New program helps WPIAL Quad A basketball
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
High school basketball is competitive in the WPIAL, especially at the Class AAAA level. In an effort to help coaches and teams better track players statistics and share game film, many of the Class AAAA teams have adopted a program called StatEasy.
StatEasy essentially is a program designed to give coaches and players the opportunity to track data and sync it up with film so coaches can look at specific situations within a game quickly without having to sift through hours of tape.
Shaler assistant basketball coach Jeremy Bennett said the program was different and a little tough at first, but it saves him hours of time when it comes to scouting.
“We like to see a team play twice before we actually play them,” Bennett said. “We often have to send a seventh-grade coach to scout (because we are coaching our team). When opponents we needed to scout play on Saturday, sometimes I would go out and spend eight hours watching different games.”
Bennett said as far as scouting, he likes to see teams live to get the feel of the game but said the StatEasy program can save hours.
The program relies on someone from the home team filming the game with a digital video camera, which can then be loaded onto a laptop.
“This is a platform coaches use to integrate stats and video,” said Tom Matta, COO and co-founder of operations for StatEasy. “It is easy to tab numbers, look at individual players and see what shots a player made versus missed in a game (by singling that player out on the film).”
Matta said coaches love it because cuts down on the time of film review and it is easy to find specific moments in any game.
“It saves on time and money,” Matta said. “Parents and players can use it to compile highlight tapes.”
Matta said the program began with his partner Mike Ressler, who was a coach for Fox Chapel volleyball. He used a software program to help with his coaching then developed something better.
“He realized there is a market for this,” Matta said.
Seneca Valley basketball coach Vic Gianotta has his team in the playoffs and said the program is a good one, especially when getting to see teams his squad may not have met before the playoffs.
Currently the software is available to 34 WPIAL Class AAAA schools and is used by 60 teams in the college and high school ranks.
College volleyball programs at Penn State, Robert Morris, Pitt and Navy use it, as do some football, soccer and tennis teas.
Matta said in an effort to promote the product, his company made it free to the Class AAAA high school basketball teams. Where the company makes its money is the purchase of highlight reels.
“With everyone cutting budget, we believed the software should be free,” Matta said. “The neat thing is this is the perfect market for this. The WPIAL is one of the top high school leagues. We plan to launch it to larger markets.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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