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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2013 at 3:25pm
As Jay mentioned, OmniPong is really geared towards US tournaments, since that is all that I have ever run. However, It has been used to run several non-sanctioned tournaments. As long as the basic structure of a tournament is similar, I don't see why it couldn't be used for non-US tournaments.

I did take French, German, Russian and Spanish in high school and college (MANY years ago), but I don't think it would be sufficient for me to try and translate OmniPong into another language!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2013 at 3:44pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:


The way I understood it we do it once in omnipong and then we can link to it wherever we want, even while the tourney is ongoing; I remember when alphapong posted that link, all events were not over yet but we could see some results already entered.

What I do not remember is whether the software builds a pdf on the fly or not when we click on one event; can we have empty slots as the server builds a pdf with the partial results it has at the moment in the middle of the event? anyway I am being borderline nitpicking here, just wondering.



OmniPong creates PDFs of the results as part of a 'Publish' step. Usually that is done after the tournament is over, and the results are Uploaded back to the web.  However, they can be done at anytime during the tournament, assuming you have an internet connection, and can access the OmniPong website.

You just do the Upload step whenever you are so inclined, and then perform the Publish step. All of the results up to that point will then be available online.

Another nice feature, is that the results page and player list for your tournament, can be integrated directly into your own website very easily, so that you don't even have to go to OmniPong to view them. That is what I do for the LA Open, and other TDs have used the feature as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2013 at 4:14pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:


to an omnipong specialist I would ask: if the data entries are quickly made after the end of the matches as the day(s) go(es), how long does it take to an organized person to wrap it all up and send all required information to usatt once the whole the tournament is over?



The results for each match/group are entered immediately after the matches are done. This is necessary to determine who is advancing to the next round, and who the winners are. So by the time the tournament is over, all results have been entered, and are ready to be submitted.

I always go back over each match card, and compare the scores to what was entered. It is actually not as bad as it sounds, and only took me two hours for the LA Open. It is well worth it, IMO, and helps catch scores that have been entered incorrectly, and it can even catch where the wrong player has been marked as the winner. This can happen in a round robin, where neither of the two players are advancing, so it could go unnoticed.

After that, it is literally push one button to send the results file to NATT, one button to send all the reports to USATT, and one button to make the payment, if you are doing it by credit card or PayPal.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2013 at 8:11pm
For those interested, here is a link to a PDF of all the screens in the OmniPong Director Access system. It is part of a User's Guide I am trying to put together. There is just a generic description below each screen shot, but you can get an idea of the features it has.

Let me know if you have any questions about anything you see, and Happy Viewing!

http://www.omnipong.com/director_screens.pdf
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2013 at 1:46am
This is gold and so self-explanatory; thank you for sharing.

Can players pay their fees to the tournament director through PayPal? if yes, how could OmniPong protect the tournament director (to encourage him/her to use PayPal) so the PayPal fees are paid by the player in case (s)he decides to pay "for goods" instead of "for family and friends"?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2013 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:


Can players pay their fees to the tournament director through PayPal? if yes, how could OmniPong protect the tournament director (to encourage him/her to use PayPal) so the PayPal fees are paid by the player in case (s)he decides to pay "for goods" instead of "for family and friends"?


Players can pay their fees by PayPal or credit card directly to the TD's PayPal account. You just need to put the email address associated with the PayPal account into the 'Online Account Info', under the 'Payments' section of the setup 'Options' (B-5 in the pdf).

To accept credit cards, you need to be sure you have changed your PayPal account type from 'Personal' to 'Premier', otherwise you will only be able to accept PayPal payments. It takes 20 seconds to do, and there is no cost to do it, so I am not sure why they even bother.

Trying to pay the fees using the 'family and friends' method doesn't work with credit cards, and would probably end up getting you into trouble, if you get caught. Trust me, PayPal keeps an eye on those free transactions to be sure they are not being abused. You pretty much just have to look at their fees as a cost of doing business, and decide if the convenience is worth the cost.  You could always bump up your admin fee a buck or so, to cover the cost.


Edited by CKrum - 09/17/2013 at 3:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wturber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2013 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by CKrum CKrum wrote:

You pretty much just have to look at their fees as a cost of doing business, and decide if the convenience is worth the cost.  You could always bump up your admin fee a buck or so, to cover the cost.


Yep.  We add in an automatic $2 fee which is pretty close to the average PayPal fee for tournament entries. 

