As someone who watched the operation of the livescoring at Worlds and has been involved with livescoring back in New Zealand, I can honestly say that the way livescoring was run at worlds was not ideal. The major problem, as far as I’m concerned, was that the refs were the people doing the livescoring. Because of this the refs were either distracted from their main role or were distracted from the live scoring. This basically meant that neither the refereeing or livescoring were reliable.
I do not want to start an argument over the quality of refereeing at this World Championships, I’m just saying that in my opinion the ability of the referees was degraded by the use of livescoring in this instance.
The problem at the World Championships is there is so much to do, there is a shortage of volunteers. That was no different this year. In New Zealand we use ‘non-experienced’ volunteers to live score and another set of more ‘experienced’ volunteers to score at the end of the match so that the referees are not hindered by those tasks. We strive to provide consistent, high quality refereeing and because we have an abundance of volunteers we have the ability to do it this way. Plain and simply I dont believe worlds can afford the nicety of live scoring at the cost of potentially losing high quality refereeing. If they had extra volunteers, as we do in NZ, then it would be a possibility.
I do like what livescoring brings to the game. I like that the teams playing can see what the livescore is saying, this allows easier coaching. But at the same time, if this information is unreliable it puts undue pressure on students. We always said that livescoring wouldn’t be 100% reliable, its just too difficult to achieve that, but I do think there should be a reasonable error margin on the score, and if scoring is outside of that margin, then livescoring should not be used. I did discuss with Nathan before NZ nats the possibility of adding an error cone around the snake to make it clear that the line was not 100% reliable.
To conclude, I would love to see reliable livescoring utalised at all tournaments and I do not see any problem with livescoring system that DWAB has developed and implemented in TM. I do think that to be used there has to be a set of guidelines so that reliable and consistant refereeing can be maintained as well as ensuring that livescore data can be depended upon.