Using PractiScore with ezWinScore

IMPORTANT: PractiScore only works with ezWinScore 4.0.8 or later.  Don’t even try this unless you’ve updated to that version. 

IMPORTANT:  If your match has Classifiers in it, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, edit the stage[s] to be classifiers after importing stages and BEFORE importing scores.

Introduction

PractiScore does complete match scoring, including registration, scoring, and results generation. The only times you need to use ezWinScore (presently) are for:

  • * Classifier matches. Currently the USPSA doesn’t let any other scoring system directly interface with their Classifier system.
  • * Level III matches (e.g. Nationals, Area matches, and Sectionals). PractiScore is used for data collection and interim results, but not official results.

There are two ways to work with ezWinScore:

* Register competitors on ezWInScore, collect scores with PractiScore devices, download them to ezWInScore, publish results.
Those clubs using  Palms for scoring have used this model.

* Register competitors and collect scores with PractiScore, export complete match to ezWinscore to publish results or post classifiers.

Our club historically has done the second – using PractiScore entirely until when the match is done, export to ezWinScore. This takes only a minute or so to do any sized match.

 

What’s going on under the hood

PractiScore uses the same process that the Palm scoring systems use, with no changes. For all practical purposes, from ezWinScore’s point of view, PractiScore is a Palm. Something new, that the USPSA added in support of PractiScore, is that match registration data can be imported into ezWinScore now.  All of this happens via text files that PractiScore generates, and ezWinScore reads, or that ezWInScore generates and PractiScore reads in.

*  PSS.txt  – generated by ezWinScore, it contains competitors registered in ezWinscore.  Fed into PractiScore, it will either generate a match, or ADD the shooters to an existing match.

*  reg.txt    – generated by PractScore, it contains competitors registered in PractiScore. It can be fed into ezWInscore only ONCE for a match. If done again, it replaces the competitors.

* Stages_P.txt  – generated by PractiScore, it contains the stage definitions for a match. It is fed into ezWinScore only once for a match. It replaces if done again.

* Stages_Extra_P.txt – generated by PractiScore, it contains extra information about the stages for a match. It must be paired with Stages_P.txt.

* Scores_P.txt  – generated by PractiScore, it contains scores. It can be fed into ezWinScore any number of times. If any scores are duplicated, the last one is used.

* Info.txt  – this is generated by PractiScore, it contains version information on the files being generated so that ezWinScore knows how to process them.

So the basic technical challenge is… How do you get files from ezWinScore to PractiScore, and vice versa?

 

Using PractiScore to create match, register competitors, score, and then send to ezWInScore

This is how our club operates.  We never use ezWInscore except when we have a match with a classifier in it.  We build stages on PractiScore, register competitors with PractScore, and then score the match, including posting results.  Then, when it is time to send the classifer to the USPSA we put the match into ezWinScore using these steps.

* Go to the Sync tab of PractiScore

* Choose “Export Match Registration”

On iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch devices a menu will pop up asking if you want to “Export to iTunes” or “Email Export Files”.  On Android devices, you will be asked to share via whatever file sharing mechanisms are registered on your device. This will typically be Gmail, E-mail, or Dropbox.

PractiScoreExportRegistration

Now you have to get the file, “reg.txt” to ezWinScore.  You can share it via iTunes file sharing, or my preference, email it. Emailing is A LOT EASIER!

Sharing files via iTunes

Apple has many merits, but the file sharing for the iOS devices isn’t one of them. Instead of making the iPod, iPhone or iPad look like a USB disk drive they, instead, force you to use an arcane and largely unused file transfer feature within the iTunes program.   I’ll document this, but unhappily, and URGING you to get e-mail on at least one of your iOS devices so you can do this with one click, not the steps I’m about to cover….

