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Rocca Creative Thinking

What we can do for you
Rocca. is a tech organisation specialising in sport and physical activity. It works with NGBs in sport, local government and the private sector on a global scale. It produces event, fixtures and physical activity software and apps.

Key products and services
Rocca. designs, builds and maintains bespoke websites, software and apps for League and Event Management, Physical Activity Engagement, Officiating Management, Bookings, Learning and Membership Management.

It also integrates with leadering membership management platforms such as Sport:80 Gladstone MRM and GoMemberships.
case study: Supporting table tennis on a national scale
Table Tennis England reached out to us when they decided to build their own competition management platform.

Table Tennis England (TTE), the country’s national governing body (NGB) reached out to Rocca. when they decided to build their own competition management platform.

Rocca has been involved in multi-sport competition management ever since its collaboration with the University of Sheffield brought about SportPAD, its own sports competition management platform.

The challenge
Table tennis is huge in England. It’s estimated that over 200,000 people participate on some level every year.

Table Tennis England’s remit is to facilitate the competitions that happen every season at county and club level and this was essentially the challenge. Rocca. was to develop a table tennis competition platform, including a scorecard app, for amateur competition and free content managed county and club websites.

The platform was required to seamlessly integrate with their membership management platform – Sport:80 – collaborators and partners of Rocca.

The solution would be offered free to counties, clubs and members of TTE as part of their membership.

What we did
Working closely with TTE, Rocca. mapped out the user journey for the management and administration of table tennis competitions. Starting with a series of statements and requirements, Rocca. developed a scoping document for the final development of the solution.

From here the user interfaced was designed, one which was mobile-friendly as well as intuitive. The design process was iterative, and TTE shared its progress with their members at regular intervals in the design process in the form of video tutorials. This provided a feedback forum for the ongoing development of the platform.

An Application Programming Interface (API) was developed by Sport:80 so that live membership information could be used in the administration of the season. This included setting up new members, transfers and subscription management.

The Outcome
The newly named ‘TT Leagues’ platform and app (Android and iOS) launched in June of 2019 – just in time for the new season and a summer of extensive users testing. It has been well received and Rocca. and TTE are mapping out future enhancements for the solution.

"Having been introduced to Rocca Creative each meeting was positive in their ability to be adaptive and reactive to the ever-changing demands of a National Governing Body, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say an enormous thank you," said Sara Sutcliffe, CEO of Table Tennis England.

"The amount of effort and work to get the TT Leagues system up and functional is remarkable and we look forward to working further with them as we continue to develop TT Leagues."
case study: Simplifying event management for British Wrestling
Until very recently, British Wrestling (BWA) managed all its competitions on paper. Skilled pairers, volunteers from the wrestling community, did the unenviable work of producing complex qualifying and knockout rounds. This process often took hours and if errors occurred, they often caused delays and other issues.

In the summer of 2020, work was begun on C-Mats – the event and competition management software for British Wrestling Association (BWA).

Understanding the customer journey - from ticket purchase to leaderboard
In order to produce software which catered for every aspect of a wrestling competition, it was important to understand all of the processes inside it. These include weigh-in, pairing, scoring and officiating.

An additional consideration, preceding the event, was the requirement to check athletes were members of BWA and that their memberships were up to date. To do this integration with membership management provider GoMembership was required via API.

Designing an intuitive and inclusive users interface
Competitions in many sports rely heavily on volunteers – people who are passionate about the sport and have a vested interest in it – either from personal participation or that of a loved one. The great thing about this is that volunteers are made up of a diverse mix of people – a potential issue, from an event management standpoint, is that not all volunteers are heavy users of software. To cater for this, a great deal of work was done in the user interface design of the platform, before any software development began.

Building algorithms to fairly and automatically distribute junior athletes by weight

One of the key deliverables for the project was to help resolve a perennial problem in junior athlete pairing – distribution by the sensitive subject of weight.

The team at Rocca. developed an algorithm which would manage this process automatically and in a fraction of a second. The suggested pools could then be authored by officials in a process which provided the ideal outcome under the circumstances. Once approved, the pools are committed to the event schedule and the competition can begin.

Designing a unique scoresheet interface and live scoreboard
It occurred to all parties, quite early on in the software design process that the paper-based process of scoring a bout required some revision. Firstly because we were taking a portrait document and applying it to a landscape screen format, but also because scoring was a high-speed activity which required skill and deep knowledge of the sport in order to correctly officiate it.

Time was dedicated to the new scoresheet interface, almost as a distinct project, in order to design an intuitive and ergonomic interface for officials. The resulting software also had to communicate with a linked scoreboard in real-time (more on this in the next section), providing scoring information as well as penalty detail in order of occurrence.

The resulting BWA C-Mats scoresheet and scoreboard is a sport-specific and unique development – a first for wrestling in England.
Plans for the next 12 months
Rocca. is working with a number of leading NGBs to release league management platforms including Table Tennis England, British Wrestling and England Lacrosse. It is also launching its own physical activity platform for leisure providers.
Key personnel
Marc Rocca, Chief Executive Officer.
Key customers
Table Tennis England
British Wrestling Association
World Boccia
England Lacrosse
Sheffield City Trust (SCT) Sport:80, University of Sheffield – Sport Sheffield
Testimonial
"Having been introduced to Rocca each meeting was positive in their ability to be adaptive and reactive to the ever changing demands of a National Governing Body, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say an enormous thank you. The amount of effort and work to get the TT Leagues system up and functional is remarkable and we look forward to working further with them as we continue to develop TT Leagues."
– Sara Sutcliffe, CEO, Table Tennis England
Rocca Creative Thinking
Tel: 0114 221 7711
Address: Sheffield Technology Parks, Cooper Buildings, Arundel Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 2NS, United Kingdom
Key personnel
Marc Rocca, Chief Executive Officer.
Key customers
Table Tennis England
British Wrestling Association
World Boccia
England Lacrosse
Sheffield City Trust (SCT) Sport:80, University of Sheffield – Sport Sheffield