This weekend I am timing the Northwest Youth Club Championships. This meet is being held at Willamette University and hosted by the Salem Track Club. Because this event is a USATF Event CoachO.com is used for the meet registration.
This was my first experience with using Coach O for registration and unfortunately it won’t be my last. From a functional standpoint it does just about everything you would need. The fact that it ties directly into the USATF membership database is really nice. However, from a usability standpoint it is absolutely terrible.
For some reason every time anyone creates or changes an entry, I need to get an email about it. I got over 100 emails that I did not need or want. Plus now I have to sift through these pointless emails so I can find the ones that actually need attention and I got several because at the bottom of each page is some text which instructs people to send technical questions regarding on-line meet entry to me. This is not my entry system, I didn’t write it, nor do I know anything about it, why am I answering technical questions?
Navigating around the admin interface is cumbersome at best. Let’s say I want to see the performance list. In a well-designed interface, I would just click on a link and see a performance list. In Coach O it takes 5 clicks.
- You need to click on Meet entries to expand your admin choices regarding meet entries.
- You are presented with a series of menu buttons and you need to select: display performance list.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the continue button
- Select weather you want to display the list sorted by mark or by team
- Click the continue button
You have to go through a similar process for everything. It got very annoying very fast. You have to select a menu item then click a button. Why can’t I just click the menu item? The example of the performance list is a public function. If I wanted to access something that was only for meet admins, like viewing rosters, then I need a pass-code You are prompted for this every time you do just about anything. Why can’t I just log in and the system knows I%u2019m an admin?
There is plenty more that’s wrong with the Coach O registration system and the registration end is not any easier.
I have used several online registration systems of the last decade including one that I wrote myself. None, however none are as bad as Coach O. Because Coach O ties into the USATF membership database, I have to go through the pains of using it again in two weeks for the USATF Oregon Association Junior Olympic Outdoor Track And Field Championships.