I started competing in the action shooting sports in the summer of 2012. In those days I paid my fee, shot as gracefully as I could, helped break down and then impatiently waited 2 to 3 days to see how I stacked up. Enter practiscore – an online solution to tallying up all the penalties or Alpha-Charlies, whatever the case may be. Wet paper and dry pens were soon replaced with Nooks and wifi hotspots; most importantly is the scoring was done and online within minutes of the match. This new tech married with social media and today new shooters grumble when they can’t check their scores on the way home.
Practiscore is the brainchild of Ken Nelson. Ken’s a computer science major, entrepreneur, match director and action shooting philanthropist. The story goes that Ken scored on paper one time for his club and one time was enough to drive him to self finance the solution. For the last several years Ken has invited millions of gunslingers to his online home to host, post and compare scores free of charge – Now you see why I use the term philanthropy.
Those of you in web dev know how costly an enterprise like this can be and I, for one, wasn’t surprised when Practiscore began to monetize the site with paid ads. This begs the question. What are they building with the new money? It is incredibly compelling. Essentially, they are building a social eco-system inside of the platform. Imagine this – You go to check your score and there are links right to the match sponsors (this is free for sponsors and matches by the way), pictures posted by your competitors appear around the scoring with the usual accouterments of questions, comments and “likes”. Instead of just raw data you are now looking at an interactive snap shot of the event. Curious about the gear the guy that beat you was using? Click over to his profile and find out more about his kit and which match he is shooting next for a rematch – pretty cool stuff!