Sports fans are so spoiled today. There was a time when if you wanted to find out the score of a game, you would have to wait until the game was over and turn on the TV to find out the final. And before cable, you needed to wait for the local news for the score or wait until the next morning’s newspaper. Today, all you need to do is consult a smartphone or tablet to get live updates of a game in progress, and you can even download apps that will send you notifications after every inning or quarter or check Twitter to get updates and commentary.
We are now used to this level of information with the pro and college (and, increasingly, high school) sports we follow. Naturally, youth rec sports coaches and parents are looking at live scoring as an option to help their teams. Though this may seem extreme for kids playing sports for fun, scorekeeping and stat tracking on a tablet or computer during a game does offer benefits; here are four ways how:
1. In-game adjustments
The results of a game for younger players is secondary to having fun and giving the kids a chance to play a variety of positions. As they get older, however, players may become more concerned about winning and losing, and good coaches adapt with more strategy while still emphasizing the teamwork and fun aspects of competition. Live scoring allows coaches and assistants to keep track of statistics and make adjustments accordingly—as the game is in progress. Is your pitcher’s pitch count getting too high? Is your opponent scoring many points in the paint? Are your running backs romping but not getting enough carries? Live scoring can give you these numbers and let you plot strategy during and after a game.
2. Non-attendees can follow along
Live scoring details the progress of a game and can instantly put that progress online. This is a great feature for people who can’t attend a game for one reason or another. Parents on work trips, grandparents out of state, and even players who are on vacation and want to see how their friends are doing can log in to league management software and follow along. Moreover, if coaches want to find out how another game in your league is going, such as a key playoff matchup, coaches can get those updates in real time and tell their players who they might play next—right after the game is over.
3. Catching mistakes
Umpires, referees, and the guys running the scoreboard are human—they sometimes lose track of pitch counts, or register a two-pointer instead of a three, or don’t know how many timeouts a team has left. Live scoring can catch many of these errors so they can be corrected before the game ends and settles any, ahem, disagreements that might emerge when, say, no one is sure how many fouls a team’s star player has.
4. Cumulative stats
Live scoring offers not only short-term benefits, but also long-term data in the form of cumulative statistics. Score one game and your league management software saves that information. Score a second game and the information is added to the previous game’s info to create season stats. These stats can be tracked from game to game to see where a team’s strengths are and what it might need to work on. Stats and standings from every team can be compiled for comparison. Besides being a tool for coaches, older players love stats and will look forward to going online to see how they and other teams are doing.
In what ways do you think live scoring can benefit your team?