Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Jeff:

We have 20 golfers playing a 20 week season. We play in foursomes. How best to set foursomes so everyone can play with every without playing with the same person multiple times?


Most pairs of players will be together 3 or 4 times over 20 weeks.

I don’t know if there is a perfect solution to your problem. There is a schedule in the archive whereby, over 6 weeks, almost every two players are together exactly once. See In this schedule there are 4 players, each of whom missed a round with 4 (different) others, and who play their second game together on week 6. What you could do is use this schedule for the first 6 weeks, renumber the players and use it again, do that a third time, and then use the last couple of weeks to group players together who need to play together a bit more to balance things out. Renumbering can help avoid players who missed each other in the first 6 weeks missing each other again.

Good luck.

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