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Hey, brother, can you spare?

Some of our members have recently asked us if we could think of some ways to improve the process of finding spares when someone is not able to curl on their own team.

So, we put on our thinking caps, took a big swig of “fortified” coffee and we came up with the three ideas that you can find below. We are now asking you if you could read the description of what we came up with and let us know about your own preferences as well as any ideas or suggestions that you may have. Thank you.

 

Ideas for helping our members find spares.

 

For the next curling season we would like to put in place some kind of system that would help our members find a spare when they aren't able to curl in their own draw. Three different ideas have been considered so far and we would like to ask you for your input on this subject before we make a commitment to use one of them. Here are the three ideas:

1. Facebook group

Description: we would create a closed group on Facebook that we would call “Hudson Legion Curling Club” and invite all of our club members to join. When one of the members of this group is unable to play in one of their own draws they would then “create an event”, which they would then describe using terms like these:

event name: House League spare needed at lead position on Team J. Putnam
event date: Monday, November 9, 2015
event time: 8 pm

This is what it would look like on Facebook:

Example of proposed Facebook spare needed event

All the members of this Facebook group would then receive a notification that an event is happening and if someone would like to take advantage of this opportunity to do some extra curling and wants to commit to play then they would indicate that they will attend the event.

Advantages: the system would “run itself” and no one would be needed for coordination. Every member of the Facebook group could post their own spare requests and all other members would be able to respond on their own. The only persons who would be allowed to join this Facebook group would be our own club members, which would ensure that only genuine spare requests would be posted and there would be no possibility of posting false or prank announcements.

Disadvantages: only the members of our curling club who have their own Facebook account would be able to participate.

2. Teamstuff account

Description: a new service has recently become available on the internet to help sports teams coordinate their activities. It's called Teamstuff and it's available on www.teamstuff.com.  We could use this service to distribute announcements about spare request. The way it would work would be as follows:
One or two persons would act as administrators and they would create an account on Teamstuff that we would call the “Hudson Legion Curling Club”. We would then send out email invitations to all of our members who would like to be on the spares list.
Whenever someone would need a spare they would contact the account administrators, who would then use the Teamstuff application to send out a notice to all the people on the spares list, either by email or by SMS text message, depending on their preference, to let them know about the need for a spare. The persons who would like to play as a spare would then contact directly the person in whose place they would be playing.

Advantages: once entered into the system, the announcement about the need for a spare would be distributed very quickly to all the members of the spares pool

Disadvantages: it may take some time before the Teamstuff account administrator is made aware of the need to post the information about the need for a spare and only the people who choose to register with Teamstuff would receive the notifications.

3. On-line form

Description: we could also make an on-line form available to our members to post their requests for a spare. This would be similar to the comments/suggestions form that we already use or the sign-up forms that we sometimes use to allow our members to register for curling events. The way it would work is as follows: whenever someone can't curl and needs a spare they would go to our website and enter all the pertinent information on that form, such as the team for which the spare is needed, the position, the date and time as well as information about contacting the person posting the request. How the form would look is shown below. If you would like to try it then please enter “goLegion” (without the quotes) as the security code.
 

 

 

This information would be automatically displayed on the home page of the Hudson Legion Curling Club website. Any visitor to our website would see this information and if they decided to play as a spare they would then contact the person who posted the announcement to let them know. The way this information would appear on someone’s screen is shown below.

 

 

Advantages: no coordinator would be needed and the system would effectively run itself since every one could post the spares requests directly through the on-line form.

Disadvantages: there would no announcements about the need for a spare and this approach would rely on our members regularly visiting our website to find out about the sparing opportunities. Since this method would be accessible to anyone on the internet, we would have to be careful to minimize the possibilities for someone to post bogus spare requests either as a prank or as spam.

Here is a summary of all three methods being considered:

 

Method

Advantages

Disadvantages

Facebook group

Persons who are members of this closed group would post their spare requirements as an event and all other members would be notified through their own Facebook account.

The system would “run itself” and no one would be needed for coordination. Every member of the Facebook group could post their own spare requests and all other members would be able to respond on their own. Since only authorized persons would be allowed to join this Facebook group, it would be certain that only genuine spare requests would be posted and there would be no possibility of posting false or prank announcements.

Only persons who have their own Facebook account would be able to participate.

Teamstuff account

Persons who need a spare contact the account administrator, who then generates a notification to all members registered with Teamstuff.

Once entered into the system, the announcement about the need for a spare would be distributed very quickly to all the members of the spares pool by SMS text message or email.

It may take some time before the Teamstuff account administrator is made aware of the need for a spare and sends out the notification, and only those people who choose to register with Teamstuff would receive the notifications.

On-line form

Members who need a spare fill out an online form and the information is then posted on the website like on a bulletin board.

No coordinator would be needed and the system would effectively run itself since every one could post the spares requests directly through the on-line form.

There would no announcements about the need for a spare and this approach would rely on our members regularly visiting our website to check for sparing opportunities. Since this method would be accessible to anyone on the internet, we would have to be careful to minimize the possibilities for someone to post bogus spare requests either as a prank or as spam.