I'll be looking over the PDF file more closely and probably contact you about running our upcoming Valley of the Sun tournament with OmniPong. If not the Valley of the Sun, then the next one.
Jay Turberville
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2013 at 4:07pm
That sounds great Jay. Be glad to finally have you on board!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2013 at 10:26pm
Originally posted by wturber wturber wrote:


Yep.  We add in an automatic $2 fee which is pretty close to the average PayPal fee for tournament entries. 


To handle this situation, I added an additional field to the Fee section of the Setup, for a fee that kicks in just for online payments (see revised B-6 of the PDF).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ybok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2013 at 4:41pm
So what software is used to actually manage the matches?  For example, setting up the events, printing the match sheets, recording the scores, etc?

If it is included in omnipong, then I don't see it.

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2013 at 5:50pm
I suppose we need to be in the "director's access" part of the program. That probably requires a paid license (here we are ). If this is correct I am wondering if there is a trial version of the software, what kind of service subscription is available ($ per tourney or per time period?) and how does tech support work: are unlimited email based tech. supp. requests allowed while the subscription is on?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2013 at 6:34pm
Originally posted by ybok ybok wrote:

So what software is used to actually manage the matches?  For example, setting up the events, printing the match sheets, recording the scores, etc?

If it is included in omnipong, then I don't see it.

Thanks

The software that actually runs the tournament is the OmniPong Control Desk module. It is a windows based program, written in the same language as the web based system, although a much older version. It interfaces with the web, and allows you to transfer information back and forth between the two systems using download and upload functions.

So the tournament is originally set up online, which allows players to enter and make payments through the Member Access system. Then, when it is time to run the tournament, all of the information gets downloaded to the Control Desk module.  The computer running the Control Desk only needs internet access for the download and upload functions. It does not need it when running the tournament itself.

The Control Desk is where the draws are generated, the matches scheduled, match cards are printed, results entered, etc. After the tournament is over, the information is uploaded back to the web, so that the results can be published, sent to NATT for processing, and the reports for USATT can be created.

The version of the program that I used to create the Control Desk does not have any licensing fee, which is why I continue to use it. But it also does not allow me to use all of the cool new features in the more recent versions.  The Control Desk is written in version 6.0 (from back in the '90s), and they are now up to version 17.1! Rewriting the Control Desk program in the newest version, would require a one-time license fee of $50 for each copy. Unfortunately, I may be forced to go that route, since Windows 8 has changed the way they handle printing, which is not supported by version 6.0.

Here is a link to the user manual for the Control Desk program.  It is an update to an older version that I used before I created the web based system, so there will be some slight differences. I kept it as close to the old version as possible, so that people who were already using OmniPong would have an easier transition to the new system. Many thanks to Charlene Liu, from the Maryland TTC, for doing the updates! Documentation is the last thing we programmer types tend to work on:

http://www.omnipong.com/control_desk.pdf



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2013 at 7:16pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

I suppose we need to be in the "director's access" part of the program. That probably requires a paid license (here we are ). If this is correct I am wondering if there is a trial version of the software, what kind of service subscription is available ($ per tourney or per time period?) and how does tech support work: are unlimited email based tech. supp. requests allowed while the subscription is on?


Currently, I am not charging anything to use OmniPong. It has been more of a hobby, and labor of love, which I am happy to share with others. I enjoy seeing more and more players register as Members on a daily basis (four more since I started this post). And I have been getting requests from more TDs for information about the system. I have set up 24 Director accounts to date.

At some point in time, when I am satisfied with the state of OmniPong, my thought is to have something like a per player fee of, say 50 cents. That would provide full use of OmniPong, and unlimited support. Being a programmer, this kind of thing is not my strong suit, so I am still looking at different possibilities.

There are so many enhancements I want to add to the system, that I'm not sure where to start. Integrated Club and League management modules are high on my list of priorities. Also finishing up the ability to run Team events. The question has always been finding the time to work on things.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/19/2013 at 1:51am
About the league module:

Some of my best tt years were when I was progressing fast, 1400 to 1800+ in a couple years; during that period I was playing leagues religiously at the Boeing club hosted weekly at an elementary school; Joe Romanosky and his predecessors had run continuously the league for 30+ years. Before leaving the Seattle area to join sunnier latitudes, Joe had given me the following document that explains well the format of the league. The software on his laptop was sorting players according to their league rating and the total number of players was divided in 6 groups, every group playing on 2 tables. We typically had 5 to 7 players per group.
The graphic below shows the order of matches that is imposed and designed so people do not play 2 matches in a row and do not wait too much either. Everybody has to play 4 matches, no more no less, no matter the number of players per group; the winner in each cell is simply circled.
The design was ideal for the 3 hours play time (+ 1 hour warm up/sign up) we had.
Obviously I am biased toward the system because I had so much fun but it's not perfect; the only problems we had were players not showing up after checking in over the phone or somebody showing up late to be gently added, making some matches already played not in the new list (the only bad one is when "upgrading" a group from 7 to 8 people when the 3 1st matches are already played; in all other possibilities the 1st 3 results can transfer to the new list) but counted in the ratings adjustments anyway. I bet some severe leaders would find a simple and elegant solution to both problems Tongue.
I am not sure how well known that system is so I wanted to share the idea.






