Monday, October 3, 2011

R2 Sports: We love you, we hate you

Most racquetball organizations use R2 Sports to run their events, and it's a great system. Indeed, we here at The Racquetball Blog would have a much more difficult time doing our reporting without it. Through R2, you can follow events from a far, seeing who's entered, what the draws are, and what the results are. Fabulous!

But it's in the results that we have some issues with R2. R2's ease of use causes some reporting problems. Consider the recent Racquet House San Diego Pro/Am semi-final between Rocky Carson and Alvaro Beltran (link).
The scores on R2 are "11,9,11,8,11". What does that mean?

We hate that kind of ambiguous result entries. Presumably, Carson, who won the match, won games 1, 3 and 5, as those have 11 listed for them, but what scores did Beltran have in those games? We have no idea.

Of course, that's not R2's fault. They've simply created a great tool that some people are mis-using.

More problematic is the issue that many organizations are using R2 as an archive for their results. This is a problem, because some of those results cannot (easily) be found on R2, which has served as the tournament software for hundreds of racquetball tournaments now.

For example, under tournaments it goes back to October 2010. To find results earlier than that, you'll need to search for them. Good luck with that.

More disturbing is that some results seem to be disappearing from R2. For example, only one game score is listed for the results of the 2007 Canadian Nationals. We know that full match results - two or three games - were entered on R2, which begs the question of what happened to the scores for all the games?

When we first raised this issue with R2, they responded "if the scores on the draws are incomplete, it means the director didn't put them in correctly and they would be lost."

If your racquetball organization is relying exclusively on R2 to maintain their records - and it seems most of the large racquetball organizations are, including USA Racquetball, Racquetball Canada, the IRT and WPRO - then you are being foolish, because you're putting your trust in a third party to do your record keeping. That's a mistake.

Is the NFL or NHL going to let NBC or ESPN maintain their records? No, they certainly are not.

Racquetball organizations have been poor at maintaining their records, which Todd Boss, who maintains the IRT Historical Data Archive, can attest to. If you're not going to keep your own records, then it suggests you don't really care about them, which then begs the question of whether anyone else should care or even whether you should bother having events at all, if you can't care enough to keep records of what happened.

So, while R2 is a great system, its users need to be more judicious in how they are using it, both in the short term - for match reporting at the time of an event - and in the long term - for record maintenance and history.

Follow the bouncing ball....


Todd Boss said...

What irritates me even more is the absolute loss of all rball tournament information from R2's predecessor, I have the tourney IDs from old tournaments but they are flat out gone. This is mostly only really important to me at this point to populate the 1999 US Open, where I'm not even sure all of the people who made the round of 16.

But yes, generally if you don't write it down immediately after a tourney is done, it can be close to impossible to ever find it again.

The Racquetball Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Racquetball Blog said...

You can get some of the info for 1999 from Linda Mojer's website.

Cheers, TRB