In the beginning...
From Jon, Founder and Developer of Project Hockey:
Project Hockey started out as a side project in college in 2010 while I was bored in my Programming 101 class. I had played hockey throughout childhood and it was a big part of my life still. I was young and new to the area and was fortuante enough to find an adult league to play on. I was surprised to learn, however, that there wasn't any kind of website for the adult league. I would later learn that, especially in 2010, this was not uncommon. Most rinks were using paper spreadsheets posted to a bulletin board each week to keep track of standings and stats. I saw a niche and decided to try my luck at making a website (which I had never done before, nor had any clue what I was doing).
The Evolution of Project Hockey
Digital Scoresheet (Smart Score)
The first iteration was dubbed, uncreatively, Digital Scoresheet. It was later adjusted to Smart Score, although it was the same tool. This was little more than a glorified spreadsheet where the scorekeeper could grab prefilled rosters from a flat file on their machine. Stats were then uploaded to a shared Google Spreadsheet that everyone could see. It was certainly a far cry from today’s website, but it was fine for what it accomplished.
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The next jump was called ISE (Intelligent Scoresheet Engine), a pun for ice. Here we finally entered the web development phase. Stats were still uploaded via a less-than-ideal application, but the site finally felt like a real tool for leagues to use.
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While wrapping up my college career, I was able to finagle my way into using the scoresheet project as my senior capstone. This allowed me to still work on the project without being bogged down with other homework. This was our brief foray into app development. However, after working with a framework for several months, we saw all the pitfalls involved with apps. There were just too many hoops to jump through to make it viable. Hence this idea was scrapped.
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The final precursor to our current branding was S3 Hockey, short for Simple Scoresheet System. A lot of S3 evolved into the next version of Project Hockey. Our color scheme (at the time), the layout and flow of the site, and a lot of backend code. The site was finally coming into its own and gaining traction with multiple rinks / leagues.
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Project Hockey itself has gone through many versions in its current state. We used to be at projecthockey.org, before grabbing the much cooler project.hockey domain. We’ve since ditched the ads, polished a lot of the league pages, upgraded the management tools, and created a much more stable framework for the future of the platform. The current release, which we’re dubbing 5.0, will have many more features to come in the next few years and we’re excited to welcome more rinks to the platform.
Many features, some large, some small, are planned in the next few years for Project Hockey. Here are some items to look forward to:
- Goalie stats
- Career stats
- In-depth player stats
- Game previews
- Playoff brackets
- Email notifications
- Enhanced profiles
- Backlogging previous season
- Payment solutions