Maybe you’ve noticed by now that we at RosterBot have a strong affinity for ice hockey. It’s not all our fault, we are after all a Canadian company, started by a hockey goalie and a Stanley Cup winner.
Due to this, we’ve managed to build an enormous community of hockey teams and players that use RosterBot to coordinate their games, practices and parties.
For those of you not familiar with the life of an amateur hockey player, let us bring your into our lives.
Ice time is the most precious of commodities, so finding an ice time that works for you is akin to finding a parking spot at the mall at Christmas time, you take that spot and don’t move for anyone!
Unfortunately these ice times can be at less than helpful times of the day. Forget strolling into the rink at 4PM on a Saturday, that’s way too easy for everyone’s schedule. It’s more likely you’ll be packing up your hockey bag and heading to the rink at 11:30PM on a Tuesday to squeeze in a game, or waking up at some ungodly time on Sunday morning to haul yourself into a freezing cold arena.
Which coincidentally brings us to our Team of the Month for February, a group hockey playing friends from outside Chicago, who organize a weekly game at the bright and early time of 6AM, Saturday mornings.
And because these puck-smacking folks are sacrificing their sweet, sweet sleep-time they wanted to ensure they were actually going to have a game to play when you get to the rink. Enter RosterBot.
I caught up with one of the organizers of Weekend Morning Hockey at Hot Shots, Peter Arnstein to find how out how exactly you can coordinate a group of 60 men and women all wanting to take part in a hockey game to start off their weekend.
RosterBot: Tell us a little about your team? How did you originally find your teammates? How often do you play?
Peter Arnstein: Our group is the Weekend Morning Hockey at Hot Shot (mostly) men’s group in Lake Bluff, Illinois, a suburb on Lake Michigan 30 miles north of Chicago. The rink is less than regulation size, so we play four on four hockey, and limit the skates to 16 skaters total / eight a side / no more than four on the bench.
We started out as a ragtag pure no-sponsor drop-in rat hockey / stick and puck – often with just a handful of skaters and maybe a goalie. By late 2010 it had evolved into an email distribution list of over 60 skaters (now over 100), a rotating stable of six to eight regular goalies, a limit on number of skaters per session, and weekly team assignments designed for balanced competition. We play year round every Saturday and Sunday morning as well as most holidays.
Our slogan: “Four on Four | Two Goalies | No A**holes”
RosterBot: How did you find out about RosterBot?
PA:We found out about RosterBot last October when one of our goalies came across the mobile app launch announcement in TechCrunch Daily. The format and features looked like it fit the bill for what we needed to manage the skates.
RosterBot: How was your team formerly organized? How has RosterBot benefitted you or your team?
PA: Prior to implementing RosterBot, we did everything manually. Weekly email skate invites, manual acknowledgement of “IN” or “WAITLIST,” time spent keeping track of number of confirmed skaters so as not to exceed session limit.
RosterBot: Is there something which RosterBot does which specifically helps with the sport you play?
PA: By automating the weekly invite and response process that our format involves, RosterBot saves a lot of time, improves accuracy and eliminates the need to personally monitor IN responses.
Players like knowing in real time whether or not they’ve been to confirmed to skate for the upcoming weekend. RosterBot’s team messaging function makes it a lot easier to quickly contact group members or subsets. We look forward to additional features and refinements in future versions of RosterBot.
Thanks again to Peter and the rest of the Weekend Morning Hockey crew for participating in our Team of the Month feature. For their part, they’ve received a package of our in-demand RosterBot Gear, including hockey pucks, shirts, hats and toques.
If you are using RosterBot and would like to tell us your story, contact us with here: firstname.lastname@example.org