Testing the scoring programs

Published on March 21st, 2024

by Jerry Thompson, Regional Race Officer
US Sailing has tested a number of scoring programs and all that passed a scoring test are listed on US Sailing’s website.

The test is a basic scorekeeping exercise with ten competitors over five races. The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) Appendix A4, Low Point Scoring System, is applied to score the series. Excluded scores and tie breaking were also tested.

Many of the programs listed include other scoring systems such as the High Point and Handicap Scoring Systems. However, these systems were not tested. Therefore, if you choose one to score, for example, a PHRF Time on Time series, it would be prudent to run test data through your program of choice to see if it achieves the expected outcome.

The scoring programs are broken out into three categories:

1. Stand Alone Programs
2. Internet/Cloud Based Race Management Systems
3. Internet/Cloud Based Club Management Systems that include Scorekeeping

Stand Alone Programs are those that run on a personal computer or other device including smartphones and tablets. Internet access is not required. These scoring programs are very powerful and can easily handle complex scoring scenarios. Communication is the stand alone program’s weakness. Features such as mass text, emailing and on-line official notice boards available in cloud based programs cannot be included in stand alone programs. Many of the stand alone programs are free to use at no cost. The remainder require a modest one-time fee.

Internet/Cloud Based Race Management Systems are accessed via the internet. So the first consideration is will you have adequate internet access at the location where the series will be scored? It is possible for the scorekeeper to be in another location or even another state. On the water recorders may take pictures of finish sheets and text the results to the scorekeeper. This scenario requires solid cellular coverage of the venue.

Many internet/cloud based systems are excellent at competitor communications via email and or text messaging. Online official notice boards are another example of competitor communications. Online official notice boards are particularly useful at events where boats dock at various locations.

Competitors and interested parties may post documents, such as the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, in the online documents section making them available for download.

Other features of cloud based race management systems include:

• Verify that entrants are active members of a class association.
• Accept payments via credit/debit cards and PayPal.
• Online sales to sell registration merchandise.

Some Internet/Cloud Based Race Management Systems are free to use, but the free systems don’t collect registration fees or sell items via credit cards. Several have an annual fee and several other are fee based meaning the charge is based upon the number of entrants of the event.

The final category, Internet/Cloud Based Club Management Systems that include Scorekeeping include all of the features of the Internet/Cloud Based Race Management Systems. However, these systems include much more such as club membership, camps, social events, calendars, recruiting and more.

For a list of the scoring programs that passed the test by US Sailing, click here.

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