The Availability Calendar is a vital component within the Horizon software that empowers officials to communicate their availability for officiating games to their officiating organization. By default, all officials are marked as unavailable, and it becomes their responsibility to specify the days they are available. This approach ensures that schedulers have accurate information and can efficiently assign officials to games. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the functionalities, options, and best practices for using the Availability Calendar effectively.
Editing Individual Calendar Days
Officials can update their availability by navigating to the Availability Calendar page from the main navigation menu of the software and changing the drop-down menu for specific calendar days. To edit a day, click on the corresponding drop-down menu and select the appropriate option. Days in the past cannot be edited to maintain historical accuracy, but officials can edit the calendar up to one year in the future. Historical data on past availability is available for viewing for up to three months in the past. Availability data beyond three months in the past is not retained in the system. Calendar days can also be locked by your officiating organization to prevent further changes while they are creating game assignments.
Selecting Availability Options
The Availability Calendar offers officials several options to specify their availability for each day. Officials must select one of the availability options that best fits their availability for a specific calendar day. Only one option can be selected for each calendar day. You cannot choose multiple availability options for a single day.
The options include:
Available All Day
This option indicates that the official can officiate games for the entire day.
Unavailable All Day
This is the default setting. Officials can use this option to mark a day as entirely unavailable for officiating.
This option allows officials to specify their availability starting from a particular time of the day. After selecting this option, officials must choose a specific time from the drop-down menu. The drop-down menu provides time options in 15-minute increments.
With this option, officials can indicate their availability until a specific time of the day. After selecting this option, officials must choose a specific time from the drop-down menu. The drop-down menu provides time options in 15-minute increments.
Officials can set a range of hours during which they are available for officiating. After selecting this option, officials must choose specific start and end times from the drop-down menus. The drop-down menus provide time options in 15-minute increments.
This option specifies a range of hours when the official is unavailable for officiating. After selecting this option, officials must choose specific start and end times from the drop-down menus. The drop-down menus provide time options in 15-minute increments.
Best Practice: To provide schedulers with precise information, be specific when selecting the availability options. Use the "Availability Notes" section for each day to communicate additional details, complicated situations, or special scenarios that may impact your scheduling. The "Availability Notes" section can be specified alongside any availability setting, except "Unavailable All Day." Choosing "Unavailable All Day" will erase and eliminate any corresponding notes. You'll need at least some availability for a day to specify accompanying notes.
Recurring Availability Utility
The Availability Calendar includes a powerful recurring availability utility, saving officials valuable time when setting recurring availability patterns. To access this utility, navigate to the top toolbar of the Availability Calendar page. Officials must first select a date range within the allowed date range for updates (up to one year in the future). Then, they can choose the days of the week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.) that the availability changes should apply to. For example, selecting a full-year date range but choosing only Mondays as the day of the week will apply the desired availability to all Mondays within the date range. Once the days are selected, officials can specify their availability options in the same manner as on the individual calendar page.
Color Coding for Easy Identification
The availability calendar uses color-coding to help users quickly identify their availability status for each day:
Green: Indicates that the official is available all day.
Red: Shows that the official is unavailable all day.
Blue: Indicates that the official is available for only a portion of the day.
Best Practice: Officials should regularly review the color-coded calendar to ensure their availability settings are accurate and up-to-date. This will help schedulers make informed decisions when assigning games.
Managing Multiple Officiating Organizations
Officials who are members of multiple officiating organizations have the flexibility to manage their calendars separately or apply changes in bulk to all organizations. To manage calendars individually, simply log in to each officiating organization's subscription and navigate to the Availability Calendar page to make changes specific to that organization. Alternatively, to apply changes to all associated organizations at once, officials can select the checkbox labeled "Apply new changes to all your associations."
Best Practice: If officials have specific availability preferences for different groups, they should review and update each organization's calendar individually. For consistent availability across all organizations, use the "Apply new changes to all your associations" option. Officials can customize this option's default setting by navigating to their Personal Profile and adjusting the "Multiple Availability Calendar Preference" option on the Preferences tab.
Exporting Availability Data
Officiating organization administrators and schedulers can export availability calendar information to a CSV spreadsheet in two formats: Horizontal Grid and Vertical List. The export option requires specifying a start and end date, the group or sub-group of officials to export, and the desired export type.
Best Practice: Schedulers and officiating organization administrators can use the export option to keep a backup of availability data and conduct further analysis if needed.
Availability vs. Eligibility
The availability calendar is 1 of over 40 factors the system uses to determine eligibility for game assignments. While the calendar plays a significant role, it is essential to understand that multiple parameters determine eligibility. It is possible to be "Available" for a specific day but still be deemed "Ineligible" for a game due to qualifications or other parameters set by officiating organization administrators and schedulers.
Best Practice: Schedulers should use the assigning window in the software on the Master Game Schedule page to determine the actual eligibility of officials for specific games.
Scheduling System Overrides
It is essential to understand that the availability calendar is critical for officials to communicate their availability for game assignments. However, officiating organization schedulers hold the authority to override the calendar and assign officials to games, even if they are marked as unavailable.
When a scheduler overrides an official's calendar availability, the software displays a warning message to both the scheduler and the official. This ensures full transparency and provides an opportunity for both parties to discuss the assignment if needed.
Best Practice: Schedulers should use the system override option sparingly and for legitimate reasons. Whenever an override is applied, it is crucial to communicate the reasons with the official to avoid any confusion or miscommunication.
Diagnostics Table for Ineligibility
Schedulers that are unsure why an official is not appearing on the Eligible Officials list can use the Diagnostics Table located at the top of the assigning window. This is often the best starting point if you're unsure why someone is "not available" because often, the official is available, but they are not eligible. A subtle but significant difference.
Best Practice: Schedulers should review the Diagnostics Table to identify any issues affecting officials' eligibility for game assignments. This will help address any concerns and help determine why an official is not showing as part of the list of eligible officials available for scheduling to games.
The Availability Calendar is a powerful tool that streamlines the game assignment process by allowing officials to communicate their availability to schedulers accurately. By understanding its features and functionalities, officials and schedulers can work together seamlessly to ensure efficient game scheduling and a positive officiating experience.
Regularly update your availability settings and use the calendar to provide schedulers with the information they need to assign you to suitable games. Be proactive in maintaining your calendar to ensure timely and accurate scheduling, and use the various tools available to simplify the process for both officials and administrators.