EXPERIMENT WITH THE EXAMPLE TEAM
YSL comes with an 'Example team' so you can quickly learn how the app generates a lineup and lets you customize it. If you start a game with the example team, note that the clock runs at 20x speed for demonstration purposes.
USING YSL ON THE FIELD
Youth Soccer Lineup is a tool, and there are a few techniques for using it in an outdoor athletic environment.
Avoid polarized sunglasses. They can block out the display.
To avoid having your device auto-lock during a game
In general settings, choose an auto-lock time longer than a substitution period.
If your iPad has a cover, select 'Unlock' to prevent the device from locking when you close it.
Set the brightness to maximum and use the app in the shade if you can.
Ensure you've got a full charge before a game.
Make sure the sound isn't muted.
The app makes it easy for a solo head coach to run the game by himself or herself. But its easier if you choose the substitution periods to line up with clock stoppages (for example, at halves or quarters). The perfect set-up, especially if you perform substitutions while the clock is running, is to have an assistant coach use the app to manage the lineup from the bench, leaving the head coach free to concentrate on the game.
ENTER YOUR TEAM
On the title screen, tap the + button. This will take you to the team settings screen. Enter a team name and pick a color. Then select the number of players on the field, the game format (halves, quarters, etc.) and the duration of a game. Next, choose how many substitution periods you want YSL to divide the game into. For example, if you have a sixty minute game in two halves and want to sub players in and out every 10 minutes or so, choose '6'.
ENTER YOUR PLAYERS
On the 'Team settings' screen, tap the 'Roster' button. This takes you to the Roster screen, which lists all your players. Tap the + button to the 'Player settings' screen to begin entering your roster. Enter the player's name and set the number; numbers that have already been taken will be grayed out. If you have parents' consent to photograph your players, you can tap 'Take' and capture an image with your device's camera, or 'Select' an image from your photo album. Otherwise, select an avatar. The next most important information on this screen is player strengths. Tap a switch on the field to mark a player strong in that capacity. YSL will use this information to generate lineups and show you how strong a player is at a given position. You should also set 'Play time in competitive mode' according to a player's overall skill if you intend to use the 'Competitive mode' option.
NAVIGATE ON THE TOP BAR
When you are finished entering the data for a player, tap 'Roster' (or 'Back to Roster' on iPad) to return to the roster screen. In YSL, the navigation bar at the top of the screen is always the place to go to move through data entry and lineup generation.
PICK A FORMATION
Back on team settings, tap the 'Formation' button. YSL will show you all the formations available for the number of players you've set on the field. Tap the 'View' button to see how the formation looks. On the formation view, you can tap on a position to see the full name and an explanation. Back on the formation list, tap on a name to select it before returning to 'Team settings.'
Formation names that are grayed-out can be unlocked with the Expanded Formations upgrade. That upgrade also lets you build any formation you want by taping the + button.
CHOOSE YOUR OPTIONS
YSL offers multiple options to get the automatically-generated lineup as close as possible to your preferences. Keep in mind that the mathematics of players, positions, and substitution periods often makes it impossible to implement a "perfect" lineup, but YSL will get close.
Change player position rarely, sometimes, or always. Some coaches prefer to keep players in a position as long as they can; others like to rapidly rotate players through positions. Because "always" forces substitutions at every opportunity, it's usually best reserved for games in which the clock is stopped at every sub period.
Spread bench time. "Yes" minimizes the consecutive periods a player will have on the bench, but will force you to make substitutions more often.
Competitive mode. This upgrade lets you put your best players on the field the most, while still ensuring everyone plays a minimum number of periods. If you use this, it's important to set 'Play time in competitive mode' in each players' settings.
Keepers: Exposure or strength. 'Exposure' tries to get everyone through the position. 'Strength' only puts in your best keepers, based on who you mark as strong at keeper in player settings, and time in the position.
Keepers: Substitute never, halftime, clock stops, or always. These options let you choose if/when to change keepers.
GENERATE AN AUTOMATIC LINEUP
From the 'Team settings' screen, tap 'Play!' in the navigation bar. This takes you to the 'Who's here' screen. Tap a row to mark players present. Then tap 'Done.' Now, YSL will automatically generate a lineup and display it on the 'Lineup' screen.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR LINEUP
To move players around in the lineup, press-and-hold on a player until their name appears in a box, then drag-and-drop them where you want. The lineup screen conveys lots of information to help you customize your lineup:
The strength of a player in their current position (according to the strengths you indicated in player settings) is shown by a green bar at the right of a cell. A full bar means the player matches the position in both the defender-midfielder-forward and right-center-left dimensions. A half bar means only one of these criteria matches.
The numbers separated by a slash are, first, the number of substitution periods a player has been on the field for the current game, and second, the total number of substitution periods a player will have on the field according to the current lineup.
MAINTAINING FAIR PLAY TIME
The math of periods, players, and positions rarely allows all players to get equal play time in a given game. Almost always, some players will get X periods on the field and some will get X-1 periods. Call these 'major' and 'minor' shares of play time. YSL handles this by color coding the player names in the lineup. The app takes into account not only the current lineup, but also the archived play time data from previous games and whether they are a late arrival to the current game.
Green: The player is getting more than a major share, or they are getting a major share when they are already ahead on archived play time.
White: The player is getting a major share or a minor share in the current game, as appropriate for their archived play time.
Yellow: The player is 'due' more play time based on past games, but is only getting a minor share in the current game.
Red: The player is getting less than a minor share.
YSL's automatic lineup is always a fair as possible, given the options you set. Maintaining fairness when you customize your lineup is as easy as swapping red and yellow players with green players!
HANDLING A LATE ARRIVAL
To add or remove a player and generate a new lineup during a game, go to the 'Who's here' screen, make the change, and tap 'Done.' YSL will generate a new lineup starting at the next substitution period. YSL will do its best to minimize changes, but remember that the slightest change in "Who's here" can have dramatic effects of distributing play time evenly.
Tip: If a player comes out of the game and you've modified your lineup extensively, it's easier to manually bench that player rather than regenerating a lineup.
SAVE, SHARE, AND PRINT A LINEUP
If you have a lineup the way you want it and want to use it again, tap the 'Save' button. After you name your lineup, it will be available in the team settings view to implement directly. This is very convenient for generating a lineup before a game... as long as the players who show up are exactly what you expected!
If you have the Share & Print upgrade, YSL will generate a JPEG image of the lineup and launch the sharing app, from which you can use to post the lineup to social media, email it to your team, or print as a backup to the app.
PLAYING A GAME: START THE CLOCK!
At the whistle, tap the 'Start' button, and YSL's clock will start running. Starting the clock is important to let YSL know how to handle late arrivals and when to prompt you for substitutions.
If you forget to start the clock, tap the 'Set' button. This will allow you to jump to any point in the game.
If your team options call for substitutions while the clock is running, YSL will cue you one minute ahead of when they are due in, so you can execute at the next opportunity in the game. Tap 'Done' to let YSL know you've made the substitutions, and the Field view will be updated.
RECORDING PLAY TIME DATA
At the end of a game, YSL will ask you if you want to archive play time data, which the app uses to ensure fair play time over the course of a season. (Keep in mind that YSL uses the lineup screen to get this data, so try to keep it accurate.) Tap 'No' if you were experimenting with your team or if your actual lineup diverged significantly from your plan. (It happens!)
You can always check play time data on a player's 'Settings' screen. You can't manually change it, but if you ever feel that it doesn't reflect reality, you can tap 'Reset play time' on the 'Roster' screen, which will zero out all the data as if it were the beginning of a season.