Friday, July 27, 2012

Tennis Tournament Updates Idea

Here is the scenario.  You are playing in a tennis tournament or playoffs of some sort.  There is a full weekend-plus of matches scheduled and you don't want to spend a full 3 days at the event.  You check the schedule, see that your next match is at 2:30 the following afternoon and figure you'll show up at 2:00 to be a bit early an all will be good.

Lo and behold, you get there at 2:00 and the match before yours hasn't even gone out yet.  It finally goes on at 2:45 and goes the distance, 11-9 in the match tie-break, and you don't get on court until 4:30, 2 hours after your scheduled time.

Far fetched?  Not really.  Whether because of long matches, weather, or whatever other snafus can occur, this is probably a fairly common occurrence, although 2 hours late is perhaps more rare.  But as a player, when this happens you end up sitting around and having to alter your eating and hydration schedule to try to adapt.  Now, this does provide an opportunity to hang out with friends and watch some tennis, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to get timely updates?

Sure, scores and results ultimately find their way onto TennisLink (for USTA matches) or a tournament web-site, but those updates typically happen at the end of the day, or at least several hours after the matches occurred, not terribly helpful for getting near-real-time updates.  Finding the time to navigate an application or web-site to update the scores can take time, and even if they are entered in a timely fashion, for the players, having to navigate the site and constantly hit refresh simply doesn't make sense.

A better solution is to use a widely adopted tool, Twitter!  Twitter provides a simple way for a tournament director or assistant to quickly tweet scores, results, or schedule/timing updates and all the interested players to receive those updates with little to no effort.  Most everyone has a smartphone of some sort today and can easily send/receive tweets and this would provide a great way for all of the players or anyone else interested in following the tournament to do so.

Simply set up a Twitter account for the tournament, or setup/use an existing account you may have for the organization or club running the tournament, advertise it as part of the registration process, and then use it.  As a bonus for the tournament director, this would likely cut down on the phone calls or other requests they get for schedule updates.

If you think this is a good idea, let your tournament directors know.  Let's make this a standard thing each tournament does.