Florida A & M University (FAMU) recently hosted the annual Seminole Rattler Invitational in Tallahassee, Florida. Coach Fred Simmons chose Takedown Scoring and Stats for running the table scoreboards at his three mat, fourteen team event. In addition, Takedown was used to keep riding time and validate the bout sheets delivered to the head table for bracket administration. Coach Simmons kindly told us about his experience. Here are his words, slightly edited for space.
What problem were you solving by using Takedown Scoring and Stats?
Coach Simmons: Every year our school is faced with the problem that we must train new college students to the scoring rules and mat procedures in order to run an effective tournament. In the past we have used the classic flip board bout sheets and stop watches to run our tournaments. This year with help of the app made teaching these students the scoring system a lot easier and our tournament run pretty smooth because of it.
Can you estimate the time saved by using Takedown?
Coach Simmons: With teaching volunteers how to score by hand and not really having to go into great detail about riding time i would say at least 2 weeks of practices. We meet three times a week and not all the volunteers came on a regular basis.
What feedback did you get from your scorers? Fans? Officials?
Coach Simmons: my vet scorers found that it was easier than previous scoring methods where they have to do bout sheet flip boards and then one person strictly does riding time on their smart phones. New scorers like it because it allowed them see how what they learned via our teaching the scoring criteria to a system that pretty much does things for them Refs loved that it recorded the penalties much more accurately and keep them on track with stalling and caution calls during the match. Fans for the most part could see each match and screen (20 inch screen) from the bleachers at least the main score function. Several coaches asked me about the app and how to get it. I noticed several wrestlers looking at the riding time function while match is going on.
How did you staff and equip your tables?
Coach Simmons: at each table, we used an IPad mini wired to a 20" computer monitor. Using the app reduced the number of people needed to run each table. In the past we staffed a separate riding time clock operator. With Takedown, we could eliminate this position and reduce our table staffing by 25%. In the future, we expect to eliminate the bout sheets and transmitt match outcomes electronically to the head table bracket administrator, thereby reducing our headcount down to two people per table. From where we started, this is a 50% reduction in table staffing which is a big deal in a volunteer-run tournament.
Will you use Takedown again?
Coach Simmons: Yes. As an NCWA program that pretty much has zero operating budget except for the fundraising we do, this app made things much more streamlined and cost effective.
Are you willing to share the details with other coaches looking to do something similar?
Coach Simmons: sure! Send me an email at email@example.com. Happy to help.