ITC 2021: International Timetabling Competition – Sports Timetabling

Posted by: Dries Goossens
Contact:[email protected]

*** ITC 2021: International Timetabling Competition – Sports Timetabling ***

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We are announcing the start of the new edition of the international timetabling competition (ITC 2021), which focuses on sports timetabling. We call for your participation.

In sports timetabling, the problem is to decide on a suitable date for each of the matches to be played in the tournament. This is a complex and challenging problem, even for a small number of contestants. Our competition offers a rich and diverse set of sports timetabling instances, involving up to 9 different constraints that are common in real-life.

We invite any interested timetabler to participate, and aim to keep the threshold for participation as low as possible. In that sense, the competition rules have no time or technology restrictions: we are looking for the best solutions regardless of the computation time, and commercial solvers are allowed. Our website offers support for handling the problem instance format.

Thanks to our sponsors, we can award several prizes for the winners, such as 1000 EUR and a free registration for the PATAT 2021 conference (Bruges, Belgium) for the winner, and a free registration for the MathSport 2021 conference (Reading, UK) for the best intermediate result.

There will be a special track related to ITC 2021 at the PATAT 2021 conference. Moreover, each participant will have the opportunity to submit a paper for a special journal issue of the conference.

The competition closes on April 30th, 2021. We will release the instances in three groups (early, middle, and late); the early instances are now available on our website.



October 31, 2020:  Early instances are published

January 1, 2021: Milestone submission deadline

February 2021:  Middle instances are published

April 2021: Late instances are published

April 30, 2021: Submission deadline, competition closes

May 2021: Finalists are announced

August 2021: Winners are announced



Winner first milestone:

Free registration for MathSport International 2021 (Reading, UK)


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



- EURO working group on Automated Timetabling (EWG PATAT)

- PATAT 2021 conference

- EURO working group OR in Sports (EWG OR in Sports)

- MathSport International



- David Van Bulck, Ghent University

- Dries Goossens, Ghent University

- Jeroen Beliën, KU Leuven

- Morteza Davari, SKEMA Business School


We refer to our website ( for all further information. In case you have any questions or want to participate in the competition, please send a mail to [email protected].