DEVELOPMENTS IN CLUB SCORING: ANALYST REQUIRED!
With the advent of electronic scoring software available, often for free, on mobiles, tablets and laptops, the world of cricket scoring has changed dramatically in the past five years or so.
It’s been possible of course for the Scorer to display or tweet live scores to the waiting world for a couple of seasons now. That this is a well-used and much relied upon service is evidenced by the urgent score enquires received when it goes down - one Saturday from as far afield as Tobago, Dubai and Sydney, not to mention from some [email protected] down the road in Chippenham!
I have noticed that I now get far fewer text enquires along the lines of ‘what’s the latest score?’ or ‘how many is James on?’, even from players and spectators who are actually at the ground. The only texts/phone calls I now receive during a game are from the odd dinosaur who relies on his trusted Nokia 6310i and refuses to upgrade to a smartphone.
Now, in a big game-changer, a recent upgrade of the ECBs Play Cricket Scorer Pro (PCSP) free software has made available to recreational Clubs a whole host of scoring features for 2019 that were previously only in use in the professional/international game. These features include:
Scoring: There are many nifty fixes and tweaks to the basic scoring system. For example, Wickets and Retirements can now be added and edited (including a change of player) on previous deliveries, with intelligent auto-correct and reassignment to fix subsequent balls and to address common scenarios such as missing that the batsmen crossed. ‘Short’ runs are easily dealt with and there’s loads of other stuff in there too re innings timings, concussion substitutes, sub fielders, ‘timed out’, and ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ fielders for those amazing on-the-boundary catches...
Scoreboard, Replay Screen and TV Output: Amongst much-requested changes to the in-software scoreboard including multiple layout and configuration options (such as Left/Right vs Top/Bottom), is a full suite of professional replay screen/scoreboard tools including activations, custom image and video display, multiple “slides” (e.g. batting card, bowling card, FOW) and automated slide transition modes (e.g. showing a wicket’s details as soon as it is scored without further input). Users can now output to multiple connected screens (or TVs) via a cable or cables connected to the laptop (usually HDMI or VGA), or over WiFi via Google Cast (e.g. to a separately located club-house TV fitted with a Google Chromecast device, costing just £30) - see photos of Chromecast in action, casting the scoreboard view onto the TV in MCC Clubhouse.
Win And Score Predictor (WASP): As seen on Sky TV – the WASP engine for predicting the score in the first innings, or winner of the match in the second is now embedded throughout PCS Pro, including a new “Player Impact” report and panel that calculates the relative contribution of each player to the game based on their ball by ball performance compared with similar situations in historical matches.
Collaborative Scoring: A unique innovation only available in PCS Pro, collaborative scoring allows the tasks of each scorer to be split with data shared between them in real-time. Home and Away scorers (or “Live” and “Support” scorers) can opt for an automated end-of-over cross-check of each other’s scores and ball by ball entry, mimicking a manual check but across the internet, even if the scorers are separately located. Soon there will be no need to even have to talk to your scoring colleague!
Analyst Mode: The “Feedback Cricket” product used by high performance at the ECB for over 7 years has now been merged into PCS Pro, and the full range of analysis events and stats can now be captured at Club level, including new panels for Feet Movement, Delivery Type, Shot Connection, and Events, and multiple new additions to Shot Type.
New Reports and Stats: New printable “Sessions” and “Bowling Spell” reports.
*Video Capture/Scoring: with the appropriate hardware added (including IP Cameras), PCS Pro can now capture and live upload video of every ball, with live video highlights complementing the online scorecard (e.g. 4s/6s/wickets) and optional score overlay graphics. Video capture includes both manual and auto modes (video saved when ball scored) for minimal impact on the scorer, and a Video Highlights Manager allows highlights packages (with transitions and score overlays) to be easily generated. Although support of this facility at the recreational level is limited to a trial basis this season, it is perfectly possible at a basic level to capture video using nothing more than a mobile phone and a cheap telephoto lens costing £20 or so.
*It is my understanding that the ECB will shortly issue further guidance to Clubs regarding the use of live video/playback, including advice re hardware/potential privacy and Safeguarding issues/best practice etc.
Live Streaming: PCS Pro can directly live stream captured video to YouTube, Facebook and other streaming services, without any further mandatory input from the scorer once configured. The Live Stream includes optional professional-grade score overlay graphics and slides with auto modes, manual and automatic video replays with transitions and activations (such as showing an image or video after a Wicket), and optional watermarks.
Although not all this technology will be immediately applicable to a Club Scorer in, for example, WEPL Tier 3 or WCCL, the feeling is that it is trickling down from the top and the advancing tide will become unstoppable.
So, the only question remaining is, does anyone wish to apply to be Marshfield Cricket Club’s first ever Analyst!? (own laptop required!)
MCC 1st XI Scorer