The Cat-Herd-Matrix-Space-Problem
If we want more people to be compelled to vigorously exercise, mixed-group scheduling combined with play space provisioning is the hardest problem (in recreation) to solve.

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It’s 4:00 PM on a sunny Saturday afternoon and Joe, age 8, is sitting on the couch watching television. There are five hundred other kids within ten miles doing nearly the same thing. There are countless athletic fields, play courts, and parks nearby...and all of them are empty.

Everyone is bored, but nobody is playing.  

Most kids - and many adults - won’t turn down an opportunity to vigorously participate in a fun group activity. So why are so many of them sitting on the couch?

Imagine five hundred willing participants within ten miles (more or less depending on population density), they are girls and boys ages eight to eighteen, athletes and non-athletes, and availability (to play) depends on transportation and other commitments.

Today, to spontaneously move five hundred kids off of the couch, it would take an army of on-demand coordinators to reserve play spaces, schedule supervision, and distribute the participants into balanced play groups that meet everyone's needs.  

The coordinators would have to account for availability (kids and supervisors by time slot), age-range, gender, skill-level, friend requests (to play together), transportation logistics, proximity, and play space inventory.

All of this coordinating would require at least five-thousand messages, and just as many playgroup and destination re-configurations.  

Moreover, securing safe, convenient, and appropriate places to play makes the problem even harder to solve. Participants will need to cross borders into other towns and cities to participate, and this is typically frowned upon by host communities that maintain public spaces for local taxpayers (only).

Now imagine doing this planning, reserving, and coordinating within every ten mile radius, every day, and all day long; this is what it will take to get people everywhere...spontaneously off of the couch. 

Leagues, clubs, and youth sports organizations solve a tiny fraction of this problem, but they can’t deliver a solution on demand. It’s too hard.  

If we want to get people to get off the couch by enabling spontaneous group play, we have to solve the Cat-Herd-Matrix-Space-Problem first.

Eighty percent of the solution involves designing a super-simple (to end users) on-demand, playgroup scheduling and communication system (see for ideas), and the remaining twenty percent of the solution involves continuously providing enough play space inventory. More on this later...