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Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 06:04 AM
I have noticed something about the three teams I am on this season: They generate different levels of e-mail traffic.

The TennisOne Team. This captain uses TennisOne (for match scheduling, but not practice scheduling). Trouble is, some players cannot access TennisOne, so he has to send out e-mails in addition to the automated messages TennisOne sends out containing line-ups and match reminders. Further complicating matters is that some players hit "reply all" and blast the in-boxes of 17 people who are not at all interested in information that need only be sent to the captain.

The team has played 5 matches and I have received about 130 e-mails so far this season. This includes 8 eTennis messages to me concerning one match in which I didn't even play!

The E-Mail Team. These co-captains use e-mail only. The team has played 2 matches so far this season (no team practices). I have received 30 messages so far. Not bad at all. I think things will ramp up once we get deeper into the season, as there are a couple of ladies who are very fond of the "Reply All" button.

The Google Spreadsheet Team. This is the team I captain. So far, I have sent out 39 messages to the team concerning the three matches we have played and our team practices. There are another 20 or so where a player hit "Reply All," so that makes 60 team messages so far.

So much for the idea that TennisOne cuts down on a team's e-mail burden . . . .

Topaz
05-20-2009, 06:09 AM
I am a TennisOne captain, and all my players have access with no problems. Not sure why others on that one team wouldn't. That is very strange.

I send out 2, maybe 3 emails a week. One, of course, is the line-up. The team is great...last line-up I sent out, everyone confirmed within ONE day. :)

Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 06:15 AM
I'm glad TennisOne works for you Topaz. As a player, it has been the source of endless headaches for me.

I've never used it as a captain (it wouldn't work at all for the way I handle line-ups). As a player, it sends out way too many e-mails, and it gets confusing. Especially since the captain's remarks -- which are important -- are way at the bottom and are easily missed.

For instance, my mixed captain did his line-ups all in one chunk at the beginning of the season. So I got a blast of e-mails for every match, even the ones I didn't play, IIRC. These e-mails asked me to confirm weeks and weeks ahead of time, which makes the confirmation meaningless. Then as the matches approached, TennisOne sends out an automated reminder, but that doesn't require confirmation. When one lady missed the reminder and didn't show up, the captain started sending manual e-mail reminders that did require confirmation.

As it stands, I cannot access TennisOne by going to the page and typing in my log-in info. I have to do it by finding one of the e-mails and clicking the link. No biggie, but one lady can't get in at all. Weird.

Topaz
05-20-2009, 06:20 AM
^^^You can change settings in TennisOne to not send out the reminder (and/or adjust how long before the match it can be sent out).

It has been a god-send for me. I have looked into using google spreadsheets, too, but so many people in NOVA use TennisOne that most of the players are already in the system and are familiar with it.

Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 06:30 AM
Yeah, I get some, um, questions from new players when they find out that I don't use TennisOne. It has even amounted to pressure to switch at times. "Oh, all my other teams use it, and if you use it then I can [something about getting everything on the same calendar]."

Nope, not gonna happen. It would never work for me.

Cindy -- currently chasing down one player for tomorrow's match who didn't reply to the match reminder e-mail she sent and is going to have to pick up the phone now

oldhacker
05-20-2009, 06:41 AM
I run my team e-mail only. Basically this involves sending 3 e-mails to all players each season as follows:

1. To tell them the weekly day / time for team practice sessions.
2. To send them a fixture sheet for them to return with their availability.
3. To send them a list of matches they are playing.

Anything else (such as hooking up for lifts to matches) tends to get sorted at the team practice session before each match.

I have noticed something about the three teams I am on this season: They generate different levels of e-mail traffic.

The TennisOne Team. This captain uses TennisOne (for match scheduling, but not practice scheduling). Trouble is, some players cannot access TennisOne, so he has to send out e-mails in addition to the automated messages TennisOne sends out containing line-ups and match reminders. Further complicating matters is that some players hit "reply all" and blast the in-boxes of 17 people who are not at all interested in information that need only be sent to the captain.

The team has played 5 matches and I have received about 130 e-mails so far this season. This includes 8 eTennis messages to me concerning one match in which I didn't even play!

The E-Mail Team. These co-captains use e-mail only. The team has played 2 matches so far this season (no team practices). I have received 30 messages so far. Not bad at all. I think things will ramp up once we get deeper into the season, as there are a couple of ladies who are very fond of the "Reply All" button.

The Google Spreadsheet Team. This is the team I captain. So far, I have sent out 39 messages to the team concerning the three matches we have played and our team practices. There are another 20 or so where a player hit "Reply All," so that makes 60 team messages so far.

So much for the idea that TennisOne cuts down on a team's e-mail burden . . . .

Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 06:48 AM
I run my team e-mail only. Basically this involves sending 3 e-mails to all players each season as follows:

1. To tell them the weekly day / time for team practice sessions.
2. To send them a fixture sheet for them to return with their availability.
3. To send them a list of matches they are playing.

