LevelChanger moves wrestling into the 21st century

Updated: December 18, 2013

By William Murdock

There is little doubt that wrestling is man’s oldest sport and little doubt that we are in an age of technology that has never been seen in the history of mankind. But wrestling and technology have always seemed to be worlds apart, that is until now.
Two wrestling coaches in Palo Alto, Calif., have created a new and innovative scoring “app” that has even the most “old school” coaches tossing out their old scorebooks and reaching for their ipads.
Palo Alto High School wrestling coaches Jack Moses and Mark Anderton, along with colleague and mother of Palo Alto wrestler Nina Friend took their love for wrestling and their technology and programming background to usher in a new age for the man’s oldest sport.
Through their new company LevelChanger, this groundbreaking trio has created the first touch-screen scoring and statistic app for the ipad.
Takedown2 provides a new, inventive, simple way to score, report, analyze, and share results from scholastic and collegiate wrestling events for the same price you would pay for a song on itunes. That’s right: 99 cents.
All of this began a number of years ago when Moses, the LevelChanger co-founder, was watching a match at Palo Alto High School and saw that they were still keeping score the same way they had been doing since before he started wresting decades before. This wasn’t just old school. It was the school that was there before the old school burned down.
The scorekeeper was keeping track of takedowns, escapes, and reversals by making “tick-marks” on the side of the scoring sheet as they were trying to follow the match. At the end of the match the coaches would have to take the scorebook home and compile the statistics of the match and their wrestlers.
Night after night, match after match, season after season, this data would be painstakingly gathered only to eventually find its way to the back of some file cabinet in the office off of the mat room. There was no comprehensive way to keep, share, post, or analyze the statistics that their wrestlers worked so hard to achieve.
Jack knew there had to be a better way. And there is.
Takedown2 not only brings scoring into the 21st century. It simplifies scoring, improves accuracy and complies with the National Federation of State High School Association (NFSHSA) Wrestling Rulebook.
The app presents on-screen a familiar format that is much the same as the handwritten scorebooks already in use so it is easy to learn and understand for coaches, officials, wrestlers, and scorers alike.
Traditional hand-written scoring may not only be hard to read at times, but cannot be easily compiled and can take countless hours to put together statistics on individual athletes, teams, and match results.
Takedown2 gathers all this information in a matter of seconds and can be quickly shared and reported by way of its built in e-mail feature to news media, fans, parents, boosters, coaches, and anyone else you want to reach to promote your program. Results can also be tweeted in real time to keep fans up to date on what’s happening on the mat if they can’t make the event.
Where computer based scoring systems records data for a single match or event, Takedown2 not only assembles the data but also stores every match, opponent, event, and season on your ipad so you have an historical database that has not been available until now.
The Takedown2 app not only scores individual matches for dual meets it can score multiple matches at one time during tournaments and on the occasions that a school’s varsity and JV teams are competing on the same day at different sites; all done with one app and no internet connection is needed. Information is secure and stored on your ipad.
And if all of this isn’t enough, Takedown2 manages event schedules, team rosters, certified weight information, and opponent information not just for a current season, but also across multiple seasons with a single entry.
The Takedown2 app is available free from the iTunes App Store and allows the user to score 30 matches at no cost and from then on matches can be scored for as little as six cents each. Takedown2 has no up-front, registration, or subscription fees.
Nearly 2,200 coaches, schools, officials, and teams have already downloaded Takedown2 on their ipads and are finding they are spending their time on what is going on the mat instead of collecting statistics and distributing team and event information.
Wrestlers have been competing long before the dark ages. LevelChanger has just turned on the light. Only one question remains… what are you waiting for?