I’ve had the idea of posting this for a longer while. A few comments about the scorekeeping in Hungary Pinball Open, and for me the inability to watch any of the standings at home finally made me to spend time to post this. This probably is nothing new or interesting for all of you using the more high quality systems (big shoutouts to Karl for the DTM system and Andreas for matchplay.events), but at least in Europe many still seem to use paper sheets or local Excel spreadsheets for the scoring calculations.
In short: if you are using any tournament format that needs a spreadsheet to calculate the standings, why not use Google Sheets (GS)? In comparison to local Excel docs etc, you instantly have all the data online to share with others, have backups and easy rollback features readily available, and you don’t even have to host anything yourself. There are some requirements about your computer performance and internet connection capacity, but in majority of the cases these aren’t any issue.
Thanks to a good friend of mine with crazy skills in everything about spreadsheets, we’ve been using GS for basically everything regarding pinball tournament scorekeeping in Finland for several years. The Finnish Pinball League with matchplay qualifications and single elimination playoffs, and many of the other annual tournaments with various limited entry or matchplay qualification formats use his more or less automated Google Sheets. This friend of mine has even formalized his work to a point that you can make your own sheets copying his base sheets to run your own tournament:
The input sheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1N2PPMBefHUNzFqbfbgx7TEe7_rwWubJS2r-vz28WTKs/edit#gid=688929683
The public sheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VeRJL4iacbX2AYuKtTzZrue_MYaFQgMEAYsGMp5CuS0/edit#gid=1828622396
The input document is the “backend” document, where you input all the data. The public document is the document that you can share for others to see the standings online. When submitting the entries, you basically just need to find the correct sheet for the game and input the player number and the score. Everything else is done automatically and the Info sheets of both of the documents probably provide you with enough information to get started with.
Using Google Sheets with a mobile device isn’t that convenient, so with these you probably still would need to have a paper to write down the scores on a machine and then give the paper to someone who inputs the entries to the Google Sheet. Still it’s way easier than how many of the tournaments seem to collect and input their data. In our case the need for papers was eliminated by a friend of mine developing an awesome browser app, that inputs all the data to GS.
In K15 Open 2016 we had this even more crazily awesome in-house produced scoring app (http://scores.k15.fi ) which also automatically input the data to Google Spreadsheets. All the tournament data in GS can be seen at http://live.k15.fi. Having used GS to practically every tournament, it’s been easy to archive all the tournament result links to a single archive page http://k15.fi/past.php
In match-play tournaments like Finnish Pinball League we have a laptop available for players to input the matchplay results to GS, which then makes all the necessary calculations for points and standings. See the latest Finnish Pinball League event standings at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15k8o-j4pfjbCFDehOapOPdwmq8RuDKpjsEqeCzESTV4/edit#gid=1
Oops, this ended up being longer post than I thought. Sorry about that. If the provided base sheets would help you to organize a tournament, feel free to make your own copies.