Anything else (such as hooking up for lifts to matches) tends to get sorted at the team practice session before each match.

So you don't send e-mails after each match with an update/overview? I like receiving those from captains.

And no reminders? The e-mail reminder 2 days before a match has saved us many times. "What? Huh? I'm playing that match? I had no idea."

cak
05-20-2009, 07:07 AM
TennisOne has some very weird gremlins that make it all but impossible to truely run a team on TennisOne alone.

Minor problems, it changes the name of the person sending the emails. Emails from one captain came out under the name of three different people on her team. And I also have the same problem as Cindy, in that I can't log in from the main page, have to find an old email to log in.

Major problems: 1) it randomly goes in and changes availability. At one point it did a bit mask of my availability, changing all the availables to non-availables and all the non-availables to available. And it did the whole team around the same time, meaning the poor captain was putting out lineups where no one was really available. 2) it randomly decides to ignore emails. There are weeks at a time where I get no emails, or emails from only one team and not the other. When I am put into a lineup, and don't get any emails, it's a big problem.
3) Occasionally it just sends out emails late, by a couple weeks. Very weird.

Of the two teams I'm rostered on right now, one of the captains pulled off TennisOne, and uses the NorCal site for availability and such. The other still uses TennisOne, but then emails everyone separately to ensure they get emails.

Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 07:17 AM
Yeah, some of my teammates have said they went in and did their availability, and the next time they went in it was all just "?". Captain was annoyed that they didn't post their availability; player was mad at TennisOne.

I wish there were a way to indicate what your "?" means. You can leave a comment, of course. But as a captain, I need to know whether "?" means "I haven't been to the site" or whether it means something else.

For our spreadsheet, "Karen?" means "Karen would have a hard time being available but can try to make it work if the captain asks because we are short on players."

oldhacker
05-20-2009, 07:19 AM
Hi Cindy - because we have practice sessions very week I see them at practice earlier in the week to 'remind' them they are playing and make travel arrangments and I do an update / review at the practice session after each match. I suppose overall I use e-mail for the 'macro' orgainistaion and face to face for the 'micro' organisation. I have never had a player miss a match or forget in the 3 and a half years I have been running the team.

I would not use e-mail for reminders in the week before a match as so many people only seem to check e-mail once a week or have spells when their router packs up and read no e-mails for a couple of weeks.



So you don't send e-mails after each match with an update/overview? I like receiving those from captains.

And no reminders? The e-mail reminder 2 days before a match has saved us many times. "What? Huh? I'm playing that match? I had no idea."

spiderman123
05-20-2009, 07:44 AM
So you don't send e-mails after each match with an update/overview? I like receiving those from captains.

And no reminders? The e-mail reminder 2 days before a match has saved us many times. "What? Huh? I'm playing that match? I had no idea."

Our captain is pretty cool. We get an update/review mail immediately after every match and that also serves as a request to get the availability for next week's match. We have a fixed deadline for that.

Hours (sometime minutes) after the deadline expires, my cellphone beeps(mail fwd) with the team for the weekend. Since this is usually 3 days before the match we don't need any other reminder.

The captain takes care of who has played how many matches and schedules them dynamically. This means we do not have to see into future and tell our May availability in Jan.

If people are available but they did not get scheduled to play, they turn up at the court with beer (and I am sure with the kit in the car, in case someone is held up on the interstate, secretly hoping for that :) )

Tarboro
05-20-2009, 01:24 PM
TennisOne sounds awfully high maintenance, as do some captains. 20+ emails for three matches? Maybe I'm missing something, but what's to arrange that requires seven emails?

The team I'm on is email only, and requires two team-wide emails per match. One ~five days prior soliciting players, including the details of the match (opponent, location, time, surface (if applicable)) and one ~36 hours before the match detailing the lineup. The first email requires a response to the captain but the second requires no response beyond griping if you were available and did not get a spot in the lineup. Practices are handled on an ad hoc basis; usually we make final arrangements for those face to face either at the match or at the bar afterward.

Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 02:18 PM
Each weekly practice requires two e-mails to the team: (1) Hey, does anyone want to practice at this day and time?, followed a few days later by (2) OK, here's who has said they are coming, see you there. We've been practicing for perhaps five weeks, so there's 10 team e-mails right there (more if we need to discuss indoor courts on account of rain).

The pre-season requires a lot of e-mails. I send an e-mail to the team when we add a new player. When we get our match schedule. When the league has something they want everyone to know (e.g. new rain delay policy, new usage restrictions). There are requests to help me find new players, as well as e-mails asking if anyone knows a new player who wants to join. And of course there is the e-mail billing everyone for their match fees.

I send an e-mail if a weird rules thing comes up in a match (e.g. the rule on what to do when partners disagree on a call). I send an e-mail telling the team I plan to send out line-ups for the next XX matches so make sure their availability is current, followed by a notice that the new line-ups are now up on the spreadsheet. If we are desperately short a player, I will e-mail the whole team asking for someone to step up.

And of course a cheerful e-mail match report, win or lose.