Saturday, April 25, 2015

SCORBOT Technology: Efficient Sports Management for Everyone

When I was younger and played in AAU basketball tournaments, out team had no idea who we were going to play until we arrived to the court, we had to rely on our eyes or word of mouth to monitor scores of other games, and we did not know where all games would be played in advance. This was all very inconvenient. Fast forward about 25 years and now all of that has changed as I recently discovered when attending AAU basketball tournaments for one of my children.

Nowadays, tournament directors, coaches, parents, and players can manage their tournament play in real time online and via text notifications through a company called Scorbot. The first people who will use the program are tournament directors, who will submit all of the teams eligible to play in a particular age bracket. The program will automatically create pools of teams that will play in the tournament and schedule the matchups at specific locations.  This is all listed on a specific webpage that SCORBOT creates for each tournament that anyone can follow. Here is a sample page from a recent tournament.

As you can from the sample page, the top left of the page shows a list of schedules divided by age ranges for females and males. Each schedule shows the team names, matchups, standings, and a Team ID. You are able to text the Team ID to a specific phone number to receive instant updates about your team (message and data charges may apply).  The schedule also shows the number of points score by each team and the number of points scored against it, which is used for determining tie-breakers. Brackets are also included to show when and where the upcoming matches are that lead to the championship game.  The bottom left side of the page lists addresses for all of the sites, including a clickable list for directions via Mapquest.  The main part of the page contains specific general tournament information.

I have now followed two tournaments in the past 2 weeks via SCORBOT and found it fun and easy to use for parents, coaches, and children alike. We all found ourselves returning to the website to check the scores. The scores are posted when each game is over as soon as the tournament director sends the scores to SCORBOT via SMS (Short Message Service). While I really like and recommend the service, a future improvement would be to find a way to update the scores in real time by instantly sending information from the scoreboard to the SCORBOT website. Although this post addressed AAU basketball tournaments, SCORBOT can be used to configure any type of sports tournament.

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