As a PE/Sports Teacher, I’m certain you’ve been in a situation where you need to quickly and efficiently tun a group of students into a team so that you can get started with the activity on hand. This usually leads teachers down the following paths
- Prepare a list of teams of students ahead of time in preparation for the class
- Manually create teams of students at the start of the class
While these options are totally fine, they’re far from perfect solutions. In the first example your planned teams can be thrown into chaos if students are not present. In the second example you lose valuable class time often rush to complete it without much thought.
How can Technology Help?
Over the years I’ve been asked this exact question hundreds of times by busy teachers looking for ways to quickly generate teams. So without further a do, please find a list of tools & resources I recommend.
A simple app available for iPhone/iPad & Android devices designed to randomly create teams. A simple, but powerful interface enables you to quickly add class lists and sort out random teams in a flash. One of the best features includes the option to weight student abilities so that teams can be more evenly generated. See all of this in action in the video below created by Jo Bailey here
This simple online website enables you to paste in a list of names, select the number of teams you desire & with one click you’re able to generate truly random groupings.
While the web app is certainly useful & free, it does have some downsides in that the teams are 100% random, with no ability to influence the outcome or group students by ability.
Creating Draws & Tournaments
Quite often when people email me about team generation apps they have a second part of their question centred around creating a sports draw or tournament structure using those very teams.
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve used this super simple app in my PE Classroom to quickly whip up a round robin or knockout style tournament. See how easy it is to use this app in the video demo below
This super simple online tool allows you to quickly turn a list of teams into a round robin competition with a few clicks. While it’s not perfect it was an absolute lifesaver when an entire school we we’re hosting failed to turn up to the tennis tournament, ruining my prepared draw.
On a number of occasions I’ve utilised a simple spreadsheet LIVE ladder solution. In the video below I explain how it works;
One of the best aspects of the LIVE Ladder Templates is their ability to be uploaded to Google Drive. This exceptional approach meant that multiple devices could access a LIVE & up to date version of the tournament draw & overall results.
How do you manage the generation of teams and draws in your PE or Sports Classrooms?