Product Review: TopScore – Event Site

by | May 12, 2012, 7:00pm 0

TopScore's new Event Site allows coordinators create their own tournament website.

At any tournament, no matter what division, season, age group, or level of competition, you can always spot one person working harder than anyone else. That person is the tournament director. TDs shoulder every responsibility at a tournament with little in return, unless you count the flack they catch for every petty mistake and mishap at the event. Now, the developers of the TopScore system are releasing an event-specific software that does everything from sell your merch to deal with the pesky team that dropped at the last minute.

Top Who? Top What?

In case you aren’t one of the nearly 20,000 players or 30-plus organizations currently using the TopScore system, it’s a content management system, similar to WordPress, but with features designed specifically for Ultimate organizations.

Think of your local league website, but if your local website was completely personalized to you; TopScore highlights your games on the schedule, syncs your games with your Google calendar, creates complete email lists and forums for your teams and leagues, and that’s just for players. The original version, created for organizations, has a number of tools to help streamline administrators’ work as well.

Jeremy Kauffman and Alex Grintsvayg began developing the technology in October 2011 when the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance asked them to redesign their website. Both Kauffman and Grintsvayg both graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with degrees in computer science, and both have strong Ultimate roots; after playing at RPI, Kauffman played a few seasons with Philly Love and now serves as the president of PADA while Grintsvayg went to nationals with both Pike and Amp and now plays for the Philadelphia Spinners.

After designing PADA’s website, the duo decided to start building user-friendly, personalized websites for other organizations based on the same design as PADA’s

“Why make a website for one Ultimate organization when we could make one that works for every organization?” said Kauffman.

After beginning to sell their product in February, a number of organizations immediately saw the benefit to using the TopScore system. Now Jeremy and Alex are ready to release their newest product: a version of TopScore called Event Sites that is geared specifically toward tournaments.

Features 5/5

This software covers almost every aspect of running a tournament, from registration to game day.

After the registration window opens (which the TD can set automatically) teams and individuals can register and expect to receive instant email confirmation. What’s more, during the registration process, teams can pick their payment method (whatever options the TD decided on) and they can pre-order whatever swag the tournament is offering.

One of the greatest pains for any TD is scheduling and assigning fields, especially when there are last minute changes – not anymore. TopScore’s automatic schedule builder allows TDs to input the fields available, number of pools, and pool sizes, and the website will generate a schedule with field assignments using whatever teams are registered for the tournament. Of course, if you’re old school, you can upload an image of your own hand-drawn bracket.

Use TopScore to organize all of your transactions with teams and sponsors.

Perhaps the greatest innovation of TopScore is how it keeps track of the behind-the-scenes work. The “Commerce” page provides TDs with an easy-to-read display of all of their expenses, tournament fees paid and pending, coupons, and sponsorships. Additionally, automatic email lists are generated for specific teams, as well as just captains, administrators, open, mixed, or, women’s teams, waiting list teams, registered teams, and even just teams that haven’t paid the tournament fee yet. No more documents, no more lists, no more spreadsheets, and no more refrigerators covered in reminder notes.

TopScore also provides space for all other features you would expect on a tournament site, like maps, directions, tournament updates, and contact info. They even make it easy to add notes, pictures, or anything else you might want with simple “add a page” and “add content” buttons.

A mobile app is another nice addition to the product. The app supports schedules, score-reporting, and results and even facilitates day-of, on the ground event management.

Useability 4/5

A product with this many ins, outs, and inbetweens doesn’t come without some drawbacks.

The whole system can be a bit overwhelming at first. After all, imagine taking it all of a TD’s responsibilities and compressing them onto a 13-inch computer screen. However, TopScore has two built-in services that make acclimating yourself with the technology a smooth process.

Not only does the setup guide walk you through the basics, but TopScore also offers live help from the creators themselves.

First, a setup guide walks new users through the essentials of TopScore step-by-step. It shows you where to check finances, how to change appearances, how to add pages and content, how to change registration settings, and what “field allocation” is.

If you’re still at a loss after following the tutorial and exploring your event site yourself, TopScore encourages you to use the feature that truly separates them from any other kind of website service, that is, their live help. Call or email TopScore Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 8 p.m. and either Jeremy or Alex will be available to help walk you through any questions you may have.

Users can make their site unique by changing colors, images, and themes.


Lastly, the customization is admittedly a little limited. While you can upload images and choose from a huge pallet of colors, there are only two general “themes” to choose from. Both, however, offer a crisp, easy-to-use interface.

Practicality 4.5/5

Some people might still wonder if the program is worth the price? After all, $200 may seem a little steep for something many TDs already handle on their own. If you don’t mind keeping separate spreadsheets, schedules, email lists and generally giving all of your participants the unnecessary runaround, by all means use your old method. But, TopScore seems to be worth the entry fee of one team, especially considering the only recurring cost year to year is the $5-per-team fee.

And if the fee is really all that is stands between you and a shiny new TopScore website for your summer tournament, you might consider registering by the end of this month. TopScore is offering directors a chance to sign up before June 8 and waive the $200 fee in return for working through the final bugs in the new product and providing feedback.

“We are very, very eager to hear what people have to say about it because we want to make TopScore work for them,” said Kauffman.

Overall 4.5/5

The number of features conveniently located in one place is applaudable. Plus, live help every day of the workweek is above and beyond what a director could expect from anyone else they might hire to build their website.

If the success of their first product is any indication of how quickly this product will take off, then we can expect to be registering for a number of tournaments this summer through a TopScore-designed website.

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