Our scoreboards are so easy to repair, even I can do it!

I want to tell you a story, a true story, that happened to me this winter. First, a little background information.

Background

My name is Eve Julian. I am the Sales and Support specialist for IST. I also coach the Boys Swim and Dive team at Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, MI. That is where I swam in high school, and it is also the home of the very first ever IST alphanumeric scoreboard. That board was designed by my father, Dick Farnsworth. It was assembled by my high school girls swim team in 1991 and has been in continuous use at Ottawa since then. While I do work for IST, I am in no way an engineer. My specialty is the software. I don’t know a whole lot about the hardware side of things – I typically leave that to the techs and engineers.

At the beginning of the 18-19 boys season we had some issues with the scoreboard either not coming up or randomly putting nonsense up on the board.  I had Dick come to the pool and change out the master controller. This scoreboard is his favorite, since it was his first, and he’s really the only one who knows how the old tech works. It worked great for about 2 months, until the morning of our OHHS Invitational.

The Story

On Saturday morning at 7am I arrived at the pool and fired up the scoreboard, but nothing happened. I tried powering it off and on again (yep, that really does work sometimes), and this time I got some junk to show up. A little desperate, I climbed up on top of the motor for our pool cover, unplugged the master controller on the scoreboard, plugged it in again and ran the test again. The board worked great. Then 15 minutes later I looked up and realize that it was putting up nonsense again.

Knowing that Dick was out of town and diving was going to start in less than an hour, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I climbed back up to the bottom of the scoreboard and started fiddling with the master controller. I discovered that if I gently wiggled the connector, the board would light up, but after a moment it would go back to showing junk data again. As I looked closer, I realized that one of the wires leading into the connector had broken off.

I climbed back down and went in search of my building maintenance supervisor. Fortunately, he wasn’t far away and he was able to find me a small screwdriver and a too-big pair of wire strippers. Armed with these tools I climbed back up to the scoreboard. I removed each of the wires from the connector, carefully stripped them back a little farther, reinserted them into the connector and plugged it in.

Eve Julian repairing the scoreboard while Hasting Dive Coach Todd Bates shows his support.

My assistant coach powered the board back up and it came right on with all the correct data. Still sitting on top of the pool cover motor I raised my arms in triumph and shouted, “I am awesome!”. Only then did I look up and realize that the bleachers were filling with diving parents and fans. Oops! I’m sure they thought I was pretty odd. The scoreboard ran perfectly for the rest of the season, so that was awesome indeed.

The Moral of the Story

Our scoreboards are designed to be user maintainable. If *I* can figure out how to re-wire a connector to the Master Controller, anyone can. If you can’t fix it, we can. It’s designed so that the important parts (LED Panels and controllers) can be removed and shipped to us. We’ll repair it and send it back. We can fix any age of scoreboard, including the 28-year-old original one. You should consider IST Scoreboards. They are low maintenance, have all the information that you need, are easy to read and last FOREVER!

How are NISCA All America Divers Chosen?

Every June, the top 100 male and female high school divers are selected to be NISCA All Americans. It’s a fascinating process, and IST is proud to be a part of it.

What is All America Diving?

The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) selects All Americans in Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Academics, as well as supporting the Scholar Team program and National Dual Meet Program.

In order to qualify for All America Diving consideration, a diver must be in 9-12th grade, competing for an interscholastic team, academically eligible based on their state’s requirements and diving in an 11-dive Championship format meet. Boys must score a minimum of 375 points with a D.D. of 13.3 or higher for their optional dives. Girls must score a minimum of 375 points with a D.D. of 13.0 or higher for their optional dives.

At each 11-dive meet through the season, coaches or parents record the diver performing the dives. They also collect a copy of the final, signed dive sheet.

All America Diving Applications

The application process begins on November 1st, when the on-line All America application portals open. Coaches can enter up to 2 applications per diver. Each application is for a single 11 dive meet, no compilations are allowed.  A video, copies of the signed dive sheet and a signature sheet accompany the application. Videos are uploaded to YouTube or Drop Box and a link supplied in the application. A DVD can also be mailed with the accompanying paperwork.

