Pro Con - Athlete Database/ID cards

Discussion in 'Discussing the Cheerleading Industry' started by drewpate, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. drewpate

    drewpate I text ACEDAD all the time

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    I personally am against this but I thought we should do a pro con list so we can keep it to the facts and organized.

    Pros
    1. Helps limit illegal crossovers and age violations
    2. Could generate revenue for USASF

    Cons
    1. Problems to deal with, such as kids losing cards right before comps, lost luggage etc. It would definitely happen.
    2. Last minute athletes and add ins for injuries would be complicated.





    On my last point, the gym I work at added a girl who has never cheered all star before on the level 5 team going for a world's bid this weekend, which under most people's recomendations, would require having a card. This girl could not possibly have one in time, what would happen?

     
  2. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    So lets make some adjustments.

    First, I actually think the card itself we dont need. There could be a bunch of other solutions possible. The one that popped up into my head is an RFID tag that sits on the shoe (so basically the shoe tags we have no with a cheap chip in them) RFID tags are cheap(I think RFID tags costs are like ten cents) and reprogrammable instantly. So here is my idea of how a competition would work.

    When you register at the front desk you get your shoe tag and you get it assigned to your USASF number and picture.

    Before you compete you have the shoe tag checker. There is a little kickstand with a big screen monitor near on deck right after you warm up (and possibly one before you warm up). You tap your shoe on this kick stand and it looks up your picture (with whatever else to show on the monitor). To check a team through would be about 5 seconds per kid, or 3 minutes. If you didnt even want a 'visual check' by a person then have a camera take a picture of each kid when they swipe their foot (like when you sign in at your 24 hour health club). So right before going on the floor you have a database of each person that competed, a picture of who competed, and a team roster to match it against.

    A lost tag would be easy to fix. You go up to the registration desk, tell them your name and number (like a hotel) and the give you a new shoe tag (like when you lose your hotel key). Same with an injury.

    The total cost of the system on site would be a lot cheaper than companies think. The most expensive part would be the LCD monitor. Everything else can be had cheaply.

    BTW - this is HIGHLY doable. I deal with warehouses and tracking all the time with hundreds of thousands of products every day with thousands of SKU's. The numbers in cheerleading are really small. It wouldn't be too different than tracking cattle on a dairy farm.
     
  3. Andre

    Andre Batman at Justice League

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    The problem is getting accurate/honest and complete information in the database initially. Verifying what is in the database via ID card or RFID isn't as big of a challenge. Your example assumes the database is accurate. I want to know what is going to have to be done to get all cheerleaders accurately in the database.

    Con 3 - Cost required to get a accurate database.
     
  4. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    There is no way to completely verify what is in the database. The problem will be for someone looking to have a perfect system, there is none. That is unrealistic and time consuming. The important thing is to get everything MOSTLY accurate. In the summer before august or september all your athletes need to be registered online with pictures and birth dates. You will get decent information that way. The corrections in the database would happen when athletes have interactions with people at competitions. When they check in. When they go to compete. As long as the system has checks in it to improve as the season goes then I think it will be fine.
     
  5. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    I really like this idea.

    I think the primary issue is getting the database in the first place. Once you have a somewhat comprehensive database with name, birthdate, membership #, and photo, the rest falls into place relatively easily. They could set up a secure connection to the database for each event producer. Any question (or lost ID) could be resolved by pulling up the picture connected with the ID #.

    Are there still ways to cheat? Probably. This is at least a process that makes cheating harder and/or easier to prove.
     
  6. ohkcheery

    ohkcheery They call me Susie

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    Initially? It's all star cheerleading, not a hospital or medical center. I highly doubt the information will be 100% correct initially and expecting it to be so is extremely naive and unrealistic. A year of testing (like something that was posted in the previous thread) would solve many problems and would allow for the data to be accurate representations of what was put in to begin with. The cost is going to depend on how much information you want in the database. It doesn't have to be extremely sophisticated.. Photo, age, team, their ID# and a universal waiver. would be it. We don't want SSNs or phone numbers or extremely personal information on there.
    Pro #3 - Coaches don't have to get athletes to sign waivers for each event; the universal waiver (along with other crucial information needed at each comp) would be on their Tag.
     
