Monday, May 9, 2011

Little League apps for scorekeeping and gamecasting

Baseball, Little League, web streaming - Hartford Courant

It used to be the audience for Little League Baseball was as wide as the area beyond the foul lines, encompassing those milling around the snack bar, leaning against the backstop, sitting in their beach chairs.

But the growth of technology has brought with it the ability to bring the action to a wider audience.

Little Leagues across the nation are now able to use specifically designed applications and websites to broadcast play-by-play accounts and video stream games to those who care but can't be there.
First, with apologies to Mr. Altavilla, that is a horribly written article. And maybe that's an editor's fault, because I can't imagine why an editor wouldn't have fixed (or ordered the author to fix) at least a half dozen things. Anyways, it's still interesting to note that Little League International now offers at least two applications that allow for gamecasting and scorekeeping.

I've seen in-game updates of local high school action on twitter and wondered if parents have every gotten together on their own and agreed on hash tag that all could use to crowdsource the play-by-play? But I've also wondered, particularly for younger kids, if there is a downside to making stats so freely available?  When I was a Little Leaguer, the coaches didn't share the stats they kept from their scorecards. And, while the town newspaper did capsule notes on Little League games, you never saw a box score. I've always thought that was to protect the kids hitting below the Mendoza Line from criticism.

In an age of facebook bullying, does making Little Leaguers stats available to all open the door to unwanted (and unwarranted) criticism from opposing players, other parents, even their own teammates? The emphasis with instructional leagues should be on learning the fundamentals of the game. While stats can certainly help coaches measure performance and improvement over time, I don't know if they really help the kids.

Related: GameChanger
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