Online Scorekeeping with Google Spreadsheets

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Online Scorekeeping with Google Spreadsheets

Post by phoebecaulfield » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:00 pm

In order to make scorekeeping easier for staffers, I created a method of online scorekeeping through Google Spreadsheets. A sample scoresheet can be found here: ... 1816381318.
We (Irvine) conducted a trial run of the scoresheets at IVY League (10/25), where it was generally a success. The teams especially liked being able to view games live. A review can be found here: ... ne-102514/.
Arcadia also recently implemented the method at ACE (11/1), and Torrey Pines is planning on using it at their tournament in February.
This is not as complex and functional as other apps and software such as Abacus. I understand that there are several versions of online scoresheets similar to this, but I think both tournament hosts and players could benefit from the simplicity and convenience of this method.

How to use the scoresheet
The online scoresheet is basically the NAQT scoresheet transposed onto Google Spreadsheets. Thus, experienced scorekeepers will already be familiar with the format. The only difference is that the Tossup + Bonus, Cumulative Sum, Bonus Total, and Final Score cells are automatically calculated. Player stats (number of 15's, 10's, and -5's scored) are also automatically calculated. This is done through Google Spreadsheets equations which can be seen by clicking on the aforementioned cells.
The only data the scorekeeper needs to input are:
- Team names (in place of "Team A" and "Team B" at the top)
- Player names (in place of "P1," "P2," "P3," etc. at the top)
- Player scores (the same way NAQT scoresheets are filled)
- Bonus points (the same way NAQT scoresheets are filled)
- Number of tossups heard by each player (the same way NAQT scoresheets are filled)

Implementing the scoresheets at competitions
There may be several ways to implement these online scoresheets, but I suggest they are incorporated as follows:
1. Make one spreadsheet per room.
2. Add tabs (which can be found at the bottom of the spreadsheet) for each round. i.e., at the bottom you should have "Round 1," "Round 2," "Round 3," etc. as seen in the sample scoresheet.
3. Before the day of the tournament, share the Google Spreadsheets to the scorekeepers so that only they can edit the scoresheet for their respective room. i.e., share the Room 1 scoresheet with the scorekeeper assigned to Room 1, and so on. Make sure no one else can edit the scoresheet except yourself (the TD) and the scorekeeper assigned to that scoresheet, but everyone with the link can view it.
4. Make shortened links for the scoresheets for convenience. I used
5. On the day of the tournament, when a room is finished with a game, have a runner/scorekeeper notify the TD that the scoresheet data is ready to be inputted into SQBS. Or, the TD can simply check the rooms through the online scoresheets to find out which rooms are finished.

- It minimizes calculation errors, thereby speeding up gameplay.
- TDs can constantly check on rooms without leaving the tournament HQ. This way, TDs can easily know which rooms are behind or ahead.
- TDs can communicate with staffers through comments or chat on Google Spreadsheets without leaving the HQ.
- Coaches, teams, or quizbowl members who are not present at the tournament can view tournament games live.
- If games are held in rooms with projectors, the scores can be displayed in the room. This is a double-edged sword: people in the room may continually point out errors on the scoresheet, which can both slow the game down and ensure score accuracy throughout the game.
- If NAQT requests that scoresheets be sent to them, the scoresheets can simply be shared with by sending them the links.

Things to keep in mind
- Scorekeepers must be well-trained to use the scoresheets. People who are not well-versed with technology or Google Docs probably should not scorekeep with this method.
- Scorekeepers should not copy and paste cells in order to amend errors. Instead, they should do so by just erasing data in the cell and retyping it. DO NOT type in or delete data in the cells with equations.
- In case something goes wrong with the scoresheets, be sure to have blank printed scoresheets in each room as precautions.
- The mod should not be scorekeeping as well with this method, since it is inconvenient switching back and forth between the scoresheet and packets. Each room should have at least two staffers, a scorekeeper and a mod.
- Communication is essential. Scorekeepers should be reminded to consult the TD about any uncertainties, and the TD should constantly check on scorekeepers to ensure they understand what they're doing.

I think most of the problems were ironed out after our trial run at IVY League, but if anything else concerns you or you notice any bugs, please comment here. It seems that this method is beginning to catch on in the SoCal circuit, and I hope more tournaments utilize this method since it is fairly simple, makes scorekeeping more convenient, and allows people to view games live.

If you would like to use this method or have any questions, please comment here or email me at I appreciate any helpful comments!
Dana Lansigan
Irvine High School

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