Once the application has been submitted and accepted, the videos are compiled into a list onto “master” DVDs. There is one set for boys and one set for girls. They organize the paperwork to match the order of the divers on the DVDs. This is an ongoing process through the year.

AA Diving Weekend

On the first weekend in June, 16 diving judges from around the country convene in Bloomfield Hills at the home of Don Mason, the NISCA All America Diving Chairperson. They arrive on Wednesday for training and socializing, and on Thursday morning they begin the process of judging.

The judges are dived into 2 groups, a boys room and a girls room. Each room has a computer operator, a video operator, an announcer and 5 judges. The computer operator uses a specially modified version of the IST MEETWARE Diving software which has the list of divers and their individual dives that were uploaded from the applications earlier in the week. Instead of doing everyone’s 1st dive, the software walks through each diver’s list of 11 dives from top to bottom.

Judging the Divers

First, the announcer reads the name of the diver off the sheet. The computer operator confirms the name. The video operator cues up the first dive in the video. Then the announcer reads the first dive number, the computer operator confirms the dive and the video operator plays the first dive. The video is paused at the end of the dive and the judges key in their scores on their IST Judge-Touch consoles. Finally the computer operator reads all the scores out loud, then they move to the next dive.

It takes about 5 minutes to judge each diver’s video. The sheet is set aside to be researched if there are issues. Issues can include dives out of order, not matching the dive sheet or missing dives.  If the discrepancies can be resolved, the video is judged later. The judges try very hard to judge every video and give the kids a fair shot. Occasionally videos come in that are incomplete or scrambled and can’t be judged. Notes are made on those applications as to why they weren’t judged.

This weekend the judges will be watching 11 dives for 230 boys and 290 girls. They have a rotation, so that periodically they can take a 5-minute break from judging. They don’t judge any diver that they know or is from their state. There is a “spare” judge in the room that will judge those videos instead. The panels rotate through both rooms. Periodically both rooms take a full 15-minute break to move around, stretch, grab a drink of water or check their phones.  They will judge for about 8 hours on Thursday and Friday, and another 4 or 5 hours on Saturday.

The Volunteers are Incredible!

Don Mason and the judges volunteer their time to put together and judge the All Americans each year. They are a dedicated group of individuals that are absolutely devoted to advancing their sport. IST is proud to provide the hardware and software that helps make their job a little easier. At least they don’t have to do the score calculations by hand anymore!

For more information about the All America Diving program or other All America programs supported by NISCA, visit the NISCA Website.

For more information about IST’s diving software and touchscreen diving modules, visit our website at https://www.istime.com/products/diving-scoring-systems/.

Congratulations to our latest Clock Winner!

Coach Garcia from Wisconsin won the 4-digit SWIMCOUNT at the Central States Coaches Clinic in Oakbrook IL. Congratulations coach!

Next time you see us at a clinic, make sure you sign up to win!

Announcing IST’s BIG SUMMER SALE

If you are looking for a new scoreboard, now is the time to buy.

IST’s numeric and alphanumeric scoreboards are 20% off!

All of our scoreboards come with a 5 year warranty. They are designed to last – the original scoreboard is now 26 years old and still in use. If there is a problem, we can repair it. Most of the time we don’t even have to come on site to do it.

This could be the last scoreboard you ever have to purchase!

Numeric Scoreboards – Starting at around $7300 for 6 lanes

IST’s SWIMWARE Numeric Scoreboards are available in one line up to 10 lane displays with 16 bright red LED characters per line. An additional scrolling line can be added to give even more functionality.

IST’s SWIMWARE Numeric Scoreboards are driven by IST’s MEETWARE or  TIMEWARE Swimming and Diving Software. During swimming events, numeric boards display a running clock on Lane 1 (or on optional scrolling message line), and cumulative splits on the remaining lanes (Lane 1 split is displayed briefly, then the running clock continues). The Lane, Place and Time are displayed as a lane finishes the race.

With an optional Scrolling Message Line, the message line displays the Event number, Heat number and running clock.

Alphanumeric Scoreboards – starting around $15,700 for 6 lanes

IST’s SWIMWARE Alphanumeric Scoreboards are available in one line up to 10 lane displays with 16 or 32 bright red LED characters per line.

