As a parent with a baseball or softball player at the start of the season, or as a member of the team staff looking for the best way to communicate with the families on your team, you’ve likely asked this question: What are these two apps and how or why do I use them? This article should help sort that all out .
SportsEngine is the platform that Peachtree uses for our website, registration, schedules and calendars, tracking volunteer hours and more. As we go through the season SportsEngine is the app that helps manage all the stuff that goes into running a season. There is both a website and a mobile app. More details on those in the following pages. At the T-Ball level, you this is likely the only app that you need. You will use the account that you created to register for the league.
Game Changer is an application we use to gather stats on all our ball players, a the Rookie or 8U and up. Our coaches can use this information to help form balanced teams and player development. Game Changer has the added bonus of streaming live play by play info to fans and relatives during the game. You will get an email invitation from your coach to join the GameChanger team. It is also possible to search for a team through the app (the magnifying glass on the top left of the home screen) and add yourself to the team that way.
The SportsEngine app is a great mobile extension of everything that’s handled using the SportsEngine platform. So team rosters, contacts and schedules are all managed in one spot. Since registration is done through SportsEngine, all parents are already signed up for the app and the players are linked to their families. Coaching contacts, parent contacts, players and schedules are all grouped together by team.
In the upper screenshot you can see a few of the features.
Between Messages and Chat, this app provides a good way to send broadcast communication about schedules, field changes, weather updates, or ask questions to the team as a group.
Notifications from the app can be managed with your local device, much like every other application on your phone.
Photos, stats, and videos don’t see much use, but they’re available if someone wants to use them.
A very useful feature within SportsEngine is the RSVP function for events, as shown on the lower screenshot . For every practice and game, parents can indicate whether their player will be there or not, and the responses are all rolled up into a nice dashboard.
This is very easy to do within the app, and very helpful for coaches to have this information. Knowing the planned attendance is critical for creating line ups, organizing field positions, and knowing in advance if we are short players to field a full team.
Once schedules are entered into SportsEngine, these RSVPs can be done at any time. If you know well in advance of vacations or missed games, parents can record this info here easily.
Game Changer is a free platform we use to gather player stats throughout the season. We ask for a team volunteer to run the application during games and enter the plays as they occur. The app turns the play by play information into a score book, player and team stats, and a great game summary. One other great feature of the app is while the play by play is entered, it can be followed by parents, grand parents and family either at the game or away. If desired, the platform can also stream live video of the game for free.
The user interface in the pictured on the upper left makes it easy to record what happens on every pitch. There is a lot that happens on the field during plays, so running this application takes a lot of attention.
The output of this effort is the upper right screen that shows the game action in real time or replayed play by play afterward. This is streamed to parents and fans running the app wherever they are.
The Game Changer app compiles the play by play information into team and player stats which can be viewed by coaches to help manage the team and guide player development.
Game Changer has an RSVP feature similar to SportsEngine. Game Changer has a chat feature which can have different conversations with the entire team or individual parents. As a coach you should inform your team's parents if you are going to communicate and RSVP via SportsEngine or GameChanger. There is no need to do both.
Teams can use both of these applications to manage schedules, communication, and gather play by play information for statistics. There are some overlapping features and there is no need to use both of them at the same time. Teams shouldn’t need to use the RSVP functions twice for each game for example.
As team managers establish channels and routines for what works best for their squads, understand that these tools offer pretty much everything you need to be successful. You can even put in who is bringing snacks in the game notes!
Ultimately it’s up to each team to do what they want. And taking advantage of these tools we have will help your season run smooth.