The SSL Logo S.S.L. Chart Soccer — How it works (1)

As S.S.L. Chart Soccer was my first foray into the world of dice soccer games, I have decided to create this page to show how I run this particular game now. It has come a long way since the blue and red monopoly dice and the scribbled notes, most of which my dad threw away, and nowadays I use Google Sheets to play the game, which is a lot easier and is less prone to losing precious records. On these pages I will attempt to show how it is done, and who knows, maybe it will inspire others to create their own versions of the game. As a technology geek, even the act of creating the games is fun.

The S.S.L. Chart Soccer spreadsheet

As mentioned above, I have used Google Sheets to create the game. I originally used Microsoft Excel, but as I use Google services a lot I decided to port it to Google Sheets. This means that the game is easily accessible from anywhere and on almost any device. It is also easier to use than Excel and of course it is a free service.

When the spreadsheet is first opened, this is what it looks like:

The spreadsheet is split into tabs, with each tab performing a specific function. The "Home" tab is called "Setup", and is where the teams for the league are entered. On the left-hand side of the screen the teams are ordered according to rating. In the grey panel on the right-hand side the teams are entered for use in the fixture list. Teams have to be entered here so that derby teams are six places apart, as this ensures that derby teams are not at home on the same matchday, which adds a bit of realism to the fixture list. Note that codes are used to enter the teams in the white columns. This is to avoid having to type each team name in separately, and so it is easier and more accurate than using freeform text. The fields with the team names in them use a vlookup formula to get the names from a separate sheet, in this case the "Clubs" sheet accessed via the tab at the bottom right-hand side of the screen. For info, this sheet looks like this:

Note that each club has a "Class" code. I use this to classify teams according to their real-life league position to ensure that ratings reflect reality, which is especially crucial in the Scottish league being as it is dominated by two clubs. The top class, which is '0', actually comprises five clubs at present because I want it to be a little more competitive than the real-life version. Currently, these clubs are: Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibernian and Rangers (Dundee United were demoted form this group when they were relegated to the SPFL Championship). Below this, clubs are classed according to the real-life division they are currently in, e.g. '1' for the Premiership, '2' for the Championship etc. This class code appears in the ratings list on the "Setup" screen, and clubs are rated by class first and league position second.

Having entered the teams on the "Setup" screen, the fixture list is populated on the "Fixtures" tab.

We will go into the gameplay later on, but for now we can see how the fixture list is populated. In the "teams for fixtures" list on the "Setup" tab each club has a number. The fixtures have been worked out as a set of pairs of numbers, and the fixture cells in columns 'V' and 'W' of this sheet contain those numbers. In the screenshot above you can see the formula that is used to do this. It is another vlookup formula - you will see this formula used quite extensively as it is a very useful one - the $V5 in the formula refers to the cell that holds the appropriate number for the club concerned, and the TEAMS_FOR_FIXTURES parameter relates to a named range that represents cell range H6:K17 on the "Setup" sheet. This pulls out the club name from column 3 of this named range, specified by the '3' in the third parameter of the formula, to display it in the fixture list, and the entire list is built up in this way. (The '0' in the last parameter merely relates to how the list is searched, and need not detain us here.)

Next, we will look at the league table and how this is calculated. Click the following link to continue: How it works (2)

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© Alex Middleton 2019