IST’s MEETWARE or TIMEWARE (with Hy-Tek’s MEET MANAGER) Software drive the display for swimming. Before an event, the top line scrolls the event name and number. Lane lines display the team code and name of swimmers. Names remain on the board until the first split, but team codes are displayed throughout the event. All 50 splits are shown, along with the cumulative time (32 character boards show teams, names, 50 and cumulative splits).

During diving events, the board displays the diver’s team, name, current score and place, DD’s, judges’ awards, the score for that dive, the new total score and the current leading score.

With POLOWARE  Water Polo Software, the board displays the period, shot clock, exclusion clock, and home and guest scores. As events occur (scores, penalties, exclusions) the cap number and name of the player are also shown.

Use WORKWARE for Windows to run a different workout clock on each line of the scoreboard, with an interval counter and description of the set.

Software packages include Message Board function to turn SWIMWARE Alphanumeric Scoreboards into information centers. The top line scrolls up to 1000 characters, and lane lines can show fixed or alternating messages.

All boards include a team or sponsor logo of your design. SWIMWARE Alphanumeric Scoreboards have a 5 year warranty.

Want a quote? Email us at info@istime.com or call 800-835-2611.

Get a Quote Get a Quote

Orders must be placed by August 1st, delivery must be taken by December 31st.

Which Scoreboard is right for you?

Not all scoreboards are created equal. There is a vast range in quality, durability, information displayed and price. If you are looking to get a new scoreboard, which one is right for you? Well, like a lot of things, that depends.

What to consider before purchasing

When you are considering a scoreboard, your first thought is probably budget. How much is this going to cost? Something else to keep in mind is the lifetime maintenance cost. Things like – how long is the warranty? How long will we be able to get parts for this scoreboard? Is it repairable? Is it user repairable or do we need to call for service when it breaks? What is the service response time?  What is the average life expectancy of the scoreboard?

The second thing you will want to consider is where you will be placing the scoreboard in your pool and the size of the board. Is there a wall big enough to mount the board that gives a good viewing angle to both the spectators and the swimmers? If you have a low ceiling, you may want to consider a “modular” scoreboard that will allow you to set the lane lines in a horizontal configuration, rather than all stacking vertically. Do you have a lot of light in your pool? Is that light going to hit the wall that the scoreboard is on at certain points during the day? Will you need to angle it so that your fans can see it better? Would you be better off screen casting a “virtual” scoreboard to multiple small screens (like televisions) scattered throughout the viewing area?

Finally, how much and what kind of information do you want to have displayed? Are you happy with just lane, place and time? Do you want to see team codes and athlete names? Do you feel like you need video or graphics during the meet or when you aren’t using the scoreboard for a swim meet?

IST has you covered for all your scoreboard needs. Below is a breakdown of the various scoreboards that we offer.

Numeric only or Numeric with an Alphanumeric Scrolling line

This is your basic LED numeric scoreboard. One line per lane of the pool is typical. You can also start with a smaller scoreboard (3 lines for a 6-lane pool for example) and rotate through the lanes in groups. For a little more information, you can add an Alphanumeric scrolling line to the top of the scoreboard (pictured). This will allow you to display the event and heat information as well as the running clock during the race. When you are not using the board for timing you can post a 1,000-character message to scroll across the top line. IST Numeric scoreboards come with a 5-year warranty. If they do need repair, you can usually do it yourself, and you can get replacement parts if you need them. They are conformal coated to protect against the harsh pool environment and there are no moving parts. Our numeric scoreboards are made in the USA.

Alphanumeric Scoreboard

This is a top of the line LED Alphanumeric fixed line scoreboard. One line per lane of the pool is typical, but you can start smaller with this one too. The Alpha scoreboards all come with the additional scrolling line as part of the package. This board will display event/heat information and the running clock on the scrolling line, team code and swimmer name on each lane line. During the race the team code remains, and the swimmer name is replaced by the subtracted split and the cumulative time. The place, final split and final time are posted at the end of the race. The order of finish displays on the scrolling line from left to right, making it easy for the referee to confirm.