1. Plug your iOS device into your PC.

2. Run iTunes.  In the left side you will see your device name

itunesDevice

3. Choose the device, and then choose the Apps tab on the right.  Scoll past the list of Apps that are installed and you will see the mystical, well hidden, file sharing tool in iTunes

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Choose PractiScore and click on the ‘ezwinscore_export” directory.  Choose “Save to” and save it to a spot you can see from ezWinScore.

There – simple. (-:

Importing “reg.txt’ into ezWInscore

Whether by e-mail or by iTunes file sharing , you now have “reg.txt” on your computer.

Run ezWinScore.  Create a match, or load a match you’ve created before. Note that this should be an empty match, as registrations will be overwritten.

Choose Setup->Registration, and then the Import Registration tab.  Click “Import Registration”, and browse to “reg.txt”.   Your registrations will be imported.

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Importing Stages and Scores into ezWinScore

*** IMPORTANT: When using PractiScore with ezWinScore stages are ALWAYS specified with PractiScore NOT WITH ezWinScore.  This is identical to the Palm system, but I stress it here for those new to electonic scoring with ezWinScore.

You can import stages and scores into ezWinScore  at any time during the match. Only import stages once. So get them right.  You can import scores anytime. Any scores you have already imported are overwritten, so don’t worry about doing them more than once.

Tip: A best practice is to synch all PractiScores to a master device and then export to ezWinScore from it.  it isn’t a required method (you could do each device one at a time) but file sharing via iOS devices is hard and worth only doing once.

Step 1 is to go to the Tools tab (formerly the Sync tab) of PractiScore and choose “Export Match Stages & Scores”

Screenshot 2012.01.31 23.04.35

Again, email is easier and it will email you a zip file of all the necessary ezWinScore export files.

Or you can use the iTunes File Sharing to get the “ezwinscore_export” directory off the device, as shown above.  Note that reg.txt, from the registration export, will still be there. Don’t worry about that – it is convenient to use the same directory for all ezwinscore exports (hence the directory name).  Here are the contents of the directory now:

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Importing the “ezwinscore_export” files into PractiScore

Are you still with me.  Believe me, when you get the hang of this, it only takes a couple minutes to get anysized match into ezWinScore.  (-:

Now, back to ezWinScore.   Our steps will be:

1) import stages into the match (if not done already)

1a) if any stages are classifiers, fix their definition in ezWinScore. It will not automatically set them to be clasifiers. This is a long time issue with the Palm import.

2) import scores

3) repeat as scores update until the match is over.

Importing Stages

Choose Match->Setup  and click the “PALM” button to specify where “ezwinscore_export” (the directory you brought over from PractiScore) is located:

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I tend to put these exports into the same location – generally c:\ezwinscore_exports  – so it is easy to remember.

** IMPORTANT – don’t bury the directory too deep – if the name is too long ezWInScore won’t like it and will not work but not tell you why.  Keep the directory path short.

** NOTE – you will get an odd warning about the directory not ending in \USPSS   – ignore it.

After specifying the PALM directory, choose Save. And then go to Match->Handheld  and choose “Import Stages”, like magic they appear!

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*** IMPORTANT –  The Palm transfer system doesn’t recognize imported stages as classifiers, even if you tagged them as such in PractiScore.

If you have any classifiers in this match, your next step is to go to Setup->Stages and mark them as classifiers.
DO NOT IMPORT SCORES until you’ve made sure that is right.

Importing Scores

Almost there… just scores to do, and it is easy if you got this far.

In Match->Palm choose “Import Palm Scores“…  and they will be sucked in.

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You are now ready to calculate scores, or send in classifier / activity reports.

Summary

This is easier than it seems now. Once you do it a couple times you will find it second nature.

Alway make backups of matches before you do imports. It’s an easy step you won’t regret doing.

That said, it is harder than we want in the year 2012.  So as we use PractiScore, and grow to like it,  your collective voice to USPSA HQ asking for direct interface to the classifer/activity system will make this a ONE CLICK activity.

If you have trouble…