Evaluate online competitions…? From the point of view of a commissaire

“If I could participate as a commissaire in the ICWW online competition and evaluate?

Clear answer, of course!”

In the last newsletter, we reported about the development of the competition. What Martin Schön and Mike Lauterbach had set up is terrific.

From the comments of the athletes, it was clear that they enjoyed being able to return to a little normality in this Corona time and to present themselves with their programs.

The day of the online competition arrived. Comfortably at home, turn on the computer, have ready mineral water,explaining to my wife that she should only enter on quiet soles to bring the catering and wait for the things.

Half an hour before the start of the competition I opened the link to the competition. The chief commissaire and I tested the “voice channel” via Skype so that discussions can take place in case of corrections of the evaluation. My writing commissaire and I opened and tested another Skype channel so that we can see and hear each other for the announcement of the scoring. With the welcome to the online competition by Rolf Halter my pulse rate rose a little. To keep it safe, I had my Mac Book just in case. Ok, the mobile with Skype open was still within reach. So a real control center was prepared and I felt almost a little bit the feeling what the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) must have at the soccer games. On the PC the livestream was ready to start with the evaluation. The tablet with the Skype connection to the clerk and the laptop to communicate with the chief to talk, ready.

The anxious consideration, is my network strong enough? I was ready, my internet did the job as expected, it did not break down and kept on being stable. As an experienced commentator, Stefan Born called the first starter and we were ready to go. My writer commented: the athlete enters the area sitting on the bike, first figure: raiser.

No athlete was seen on my screen (?). Then he arrived and I was able to see him. First technical problem? There was a delay of about 10 seconds between the livestream of my writer Heike Lauterbach and mine. What is next now? With a tip from Mike Lauterbach to stop the livestream for a short time and then let it continue, we managed to keep the livestream running synchronously.

As commissaires, we also had to fight with the different lighting conditions in the sports halls. Sometimes the markings on the competition surface was not easy to see. The livestream was jerky and sometimes, in case of bad netting in the sports hall, about half-round was missing. One could only guess what mistakes the athlete made in that half-round. There were also halls where not the whole area was visible and one or another athlete disappeared from the picture during ACT4. If he came back on his bike it was more or less ok, if he came back on foot, there was of course
a circle 😉.

Printscreen from the Online Cup livestream

Amazing, what happened when switching from one hall to another. With Google Earth we zoomed to the next hall and you could get an idea where for example the hall in Belgium is located. Also the advertising block “with sponsors search for Rwanda” was great. It felt like the private television stations.

So the time flew by. Next athlete, now and then contact to the chief and talked to Heike about baking a cake (of course only if there was no athlete on the competition surface or the control center switched to a new location). Top background info from speaker Stefan Born. It was great! An announcer in Basel, Switzerland; control center, writer, commentator and chief somewhere in Germany; gyms in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland and it worked.

A big compliment to the Lauterbach Clan for the technology.

It is clear that online competitions don’t replace official ones. Too big were the problems of different surfaces, different transmission qualities, etc. But in these strange virus times a successful attempt to give the athletes a platform to show
themselves.

Hopefully, the times will come back soon, with the competition in one sportshall, doing the evalution on site, and watching the perfomances of the athletes live. It was fun for me.
Anytime again.

Stay healthy.

Günter Altwegg – Commissaire and member of the ICWW board

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