Tags: Best Practices

If you’re running a recreational sports league, no matter what kind of sport being played, keeping score is extremely important. But did you know that having a digital score book that keeps stats online is possibly just as important? This does require a little extra elbow grease and man power, but the payoff is certainly worth the work.

Let’s start by explaining why keeping score in general is important. We all know that the main goal of a sports team is to win games. The relative skill level of a particular team can be judged simply by looking at their win/loss record. Let’s start with a sample statement: In your basketball league, it can be safely assumed that Team A, who wins six games out of eight, is better than Team B who only wins four or five of eight games. 

Now let’s prove the sample statement wrong. Let’s say that out of the six games Team A won, they won each game by squeaking by at an average margin of two points, yet in their two losses they got blown out by 20 points each. Team B won only four of their games, but won by an average of 15 points in those games, and their four losses were by margins averaging three points. Let’s add this up: six times two is 12, minus two times twenty is 40, Team A’s point total is -28. Team B has 15 times four for 60, minus three times four is 12, that’s a point total of +48. Which is better, -28 or +48? Which team is better now? Let’s throw another wrench into that theory. What happens if Team B has one or two guys who played in college or semi-pro and are head and shoulders ahead of the competition level at that division, while Team A is better all-around as a team with no standouts, and a couple of their key players were on vacation for those two games they lost? Or if Team B has a guy who’s seven feet tall, and no one can even hope to defend him? Now what?

From the viewpoint of the participants in the league, this information is important. It helps tell the story of what the team they’re going to be playing against is, and also lets them know how they stack up against the competition. They can track down what player on the other team to watch extra carefully. Another thing they can do, and it’s more for the camaraderie, but they can then use these stats to hold bragging rights over the rest of the team, or give out team awards for the players who did best in certain categories (or joke awards in a similar light). 

From an organization perspective, you have many uses available as well. Do you have different divisions based on skill level of the players? You can use the stats you compile to determine if one team is too good or not good enough for the division you’ve placed them in. Do you need to see if a team is bringing in a guy who’s too good for the rest of the division? You can see if there’s any of these ringers in your league and take the appropriate action to make sure no one is ruining the balance of competition and making the league less fun for the participants. 

A byproduct of all this is how it makes your league look a lot more professional and official. Having a webpage where teams can access statistics for both their team as well as their opponents is a big product you as a league can offer. Because of the many features and functions online scores offers (as we’ve gone through above), this could be used as a draw for teams or individual players who want a league that can boast these features. It gives those participants the ability to compare themselves to other players or leagues, or even the professionals, no matter how far fetched that idea may be. It doesn’t always factor into why a group or person would pick your league over another one in the area, but it certainly helps your case for legitimacy and professionalism.

Sure, it takes some extra work to make it happen. You would need people on top of each game, and people who can enter it into your system to keep it as up to date as possible. But the payoff will be worth it. The functionality serves both you as the organizing league as well as the players and teams who pay to play in it. The league becomes better run, and a better place for players to enjoy their experience and come back as repeat customers.

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