Aim of the competition and prizes
Building on the success of the earlier timetabling competitions, the International Timetabling Competition 2021 aims to motivate further research on automated sports timetabling and to learn from these efforts. In order to participate in the competition, send a mail to itc2021 at ugent dot be.
The prizes for the ITC 2021 competition are as follows (see also rules).

Winner first milestone:
Top three overall:
  • Winner: 1,000EUR + free registration for PATAT 2021 (Bruges, Belgium)
  • Runner-up: 500EUR + discount on registration for PATAT 2021
  • Third: 250EUR + discount on registration for PATAT 2021

These prizes are kindly sponsored by the EURO working group on Automated Timetabling (EWG PATAT) and the EURO working group on OR in Sports (EWG OR In Sports)).
Video introduction

D. Goossens, J. Beliƫn, M. Davari, D. Van Bulck (2020). The International Timetabling Competition 2021: Sports Timetabling. Presented at the INFORMS 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.

Problem instances
The problem instances consist of constructing a time-constrained double round-robin tournament with 16 to 20 teams while respecting some hard constraints and minimizing the penalties from violated soft constraints. Three groups of problem instances will be published during the competition (early, middle, late). While the order of the competitors will be based on all the published data instances, the instances released later in the competition have a much higher weight in the final ranking. See the rules for more information.
Submitting Solutions
You are invited to send solutions to itc2021 at ugent dot be. Our aim is to answer your mail within a week. To avoid mistakes, please follow these rules:
  • Only submit solutions in the appropriate XML files format, any other format will not be accepted! Note that an interactive XML solution file writer is at your disposal here.
  • Run the online validator on the XML files to check that the results are as expected.
  • If you submit more than two XML files at the same time, please bundle them in a single zip file.
Important dates
ITC Timeline
We will release the instances in three groups: early, middle, and late instances. The early group of instances are already on our website. The middle group of instances will be released in February 2021, and the late instances will follow half April 2021. There is only one deadline for all problem instances which is end of April 2021. After this deadline, we will announce the finalists. First results will be announced at the MathSport International 2021 conference in June 2021. The winners of the competition will be announced at the PATAT 2021 conference in August 2021. There is also the opportunity to submit intermediate results for the early instances (first milestone). Half January 2021, we will make a ranking of the intermediate results. Although not obligatory, it is strongly advised to submit intermediate results since this allows to have a first idea of how your methods compare to what other participants have. A prize is awarded to the winners of the first milestone.

What's new?

  • November 12, 2020. Some small types have been fixed in the user manual. Some missing attributes that take a constant default value in the ITC2020 competition instances have been added to the XML files. While these changes have no impact on the feasibility of solutions, download the latest ZIP files for the test and early instances for the most accurate files.
  • November 11, 2020, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM. If you are attending the INFORMS 2021 annual meeting: don't miss out the presentation and discussion session on the organization of the ITC 2021 competition!
  • October 30, 2020. ITC2021 website goes live.