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roseth
August 23rd, 2003, 03:13 PM
I'm not sure what forum to post this in, so here I am in General!

As competition chair for my masters team, I have decided to create a team record book. I'm thinking I'll just use a spreadsheet to organize the data, but I'm wondering if there's a better way. I have designed databases before, and I thought about creating one for this, but I'm not sure that using a database program is going to provide any benefit to this? Has anyone else done this before?

Thanks.

mattson
August 24th, 2003, 08:16 AM
This depends on the size of your team, how often it will be updated, and if you wanted to do anything extra (like top 10 for a season). The more complicated, the more I would think you would want a database.

When I first took over the Wave's record keeping, I put the numbers in a database. But I realized that I was spending more time getting the table to look right on the web, than I was in keeping the records up to date. I switched over to simple text files for women, men, and relay records. (I make archive copies before any changes.) Other than the state meet, the updates were quick due to limited number of meet racers.

laineybug
August 24th, 2003, 08:59 AM
another thing to think about... data that you think you will never use keep it in the records too. If you ever want it, it will be very time consuming to go back, collect and enter. Faster and easier to do it now.

Bill Volckening
August 24th, 2003, 11:44 AM
I have done records projects for one club, one local team, one LMSC, and also Masters pool records for a facility where I directed Masters meets. I have used word processing and desktop publishing software for all four of these projects.

Before you start, ask yourself how you want to publish the records. Although your needs may be different, I would assume that most groups would want to print them (on paper) and display them on the web. For those uses, I would recommend either word processing or desktop publishing software because you can format the records for printing, and you can generate files that are easily downloaded from the web (e.g.: DOC, RTF or PDF files).

One of my projects involved photos of the record holders. The desktop publishing software made it really easy to add photos while keeping the records formatted in columns. I used Adobe PageMaker for that project. I tried creating records charts on the web, too. While they look great, I found it is much easier to do the updates in other programs and have them as downloadable attachments -- especially if another volunteer takes over the project.

I recommend doing this type of project as early in the team history as possible. If there's anyone out there just starting a group, keep the records from the beginning. It may seem silly at first, especially if you only have a small handfull of competitors -- but you'll be thankful you did when the group is 20 years along and has 150 swimmers, etc. Two of the projects I worked on involved records from over 20 years of competition. It's really difficult to be thorough and accurate with that amount of time to cover.

One last recommendation is to include the name and contact information of the person who compiles the records, along with the date of the last update. This information helps others know who to contact about possible errors, omissions and new results.

Good luck, by the way. I really admire people who are willing to do these types of projects. Not only do records enhance the group's identity, but they instill pride and give people realistic goals.

Bill