High-Tech Tournament Tool

By: Ernie Lopez

Nearly four thousand seven hundred competitors showed up for the 1996 USTU Junior Olympics. An event that has experienced a substantial rate of growth, with no apparent slow down in sight. To use a manual system of registration for an event of this magnitude is no longer practical. Fortunately, a sophisticated software system, the TKD Tournament Manager has come into use.

From pre-registration, to bracketing, and right on through the awards process, the software provided a smooth, consistent flow of information and structure. The most powerful features of the system were the ability to make changes during the weigh-in period and to generate accurate sparring bracket sheets (byes) for competition. This is especially important for a junior competition where competitors can grow in size during the short period between state competition and the Junior Olympics. This bracketing also considered everyone's home state and insured that competitors from the same state didn't face each other until the later rounds.

The 1996 U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships was the first USTU tournament in which they used a networked computer system to track the competition. It provided access to the latest information on each competitor from both the back office ( for printing the badges, and providing information to participants ) and on the competition floor. The network also allowed weight and other information to be entered, or changed, from multiple stations at both the check-in and weigh-in without delay.

Certificates and results tabulation were two more areas that the system was able to streamline. The results, which were brought over to the awards table, was used to, immediately, generate and a handsome certificate for each winner, with no slowdown in the awards process. The same information that went onto the certificates was also stored in a database for instant reports. These reports included both the results for individual competitors, as well as the aggregate results that list the total number of medals earned by each state.

Over a dozen volunteers and staff members used the program during the week of the tournament. It's a Windows based system with a user friendly interface. Only minimal training was required for data entry and retrieval, and users learned the program quickly.

The TKD Tournament Manager software was also utilized at last year's Junior Olympics in Los Angeles, as well as, at this year's US Open and National Championships. It's performance is impressive and the software is appropriate for tournaments of every size (it will also be utilized at the Taekwondo Reporter Open to be held August 31, 1996 in Kissimmee, Florida).

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