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ACBLscore v. Bridgescore+ showdown

It looks like the ACBL Management's Technology Committee has decided upon ACBLscore+ without anyone on the committee having seen a demo of ACBLscore+. This is crazy. We already knew the outcome but I thought they would at least ask for a demo.

I propose a showdown: ACBLscore v. Bridgescore+. New Orleans. Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 at 10am.

Make the event open so anyone can see the two pieces of software at the same time. Invite the ACBL Management Technology Committee. Invite the Board Technology Committee. Invite all the people on this site who are sick of hearing about ACBLscore+.

Take a smart, young bridge player, who has never run ACBLscore or Bridgescore+. Bridgescore+ was designed for the next generation of TDs, someone who grew up with computers. I'll nominate Greg Humphreys as the perfect candidate for ACBL.

Let's use real world data. Let's take the data from the Monday, March 16th, 2015 Regional KO. The event will have finished by then.

Give Greg ACBLscore, an ACBL printer. He'll need a TD to help him with some of the ACBLscore functionality. Greg is the only person allowed to use the computer. Remember, part of the test is how easy it is to learn the system.

To even the playing field, I'll use a caddy, someone who isn't even a bridge player - I just need someone young enough to understand computers. I'll help this person, but only the caddy will use the computer. Or if there is a volunteer out there that is computer-savvy but not an ACBLscore user, I'll use them.

We are testing not only the software, but also how easy it is to use the software and how easy it is to learn to use the software. This was an ACBLscore+ goal.

Let's get volunteers to play the role of team captains so we have real world interaction.


1. Selling entries. Each team has to take all entries within 30 minutes.

This should be easy for both teams. Bridgescore+ will ask if the team is pre-registered (played as a team already at the tournament) because that's how we work.

The list of tables "inventory" available for the event will be given to both teams prior to the entry selling phase (this is what normally happens).

2. Bracket the teams.

Last entry is sold. Timer starts. Each team must now bracket the teams as quickly as possible. Greg has to use the current ACBL method - print out the PREGAME details, look at the print-out, red marker pen, draw lines. My team will use the Bridgescore+ method.

Each time will be timed in how long it takes before the last team's assignment is visible to the players.

3. Game file set up

Each team must now set up their scoring program to be ready for name entry.

Greg has to use ACBLscore.

My team will use the Bridgescore+ method.

Each team will be timed. We will also use a monitor on each team to see how much data is typed into each system.

4. Name entry.

Greg will use the current ACBL method of name entry. After all players are seated, he will write down on a piece of paper for each bracket, the tables where the round robins are being played, and the tables where the head to head matches are being played. He will then send a caddy, who doesn't really know what's going on, to pick up the entries from the tables. The caddy must sort in the prescribed order - round robins, then head to head matches. Greg will need to check that the entries come back in the right order. Then he will be ready to enter the names into ACBLscore.

My team will use the Bridgescore+ method.

Each team will be timed from when their process starts to when their process ends.

5. Printing bracket sheets.

Each team will print the bracket sheets that will be hung on the wall.

Each team will be timed from when they start to when they finish. The printer speeds will be compared.


I would expect the entire test to be about 60-90 minutes.

ACBL doesn't have to provide much - an ACBL laptop, an ACBL printer, an ACBL TD, data from the Monday game, a room for the test.

I think having the ability for everyone to see both systems running, live, next to each other and be able to compare the two systems in a close-to-real world setting will be helpful to all.

If Greg wants to be the one that runs both ACBLscore and Bridgescore+ we can set up the test that way. You really need to compare both systems in completing a task in order to do a proper comparison.

We can extend this test to running an NABC Swiss. Assuming the ACBLscore team hasn't run out of time...

Greg's team is going to need 3 volunteers for the Swiss - one for score entry in ACBLscore, one for the Jeffries chart, one for the rack.

My team still only needs 1 as we use a projector for display.


If ACBL doesn't want to do this, then we can look at doing this test off-site.

I'll need someone to play the role of an ACBL TD, I'll bring Bridgescore+ and we can go to a local coffee shop and compare the two systems. I can create the fake data for starting a KO and a fake 300,000 member database. I would invide both the Management Technology Committee and the Board Management Committee to see both systems working. I think only Ken on the Management Technology Committee is a regular user of ACBLscore so it will be an education for the others on how ACBL's current technology works.

I think when you realize what Bridgescore+ is replacing that you will really understand the need for a good ACBLscore replacement.

Other than by providing an open opportunity for everyone to see for themselves how the current technology works, and how Bridgescore+ works, I don't see any other way to stop this debate. You can make up your own mind after you see the two systems at work.

I am sure that ACBL would be willing to encourage this test to validate all of their claims about ACBLscore+, but we could do this demo with or without ACBL's blessing.

Greg: Up for it?

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