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

2 comments:

  1. Just an FYI, admins can privatize stats so that fans are limited in what is available to view. For instance, if a coach is concerned about hurting a kids feelings or embarrassing him/her, they can privatize certain stats. It seems that parents are most interested in the ability to follow the live Play-by-Play made available by the app.

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  2. Jeff, thanks for adding the clarification. (See, if I had an editor, this might've been made clear in the post!) If my son continues in tee ball and on to Little League as he gets older, and I keep coaching, my interest in looking more closely at these apps will increase. Now that I think of it though, while it's still a few years off for me, I wonder if anybody would gamecast my nephew's games ... ?

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