Scoring Apps – Help or Hinderance
One of the great advances for archers (who are often numerically challenged ;o) is the scoring app for your phone. Essentially a formatted spreadsheet front end with the scores stored in a database and some analysis tools, these apps have made scorekeeping (and addition) so much easier and reliable than using the trusty scorebook and pen.
The advantages are pretty plain. You enter each end’s score either numerically or plotted on a face. The software totals up your score as you shoot the round giving you 100% accurate (IF you entered the right numbers) ends/half dozens/dozens/final score. In many app’s toolboxes are instant calculation of round and cumulative handicap*, round classification* and they track pb’s. Other features can involve storing sightmarks, collating statistical data on your shooting over time, scatter diagram summary of arrow hits, field locations including links to maps and being able to track the scores of multiple archers shooting the same round. In most, your scores can be emailed to your home email or in one case, to a bespoke club account accessible by the club record’s officer. So what’s not to like?
* Note: AGB released new classification and handicapping tables and processes in January 2023. Talking to the guys who created the system, few developers of apps responded to comms from them by the release date. So be aware the new system might not be implemented in your app although we have seen a few updates in early April.
Well, the very feature ridden nature and real time calculation of scores by the apps are the problems. With multiple running totals prominently displayed, you can put pressure on yourself to make or exceed end/dozen/round scores. You can become overly focused on what your score currently is and analysing your performance mid shoot distracting from your shooting. The more functions, the more distractions … like archers don’t already have attention issues! That said, they are very powerful tools to aid you in your shooting IF you can stay away from playing with the things during a round. Lets take a look at four our editor has on his iPhone:
Archery Scoresheets: Currently our editors favourite scoring app, this one has a great many features if not exactly perfect. While it can be a little difficult to find all of the features included within the package, such as note book pages for sight marks and kit configuration details, they are all there. All of the fundamentals are competently covered and add face plotting scoring, graphical charts and line graphs of your shooting. Exportable spreadsheet compatible score sheets and PB tracking are also available. Scores in rounds can be tracked over a week, a month, a year and if anything, this falls into the category of too much information! (Never thought we’d hear our editor say that!) The orange theme of the app is a little yuck and the alternate scheme is not really practical but these are minor quibbles. This is a solid scoring app delivering a great deal of functionality.
Free app available on iPhone and Android although functionality on Android isn’t as good as the iPhone version.
Archer’s Toolbox: This app is not particularly feature heavy as yet although there are plans to expand its functionality. Simply enter some personal data including your club to register. Select a round and its status. Enter the numerical values and your scores will be displayed, totalled and stored for you. Where this app is pretty great is it gives you the opportunity to have the score verified and then you can submit them to an account in your clubs name (remember you need to register!). The club records officer can access these scores from the club account and the software assigns official classifications and handicaps if you get the scores verified. This makes it great for badges and tracking all that classification information that at times seems it requires a statistics degree and a Cray supercomputer** to crunch. Classifications and Handicaps are great ways to see how you are improving. Not the best app for day to day score tracking at present but definitely worth using simply for allowing you to copy across and submit specific scores (i.e. good ones! ;o) to the club for recording. Glasgow Archers will be using this app for our record keeping and badge tracking.
Free app available on iPhone and Android with a background article and their Home page with FAQ. A couple of GA archers have said the Android version has stability issues, sometimes just shutting down mid round so losing their data. They have been tracking the numbers elsewhere then using the app to submit scores to the club.
iArcher: In 2011 this was the daddy of scoring apps. However since then, this piece of software has been surpassed by several others in terms of functionality. That’s not to say its a bad scoring app. Quite the contrary, its a solid piece of software, proven over time, supplying all the major requirements of a scoring app. The round breakdown is second to none (see right). A comprehensive list of rounds are available including the 252. Indoor and outdoor. Imperial and Metric target. NFAA and Clout. It can send those scores via email in a spreadsheet compatible format. You can create your own custom rounds and it will store your sight-marks and email them for safe keeping if required. All very solid and useful but today, when all the possible features are considered, its functions do feel a little sparse when compared to those delivered by other apps.
Its not free costing £4.49 which is a little steep when you consider many of its competitors are free. Its web page is to be found here and is only for iPhone.
IANSEO Scorekeeper: Scorekeeper is software for the managing of results from an archery tournament. It was developed with funding from Italian Archery Federation’s who released it to the European federations. There are scoring screens available for indoor and outdoor target, field and even 3D archery! What you download is not a traditional scoring app but more a portal to the server on which your competition has been set up by the tournament organizers. This might be accomplished with a local WiFi connection (wireless router) to a laptop running the IANSEO software OR via an account on the IANSEO website. If you aren’t shooting in a formal competition, the organisers of which are using IANSEO, there is no reason to have this app as it has no useful functionality on its own. That said, it has been successfully used for remote shooting such as for winter “postal” leagues during covid. Also there did seem to be an upswing in interest from clubs running normal competitions as it reduces all the faffing about post competition when people want to go home. Post covid, the move to having less vectors of possible contamination ie shared bits of paper, might see this app becoming way more popular.
Free app available on iPhone and Android with the server software available here.
There are many other apps out there such as MyTargets Archery on Android (which we’ve been told is worth a look) and Bow International reviewed a few others back in 2018. Prices can range from free to $17 (perhaps more!) and functionality can (but not always) follow cost. Our advice is shop around, pick one you like and stick with it to build up a library of scores. Archers Toolbox would be a good secondary addition simply for the ease of being able to submit scores to your club’s records officer should it be used by your club. At GA we would recommend having it available because we are using it for our record keeping and its super easy to submit a score.
Remember, these apps are distractions but only if you let them be. Plenty of time to obsess over those averages, binomial distribution curves and exponential trend lines post round!
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** Did You Know … that the 1979 Cray-1 Supercomputer’s processing capability was surpassed by the humble PC in 2001 with the introduction of the Pentium 4 chip so we are obviously talking about a much more modern Cray for crunching those classifications! ;o)