Never use Orion for the first time at a match.
Learning to use and master Orion comes down to a single rule; "never use Orion for the first time at a match." In fact, this is true for Orion, the Orion mobile app, and Athena. These systems are not difficult to use, but there is a learning curve. To run a successful competition with Orion or Athena it is essential to use them in day to day practices. This way you learn how to deal with the unusual circumstances that inevitably crop up during a match. Double feeds in the scanner, Shooters who fires too many shots, or barcode misreads can all happen on match day. Knowing how to manage these situations, and to do so quickly, will help make your competition more efficient.
Orion is unlike any other software typical PC users are familiar with. It is not a spreadsheet, it is not a email application, it is not a web browser. Orion is a match management and scoring system. As such the concepts of how to interact with a scoring system are new. Learning any new skill takes time. Mastering a new skill takes even longer. For first time users we recommend using Orion in 4 to 6 mock competitions or practices before trying to use Orion in a real competition. For a large competition (hundreds of athletes) Orion users should have previously ran 4 to 6 smaller competitions.
The same can easily be said about Athena. Knowing how to perform daily and weekly maintenance is critical, knowing how to deal with possible connection issue, or simply knowing how to move an athlete from one firing point to another. All of these are important skills to have when running a competition with Athena.
Orion and Athena also represents a new paradigm in the stat office. Gone are the days where everything is done on paper. Computers, scanners, and even the Orion software need to be properly maintained. You don't want to wait until the day of your match to find your scanner needs to be cleaned or your hard drive is out of space. Furthermore, both the Orion software and Athena firmware are updated about once a month. The updates include both new features and bug fixes. By using Orion and Athena in day to day practices, and keeping your version of the software current, users will familiarize themselves with the updates.
Orion's Golden Rule is simple, "never use Orion for the first time at a match." It applies to first time users and users who have owned the system for many years. The more you use Orion and Athena in day to day practices, the more efficient your competitions will run.