To encourage players to be entered on time or early.
At some point, the Panda Chess Academy Friday night tournaments became popular and we had to adapt.
In the past, parents would send me an email to let me know that their kid is coming. It was a simple system.
Then I had a problem where parents would forget to enter the kids, show up, and tell me that they emailed me, or they weren't sure .. it would just cause delays. I like to have everything prepared ahead of time, and adding kids last minute basically erases most of what the preparation accomplished.
So we switched from "just send an email" to a simple website form. This way it is much easier to keep track of who entered properly and who didn't.
Then we had a lot of people enter after the deadline and request that we still pair the kid. At first we tried to be flexible and we would add people in after the deadline. If it was possible, we would try to work with the family. But eventually too many people entered after the deadline… and we couldn't just add them all in. If we added a player one minute after the deadline… it doesn't seem fair to not enter the person who was an hour late.. or 12 hours late.
So we really made this deadline absolute. And it was very sad to tell kids they can't come because they weren't entered in time. But overall, I feel that parents must know that we are being fair to everyone and that we don't bend this rule.
And that's where TourneyBot comes in. By sharing first names and login times, parents can have confidence knowing that we enforce the rules fairly and consistently. If someone entered after the Thursday 10pm deadline, and that person was paired in the tournament next day, then parents will know that something unfair happened.
But honestly, I just hate having to say no to parents, and it doesn't get any easier. By using tools like TourneyBot, it makes things easier for me and the staff.