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Non-Skating Officials => General NSO Discussion => Topic started by: brainthee on January 26, 2014, 01:22:12 pm

Title: Rinxter Use
Post by: brainthee on January 26, 2014, 01:22:12 pm
Hi All,

New to the forum but been doing scoreboard op for a while using Jamtracker. Came across Rinxter a while back but it's taken some time to get my head around it and it's setup needed in a bout.

Whats people's thoughts about it and is it used in replacement of the paper method? I'd like to start suggesting to our league that we train our/other NSO's on it as it could offer some cool benefits. Personally my wishlist will be having multiple monitors showing score/penalty's as well as tracking all sorts of stats and having live tweets being fed out.
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: Nick Bergus on January 26, 2014, 08:57:26 pm
My experience is that, in theory, Rinxter offers some cool benefits. In practice, it's unstable and frustrating. When the WFTDA uses Rinxter at its tournaments, it has paperwork available in case the system goes down, and my own feeling is that this jumping back and forth from Rinxter (and modified paperwork) to full paperwork introduces a significant chance of errors into the process. (And the WFTDA uses Carolina scoreboard, not the Rinxter scoreboard. The latter is, to my understanding, extra unstable.)

That said, there are leagues who use and love Rinxter, and skaters see some big benefits in information access when it's used.
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: ShoNuff on January 29, 2014, 07:53:54 pm
Rinxter works.  It's not a great program and is unlikely to be one anytime soon.  The way it is organized and the way it approaches information isn't really how officials do things so it is a poor fit.

That said, it has improved a lot over the last few years and teams and fans love the ability to crank out bout stats immediately.  My league uses Rinxter as a secondary system and has paper as our primary but we have bout stats up on the league website almost as soon as the bout is over.

I would never use it or any other system without the paper backup.  Sometimes even the best technology fails.  You have backups in place for a stopwatch failing or a pen running out of ink, have backups set up for any sort of computerized bout data system.

The WFTDA tournaments used Rinxter as their primary data collection point and had paperwork on hand and kept at a skeleton level so that if Rinxter failed, everyone could immediately transition to paper and then backfill the data into Rinxter when it was back up.

A lot of people freak out when they first interact with Rinxter.  The interface is not intuitive and is not user friendly.  Take a look at it before you use it and make sure people have a chance to use it some before their first bout with it if you can.  Then think about how you will transition to paper if something goes wrong and how you will transition back to Rinxter when it stops going wrong.

One of primary problems with Rinxter is the operators making mistakes and panicking.  Rinxter propagates errors to everyone on the system immediately.  It also propagates the corrections immediately.  If everyone stays calm and already knows what they will do if something goes wrong, then when something gets messed up, everybody can keep on going until it is fixed.
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: Wernher on January 30, 2014, 02:48:24 pm
Not sure if this is the right place, but for those with issues with Rinxter, and have the technical know-how (I don't), there is an active Rinxter replacement project underway at derbyos.com. It looks like it will address, among other things, a lot of the inherent instability that plagues Rinxster.

Full disclosure: I know a couple people working on it.
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: brainthee on January 31, 2014, 09:40:56 am
Thanks guys, this is all really helpful!

Fully agree about the backups. Wouldn't do it any other way. In fact I would delay a Rinxter deployment if people weren't happy about how to transition back to paper.
DerbyOS sounds interesting. I've known a lot of good things come from the approach they are taking. But then I also know a lot of failed projects from that approach as the solution gets more and more complicated. I really hope it works and will be keeping a close eye on it!

Whats the best community resource for Rinxter? I did e-mail them a while back and they answered a few of my questions regarding some issues/bugs but seemed to ignore the question about how/if there is a community place for Rinxter users.
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: Patsy Grind on February 10, 2014, 07:17:51 pm
My league is also looking into this. I'm just trying to figure out how many NSOs are required. For example, the rinxter tutorial on penalty box said you only need one timer. But I can't see how that could be true, since there's no way someone could input all the info and send skaters out on time, etc. Any advice is helpful. Thanks!
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: ShoNuff on February 10, 2014, 07:28:19 pm
The common rinxter staffing I've worked with is:

3 person penalty box staff with no rinxter interaction
4 lineup trackers - 2 using rinxter, 2 spotting and keeping paper backup
2 penalty trackers/wranglers - One using rinxter, one using paper
1 Inside whiteboard - If you have a display based on rinxter you might not need this.  My league is looking at experimenting with this and seeing if we still want a third person in the center as part of the tracking staff or not.
1 Jam timer
2 scorekeepers - using rinxter and keeping minimal paper as backup
1 scoreboard operator using a scoreboard that is not Rinxter based as rinxter's scoreboard is notorious for sucking in glorious ways.

Depending on your venue and where you position people you might be able to trim back on the lineup spotters, possibly run with only 2 people on your penalty tracking staff, or not use a box manager but you're not going to see much of a reduction in how many people you want by using rinxter since recording the information is rarely the factor that challenges the NSO infrastructure of a bout.  You'll still want enough people to gather the information and manage traffic when bouts get crazy.
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: Patsy Grind on February 13, 2014, 10:47:33 am
Thanks! This is what I was starting to suspect.

What do your NSOs use to enter info in Rinxter? Can they use phones?

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Rinxter Use
Post by: Samuel Bergus on February 13, 2014, 02:24:56 pm
What do your NSOs use to enter info in Rinxter? Can they use phones?

At WFTDA tournaments, all of the data is input using netbooks, but I know an iPad mini was used for the penalty shadow at Brewhaha, and that seemed to work well too.

Rinxter recently released a mobile app, which I haven't played with, but I assume that would make it easier to use tablets.

Due to the amount of data shown on the main page of Rinxter, I don't think a phone would be particularly good for inputting data.