Admit it. You hate standing in the crowd peering over the shoulder of the parent in front of you when the times are finally posted for events in a meet, on those countless sheets of paper taped to the wall. Or being awkwardly rubbed up against when someone does the same to you trying to get their iPhone in position to take a pic of Scout’s 50 Back time, so they can just get the heck out of there and look at it later.
Then there is that one person who just camps out in front of them, oblivious to the fact that there are about six people behind them all trying to get a peek at the results so they can go back to the concession stand and grab that Mountain Dew on the way back to the stands or seating area. You just want to say, “While I’m young, Lady Liberty!!”
And then you go to a meet where they are running Meet Mobile. And it’s like someone took you out of the 1987 Ford Escort and you jumped into a Lambroghini. Or you were rubbing two sticks together and someone hands you a Zippo lighter. Or you were looking at a bunch of paper on a wall in a crowd of sweaty swim parents, and then you…well you aren’t.
Active Network, a very comprehensive sports management firm, provides Registration, Team Hosting, and other sports management services, and are also owners of the Hy-Tek family of swim meet tracking software products. Active introduced Meet Mobile as an app for iPhone and Android in 2012. I think the app was actually brought down to Earth on tiny little app wings from on high. And there was much rejoicing.
For meets running at least HYTEK Meet Manager 4.0, meet organizers can take results in real time and transfer them automatically to the Active Server and thence forth in thousands of tiny, glorious transmissions to that Meet Mobile app in the palm of your hand. In seconds. The app tells you everything that was on the old results sheet PLUS the exact amount of any time improvements, splits for races with distance intervals, and where the nearest cheesesteak joint is. Ok, that last one was actually Yelp, but it feels like it does everything. Here are a few more of the rockin’ features of the app:
1. Favorites: in the app, all the swimmers in all the heats are all displayed. But you probably only really care about a few of them, right? Meet Mobile allows you to tag any swimmer with an easy Favorite button, and from that point forward you can isolate the results to just your Favorites. If you are looking at Event view, you can even see how many of your Favorites are swimming in each event.
3. Heat Sheet/Psyche Sheet- Tired of counting the swimmers on the paper heat sheet to see what seed Junior was heading into the event? Meet Mobile will display each swimmer’s seed with respect to other swimmers in the event. And when the event is over, it will obviously tell you how they finished as well. A feature that I haven’t seen implemented yet (maybe because the host club has to give some revenue to Active to offer it) is the ability to actually distribute the Heat Sheet through the app as well. There is also the requirement to pay for the sheet somehow through the app, and my guess is that clubs probably think that will scare people more than clowns and dentists.
4. Maps: if you are like my wife, who can’t find her way out of a paper bag without GPS, and you were handed an address to the meet facility, no matter how many times you have been to that pool in question, there is a realistic possibility you will get lost trying to get there. But Meet Mobile has the address listed in the details for the meet. One click on the the little red pushpin on the main meet page opens up a Google Map that will give you directions from your current position to the pool. (Note: Active informed me they were having issues with this feature, and would have them fixed with the next app update).
5. Swimmer Collective Results: Let’s just leave aside the concept of having to cull results from a bunch of pieces of paper on the wall. Even if you are patient enough to wait for the results to be published in PDF format on your state or local zone’s website where such things are posted, the results are still listed by event. And, at this point at least, most are not searchable by swimmer (though I think a few LSC’s sort the results out), and you have to wait until everything hits Deck Pass (read this post to learn about the equally awesome Times tracker app put out by USA Swimming). With Meet Mobile, all of your swimmers times for a meet are all presented to you under their name, with splits, placing, improvements, you name it. And not just on the day of the meet, but on the day after, and two days after, and two years after. You get the picture. Sooooo much easier than paper results.
We at Splashfather Chronicles have absolutely no skin in the game to promote this app, aside from wanting everyone to bathe in its awesomeness whenever possible. Getting it is a piece of cake. Just go to the App Store or equivalent for Android, and search for Meet Mobile. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
I can say there are a few things that irk me about the app on occasion, it will crash time to time and give you this annoying message that it can’t give you the times right now at this instant. I’ve also had issues sometimes with it dropping my favorites. But all my angst on these issues is simply washed away when I am tossed back into the stone age at a meet that is not running it. Then, in silence, I humbly and earnestly beg forgiveness of Active Networks, and promise I’ll never complain again.
MAY THE TIME CLOCKS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR
NOTE: if downloading the app on ipad, you must search for ‘Meet Mobile’ under ‘iPhone only’ apps. It will still download on ipad, and looks normal, too.