Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Local sports mobile app. The quest to find the best one.

Mobile app for local sportsAm I the only one who would like to use a smartphone for local sport - not flat news feeds or busy websites?

To 'filter' activities and information we all use mobile apps, even if we don't actually realize we do... that white letter f on square blue background is an icon to your Facebook mobile app and filters your attention to a social networking interaction of your choice. Public reports show that average age of Facebook users exceeds teen and actually reaches into baby-boomer generation. In the area of mobility, other stats show that usage of smartphones and the universe of mobile apps that come with them is not limited to youngsters either. All generations get involved. 

News on the go might be for older adults, while professional social networking apps are for younger workforce and games may be dominated by the youngest of smartphone users. The one category that seems to span across all generations is sports. Let's not think of NFL, UEFA or Olympics when using the term "sports". Let me shift the attention to several places that we pass on our way to work or school. I'm referring to the softball field around the corner with aluminum benches for spectators, or to the soccer stadium behind the high school, or a set of the basketball courts surrounded by tall fences in the park. Those are living community organisms.

Local sports is where my mind gravitates. The best live games I've seen were the ones where my cousins passed the perfect assists and celebrated wins in a unified chant. The most memorable sporting events I got a chance to watch live were the ones where my brother scored a winning goal and cried his lungs out in joy. The most emotional sport events I've seen were probably the ones where the high school from a snotty town in a dark  part of the state actually found a way to win 71 to 70 with my local middle school's basketball warriors. 

Even though those tremendous memories required tons of work from coaches and players, they seem to fade away rather quickly these days or get overshadowed by the rush of our daily routines. Even if you just see a post on Facebook or Twitter about the last game, it quickly gets overshadowed with a random picture of Jane's new hair or Bob's new video attempt to make the Jackass squad. 

These days, coaches focus on preparation for games. Assistants lead organizational aspects of local spots. Players train, practice and learn to showcase endurance as well as new set skill sets  during each game. Fans hesitate and don't show up if there is chance of rain or get disappointed if games get cancelled unannounced. All of that seems a bit disjoint to me - aspects of local sports these days appear disconnected and segmented. I've seen social networks and mobile apps close bigger gaps before.

Social networks managed to connect counties and continents of people, even if they're on the go all the time. With so many great smartphones out there, I'm looking for something that  would allow me to see what's going on on that semi-grassy field behind the high school. And even if I can't make the game, I want to see who deserved to be man of the match and why. Perhaps we have a new Tiki Barber in the making here somewhere. Let the coach or his assistant easily manage the team and let the world know about where the next game is or isn't going to take place. I think they could use a mobile app to make things faster, easier and more productive for everyone. For that reason, I'm on a quest to find a "local sports mobile app" with social media hookups.

I always thought Google can find anything,  but at the moment I'm only finding stuff that's either just for scouts, or just for fans, or just for commercial leagues, or they're just specific to one team, for one season a year. I want it all in one slick mobile app for any smartphone I happen to use with my new cellular provider.

Sam Chan writes about his top 10 sports mobile apps and he picked a solid collection, but those apps don't cover local sports. ShoutEm promotes a brilliant mobile app for sporting purposes, but their app appears to be limited to only one team, for only one season a year. The screen on my handheld device is too small for apps used so rarely. Businessinsider makes a claim that they know what the best 10 mobile apps for sports are and they make good points, but those applications are either fantasy games or corporate sponsored news feeds. So far, nobody hit the spot yet.

I'll keep looking. I'll share as soon as I find a decent mobile app for non-professional sports that help coaches, players, fans and anybody else involved.


Unknown said...

I want to see who deserved to be man of the match and ανανέωση ιστοσελίδων why. Perhaps we have a new Tiki Barber in the making here somewhere.

Dominik Ras said...

I'm glad to see that phrase caught your attention.

I still can't find too many apps that provide that ability. So far the only one actually is - a great new sport team management software platform focused on making the whole management experience easier and mobile, first and foremost - mobile.

I hope it catches on soon.

ITunes users say that Field A Team iPhone and iPad app has been downloaded in several dozen countries in just the first couple of days after release - despite lack of in-your-face global marketing campaigns.