Since there have been computer systems, there has been software for tournaments, but usually at too high a price. Tournament directors resorted to manually keeping registration records, drawing charts, and compiling results.
Prior to the day of play, a chart would have to be redrawn by hand if a serious problem was found. If it was the day of the tournament, the pencil was pulled out and additional matches were sketched into the chart or teams scratched off. All this lead to tournament directors spending hours if not days drawing charts, redrawing, and verifying information.
With the advent of the internet, player lists and play brackets can be posted prior to the tournament. With current software, they can be adjusted within minutes. This leads to the best charted event possible. If you pencil in teams or simply scratch teams the day of play, teams end up playing others out of order or getting unnecessary byes.
This system started back in 2004 to eliminate drawing charts by hand. This is also different from just filling in names on pre-prepared charts. The system actually “knows” the relationship between matches, seeding, and where winners and losers play next. If teams or seeding is changed, the bracket can be redrawn easily. When results were entered, the chart was then updated and available on the web. Most tournaments do not post their complete charts or results. This makes it virtually impossible to rate players. It’s not just the medal winners but how the teams compared to one another.
In 2006-2007, tournament operations were added to allow entry of results in real-time and the system would automatically print the next scoresheets with the team names. This eliminated the errors caused by the desk incorrectly posting results and where the teams proceed in the tournament. It also provided almost immediate access to the information online.
In 2009, online registration and central player database was added. Most tournaments choose the online registration and mailing of the printed registration form with signed waiver and payment. This is their option. With the central player database, past tournament results of players are at one’s fingertips.
In 2010, more features were added to enable tournament officials to verify membership, ratings, and posting results.
This system is currently used by the largest pickleball tournaments in the world. It wasn’t developed for profit but to support these tournaments. For small tournaments, under 100 players, it, like any computer system, may be more work than the obvious benefits. You be the judge.