Looking for a scouting attendance tracker

My team, 2102 team paradox, has always been good at scouting at events well and finding the right teams for our alliance. But this year we had a big issue with our scouts not going to their shifts. We had half of the matches scouted and it made alliance selections difficult.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a app that can tell people their shift is up or at least keep track of who’s shift is when. Also anything on how you keep scouting organized.

Thanks, Liam

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In the past teams I’ve worked with have made it mandatory that folks submit their name along with their data. We rarely actually check these names, but that brings about a sense of accountability to the data. This also means that if I have no submissions from Billy, Billy probably missed his shifts. I figure a simple calendar or scouting lead can manage it in the moment.

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How many people does your team have on average that are available to scout?

If you have enough people, you can devote one person to keeping track of the schedule and managing the scouts.

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Well we have a solid number of people to scout but our team is is very social. They aren’t scouting because they are in the pits and they dont know it’s their shift. The person in charge of shifts cant find them. That’s why I’m looking for an app that can alert people when it’s their shift

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If there’s adequate reception, a GroupMe could be viable (or any other group messaging platform, if they check their phones frequently).

One issue that I foresee with anything based on time (an app that sends reminders at a certain time, or telling people to be in the stands by a certain time) is that matches can often fall behind schedule, which could be problematic.

You could also try sending off-duty scouts to hunt down people 4 or so matches before their next shift, if you have enough manpower. Speaking of which, do the scouts head to the pits once they’re off-duty, or do they stay in the stands?

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Scouting should not need a tracker IMO if you make it worthwhile they will scout. If it seems like busy work we all know what will happen. Have to keep the scouts engaged and when engaged they will scout . I don’t think a tracker solution would be seen as engaging personally. I would look more at why scouting attendance/submissions was down last year. Was it the amount of tracking last year? Etc

Humans are simple if they feel what they do is “important” they will do it. If not they won’t.

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We schedule people by match numbers instead of time slots. The schedule is spreadsheet published through Remind101, which is the same message system used by the school system.

Additional reminds can be broadcast near shift change; however, we expect the students to show up without additional reminders. There is a lead scout that verifies attendance.

David

I am the person who made the form for at least one of the team’s Marcus is talking about. If you want to get fancy, only allow certain names to be submitted (avoid buddy-punching and fake names). I would say that we did actually check the names fairly often but it was not to see if people were doing their jobs as much as it is to check the data. Maybe you see a crazy outlier in the data and you can look at which student submitted the form and then either make an evaluation of if you trust the data or not or more easily you can simply ask the student if they remember that robot in the match. Most of the time, if there’s crazy data they will either remember it well or be able to tell you that it was a mistake. 10/10 would recommend collecting names on scouting forms.

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We have the scouting teams “on deck” 10-15 minutes before their shift begins.
If a scout is late, we send a text message.
We also don’t allow any member to wander around solo. They must be in pairs (as a minimum). This also helps a scout from missing their shift.
We’ve only had a few problems when a Regional decided to play through the lunch break, which played havoc on our schedule.

On our team (around 25 people), we have a scouting lead that manages the collection of data and the scouting shifts. If someone is not there, we send someone (not the scouting lead) to go look for them, as well as message them on the Band app, which is what we use for communication. The shifts are determined by a schedule, which I am guessing that you have if have been a solid scouting team in years past. Our schedule breaks down the shifts by match number, so the scouts are all scouting roughly the same number of matches. I would reccomend having subs, so if someone as to go to the bathroom or something like that, some is there to take their place.

I think our biggest issue isn’t attendance as far the scouts being present in the stands, it’s the issue that they would rather be on their phones or watching the match, rather than taking the small step to recording the data for a certain robot. Engagement is the most difficult for our team. When I have a good team in the stands, I can leave for their whole shift and I know for a fact they scouted all data accurately and any confusion or issues was sorted out between them.

Then we have some scouts who neglect their duties and don’t see the importance, as much as I try to praise and thank them for the hard work and data collecting. I wish I could pull it all up and make them understand how important it really is at 11pm on those fridays at comp.

That being said, most of the time I can visually see my teams in the stands with me, and see their attentiveness to their duty. We used to use a google form and, back when scouting was optional, give a reward to the most dedicated scouter.