Alpha Software Blog

Alpha Anywhere Helps Keep the "religion" of Rugby organized in South Africa

western provingse While most of the uses of Alpha Anywhere are in business settings, there is also significant use in areas such as sports management, non-profit administration and fundraising, political campaigns, student information management, and charitable organization administration and reporting. We recently came across a good example in the sports management area and we asked Jaco Brooks from ENS Software Solutions in Cape Town, South Africa to explain the Alpha Anywhere application they have created and are continuing to evolve especially in the area of mobile computing. The article below is from Jaco.

"Rugby in South Africa is a religion, the unofficial count of registered amateur players is around 450 000.

Rugby administration has long been problematic as a central union/federation has to manage club and school rugby over a large demographic group. Until the arrival of this new application scrumIT, built in Alpha Anywhere, this was largely done via paper and stand-alone systems.  There was a need to bring all the admin processes associated with managing the game in South Africa together in a central database to control and manage rugby clubs, players and officials.  The Rugby federation faced many challenges in determining player numbers, age,  backgrounds and other demographic information.  In addition player movement between clubs is very common but has been very difficult to track using paper based systems. All this information has to be readily available to assist the federation with development programs, funding initiatives, player insurance, allocation of officials and intervention strategies where the sport is growing or declining.  Each rugby federation is accountable to the South African Rugby Board, who in turn answers to the International Rugby Board.  Player numbers directly affects the algorithm used by the International Rugby Board to fund rugby development.

The need for good administration and accuracy in amateur rugby data has become a necessity. This need saw the birth of scrumIT.  A comprehensive online Rugby management and administration system built in Alpha Anywhere.

The first phase of scrumIT’s development focused on player registration.  *Player fraud was wide spread and difficult to control.  Each rugby club is issued login credentials to the scrumIT system and is tasked to enter their player details.  Once a player record is captured the record will be stored permanently in the system. The  player tracking  module in scrumIT will move the player if he/she wishes to play for another club.  A player is then issued with a player card (credit card) containing a photograph and player detail that needs to be presented to the match referee on match day.  The registration module has removed a huge burden from the administration staff at the federations as the work load is now being split across all the clubs Inter-club player movement and movement across federations or different countries is a document intensive process.  ScrumIT offers officials an easy way of releasing and accepting players from other clubs, unions and countries with the ability to store all the relevant documentation.  Comprehensive audit trials show and track the player’s movement for their entire playing career.  Player transfers that used to take weeks can now be dealt with in a couple of seconds. ScrumIT offers a communication module where a union/federation can easily communicate with their clubs.  Important documents such as the unions Constitution, minutes of meetings, financial statements etc. can now be shared easily with clubs.  In turn, clubs can also share documents required by the union. Having a complete player database made it easy for the scrumIT team to build a talent identification module. The module offers the ability for talent scouts to mark talented players and attach video footage.  This is used by the federation coaching staff to identify and invite players to train and play with the provincial and franchise structures The second phase of scrumIT’s development focused on match fixtures.  Dialog’s were built where a federation/union can create a competition with various underlying league structures.   Clubs can submit fixture exclusion dates for the upcoming season which will be taken into consideration when the fixtures are generated.  Creating fixtures is a complex process and take up a lot of time considering the variables.  Some of these variables to name but a few are:
  • Playing a team once or twice (home & away) in a competition
  • Ensuring that each club’s number of home fixtures matches the number of away fixtures
  • Consider that some club’s share a venue and they cannot have home games scheduled on the same day
  • Within a competition you can have another competition bound to a specific time frame.
  • University clubs cannot play during their exam and holiday time
  • Some fields have flood lights and some not (consider night games)
What took union officials months of preparation to finalise can now be done in a couple of hours.  Once a competition has been generated the fixtures are immediately visible on a calendar in scrumIT’s club console Team submissions for fixtures now happen online.  Clubs submit their team of 22 prior to match days.   There is complete visibility re  opponents so coaches know exactly who their teams are up against.  ScrumIT also offers a real time score card.  Club administrators can do fixture scoring next to the field.  The online scorecard is integrated with the competition logs which offer real time updates for all clubs in a competition to monitor their current log position.  Referees are also provided with login credentials and can complete post match reports on the scrumIT system ScrumIT has drawn interest from other federations and sporting codes.  The Western Province Rugby Union is successfully using the system.  The Boland Rugby Union recently started using ScrumIT.  The Boland Rugby Union makes up the biggest rugby playing region in the world. The product is endorsed by prominent role players within the rugby community, amongst others, Peter Jooste (Convenor of National Selectors – Springbok Rugby - the South African National team) and Thelo Wakefield (President of Western Province Rugby Union).  It has even received coverage on a popular  rugby chat show, Cape Rugby The development team will now be focusing on using Alpha Anywhere’s feature rich mobile capabilities to take scrumIT to the next level.  Future developments include a mobile module to enable players to update their personal information and a spectator interactive application.  The team at scrumIT hopes to create a rugby data hub to promote the game and bring communities together using technology and the game that all South Africans adore. We proudly use and endorse Alphasoftware. The feature richness of  Alpha Anywhere   gives us confidence to take scrumIT to new heights and making it  rugby's  administration tool of choice  ScrumIT, proudly managing the game Jaco Brooks ENS Software Solutions (Pty) LTD *Player fraud.  Age appropriate make up of teams.  Usage of players in other regions which have a bye or earlier ending season.  Usage of players within a region who’s clubs didn’t make the playoffs Below are a series of videos showing off the system and also a TV show talking about the significance of the system in Rugby in South Africa.   AA Rugby Video 1 AA Rugby Video 2 AA Rugby Video 3 AA Rugby Video 4 AA Rugby Geography reporting (Radius and Polygon) "  
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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.