, there was no way to indicate that a game was an overtime game, so the Auto-fill standings feature in MSTW League Manager Add-ons could accurately compute points in standings. Now you can specify overtime games, but there are still some subtleties. Should overtime wins be shown simply as wins? Or should they be shown in as overtime wins? What about overtime loses? This video shows how to deal with some of these issues.

League Manager Admin Roles

MSTW Admin Roles for team, school, and league admins were introduced in League Manager Add-ons version 2.9, and improved in version 2.10. This video shows how these roles are set up so the site maintenance responsibilities can be distributed across trusted users.

Head-to-Head Results as a Tiebreaker

Head-to-head results can not be selected as a tie-breaker in the Standings Settings, because three and four way head-to-head tiebreakers become pretty gnarly pretty quickly. However, this video discusses some ways to create head-to-head tiebreakers.

Venue Groups

Venue groups have been round for a long time. This video shows how they provide the potential for better organization and display of venues.

MSTW League Manager 2.9 Released

MSTW League Manager and MSTW League Manager Add-ons plugins have been released. The biggest new features are new League Manger administrator roles, which allow distribution of the admin workload, and enhanced management of overtime games.

New Admin Roles

The three new admin roles – team, school, and league admins – allow WordPress site administrators to distribute site maintenance duties, specifically the maintenance of games and schedules, across a controlled user base. Check out this video to learn more about this new capability.

Enhanced Support for Overtime Games

In previous versions of the MSTW League Manager plugin, overtime games and their impact on league standings could be managed adequately using team records, that is, NOT using the standing auto-fill capability in MSTW League Manager Add-ons. Enhancements to LM Add-ons allow overtime games to be included in the points calculations for league standings. Check out these videos to learn more about managing overtime games. Without the Add-ons. With the Add-ons (and auto-fill standings.)

How to access the new versions

The versions of MSTW League Manager and MSTW League Manager Add-ons on your site should always match. MSTW League Manager may be updated from your admin dashboard. If you have purchased the MSTW LM Add-ons plugin, you may download version 2.9 from the shoalsummitsolutions.com website. Go the the Store on the top menu, and select “My Downloads” to download new version.

Multi-Team Schedules with Custom Styling

This video demonstrates one use of the Multi-Team Schedule shortcode which was introduced in MSTW League Manager version 2.7, and improved in version 2.8. It can be very useful in league websites.

Maybe more importantly, the video cantors through the very important concept of WordPress child themes to explain why the custom stylesheets for most MSTW plugins are placed where they are (not in the plugin). Then it shows how to create some pretty cool styling for one instance of the plugin.

See the plug-in instance shown in the video at https://dev.shoalsummitsolutions.com/lm-multi-team-schedules/ .

Learn more about WordPress Child Themes at https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/advanced-topics/child-themes/.

MSTW League Manager & LM Add-ons 2.8

The MSTW League Manager and LM Add-ons version 2.8 will be released on 10/20. PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THIS E-MAIL BEFORE UPGRADING.

Much of the work in 2.8 was clean-up/minor bug correction of PHP code, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This work primarily cleaned up meets functionality and display.

The multi-team schedule shortcode [mstw_multi_team_schedule] in particular underwent significant modification. If you are using this shortcode, you should definitely read the man page.

A team scoreboard shortcode [mstw_lm_team_scoreboard] was added (to the MSTW League Manager Add-ons plugin).

So when you see a “new version available” message on your Plugins screen, you have some options:

  • If version 2.7 is working great for you with no issues, there is no need to update, (unless you really want to try one of the new items).
  • If you are using ONLY MSTW League Manager and using the MSTW League Manager Add-ons, go for it
  • If you are using the MSTW League Manager Add-ons, YOU MUST UPDATE IT TO 2.8 AT THE SAME TIME. Read on …

MSTW LEAGUE MANAGER ADD-ONS USERS

Your purchase came with 1 year of updates and support. So you also have some options:

  • If you are within that year, you should be able to download 2.8 using the link you received to download the plugin initially. If you don’t have that link, send me an e-mail with your shoalsummitsolutions.com user name and date of purchase.
  • If you are outside your support period, you can stick stick with version 2.7. Don’t upgrade either plugin.
  • Or, purchase another year of support at https://shoalsummitsolutions.com/downloads/mstw-league-manager-add-ons/

Introducing MSTW Schedule Builder

The MSTW Schedule Builder builds ‘balanced’ round robin schedules for leagues and tournaments for up to six teams. NOTE: This plugin REQUIRES the MSTW LEAGUE MANAGER PLUGIN (version 2.5 for higher) to handle the creation of leagues, seasons, and teams.