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/19/2013 at 2:05am
Originally posted by CKrum CKrum wrote:

...
The computer running the Control Desk only needs internet access for the download and upload functions. It does not need it when running the tournament itself.
...
Will people in the future have the choice to run the control desk or doing everything online if they have connectivity during the tourney? Maybe you have already made the decision to discard the ultimate web based solution because a lack of connectivity during the tournament could make people erroneously associate OmniPong's design with the occurring chaos (?)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/19/2013 at 11:35am
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

Will people in the future have the choice to run the control desk or doing everything online if they have connectivity during the tourney? Maybe you have already made the decision to discard the ultimate web based solution because a lack of connectivity during the tournament could make people erroneously associate OmniPong's design with the occurring chaos (?)


Very few venues I have been to have had reliable internet service. Most don't have any, but I think that is slowly changing. I almost always end up using my phone as a hot spot, when I want to access the web.

Even with a reasonable connection, I don't think I would trust it to run a tournament. I always have a backup computer with me, loaded with the Control Desk program, and I make regular backups to a thumb drive during the tournament. If the main computer dies (which hasn't happened yet, knock on wood), I can fire up the backup computer, stick in the thumb drive and restore the most recent backup. Then I just need to re-enter the results from the most recent matches, and I am hopefully caught back up.

If something happens to the internet connection, or the server fails, there would be no way to recover. That would indeed cause chaos, and there is usually enough of that at a tournament already. Also, I have found that running a program that is installed on the computer is generally faster than using something that is based in the cloud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/12/2016 at 2:17pm
so with the end of railstation and the advent of simplycompete, how does Omnipong's future stand for tournament registration and reports? will Omnipong interface with simplycomplete so those who are used to Omnipong do not have to swallow another learning curve?

Edited by fatt - 01/12/2016 at 2:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wturber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/12/2016 at 2:51pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

so with the end of railstation and the advent of simplycompete, how does Omnipong's future stand for tournament registration and reports? will Omnipong interface with simplycomplete so those who are used to Omnipong do not have to swallow another learning curve?

From where I sit, it seems that there is a very good line of communications between USATT and Craig.  My strong  bet is that this will be pretty seamless for OmniPong users. 

It is also possible that USATT required SimplyComplete to use the same input format as was used by RailStation.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skip3119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2016 at 11:05am
Question:  How much does it cost to use Omnipong?

Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2016 at 11:23am
Originally posted by skip3119 skip3119 wrote:

Question:  How much does it cost to use Omnipong?

Thanks.


Hi Skip,

Thanks for the interest in OmniPong!

OmniPong costs fifty cents per player who participates in a tournament, assuming you are satisfied with the results. That includes everything, from access to the website, the Control Desk program, PayPal interface, submitting results and reports to USATT, training, etc.


Let me know if you have any other questions.

Craig
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skip3119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2016 at 11:37am
Originally posted by CKrum CKrum wrote:

Originally posted by skip3119 skip3119 wrote:

Question:  How much does it cost to use Omnipong?

Thanks.


Hi Skip,

Thanks for the interest in OmniPong!

OmniPong costs fifty cents per player who participates in a tournament, assuming you are satisfied with the results. That includes everything, from access to the website, the Control Desk program, PayPal interface, submitting results and reports to USATT, training, etc.


Let me know if you have any other questions.

Craig
==============================

Thank you very much for the information. 50 cents per player, that is practically nothing:  For a great software like this.  

One more question:  
For a club which has never used Omnipong to run the tournaments before, is there an "Initial Setup Cost"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CKrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2016 at 11:49am
Originally posted by skip3119 skip3119 wrote:

==============================

Thank you very much for the information. 50 cents per player, that is practically nothing:  For a great software like this.  

One more question:  
For a club which has never used Omnipong to run the tournaments before, is there an "Initial Setup Cost"?


Thanks!

No setup costs. The best way to get started is to send me a copy of an entry form for an upcoming or prior tournament. I can use that information to set up the Director account, and add the tournament so you can see how everything looks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote angelleye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/15/2019 at 2:50pm
@CKrum, you still around?  I know multiple tournament directors trying to get setup with OP and can't seem to get a reply..??
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