A word about these SMS systems


Many people have expressed interest in a system that can ‘text players when their match is up’. But I urge players and organizers to use caution when working with SMSs and push notifications.

By claiming to offer this service, events are encouraging players to wait for a SMS, possibly causing them to leaving the play area or venue and trust that the system will alert them. The problem is that SMS is not a guaranteed service, and it is even less reliable in venues known for spotty coverage, where players may be roaming across networks, international players etc… The system is least reliable in the situations where the FGC would rely most on it.

Currently, the only way I see to account for this, is to design the system so that messages are sent based on player-initiated events. This allows the player to verify receipt of the message. Some possible implementations of this include:

  • Texting players after the completion of a match, the players know when their last match is, so they know if they missed the text.

  • Allowing players to text the service to get their current status, again, since it’s player initiated, they know to manually check if they do not get a response in a minute or two.

This will allow SMS to enhance the existing system, while maintaining the reliability of the previous systems.