Mark Entry For Judges
You see it in other sports all the time: “big horse” dressage shows, figure skating, ski jumping… judges use computers or other electronic devices to submit their scores. Offering this kind of functionality has always been on our to-do list for IceTestNG, and we are excited to announce that we have successfully used this feature now on a big competition!
At this year’s German championship for Icelandic Horses (DIM), judges were provided iPads in the oval track preliminaries, and recorded more than 4,600 marks and around 1,100 final scores. Mark entry was done by the secretaries: We figured quite early in the preparations that using a tablet or laptop requires focussing on the screen, and re-adjusting focus between horses on the track and a screen takes most people longer than scribbling a mark on a piece of paper.
We are very happy to report that our solution got rave reviews from the judges and secretaries who used it at DIM. These are just a few of the positive aspects they pointed out:
- There are no silly mistakes calculating the final score for a performance (in preliminaries).
- No transcription errors by the data center or speaker.
- Having access to all single section marks from preliminaries creates new, exciting opportunities for data analysis. For example, you could check out the marks for trot the offspring of stallion X receive.
- Judges’ marks can be compared and reviewed more easily after a test.
- Riders could find all their single marks in their e-mail inbox just seconds after their performance.
The requirements to use the feature are quite low: You will need one device running the Google Chrome browser (and having access to the internet, obviously) per judge. That device could be a tablet or a notebook. Marks can be entered using the keyboard, or – if available – with a stylus, using a nifty OCR function that will recognize handwritten numbers and convert them into text.
IceTestNG provides two different views for recording marks: One for single rider tests like T1 or F1, and one for group tests (e.g. V2 or T8) and finals. Marks can be edited for as long as needed, and are “locked” by the judge at the end of the participant’s program (preliminaries) or once a section is concluded (finals). Mark entry is not necessarily limited to oval track tests: The feature could also be used in trail or dressage tests, making scores instantly available to riders.
Mark entry for judges also changes the workflow for the data center: The data center will typically select the rider who’s on the track, which in turn causes the judges’ devices to show that rider’s info on their screens. The operator then waits for the judges’ marks to show up on his screen (after they have been locked). The speaker’s screen will also display incoming marks, but only as a complete set for each rider, so they can be read out instantly.
Once the marks are in the system, the usual output channels are available as always: Scores are sent to the ticker website, the video wall feature can be used to display information on site or insert text into video streams.
We are now refining and tweaking the new feature based on the experience gathered at DIM. Data entry for judges will be available to all users of IceTestNG soon, and you will very likely also be able to see it live at the World Championships 2019 in Berlin.