If we are not tracking our steps with a wearable, or finding a new app to play with, then you are most likely to find us out at the fields with kids. As a parent of two young ones and a member of adult recreation league sports the schedule is full with tons of activities. This make keeping track of everything fairly difficult, but thankfully there are apps to help with that. One of our favorites is the Game Change app, which is designed to be a complete team manager.
Game Changer actually has a couple of apps, the Game Changer Classic and the new updated GameChanger. These days we typically run with the more updated one as it is often integrated easily with the leagues we sign up for. We found out about Game Changer initially as a coach of youth soccer. If you want tips on what we learned coaching, check out the article about what we learned coaching youth soccer.
Game Changer Features – Is Premium Worth It?
One of the best parts about Game Changer is that so many of the features of it are free. If you are looking for it to keep track of a team schedule, manage communications, and even live stream an event, all of this is totally free. we love this because it consolidates a way to communicate and keep a record of things without requiring additional fees for every member of the team. Some little leagues even let you directly import a roster and schedule into the app.
Why is having a consolidated team schedule so great? For starters it ensures that everyone is working off of the same information. We have written up the details on how to sync a Game Changer schedule to apple calendar or google calendar. Doing this makes sure that if someone changes the time of an event, or a new game or practice gets added to the schedule mid season, you can see it pop up automatically on your calendar of choice. Although you need someone to setup the schedule within the app, using the shared calendar means that you can get game time details even if you are not looking at app notifications or checking daily.
While scheduling, messaing, and simple score stats during a game are free, the full suite of features is unlocked with a Premium Subscription. The annual fee is $59.99 (billed as a year) and gives you access to as many teams as you take part in. For us that means that over the course of 12 months it’s only $5-7 per team/season that we wind up tracking. Features that are enhanced with a premium account include:
- Video archives – Getting video streamed during a game is free, but if you want to save those recordings that requires a fee. It is possible for a single person to access the footage and share it offline with team mates, but if you want to easily manage the files and watch back film you will need the subscription. Note that even for time shifting a game to later in the day requires this as well, similar to a DVR or recording on a TV, if you are double booked and want to watch back the video of a morning game in the afternoon, you will need video archives.
- Highlight Clips – For live scored games or those that have highlight reels, Game Changer can automatically create cuts for each player. As a parent or casual fan of a recreation league these highlights are an amazing way to watch your favorite player without scrolling through the often boring filler of a video that can be hours long. Since most videos (especially of something like baseball) are a single camera view recorded without any commentary, highlights make the game digestible. Of course the clips are also a great option for sharing with friends and family, or via social media, since the video will be in a smaller file that can be shared.
- Game Box Scores – Overall the enhancements from Premium break down into two categories, video and stats. The stats available for free are limited to individual games while they are happening. For the premium version you can get full advanced stats on a game, similar from what you would expect from collegiate level or pro level reporting. Of course the limitation here is that someone has to input the stats in order to aggregate them. Thankfully scoring games via game changer is fairly simple. For a sport like baseball or softball scoring via an app is way easier than a pen and paper scorebook, since the app can prompt you for all the various details that are needed. Finding an assistant coach, dedicated parent, or sharing responsibilities amongst bench players is key to getting great stats.
- Season totals on Stat – Once you have found a reliable score keeper for a game, the possibilities to keep full season stats is wide open. Season stats can be a way to keep players engaged and developing useful scouting reports to highlight where players can develop. Plus, looking at stats is fun. Even in a beer league, the potential for seeing improvements can be all the motivation required to put in a little bit of effort in between games.
Can I watch GameChange on my TV?
Now that we’ve reviewed the great features, it is worth understanding how you can consume all these great videos. With so many people using GameChanger to broadcast their little league, school, or rec league games, there comes a time when watching as a group may make sense. A standard game may not have the same production quality as a major league game, but especially when you know the players the excitement can be just as high. You can watch GameChanger on a TV, although it will require the right setup.
There is no native GameChanger app for Apple TV, FireTV, Google TV, or Roku. Still each of them has some form a screen sharing potential.
To watch GameChanger on Apple TV from iPhone
- Open the GameChanger app on your phone and navigate to the game.
- Turn the phone sideways to get the horizontal view of the game.
- Enable screen mirroring form your phone. Now the full view of the game will be available on a big screen.
Doing this does require you to dedicate a phone to the viewing process, but it means that you can take a lower level game and give it the feel of watching a professional match.
Cameras that Work With GameChanger
There are dozens of camera that will work with GameChanger for sharing live time video. The best options will take into consideration the quality of the camera and the placement that you can get. Often times mounting and securing a camera can be one factor as to if it is viable. This will depend largely on the field that you are playing on.
For baseball and softball games there are plenty of phone mounts and camera mounts that can be snapped onto a backstop. iPhone (or iPad) and Android phones are fine options for using, and are easy to grab cases for. This makes it easy to access the app directly from the device that is doing the streaming. If you have a higher end video camera, like a GoPro or Mevo, than looking at Game Changers help on how to setup streaming from an external camera will be key.