These scoreboards  are conformal coated and user repairable. They also come with a 5-year warranty. The original alphanumeric scoreboard is still in use and is 27 years old! We can still get parts, even for our oldest model, and they are made in the USA.

Projected Video Scoreboard

Our BOARDWARE software lets you have a video scoreboard for a fraction of the price! It displays all of the information of the Alphanumeric scoreboard, with the added bonus of being able to leave the names of the athletes displayed the entire race. You can use BOARDWARE on a projector, monitor or large TV. You can even use it on a video scoreboard that allows you to connect directly to your computer for output. BOARDWARE is best in pools that don’t have a lot of natural light, especially if you are using a projector. Since it is software, this scoreboard will last as long as the equipment you are projecting it with will. No need to call us in to repair it, just replace the projector or TV and you are good to go.

LiteStar LED Video Scoreboard

This is the Cadillac of scoreboards. The LiteStar video scoreboards are modular. 20” x 20” cabinets lock together to create a single wall of video. We offer pixel spacing options of 6.25mm, 4.8mm and 3.9mm. The smaller the pixel spacing, the more pixels per square inch and the more defined the picture. We also offer a choice of copper or gold wiring. Copper is more economical, but gold does not corrode as easily and will last longer. The LiteStar scoreboards have a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty and are conformally coated. They are designed to be outdoor scoreboards and will last a long time in a pool environment.

The video scoreboards display BOARDWARE during timing, and when not in use for a swim meet can display anything that can be shown on a computer screen. They are also surprisingly affordable. The LiteStar boards come with replacement parts that we will store at IST so they don’t get lost in your pool. We can repair them for many years.

Which scoreboard is right for you?

Contact us today to get a quote and see what will fit your needs.

info@istime.com  |  800-835-2611

Whichever scoreboard you choose,  if it is an IST scoreboard it will likely be the last one you ever have to buy!

Create a NISCA National Dual Meet Entry using MEETWARE

Have you ever created an entry for the NISCA National Dual Meet program? Have you even heard of it? The NISCA National Dual Meet program ranks and recognizes the top high school dual meet teams from around the country. Teams are grouped into 9 classifications by school population. Create your best dual meet line up utilizing official times from any official, regularly scheduled high school meet. Times can come from different meets.

Each time is given a point value based on the official NISCA Power Point Tables for Boys and Girls. The tables equate quality of a swimming time or diving total from event to event and from boys to girls.

Creating an entry using MEETWARE

If you are using IST’s MEETWARE, creating a National Dual Meet entry is simple. From the Main menu select Coaches Corner and Power Points. On the left you’ll see a list of meets to select times from. Double click on the meet name to add it to the list on the right or click the double right arrow to select them all. Next, select your team from the list then fill in the school enrollment, place at State Meet, whether your school is public or independent (private), Coed or single sex, and whether it is a boys or a girls team. Finally, click GENERATE to build your best meet lineup.

At this point you can choose to print the report and see what the computer came up with. Most likely this won’t be your best number. The computer ranks each swimmer by time and places the top 3 in the event. Often, your fastest kids are the top 3 in every event.  The computer will place them in 2 events before it gets to their best event. You can fix that by clicking the MANUAL button.

This brings you to a screen that allows you to put your swimmers in different events. You can select from a list of swimmers by time for each position in the event. Swimmers are marked in pink if they are in more than 2 individual events so that you know to go back and select different swimmers. You can move people around to see where you get the greatest point totals. Once you are finished and everyone is green, you can print the report and mail it in. It’s that easy! It’s also a lot of fun.

Don’t have MEETWARE? No Problem!

Even if you don’t have MEETWARE, it is still easy to create a National Dual Meet entry. Head over to https://niscaonline.org/Award-Programs/National-Dual-Meet. On the right-hand menu click on the National Dual Meet application for either Boys or Girls. That will download an Excel spreadsheet that you can save on your computer. Open the Excel file, and on the first tab (at the bottom) put in the names of the swimmers and their grades.

On the second tab, fill in the information at the top of the form, then put in your best lineup. As you type athlete names they will automatically populate from the pull-down menu. Enter the times as numbers only. The punctuation is entered automatically when you leave the field.

