Scoring with a handheld?

Is anyone using a Palm or other handheld for scoring? Does software exist for this?

It is possible to run an Excel-ish spreadsheet on a handheld (e.g., Quicksheet). And there exists some interesting scoring software in Excel (Lon Robinson wrote a program of this type some years ago, and there are probably others and variants.

The question is, has any club put these two pieces together?

It seems to me that it would be easier and quicker to score with a handheld than with a clipboard and a pencil. And it would be a lot less clunky and cumbersome than notebook computer scoring.

With a handheld, you could make a quick sort of results when multiple classes are sailing simultaneously. It might also make it easier to experiment in the direction of a handicapping system.

Ran a superficial search on handheld scoring software.

It has been developed for Baseball, Fencing, Gymnastics, Bicycle racing, running, Dressage (jumping horses),Basketball, Tennis, Bridge, the Indy Racing League, golf, golf, golf, golf and golf. (There’s LOTs of handheld golf scoring software.)

Most of these handheld programs are being offered for sale. I didn’t find anything for boat racing. This could mean it exists in clubs but is not actively marketed – or that it just hasn’t been done yet. An odd situation. MCG.

here you are…not for palm but
maybe it ll help


if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

Hello Wis, Thank you for the link. It is helpful that he also includes reviews, and a list of other scoring software. 28 meg, though. A whopper. Maybe he is making this more of a problem than it needs to be. I am looking for something simple, light, compact, succinct.

Here is a link I found, for a device called the pocket timer. It seems to be intended for track meets. Their idea is to use a handheld (Palm or Blackberry) as a stopwatch.

As boats cross the line, you “tap them in” with a stylus to register their arrival times. The software could then sort the boats into a 1,2,3 array for that heat, and further sort them by racing class.

The problem with this particular system is one of recording. It is intended for runners and bicycles, and the software writer wants the race director to tap in a racing number for each finisher – at the finish. For our purposes, this is not realistic.

What we would need is simply a left-justified list of names and/or sail numbers (Tom, Dick, Harry, Phyllis…n ), with a chicklet-type button next to each name. And the big Start button.

At the instant when a boat on the list finishes, you tap the appropriate chicklet with the stylus. The software should then handle all the cumulative scoring, updating, and sorting into classes, and present the results on different pages.

Best, Michael

i know it can be done using a palm pilot. i was a a reggata this year where they ran the race with the pilot. I just think you would have to download whatever software you could use into your pilot. I use a laptop when i run a regatta
wish you all the best in your search. maybe look into a high school computer class for programing help

Hello Cougar,

Could you please direct me to the club that ran that regatta? Thanks.

In 1998, when we were preparing to host the M-boat nationals at Port Washington, NY, I was on a committee of one appointed to review the scoring software then available.

Basically, none of it was ready for prime time. It could be made to work if the software writer were on hand to go into the program on occasion and coax it along, but none of it was robust enough – in 1998 – to be used by a walk-up operator.

I think you can imagine the problems that would ensue from buggy scoring software at a major race. We just skipped it, and scored the old fashioned way.

In 2003, surely the technology has been brought along quite a bit.

Scoring software is a far bigger and more complex project than it seems, especially when you introduce promotion/relegation, and provide for instant correction of entry errors.

Let’s guess it is a project like unto building a boat over the winter. I guess I would rather build a boat over the winter, especially if the code already exists out there, and I feel sure that it does indeed. I will keep poking around.

Best, Michael

i will talk to my friend who ran the regatta, and see if he still has the program. it was a one thime thing. and it was used , until i got my laptop. now that is all i use

Michael -

I will look into a bunch of boxes in garage when it warms up. Had a DOS program that was used to handicap and score big cats when we had some long distance races. You did need to enter finishing times, and sail number. Remember - this goes back to before 1985 - so not sure if you want to look at it or not (<u><font color=“red”>IF</font id=“red”></u> I can find it). Handled 58 boats, calculated handicap based on pre-entered classes, and sorted to numerical order.

Cougar is spot on with his suggestion for using highschool (or middle school) kids to write program. I used a highschool kid back then, so call your local schools, talk to computer class instructor and ask if he can give as an assignment/task for a class (or individual) project.

Be sure to do a complete flow chart first, so the kids know exactly what you want - if you forget someting - too bad! Most could care less about “what” it will be used for, they want to show off their smarts. If for a club, offer a reward, a day using/racing a club members boat, pizza, etc. Amazing what little it takes to motivate those who enjoy this kind of a challenge.

I’ll look for old software - but might not fit your needs, since a lot of pre-entry is required based on race registrations.

i am spot on, with something
thanks nobody on this forum has said anything good about what i posted in a long time. thanks dick
micheal i have looked and found most of my palm hardware . so i should have a handle on it. i even found the paperwork. but so far not the software yet.

found this one as well
here s another:

if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

FYI: I wrote an Excel scoring system using HMS2002 that has been used at Mystic for the last 3 years. The “release version” only handles 2 heats right now (automatic prom/rel). The “in development” version will handle all 5 possible heats (whew!). As others have suggested, it is not a small task to handle.

The system used at the IOM Worlds is very nice - contact Ralph Kelly for more info and availability.

Either of these could perhaps be adapted to Palm, but are probably not optimized for it(mine is not).
contact the secretary of that club. he lives by the palm pilot and talk with him. he could probably write the progarm for you. i know exel would work

could be interested in writing a program for it? What needs to be calculated? Would be willing to help put a program together… (Pretty good with VB .Net) Also looking into the idea of using the mobile phones to just input the results into a database online instead and just have it calculate right their.


The place to start is with the HMS2002 document from ISAF. Here is a link to it:

The tricks:

  • Understanding how many boats move up and down between heats, depending on fleet size.

  • Understanding how to score a boat in special circumstances such as DNS vs DNF, OCS, DSQ, etc.

  • Being able to quickly determine who is in the next heat. Part of the “beauty” of HMS2002 is that any skipper can win any race, but they may need to sail 5 heats to do so. Heats usually move off the line quicky, and it is up to the scorer to make sure the right boats are starting.

Good luck - and feel free to pose questions!

The Other Matt