00: Best Practices for Entering Scores

The following are collected Best Practices for entering scores for your soccer tournament. Your procedures may differ based on the resources you have at hand, but for the most part, these are fairly universal.

1. Scoring a tournament is not a multi-tasking job
Dedicate one person to just entering scores. The morning of the first day may be a bit slow, but it will eventually back up and things will become stressful, especially right after the third round when group winners will need to be verified and teams advanced. Strong seeding all but assures many divisions will be tight.

2. Protect the scorekeeper
Protect the person entering scores at all costs. This person should not be identified to the general tournament-going public, the coaches and most definitely not the parents. If the scorekeeper can be in a remote, locked location, that is even better. Sometimes detailed calculations may need to be made when verifying teams that advance. An environment where the scorekeeper can concentrate will be needed.

3. Work with the smallest data set possible
At minimum, filter the games to enter scores by the current date. If you have multiple scorekeepers at different venues, agree to only filter games by the respective venue. This ensures each scorekeeper won’t overwrite the others’ entries. You may also want to filter by division and/or game time start.

Keep the “Hide Completed Games” option checked, unless you are correcting a score that has already been updated. If you do need to update a score that was previously entered, it is best to search just for that one game and update it. The scores will appear grayed out, but it is editable.

4. Accuracy above all else
You can get almost anything else wrong and the teams will forgive you except a game score. Double, triple check the score before committing to the update. If the score is illegible it is almost better to not enter it than to get it wrong (but nothing gets you email faster than an incorrect score, so it may almost be faster than trying to track down the game officials) Also, don’t take a coach’s word for the score and never a parent’s word.

5. Standings
The standings for each division are calculated ONCE when the score changes for that division and is written to a cached file. That way, we can serve up the standings quickly without each website visitor having to fire off a trip to the database and recalculate standings that have not changed. This is self-managing, meaning that the system will compare the last time a score for that division was updated with the date of the standings cache file with each visit. If it needs to, it will recalculate.

Any trip to a standings link from the admin side, however, will fire off a fresh recalculation.

When you enter the scores, the confirmation screen will determine which divisions have been updated and ask if you want to recalculate the standings for each division at that time. If you have time to do so, we strongly encourage you do. Recalculating standings at the time you enter scores is the most preferable, though not absolutely necessary to be done immediately. If your scorekeeper has some time between rounds, he/she can click on the “See All Division Standings” button and recalculate any division with a red dot.

6. Posting scores and standings
Many events are no longer posting scores and standings outside the HQ tent, instead relying on teams to be able to view them on their phones in real time. However if you choose to post, be sure to have a high-speed laser printer available (an inkjet is just way too slow) on-site. Click on the “See All Division Standings” button, scan down for any red dots and update those that need recalculating. Check “Include Schedules” and click “Bulk Print All Standings,” then send the web page to the printer. It will burst at each division.

If you have a fancy monitor (or two or three) you can send the scores to them wirelessly or via HDMI cable, depending on how your computer is set up. This is set in the Media Module and should be dedicated to one computer. In other words, don’t use your scorekeeping computer.

7. Advancing Teams
You rarely get a chance to recover from advancing the wrong team, so don’t do it. Only ONE person should be allowed to advance teams.

Select “Advance Teams” from the Action Menu™ and click GO! Any game that is not a pool/prelim game will be listed, with drop downs for the competing teams. You should first click on the “S” in the upper left corner to verify the standings. This will fire off a recalculation, just to make sure the latest scores are included. Verify all teams have played the same number of games and there are no 3-way ties. If the points are razor-thin close, you may wish to verify the scores on the schedule first before advancing the team. Sometimes, the calculations may not necessarily advance the team you want because the rules were mis-applied throughout the weekend or something else happened on the field that may disqualify the leading teams. Team advancement is intentionally not automated to give the tournament director final say on the advancement. Be sure to click “Update Teams to Advance” at the bottom and double check the public schedule for the teams.

8. Stay until the last score is in
Stay until the very end. Make sure all the games have scores. The last team to play is as important as the first team to play.