I wasn't at all implying that running a comp is a one man job.
I know you weren't implying that.
Setting up a central data gathering solution? Yes.
Sadly, I have yet to find someone that will do this for us. Hell, I can't even get someone to build me an Access database!
The problem with going digital is that you would have judges filling out score sheets on some sort of device. Here's some potential issues (I'm listing so we can talk about them an try and find a solution, not because I'm throwing it back at you):
- Many judges are older, with poor eyesight, and may be stuck in their ways of filling out a paper sheet.
- Does everyone bring their own device? What about the people who don't have smart devices?
- Comps depend on judges filling out sheets in about 10-12 minutes. Any longer than this and a 2.5 hour judging session turns into a 3.5-4.5 hour judging session - that's where you start to talk about judge fatigue. Imagine a 600 bottle comp, which is usually broken down into 2 early flights, 2 Friday flights, and 2-3 Saturday flights. If those sessions took longer than 2.5-3 hours a piece, it would be a disaster. Judges would drop like flies from fatigue and the organizer would likely not be able to do weeknight judging sessions. That's a huge issue. My point is this: many people take longer to type than write, especially on a mobile device or tablet. How can that be overcome?
- If they aren't full typed out score sheets, then how do you communicate to entrants that they might not get the traditional set of feedback?
- Who is going to set this database up? Do you have a reliable volunteer?
- How are you going to integrate it with something like the BCOE&M? From what I understand, it is updated every now and then, and you would have to patch your system in each time it is updated - who is going to do that?
My point is, there is a lot
that goes into this and I don't see (at least our group) being able to pull it off. I'm open to suggestions.
Back to my other point of poorly run competitions, Jimmy hit the nail on the head:
The trouble is just that many organizers don't think ahead about the process.