Imagine the scene … you’re running a pool competition and need some way to coordinate everything on the day. You could use pieces of paper, even excel spreadsheets, but wouldn’t it be easier if you could do it all in one simple software application?
What follows isn’t a new idea and doesn’t necessarily include new concepts. However, it is my take on a solution that allows me to continually extend if necessary – it’s often very difficult to extend someone else’s work, especially if it is closed source.
Players overview: when you announce a competition you’ll get a list of players stating their interest, some even paying you money, but at this point there is no guarantee they’ll turn up on the day.
Competitions overview: most competitions I’ve been involved in include a main event and then a plate event to keep early round losers interested. Competitions have multiple rounds and can be run simultaneously over the available tables.
Teams overview: for most competitions this tab would be better named as Registered Players, but the software is designed to work for single, or team events, in the same way. When the players arrive at the venue you can register them by creating a team entry (1 or more players per team) for a particular competition.
Matches overview: this tab shows a complete list of matches that need to be played. Grouped by competition/round and showing home team and away team.
Tables overview: tables available for use at the venue. Each table has a status so you can tell if it’s in use, or the players on it just happen to be practicing and causing delays!
Status: this page is where the benefit of using a software application comes into its own. At the top you can see the currently in progress matches. At the bottom you can see a list of matches that need to be played and if there are any free tables.
Omissions from this first demo?
Yes, there are some things missing and some things I’ll change as development progresses. For example, most tabs include a data entry area and an Add button which makes development/testing easier, but these will be moved into dialog boxes in time as they clutter up the main UI.
There’s also no obvious way to create matches between teams. This is coming, although it’s a bit more complex than other tabs as it needs to include a manual match creation and a randomised draw creation.
Results, I don’t see anywhere I can see match results! Again, an extra tab to be developed. The reason it’s not in the demo screenshots is that I don’t want it to be a tab in the same way as the other sections. I want it to be a separate window so those that run tournaments with a laptop and second screen can display the results window on the second screen. This allows players to come and see results (as well as the draw) without having to bug the organiser with questions.
Finally, the extra bits only possible by a software application. What if there was an internet forum you planned to update with results throughout the day? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Publish button that did everything for you – from logging into the forum, formatting the results and continually updating each time you click the Publish button? And, what about a website? A lot of organisers need their results published in a way they can put on their website.
The development continues …