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Hungry for Advanced Youth-Sports Analytics? Free App Can Help


I have a confession to make: When it comes to sports, I'm a major math nerd.

As a recent subscriber to mySynergySports, an advanced analytics tool for the National Basketball Association, I'm pleased to report that youth-sports coaches can also get into the advanced analytics game thanks to the free cellphone/tablet application GameChanger, which was recently featured on Mashable. There's currently a version for baseball and softball coaches, with a youth-basketball version rolling out next month, according to Mashable.

Long story short: Coaches download the app on their smartphones or tablets, enter their rosters, and keep track of each play on the app. Gone are the days of having to record the box score with paper and pencil, thanks to GameChanger. (Paper and pencil is so 1990's.)

For the baseball/softball version, coaches are able to record specific details down to each pitch (whether it's a ball, strike, foul ball, or called strike), and have an even wider range of options once a ball gets hit into the field of play. A coach would record what type of hit it was (ground ball? pop fly? line drive?), how the play resulted (a single/double/triple/home run, an out, or an error), and can even drag icons of fielders to show where each ball was hit.

If coaches want, they even have the option of recording each type of pitch thrown (fastball/curveball/slider/changeup) and can detail specific information about each player on their team, down to which hand they use while batting and fielding.

If this sounds too advanced for your liking, the website features a host of video tutorials to walk coaches through the process of recording their box scores with the app.

I haven't seen a version of the basketball app, besides a screenshot posted on the Mashable website. But according to Mashable, "a high school or middle school coach will be able to access halftime information on what combination of five players proved most effective or see where different players made and missed shots from."

Excuse me as I wipe the drool from my mouth.

While GameChanger is free for all youth coaches and scorekeepers to use, it drives revenue from parent and fan subscriptions, for all of those moms and dads who want real-time scoring updates on their kids. Currently, according to the GameChanger website, subscriptions run $7.99 per month or $39.99 for an entire year.

According to Mashable, GameChanger has already raised $3.5 million in funding, with more than 60,000 youth baseball teams having signed up over the past two years.

Photo: A screenshot taken from the GameChanger app. (Bryan Toporek)

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