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Published: March 17, 2014
MLF Brings SCORETRACKER LIVE
to Weekend Tournament Anglers
by Lynn Burkhead
Since the day the Jack Link's Major League Fishing pros first hit the water, fishing fans across America have known that it's a whole new ballgame in the world of competitive bass angling action.
All while wondering, "when will it be our turn?" to take this game changing format and technology to their local waters.
That time is now, thanks to the introduction of the MLF SCORETRACKER LIVE™, an Internet-enabled smart phone- and tablet-based real-time scoring and live leaderboard system for use in events all across the country.
"Anglers have very consistently communicated to us since the beginning of Major League Fishing that they wanted to fish in their own MLF style tournaments," said Don Rucks, commissioner of MLF. "When you drill down on that, what they are expressing is that they want to be able to count all of the scorable fish they catch and to see a live leaderboard showing where they stand against the other anglers at any time."
Developed over the last two years - with input from the MLF bass fishing pros like Edwin Evers, Alton Jones, Gary Klein, Boyd Duckett, Kelly Jordon and Brent Ehrler to name a few - SCORETRACKER LIVE brings a host of new tournament options to local events.
All in an exciting and easy-to-use system that will kick 20th-century style fishing tournament formats to the curb.
Why? First and foremost because every fish meeting state, local or club established minimum length limits counts and is added to an angler's building score. That score is displayed via the real-time scoring technology that is immediately displayed in the Live Leaderboard standings that are updated literally "as it happens."
That leaderboard format, which has helped fuel the high level intensity of MLF tournament competition on Outdoor Channel, can now bring the same level of excitement to local events as competitors and fans watch the action unfold as every ounce counts.
The real-time results will display competing anglers by name; show where they rank and compare to other anglers in the event; display their total weight, number of scorable bass caught, and the average weight of their catch; and the weight of their heaviest fish. All of this information is updated instantly and will be viewable on majorleaguefishing.com via smart phone, tablet and/or computer.
The MLF way of conducting events will give bass anglers arguably the biggest advancement in tournament angling practices since the implementation of catch-and-release conservation practices into events years ago.
"Why would a club or local event want to use SCORETRACKER LIVE?" said Rucks. "Because of the pure and simple premium that the MLF format puts on fish care. No livewells and no weigh-ins means that events will be looked on more favorably in local communities."
What do local anglers think about this exciting development in the world of bass fishing?
After a beta test event held late last year on a lake in Florida, the reaction of participants was highly favorable and enthusiastic.
John Mobley, the event's director, knew by day's end exactly how good the MLF concept and the technology were.
"Everything worked flawlessly with the SCORETRACKER LIVE software," he said. "I gave everyone my cell phone number just in case they ran into problems and I didn't get a call all day! That speaks for itself.
"The weights were super easy to put in, the page refreshed quickly, and I really liked how it broke down the number of fish, the average weight and the biggest fish," added Mobley.
"It really changes the way we tournament fish."
Mobley wasn't alone in his enthusiasm either.
"I can easily recommend the MLF SCORETRACKER LIVE system to clubs and tourneys," said William J. Bade after his participation in the Florida test event. "We have excellent livewell systems in our boats to keep fish alive but this system eliminates keeping fish in the boat for long periods, using cull tags and culling throughout the day.
"I wish we had this option years ago!"
Robbie Caldwell, another participant in the Florida event, was equally enthusiastic: "I absolutely love the format! I am not tech savvy in any way but the scoring is easy. I love the no limit concept with no weigh-in. I will do these types of tournament events whenever given the opportunity."
According to Rucks, feedback like this from virtually every participant in the Florida test event confirms the hunger for the MLF format and technology to make it to the local grassroots level.
"We were tickled pink about the functionality part of the event," said Rucks. "We knew beforehand that it worked, but we wanted to see local anglers discover that too. They did and it was obvious that the participants really enjoyed playing the game the Major League Fishing way. You might say that it really opened up their eyes to all of the possibilities as we go forward into the future."
What will that future be as local competitions use the MLF format and technology available under SCORETRACKER LIVE?
It will almost certainly help MLF continue to carve its place into the bass fishing landscape as the exciting leader at the forefront of competitive bass angling's evolution.
"Right now, fans watch a very popular and successful TV show, a show that has solidly introduced them to our brand," said Rucks. "With SCORETRACKER LIVE, anglers will begin engaging with the brand by actively participating in an environment that they already love ... fishing tournaments."
How quickly will that engagement take place?
"We anticipate a lot of immediate interest and inquiry about SCORETRACKER LIVE," said Rucks. "The participation rate will increasingly grow because of angler-to-angler testimonials from actual participants. We also believe that the fishing industry will get behind SCORETRACKER LIVE, just like they are behind Major League Fishing because we are working to broaden the sport at the professional and grassroots level and that is good for everyone involved in fishing."
Including a perspiring local angler standing on the deck of a bass boat somewhere across America later this year.
A fishing tournament enthusiast whose neck veins are suddenly bulging as he fishes his home water.
All because this weekend warrior just got a real-time leaderboard update that his fishing tournament nemesis has added yet another fish to the day's tally to take the lead in the year's most intense and important bass fishing club competition.
Because this is Major League Fishing, the way the pros do it, in an easy to use system that will forever change the way local club, community and charitable events are fished.
Beginning March 17, 2014, give SCORETRACKER LIVE a try and see if you don't agree! For more details, please visit: http://scoretrackerlive.com