Depending on the size of the league or tournament, the number of permutations and combinations of teams, time slots, dates, and locations can be huge. The simple (old) method of always having a single team always playing in the same time slot or position is not always the way to go. It can, and does, create problems with players, coaches, and fans because it can be inherently unfair. The issue is the quality of the first position time slot. If the time, location, and/or quality of the facility is desirable, then the team that’s always scheduled there will be advantaged, and the other teams will not share equal playing time at the desirable facility. If another time and location is less desirable (i.e., inconvenient time, long distance, poor quality of facility, etc.), then a team that is always scheduled to play there will be disadvantaged.

These issues and the inherent inequity are minimized by balanced schedules. Round robin scheduling includes a date, time, location, home and visitor teams, and game ID for each game. A quality schedule should distribute and balance the dates/days, times, locations, home and visiting teams of its games as equitably as possible.

Future releases will handle larger leagues and tournaments, eventually up to 32 teams, double round robin (home-and-home) schedules, and field assignments for tournaments played on multiple fields at one facility.

Coaching Staffs v1.4

While staying at home I got a bit crazy and decided to revisit one of the early MSTW plugins, Coaching Staffs. Although I was a bit chagrined by what I didn’t know about WordPress then, it’s actually a pretty cool plugin. It’s aimed at high school coaching staffs, where the same coach had different roles on different teams, e.g, Varsity defensive coordinator and JV head coach.

Anyway, the new release makes it much simpler and cleaner to customize the front end displays with custom CSS stylesheets. It also makes the use and deployment of the single coach profile/bio page and the coaching staff gallery page easier and more flexible.

So if you want to recognize your coaching staffs on your site, version 1.4 will be available soon on WordPress.org. But you can check it out right now on dev.shoalsummitsolutions.com.

MSTW Team Rosters 4.2

I hope this note finds you all well during these trying times. I’ve been writing a little code while sheltering in place without spring sports, and MSTW Team Rosters release 4.2 will soon be available on wordpress.org and on your Installed Plugins admin screen. The primary upgrade is a long-requested feature – the capabilty to sort roster tables by number and name in the same way tables can be sorted by column on WordPress admin screens, e.g, All Posts or Team Rosters -> Manage Players. You can try it out on dev.shoalsummitsolutions.com.

Given that I’ll be holed up a bit longer, upcoming improvements include additional enhancements to the front end displays [shortcodes], improved integration with the MSTW League Manager plugin’s features, and the ability to manage team rosters by year. If any of you have requests for Team Rosters features please send them to me as soon as possible.

MSTW League Manager 2.7 Fixed

I believe version 2.7 of League Manager is fixed and posted in the wordpress.org plugin repository. I did not change the version number, so you will not get a notice on your plugins page that it’s been updated. If you have previously installed it, deactivate it, delete it, and add it again. You can search for ‘MSTW League Manager’ on your site admin plugin screen, and it should pop right up.

I hope this is that last post on this subject, but if you encounter any other issues, please let me know and I will address it ASAP. But hopefully you won’t have to hear from me again until tournaments (MSTW Bracket Builder) are updated, and tournament games can be displayed in the League Manager schedules.

BTW, some of you have asked, and yes, the format for the [mstw_league_schedule_table] shortcode did change to better accommodate ‘meets’ in that schedule table. You will only see this if you are using the extensions in the MSTW League Manager Add-ons plugin.

Problems found in League Manager 2.7

Users have alerted me to the following problems with MSTW League Manager 2.7. If you haven’t installed it yet, WAIT a bit while we sort things out. I’m confident there are not significant issues, just some mistakes, but before I get to the specifics of the 2.7 builds, here are a couple of general pointers:

  • If you use the extensions in the MSTW League Manager Add-ons plugin, you should always install the SAME VERSION of League Manager and the Add-ons. I forgot to mention this in my release announcement/email.
  • If you expect to see the output of a plugin, maybe a pretty schedule table, and instead you see some text like [mstw_league_schedule_table league=league-slug season=season-slug], it’s always because the plugin code is not found. (This applies to all WordPress plugins, not just MSTW.)

As for the specifics:

  1. If you are using the MSTW League Manager Add-ons plugin, and you install the MSTW League Manager plugin version 2.7 but don’t install version 2.7 of the Add-ons, you may see a text message just like the one above. Install MSTW League Manager Add-ons version 2.7.
  2. If you see a text message like [mstw_team_schedule team=team-slug season=season-slug], it’s because I made an error packaging the build. I’m testing a patch tonight. I will post/email a message when the patch is available on wordpress.org.

I apologize for any inconvenience caused to plugin admin/users, and want to thank those who have helped me sort this out.