The first step of planning a roadtrip

Once I pick a place I want to go, the first step for planning a road trip (for me) is to turn the schedule into a graphic that I can understand.

In the ABL, the one-page schedule doesn’t contain enough detail about the dates on which the games will be played to use it as a planning tool.  Not every series runs one game per day on each Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun.  The day-by-day calendar view doesn’t give the distance I need to see what the logical options are for travel.  And the team calendars also don’t give enough distance.

Bright colours help me think. And so does the layout.

Bright colours help me think. And so does the layout.

I choose to colour-code the teams and use that information to tell me which team is playing in which city, with the calendar view to tell me which days. I also line the teams up in geographical travel order.  If I’m on A3, I also try to separate the teams by varying amounts to try and represent the time to get between the cities as well, but would probably put Perth off the page in this example.

The number of ‘x’ in the box tells me how many games are being played on each day.

Interesting things in the schedule that I didn’t really notice until it was laid out like this:

  • Monday games. That’s a surprise. I wonder how that will work out. There’s only a couple, but it will be interesting to see if attendance is better or worse than a Thursday.
  • Perth and Brisbane are all-in for double-headers this season, with six double-header days each, including two double-headers back-to-back playing each other.  That series is in Perth in early November, so the weather will still be bearable.  I’ll be fascinated to hear how that works out – both in terms of how many players manage to stay awake in the showers afterwards and how it goes for attendance.

World rankings. Harder to make them useful than you’d think.

Soccer 63 10
Basketball 11 2
Baseball[2] 14 3
Rugby Union[3] 6 9
Field Hockey 1 2
Cricket (Test, ODI, T20)[4] 2, 1, 3 ?,1,1
Volleyball 13 46
Golf (26 June 2015) 8 (Jason Day) 16 (Minjee Lee)
Tennis (29 June 2015) 26 (Bernard Tomic) 23 (Sam Stosur)
Table Tennis (June 2015) 115 (William Henzell) 112 (Jian Fang Lay)

So when I started writing this, I was going to just grab the registered player numbers off the Federation Internationale sites, the registered player numbers from the Australian peak body sites, dump the international rankings in the table and call it a good job done. Continue reading