After many months of taking volleyball statistics for the varsity girl’s volleyball team, I have decided to create a handheld controller with many buttons to make taking stats quicker and easier. During the girl’s season, I used an iPad with the SoloStats app to take statistics, and although this app is generally easy to use, I would sometimes get lost in the game and wondered if there was an easier way. Originally I planned to create an app for an iPhone or iPad that was voice activated, so one could simply say, “Kill for 25,” or “Dig for 10,” and the app would enter a kill and dig for numbers 25 and 10 respectively. However, after beginning a coding journey I realized building an app was very difficult and I would not be able to pull it off. Also, volleyball games are often very loud so there would be a lot of interfering noise.
This brings me to the controller. When using the iPad app, I would usually use one or two fingers to press a series of buttons. So, I designed a controller that would use a combination of four out of the 24 buttons on the controller, and each button could be quickly pressed by a finger. On each hand of the controller, there are eight buttons on the back, and four on the front, with a screen in the middle of the two hands. The eight buttons on the back of the left hand correspond to the seven players playing currently (6 on the court as well as the Libero), and the eighth corresponds to a player on the other team. The eighth button is not truly necessary and may be removed later on. The four buttons on the front of the left hand side correspond to the type of statistic, if it was one that scored a point, was an error, was an in-rally stat, or was a fault. The eight on the back of the right hand side correspond to the statistic, whether it was hitting, blocking, digging, setting, serving, receiving, freeball passing, or dumping. The top button on the front of the right hand controller is for rating (press once for a 1 rating, twice for a 2 rating, and thrice for a 3 rating). There are only 3 statistics that are rated in volleyball: serves, serve receives, and freeball passes. These ratings are averaged to get the total rating. The second button is for substitutions, the third for undoing an entered statistic, and the fourth for entering the statistic.
This may seem complicated, but my hope is that once one learns how to use the controller, it is quick and easy. I have already learned so much about using microcontrollers and wiring/electronics. Although I do not see myself completing the project by the showcase, I think it has so far been a very big success!