  7. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    I will tell you getting the database running would not be difficult as long as you accept the first year is all about testing. The 2010-11 season we choose a few gyms willing to participate and some smaller competitions. (give them both a few monetary kickbacks as incentives) and test the system. Let those gyms and comps say what is hard what is wrong. Use that year to get it right, then implement it industry wide.
     
  8. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    I dig that universal waiver idea.
     
  9. Level5Mom

    Level5Mom Best Parent

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    I will go for your idea King, because in my opinion it is not the method that is important to me, it is the result it creates. Your method creates the same end result as mine :)

    PRO: having a database of all star cheerleaders allows the industry to do research on trends. This information could be extremely valuable, especially after we have the database for a few years and can track changes.

    PRO: registering for competitions by number would be extremely efficient for coaches/owners. It could even be set up by team and "saved" in the document so that you literally ONLY have to make small changes each event based on subs, injuries, etc.
     
  10. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    I am also gonna say they HAVE to hire a User Interface person. The 1 form, so far as I can tell, was designed by a developer, not a User Interface person. It is not easy to use, confusing, and hard. The USASF and Varsity need to hire someone to make this stuff easy. If something isnt easy people will fight and not do it.
     
  11. Andre

    Andre Batman at Justice League

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    Wasn't the initial reason for wanting the ID cards to reduce cheating? This will not happen if the information in the database is not accurate. I know it's not nearly as important as healthcare information, but I also know that in order to reduce cheating the info in the database needs to be very reliable.

    People have since mentioned some other things that would be useful from having the information in one place, such as potential for a universal waiver and more data to analyze trends.
     
  12. ohkcheery

    ohkcheery They call me Susie

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    I don't think people are saying that the information should not be accurate (or that it won't be). But to expect it to be 100% accurate from the get-go is unreal. I think that it should be close to, if not 100% accurate after a year of experimenting and figuring out what worked previously with the teams and events that participated in the trial run and what didn't. The photo and birth date would be the most important things (I'd think) and it would be pretty hard to screw up a photo unless they used the wrong one completely.
    I also think that the information in the database could be accessed online with the ID number of the athlete. They can check their information and photo and make sure it is correct, and if not, call up and send in proof (copy of birth certificate, etc) to get it corrected. The athlete should not be able to edit things on their own.
     
  13. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    The idea is to reduce cheating, not completely get rid of it. All measures taken are a way to improve the system, not make it perfect. While perfection is a goal that sounds great on the outside, on the inside no system can be perfect. You just have to ask will the system reduce the amount of cheating?

    Compare it to shrinkage. All major stores want to get rid of stealing, but that is practically impossible. The realistic goal is to reduce shrinkage to a minimum.

    Any successful computer system is one that aims to improves as time goes on, not be perfect on the get go. There are things you cannot plan for until they happen no matter how thought out it is.
     
  14. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Andre, are you a developer who works with databases? Just curious cause your arguments sound like most developers I have heard (not a bad thing, just trying to understand)
     
  15. Andre

    Andre Batman at Justice League

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    What percentage of industry is doing things honesty? The info would have to be more accurate, by percentage, than the percentage of the industry doing things honestly to have a chance of reducing cheating. The more honest you think the industry is now, the more accurate the data needs to be before it will be able to help combat cheating.

    The two easiest ways of collecting the information (Athletes or Gyms entering the data) won't reduce cheating, but would be useful for trend analysis. How much more useful would it be than athlete credentialing?

    Have a third party input/verify the data would be much harder, or at least more expensive, but would be more likely to reduce cheating, while keeping the usefulness for trend analysis. Would it be worth the time/cost?

    I agree with the idea that something is needed, but I have yet to see a plan for implementation that I think is worth trying.

    I do think we are in the middle of the best discussion ever on a cheerleading message board. Props to the participants.