Once you have your best lineup, save the spreadsheet and e-mail it to powerpoint@niscaonline.org.

That’s it. It’s super easy, whether you have MEETWARE or are using the Excel spreadsheet. Put an entry in today and see how you match up with other teams around the country.

Maintaining In-Deck Wiring

In-deck wiring is great – when it’s working. Unfortunately, because the plates are constantly exposed to water, it requires a lot of maintenance to keep running. Fortunately, IST has an answer – DECKLIGHT. DECKLIGHT is our completely sealed and metal-free in- and on-deck connection system.

If you don’t have DECKLIGHT, there are a few things that you can do to maintain your in-deck wiring and keep it working a little longer.

Cleaning:

It is important to clean your deck connections regularly, and with the proper cleaner. DO NOT CLEAN METAL CONNECTIONS WITH CLR OR MURATIC ACID. Metal connectors are plated, not solid. If you clean them with an acidic product you may end up stripping off the plating, which causes the connection to stop working.

RidOX Protective Spray

To properly clean the connections, start by using a wet/dry shop vac to suck the water and debris out of the connectors in the deck plate. Then, spray an Electrical Contact Cleaner like RidOX or CRC QD Electronic Cleaner. You can find these products either on our website or at a local electronics store. Spray the cleaner into the socket on the deck plate, then use a pipe cleaner to gently scrub around the sides. The cleaner also leaves a thin residue that will continue to protect the connection for a while.

You can use the spray on the connectors for the touch pads and backup buttons as well. It is easier to spray it onto a cloth or paper towel and wipe it onto the connectors. Be careful when spraying this on the pool deck – the area can become very slippery.

You can also use these products to clean your wall plate connectors. Simply spray the connector and gently scrub with a pipe cleaner. You can also spray a little into the lid of the container, dip the pipe cleaner in and scrub with the moistened pipe cleaner.

 

Protecting:

Dielectric GreaseIf you are not going to be using your in-deck connections for a longer period, you may want to consider protecting them with a silicone based dielectric grease, available on our website or at local electronics stores. Clean the connectors as described above. Once they are clean, squirt enough of the dielectric grease into the hole to just fill it. This will help keep the water out while you are not using it. When you are ready to plug the pads and buttons in again, you can just plug them in with the grease still in the holes. Wipe away any excess, it will be slippery if it stays on the deck.

 

Upgrading:

If your in-deck wiring is beyond repair, you should consider upgrading to DECKLIGHT. IST personnel or your own maintenance personnel can do the installation. IST will provide the necessary wire and clear step-by-step instructions for site installation. If you already have in-deck wiring it is just a matter of pulling out the old wires and pulling in the new ones.  Connect those wires to the provided wall and deck plates. The connections are simple to make and the plates fit right where the old ones were.

If you are interested in finding out more about our DECKLIGHT deck connections, give us a call at 800-835-2611 or email info@istime.com

Downloading Workouts From Your Computer to Your Phone

Our Bluetooth enabled pace clocks are designed to make a coach’s life easier. Enter the set or workout, press start and walk away. The clock will keep the count and time for the set so you can focus on your swimmers and their technique.

Phone are small though, and sometimes it is easier to write your workouts on your computer. Fortunately, with our WORKWARE software you can do just that – then download the sets and workouts to your phone to run on the clock.  Below are the instructions for creating and downloading the file onto your phone.

 For a limited time: when you purchase a SWIMCLOCKBT-HI, -HX or -ADP you will get our WORKWARE software for $35. That’s a 90% discount! 

Creating the export file:

First, in WORKWARE3 select Library/Export. On the left you will see the workouts in your library. On the right are the sets in the library sorted alphabetically by category and name. To create the export file, first select the workouts and/or sets that you want to download. To select a workout, click on it to highlight it. This will also select all the sets that are contained within the workout. To select multiple workouts or sets, hold the CTRL key on your keyboard while clicking on the workouts or sets that you want to select

Once you have the workouts and sets selected, select PHONE for the EXPORT FILE TYPE. Click the BROWSE button to save the file either to your device that is already connected to the computer or to the desktop or other folder where you will be able to find it. Give the file a descriptive name and click SELECT. Click the EXPORT button to build the file.

