Thursday, June 8, 2017

Something else for teams that use Hy-Tek's Meet Manager or Team Manager

Four years ago, I introduced a free software package called Bob’s Swim Tools for Hy-Tek, which consists of a small collection of utilities that can be used by TSA teams which own Hy-Tek’s swimmer management program, Team Manager, or its companion product for running swim meets, Meet Manager.

This year I am releasing a revised version of this software, now renamed to Bob’s TSA Tools for Hy-Tek. Teams who compose their entries for a dual meet in Team Manager as described in this document can use Bob’s TSA Tools to automate various pre-meet chores that formerly had to be done by hand. Teams which own both Team Manager and Meet Manager will be able to perform even more meet preparation tasks. As before, the software is still completely free of charge.

The components of this package include:

Event Entry Form Generator
This feature frees coaches from the tiresome task of manually transcribing all their main event entries (up to 138 swimmers in individual events and up to 240 swimmers in relay events) to the pink and blue event entry forms used during TSA meets. Instead, the tool will generate those forms online automatically from a team’s meet entries in the span of only a few seconds. The online forms can then be printed on sheets of blue and pink paper to create the physical forms that will be used in the meet by the Clerk of Course and Recorder.

Swim Up Form Generator
This feature produces a pair of forms, one for boys and one for girls, listing all the “swim up” athletes entered in any of their respective gender’s ten relay events, suitable for presentation to the opposing team’s TSA Representative as required by TSA rules. These forms are combined with the event entry forms described in the previous section so that they can be printed along with them, using the half-sheet of blue or pink paper that would otherwise be left over after producing 33 event entry forms for each sex.

Event Entry Error Checker
This feature examines a team’s meet entries and produces a report enumerating any violations of TSA rules it finds in entries for main event heats. Examples of such violations include athletes who are entered into too many main events and relay teams which include illegal “swim up” athletes; a full list can be found in the instructions. Coaches and other team personnel can use this feature to check their initial meet assignments and apply corrections as necessary before settling on their final entries.

Three Options for Producing Heat Sheets and Kid Pusher Reports
The previously described features require only Hy-Tek Team Manager and Microsoft Excel as prerequisites. If your team also owns a copy of Hy-Tek Meet Manager, you will be able to take advantage of another feature of Bob’s TSA Tools: the ability to seed meet entries, from one or both teams, and import those seeded entries directly into Meet Manager. You can then use Meet Manager to generate any desired meet paperwork, including heat sheets, kid pusher reports for specific age groups, timer sheets, etc. This paperwork will automatically identify swimmers both by name and by the swimmer ID number they are “tattooed” with during meets: “Doe, John (301)” instead of just “Doe, John”, for example. A separate set of seeded meet entries without the appended swimmer IDs will also be generated, and can be used to run the meet itself in Meet Manager if the teams participating in the meet opt to employ an automated timing system.

There are three seeding scenarios:

1)      Unseeded: If you have meet entries only for your own team, but no information about the other team, the “seeded” entries produced by Bob’s TSA Tools will facilitate mustering your team’s heat swimmers in the traditional TSA dual meet fashion. Your team’s main event (Heat 1) assignments will not be affected, but all other swimmers will be assigned to fake lane numbers (starting at Lane 21) in a single fake heat (Heat 99), in order of their seed times. This will allow those swimmers to be lined up in order from fastest to slowest and deck-seeded by the Clerk of Course into actual heats and lanes in real time, as in a standard TSA meet.

2)      Semi-seeded: If you have meet entries for your own team and also know how many swimmers the other team plans to enter in each individual (non-relay) event, Bob’s TSA Tools will generate a set of mock entries representing the other team and then fully seed the meet as in the final scenario below. Useful heat sheets, kid pusher reports and other meet paperwork can then be generated for your team, though not for the opposing team.

3)      Fully seeded: If meet entries for both teams are available, Bob’s TSA tools will seed Heats 2 and beyond for all individual events according to TSA rules (a capability not offered by Meet Manager’s own native seeding mechanism). In this scenario, useful heat sheets, kid pusher reports and other meet paperwork can be generated for both teams, not just your own.

Bob’s TSA Tools for Hy-Tek require Excel 2003 or later on a computer running Windows XP or later.

Your team must have access to Hy-Tek Team Manager (any version) and, optionally, access to Hy-Tek Meet Manager, but these need not be on the same system where Bob’s TSA Tools will run. However, it is more convenient if they are installed on the same computer.

To Get the Software
Simply download this file, unzip it, and follow the instructions.

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