Michigan H.S. association tackles cheating with scoring app
27 Dec 2018
by Staff

AGC photo
AGC photo

Beginning in spring 2019, the Michigan High School Athletic Association will allow high school golfers to use a cell phone app for live scoring that should draw more eyes to the sport. The creation – and allowance – of the app is all in the name of honest, accurate scoring.

By allowing players to input their scores while on the golf course, the MHSAA believes it may prevent student athletes from falsifying their scores during competition. According to a story first reported by the Detroit Free Press, the pilot program will go into effect for boys golf season this spring and allow for the on-course use of a cell phone app called iWanamaker. It is essentially a live scoring app designed to draw eyes to high-school golf scores in real-time.

“Making scores public makes it available for all to see, for all to look at and for all to make sure that what is being put in the system actually is what the kids are shooting,” Cody Inglis, associate director at the MHSAA, told the Detroit Free Press. “If a kid is scoring out of his mind, then you can bet that they will attract more attention and eyeballs on them.”

The pilot program means that a cell phone can now be used during competition for one of four reasons: live scoring through iWanamaker, as a distance measuring device, or to call a coach or official in the event of a health and safety issue or a rules question.

According to the Free Press, the move came about after controversy surrounding a regional meet last spring. Two teams advanced out of the Division 1, Region 4 meet with team totals more than 45 strokes lower than the season averages that had been submitted prior to the tournament. Those teams, Anchor Bay and L’Anse Creuse, qualified for the state tournament but finished in the bottom two spots on the leaderboard.

Walking adult scorers accompany groups at the state finals.

The Free Press contacted Hartland golf coach Nathan Oake, also an MHSAA golf committee member, by email, receiving this response: “To me, it all boils down to transparency. I cannot think of another sport where you have to wait five to six hours to find out what the score is. I think we are moving in a very positive direction with a discussion about using more live scoring as both a preventative tool and a tool for enhancement of the competition.”

True, the sport stands to benefit from increased exposure. In fact, the model reflects the live scoring system often in place in college events. Volunteers are responsible for live-scoring entry for large Division I tournaments, but Division III players have adopted a self-entry method that allows players to input scores using their cell phones at the end of each hole.

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