Michigan testing app to curb cheating in high school golf

January 2, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationGolf
Beginning this spring, high school golfers in Michigan will use an app to track their scores in real time in an effort to eliminate cheating in the sport.

high school golferThe pilot program begins with the 2019 boys golf spring season, and the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) will determine later if it should be adopted permanently. According to the Detroit Free Press, cheating and incorrect scores have been an issue for years.

The most recent example comes from a regional meet in May, when golfers from three different schools reported scores that were 45 strokes better than their team’s season averages. The teams played together in multiple groupings, and since reporting operates on a self-governing honor system, there was no evidence to refute the scores.

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By using the iWanamaker app, golfers can post individual scores in real time. That allows officials to closely track progress or identify errors. The pilot program allows for cell phone use in four instances, according to the Free Press:

  • Posting scores on the iWanamaker app.
  • Calling a coach/tournament official for a health or safety issue.
  • Calling a rules official.
  • Using it as a distance measuring device.

From the Free Press:

“To me, it all boils down to transparency,” Nathan Oake, Hartland golf coach and MHSAA Golf Committee member, said in an email to the Free Press. “I cannot think of another sport where you have to wait five to six hours to find out what the score is. I think we are moving in a very positive direction with a discussion about using more live scoring as both a preventative tool and a tool for enhancement of the competition.”

With golfers inputting their scores to the app and knowing it will go public immediately, the MHSAA hopes it will force golfers to think twice about possibly putting in an inaccurate score. 

Read more from the Detroit Free Press.

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