Downloading the export file to the phone:

For Android connected to the computer with a cable: open Windows File Explorer, select the device name and the PHONE folder. Look for the folder ISTWORKOUTS and select that. Copy and paste the file into this folder.

For Android using e-mail: E-mail the export file to the address that can be checked on the Android device. NOTE: You must be able to download attachments. If you use Google Inbox, you should switch to Gmail for these instructions. Open the e-mail on the device and download the attachment into the ISTWORKOUTS folder. If you can not choose where the attachment goes, once you have downloaded the file use the MY FILES app to find and move the file into the ISTWORKOUTS folder.

For iPhone: Connect the phone to iTunes and download the exported file into it. Save the file in your iCloud Desktop folder.

Importing the File

Once the file is on your phone, go to the SWIMCLOCK app, tap WORKOUT mode, and select IMPORT WORKOUTS. Tap on the box at the top of the screen and choose the file that you exported. Click IMPORT to load it into the phone. You can now go in and select the sets and workouts that you imported and run them the same way you would have if you had created them on the phone.

Check out our new Video Scoreboards!

Here is a sneak peek of the new VIDEO Scoreboards that we are now selling. This one is 3 cabinets high by 5 cabinets wide (about 5′ x 8.8′) and has 6.25mm pixel spacing. We also offer 3.9mm pixel spacing – which looks like HD!

 

You can use this scoreboard like a second computer monitor. Display movies, presentations with photos, videos or advertising, under water video feed and much more. When you’re ready to run the meet, BOARDWARE displays all the information you need for a swim meet. Looks great, doesn’t it?

 

Interested? Contact us at info@istime.com or 800-835-2611 to get pricing, specs and more information.

 

Using IST’s Free Dive Sheet Generator

For many swim coaches, the rules of diving and creating a dive sheet can be confusing. What’s the difference between voluntary and optional? Why don’t all the letters match the actual position name? What’s with all the rules for 11 dive lists? Fortunately, IST can help with that last question. We provide a free on-line web page that allows you to build and validate 6 or 11 dive lists. Once your list is complete you can email, print or download it.

Using the Dive Sheet Generator

To find the free Dive Sheet Generator, go to our website: www.istime.com. On the top of the home page you’ll see a button that says Dive Sheet Generator that you can click on. You can also just bookmark the direct link: http://www.istime.com/divesheet.

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose whether it is a 6 or 11 dive entry that you are going to be working on.

Dive entry selection

Enter the information for the diver at the top of the screen.

Blank dive entry screen

Entering the Dives

For each round, type in the Dive Number (numerals only), then select the position. For reference:

A = Straight
B = Pike
C = Tuck
D = Free

Then choose the Voluntary or Optional. Voluntary dives are the “required” dives. In a 6-dive list, this will be a dive from the required group for that week – Front, Back, Inward, Reverse or Twist. The maximum degree of difficulty (DD) is set a 1.8, regardless of what the normal degree of difficulty is for that dive. See your State Association for information about which dives are required for each week of the season. For an 11-dive list, the total degree of difficulty of all the Voluntary dives cannot exceed a certain number.

As you enter your dives, the total Degree of Difficulty for both Optional and Voluntary will be displayed on the bottom of the screen.

Highlighted DD totals

Validating the Dive Sheet (NFHS Rules)

Once you have your dive sheet filled out, and especially if it is an 11-dive list, click on the Validate button. If there are errors, you will see them listed in red at the top of the screen above the diver’s name.

Error messages on dive sheet

You can fix the errors and validate the sheet as many times as you need to. Once the sheet is valid you’ll see a pop-up message stating that your sheet is valid.

After that it is just a matter of choosing whether you want to email, print or download the dive sheet as an XML document.

While IST can’t answer all your questions about diving, we can make it easier to get a legal, legible dive sheet. Running an invitational with a diving event? Send the link to the attending coaches and ask them to e-mail you the dive sheet before they arrive. That way you can be sure that the list is legal and valid.