Tuesday, June 18, 2024

England Hockey GMS: Experts, the Dutch and match sheets

David Lloyd-Williams continues to chart how the controversial GMS came to fruition in the second part of our exclusive series on a system which officials hope will lift the grassroots game

When the GMS concept first arose, England Hockey’s Rich Beer and I saw this as the obvious way forward for the domestic game and the prospective new Areas. Having agreed on some basics, we wrote a high level piece and circulated it to a handful of wise heads.

This group met just before Christmas 2019 at Bisham Abbey. At this point, it wasn’t a project in any shape or form. There was no budget, no plan, and above all, no certainty that this would ever happen. We made some big decisions which seemed obvious only in hindsight.

Our league software would exist only as a stand-alone, back-end admin system. It would not have its own front-end website.

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In the next article, we’ll hear about how simplification seemed too radical, and how the GMS project started to run into problems.

David Lloyd-Williams is current and past volunteer for the London League, ex-Chair of Southgate HC

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  1. Fairly certain we’d been asked to submit online match sheets in the old South League MBBO with umpire and goalscorer details for a number of seasons past.

    Not paper. Online. Not living on the Isle of Man.

    Although appreciate the London League guy may not have acknowledged that

  2. Hi. I’m the author of the article.

    I’m not sure of your point. Yes, some past leagues had automated the sending in of results and perhaps scorers. But that’s not the same as recording every appearance, every goal, every card, and publishing the detail. Manx HA were doing this. No other league was.

  3. The whole project is very well intentioned but does it have the budget (if there even is one) and expertise involved to be executed to the level that’s being outlined in these articles?
    Ultimately, despite the mitigating factors, it hasn’t met its first big deadline. As a result the GMS has got off on the wrong foot with the hockey community and is going to have to work hard to regain its trust.
    I work in software development, I’m not alien to projects being delayed, but I doubt that there’s enough resources involved here to achieve the ‘data nirvana’ that’s being discussed. The fact that the audience is now disgruntled will make these first steps harder.
    Overall I want it to work, and the forward thinking enthusiasm is to be commended, but until we’ve got it doing the basics (fixtures, results, league tables) it’s not worth thinking about sexier features like gamification to drive engagement. Good luck and keep us posted!

  4. Not true.

    South League MBBO required teamsheets to be entered in online. We know this as there were fines in some divisions if you didn’t depending on league Secretary.

    Goal scorers

    Admittedly not cards.

    The GMess isn’t the first league to recognise the value to players and hockey history of doing this and the formatting of the league table was as such that you could read the thing quite easily on any device.

  5. An interesting article in so much as we’ve all spent many a heavy night with the beer that has ended up with all of us thinking we’ve got the best idea ever. A game changer. Something so fantastic it is bound to work.

    Unfortunately for English hockey someone took the idea from David and Richard’s session and ran with it straight through the floor of our game like a cannonball through the hull of a ship.


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