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Online Entry System

Show Profile  addison Posted: 24 October 2007, 2:38 AM  
There seems to be an ever growing demand to have an online entry system, as clubs all around the country seem to be reinventing the wheel every time a large event comes around.

The status quo is putting pressure on many individuals, having to code from the start to the end product. Then take a small club where people are already overloaded for a bit event and they have to try find someone to make an online entry!

Online entries are brilliant. Fast, instant and of course cheap. As time progresses there will be a need for credit card facilities etc, which doesn't have to take a cut out of the entry - it can be a % on top of the entry fee (the club ends up with the right amount and the person entering pays the extra for the use of their credit card).

Check out this:

However this has a few issues. Firstly it is based in the UK and payment is in pounds and US$. There is also a margin which comes out of the organisers. Secondly it only handles single day events.

Overall we need a few details:
- Multiday functionality
- Singleday functionality
- Ability to handle rogaines etc
- All automatic, eg maptalk events.
- Handle family discounts

For organisers:
- Add an overall event, then add individual races to it.
- The ability to add entries that they have received in the mail.
- The ability to mark off online who has paid.
- No cut taken out of fees from the service, or very limited cuts.
- Saying which grades to use, and which grades are on which courses. Automatically calculating numbers of maps required for each course etc.

For competitors:
- Payment in any currency (i.e. credit card)
- Fast and efficient
- Ability to edit entry details up to closing date.

Those were just some off the top of my head. Keen to get a working group together to put some more details together if we want to progress this.

Personally I have been trying to make this happen of late, but to no avail. I don't have the technical skills and don't know of many that do!

We could either host it here on maptalk (if coded in cfm, asp etc) or on (if in php) or alternatively as a subdomain somewhere else.

I think it would have massive potential to take pressure of volunteers, make the process easier for competitors but more importantly the organisers.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 24 October 2007, 3:09 AM  
Yeah I've been working with Simon trying to make this happen, but as said we have run out of ideas to get it done.

For a tech person with a love of O this would be a lovely little project.

Other key functionality which I would love to see to take the pressure off clubs/volunteers

interoperability with sportident
interoperability with nzof statisitics page
interoperability with maptalk events
ability for people to choose start times when entering
profile/account feature ie to load money on then transfer when enter events to minimise credit card fees

and I'm sure theres heaps more great applications. Orienteering has a chance to be ahead of the ball here....

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 24 October 2007, 5:26 AM  
Check out this one, but again only for UK events...

Show Profile  Chris Posted: 24 October 2007, 6:04 AM  
Get in touch with Dave Fisher as he put together the Labour Weekend online entry for HBOC and he may have some ideas.

Show Profile  John Marshall Posted: 24 October 2007, 7:25 PM  
I am a tech person with a love of O who has been working on such a system off and on for a wee while now. I expect to have it generally available early in the new year.

Show Profile  Keith Posted: 25 October 2007, 12:42 AM  
Here is another UK example
I think that's about it. They all make entering events very easy.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 25 October 2007, 2:17 AM  
Hi John, Excellent to hear. What language are you coding in? I would be keen to talk to you a bit more about ideas around etc in about 2 weeks time if you are happy with that?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 25 October 2007, 2:52 AM  
In reply to Jamies posting...

Why have a link in with the statistics page? What does it have to do with that at all?

Easy enough for us to set up a system that if you have an online entry available, then you just click a "yes no" field on Maptalk Events and then post a link to the online entry in another field.. which will then show a link to your online entry straight from Maptalk Events.

In terms of operatability I think we need to look at how these other systems work and model something ideal to us. Some of the UK ones are for emit or sportident or both..

Ideally what we would be able to do is from the word go, decide what type of event we are putting up:
- Orienteering (as its individual entries)
- Running Race (for fundraisers such as forestrun)
- Team Events

The other big thing we need to do in my opinion is to standardise the format of our entry prices and discounts. This is in my opinion the biggest hurdle for setting up a good system. Too often we have funny little side prices and discounts that are not easily coded for.

What I propose is the following (just to start with):
- a price per event per person [sen/jnr] of early, normal & late.
- standardisation of family pricing per event, i.e. family max = 2 adults + 1 junior etc


Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 25 October 2007, 4:09 AM  
Sounds awesome John, what kind of system do you have planned?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 25 October 2007, 7:08 AM  
You would be wise to get a group together to formulate the design Simon, rather than saying "it is/isn't going to link with stats" or "entry fees are gonna have to be like this".

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 25 October 2007, 7:17 AM  
you obviously dont know Simon

Show Profile  addison Posted: 25 October 2007, 7:26 AM  
I agree Michael

However... as you have noticed it is all written as my personal opinion based on my experience in this area. Also as you note from my first posting - I did recommend a working party on the matter.

Show Profile  Ramon Posted: 27 October 2007, 2:12 AM  
If you need some help with the coding just let me know.

The online system would be fairly trivial to implement and should only take a few weeks (weekends), i've done something similar for some other projects.

Anyway, you guys should really have a meet up before someone goes off and starts designing it as obviously some people are going to want certain things and other not.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 27 October 2007, 9:28 AM  
Awesome to hear Ramon. You code in php don't you?




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