Tournament Scoring Program
The National Forensic League had its esteemed start in the 1920’s as an organization furthering speech and debate among high schoolers. Today, this honors society includes 3500 member schools with 20,000 active teens in its membership. Boasting a “who’s who” list of past members, prior NFL debaters include an accomplished list of orators such as Ronald Regan, Oprah Winfrey, and Ted Turner.
The Software Project
The NFL called on our team to develop a replacement online application of their existing Windows software to track the results of tournaments–recorded as “points”–for their ever-growing membership. While functional, the system was a hodge-podge of pieces developed on an as-you-go basis leading to significant downtime, obscure “application errors”, and a clunky interface.
The NFL tracks points earned by students during speech and debate contests held throughout the country by its member schools. Students are rewarded with points which give way for the highest performing members opportunities to compete in district championships. Winners move onto the prestigious National Tournament held each year in a different U.S. city. Through students’ accomplishments, coaches are rewarded via their own points system and ultimately, with Diamonds, as each incremental diamond earned serves as a testament to their students’ prowess in the oratorical arena. Finally, each school earns its own standing in strength. Tracking points, members, awards, and winners is the primary function of the NFL web application.
We pulled out all the stops as we reprogrammed the application to meet Web 2.0 needs. Superbly interactive, we used ThunderScripting (aka Ajax) to lend a Windows-like responsiveness to the application reducing wait time to negligible levels even during times of high usage. Cumbersome paperwork and heavy functions such as new school memberships and dues payments–a huge accounting task–were brought into the new application in a streamlined process. The result: a responsive system that matches the requirements of an organization paving the way towards a future that matches its honorable past.
Learn more about the National Forensic League and get excited about a group of kids that really have their eyes on the future!