Here it is, the first look at the new way BAFA will be looking to publish Fixtures, record Scores, and update Standings for the Adult League! I really wanted there to be problems, something that would make this article look less like I’m a huge BAFA fanboy, and more a serious sceptical sports writer. But the site looks slick, and provides a much-needed function within the game.
Before I delve in, here’s the link for those people that want to stop reading now and go ahead, and play with the site.
All of the most up to date news on fixtures will be on this site, so if your team rearranges a fixture and it’s approved by BAFA expect to see the update on the site first.
When you first arrive, this is the screen that greets you. It defaults to the Premiership North, but this can be changed to any individual conference. Right now, every conference is on there, with every fixture. For example, if I wanted to view every fixture in the SFC 1 Central, I simply change the Match Group and click on the Matches tab:
From here, you can filter the view down further to specific teams and dates. You’ll be abele to do exactly the same for the Results tab as well, once the results start rolling in.
BAFA are looking to use League Republic to ensure that they have a place where a record of all official Fixtures, Results and Standings are kept and maintained by them as the National Governing Body.
“Huge credit to Clive Dobbin who has done the research on this and used the League Republic scheduling system to help him get the schedules out so early. It followed on that BAFA should own this information and we are putting processes in place to make it easy and efficient for clubs.”Steve Rains, BAFA Director of Operations
To give a little background on how League Republic will work, every team in the league should in theory have an assigned admin who is responsible for submitting their team’s results. This can be done either via SMS text or an App and will in turn update the Standings in real time.
Early testing of League Republic functionality was carried out on some of the recent Women’s League fixtures and was a success. Plans are now being worked on for the general adoption of this great new tool.
This unique, modern, and novel approach is something that we’re seeing more of from BAFA. I think there are a lot of positives to look forward to going into 2019. BAFA have not yet come to a decision on whether they will embed the Fixtures, Results and Standings content somewhere on their website, or if they will direct everyone to the League Republic pages.
League Republic offer a wider range of tools that BAFA will not be using. This includes Team Stats, Player Stats, and Score Predictions. However, Gridiron Hub are working on bringing exactly this functionality to teams (free of charge) via a new App! This will make it easier for people to interact with teams.
“we are not intending to rival other sites, like Gridiron Hub, on all of the things that go on around our Fixtures and Results – this will just make updating those sites a whole lot easier than chasing multiple Twitter feeds!”Steve Rains, BAFA Director of Operations
More importantly, it’ll mean that reporting on teams can be much more personal. Amateur football doesn’t have the allure of pay, so being able to recognise individuals’ efforts during the season will be a way to make the game more attractive.
Everyone enjoys their moment in the spotlight, so being noticed by your peers will be a real positive. It’ll also mean a better understanding of the game for all, as leagues that were otherwise barely registered become easier to track. Want to know who the big names are in Div 2 before the playoffs, these stats will make it so you’ll be able to point at individuals and say ‘Joe Bloggs is the number 1 rusher for the East Wessex ThunderCats, better keep my eye on number 15’.
My last point before signing off is that this can help bring credence to the British game. There will always be a concern that the game in the UK is stagnating, but by bringing us in line with other leagues in Europe we can once again show that money isn’t the biggest factor in European American Football, individuals are.