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Platform Tennis Goes Live On-Line
NOVEMBER 16, 2010
This year’s Chicago Platform Tennis Charities Tournament featured the launch of the APTA’s new live tournament scoring system, a joint venture between the APTA and the CPTC. The system is designed to enhance the tournament experience for players and fans using the internet and social networking.
The initiative began last spring when John Noble, tournament director for the 2011 APTA Men’s and Women’s Nationals in Chicago, approached the APTA with an idea to use the internet and social networking to make news and scores available real-time for the 2011 Nationals. It was a two pronged approach. One: develop a truly interactive draw that could be updated real-time by tournament volunteers at any location. Two: use social networking to report news that could be displayed within the system and also accessed directly through the social networking site. The system would also include directions and player information.
The APTA came on board quickly, and throughout the summer Noble worked closely with APTA Webmaster Isabel Cabanne, who took on the development work. The plan was to launch the system at the Charities, use it at several tournaments to practice and work out kinks, and have it fine-tuned for the Nationals next March. Cabanne remarked that “John has a very clear and complete vision, and an openness to implementation details, which is an ideal combination for a development project like this one.”
For the social networking piece, the system uses Twitter. An account was set up for the tournament, and the tweets are displayed down the left side of the screen. The news is accessible through the system and also directly through Twitter, and users of Twitter could follow “2010Charities” and receive the tweets directly.
The draw occupies the rest of the screen. There are options to view entire draws and single rounds, and also the progress of individual teams. Users can click on line numbers and feed notations (C1, QR2, etc) to jump between the various draws automatically. Clicking on a team name takes you to that team’s progress, and clicking on a location brings up its directions.
The launch at the Charities was a success. Scores were entered real-time, tweets were sent, and players and fans could follow the tournament from anywhere. We heard reports of friends and family who got calls from players and were able to say, “I already know. I saw your results on line.”
Ann Sheedy, APTA Executive Director, commented: “We are extremely excited about this new tool which will enhance the tournament experience for players and friends alike. It’s not only informative and easy to use but a lot of fun as well. We are very proud of the work that Isabel Cabanne has done on this program.”
The Charities system is still in place. We invite you to visit the system and take a look. Click the links, see how it works, and send us some feedback. If you like something, let us know. If something doesn’t work, let us know. The goal is a system that will make your tournament experience better, so we welcome all your input.