Sports scheduling: Problems and applications

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Abstract

Sports scheduling problems mainly consist in determining the date and the venue in which each game of a tournament will be played. Integer programming, constraint programming, metaheuristics, and hybrid methods have been successfully applied to the solution of different variants of this problem. This paper provides an introductory review of fundamental problems in sports scheduling and their formulations, followed by a survey of applications of optimization methods to scheduling problems in professional leagues of different sport disciplines such as football, baseball, basketball, cricket, and hockey. A case study illustrates a real-life application of integer programming to the schedule of the yearly Brazilian football tournament.

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