How to Make a 12-Team Schedule

When creating a schedule for a sports league, be certain it is fair and balanced for all competing teams. Twelve-team leagues are a popular size for fantasy football groups. In both fantasy leagues and competitive leagues of 12 teams, a common arrangement is a division into three groups of four teams each. With three groups, a balanced schedule can be created over 14 rounds of play that ensures all divisional opponents play the same schedule.

Write out all the team match-ups you will require over the course of a season in a spreadsheet or word processing program. Every team will play their divisional opponents twice, and their non-division opponents once. If you are using a home-and-away schedule, assign each team a home and away match for each division opponent. Give each team four home non-division games and four away non-division games as well.

Print out the match-ups.

Cut the match-ups page into slips, with one game on each slip.

Separate the slips into inter-divisional match-ups and divisional match-ups on a flat surface.

Arrange the slips in the divisional grouping into six different groups of six slips each, being sure that no team is in any group twice. This creates the six rounds of divisional match-ups for your league.

Arrange the slips in the non-divisional grouping into eight different groups of six slips each, being sure that no team is in any group twice. This creates the eight rounds of non-divisional match-ups for your league.

Record the groups in the order of your choosing, with each group representing one round of games, to create your schedule.


The simplest way to reach four home and away games with non-divisional opponents for all 12 teams is to make teams in division A be home to division B, teams in B to be home to C, and teams in C to be home to A. For the next season, reverse the home team in each grouping, ensuring every two seasons each team will host and visit each non-division opponent.

A popular method for ordering the rounds is to schedule the first and last three rounds of the season for the six divisional rounds, with each team playing each division rival in both groups of three rounds. This allows teams to play their three division rivals to start the year and establish standing within the division, then to play their non-division schedule, and conclude with three more divisional rounds to make a final push to win the division against the teams in direct competition. Alternatively you can spread the six division rounds throughout the length of the season.