Get the World Cup into Outlook

How to get the World Cup schedule into Outlook automatically.

The football/soccer World Cup is about to start with 64 matches being played over the next month. Here’s how to get a reliable schedule into your Outlook calendar quickly and easily.

Outlook lets you import an Internet feed of calendar items. This is better than a one-time import because last minute changes will be automatically updated in your calendar.

For the World Cup this means the team names (Last 16, Quarter Final, Semi-Final and Final) can be updated as results are known.

Outlook should automatically adjust the match times to your local time zone so you can be in front of your TV at the right time.

The basic process is quite simple but, as usual, there’s tricks and traps that most people don’t know about. First, using an Internet calendar in Outlook.

Switch to calendar view then go to Manage Calendars | Open Calendar | from Internet

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Copy the feed url into the New Internet Calendar Subscription box then click OK. More on choosing a good calendar feed below.

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That will add a calendar to Outlook and will look like this in the left column.

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In the main calendar view, Outlook defaults to its ‘side-by-side’ view with your main calendar on the left and the added calendar on the right.

http://img.office-watch.com/ow/World%20Cup%20and%20Outlook%205.png image from Get the World Cup into Outlook at Office-Watch.com

That’s not a helpful arrangement but you can change to ‘Overlay’ view by clicking the left arrow on the second calendar tab. That will put the two color coded calendars together and let you more easily see any conflicts.

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Choose a calendar feed

There’s quite a few World Cup calendar feeds available but they vary in quality.

We looked for one that was from a reliable source and had latest schedule details. That’s a trap because the schedule was changed in December 2013 but many of the calendars we’ve seen as using the original plan.

If you want to check if the calendar is reliable, look for the England v Italy match on 14 June, it should show as 6pm local time in Manaus not 3pm. Cameroon v Croatia on 18 June and US v Portugal on 22 June also start 3 hours later at 6pm. There are other changes too but if you see those three in place it indicates that it’s the updated schedule.

The most reliable calendar we’ve found is from Google https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/vdmtdcektajkqjk51vvda4ni4k%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

Some other feeds mentioned on the web didn’t have the latest schedule, had incorrectly formatted time zones or the server feed was unreliable.

The Google feed could have more details like match locations and local start time in the text (as a reference) but it seems accurate and the server reliable. Ideally, sports info like this is updated with results.


Time Check

Whichever feed you use, make sure the times are converted to your local time by Outlook. Ideally the calendar feed will have match start/end times in UTC format that Outlook can easily convert to another time zone. This works OK most of the time, but we’ve had trouble in the past and like to double-check.

Look an example like the first match Brazil vs Croatia which starts 12 June 2014 @ 5pm local time in Sao Paulo or 8pm UTC/GMT. If that’s showing up correctly in your Outlook time zone then all the calendar items should be OK. For example here’s the first match showing up for Sydney, Australia fans at 6am on the 13th June.

http://img.office-watch.com/ow/World%20Cup%20and%20Outlook%207.png image from Get the World Cup into Outlook at Office-Watch.com

Note that UTC/GMT is one hour behind London time at the moment because the UK is on Daylight Savings/Summer time. For a list of world times for the first match go to timeanddate.com.