Hi Marcin. I know you are one of the most active scouts for STATSCORE, so can I ask you some questions about your work?
M: Hello, yes, of course!
Thank you. Can you tell me exactly what working as a scout involves?
M: It consists of creating a real-time graphical representation of a match while building a statistical database that is used by business clients. In other words, I try to accurately reflect the live action from the match, as I watch it in front of the TV or while sitting in the stands at the stadium or venue.
The second question should be easy. How long have you been doing this?
M: I started working for STATSCORE in March 2014. I was still a student at that time, and I could not over look the possibility of earning extra money in an industry that I’ve been interested in for a long time. I sent off my CV along with a covering letter and after a week I was in a position where I could scout my first match.
Okay, and now a harder question. Can you tell me approximately the number of matches that you have scouted during this time?
M: Actually, that’s a difficult question. I think that on average it’s about 60 events a month, which is a total of around 2000 matches. Of course, there are times in a calendar year where there are less sporting events, and then the number is slightly smaller.
That’s quite a lot. How often do you do this and how much time do you spend doing it?
M: Working as a scout has the great advantage that I can easily adapt it to fit in with other everyday duties, so in a nutshell, as soon as I know that I will have some free time to scout a game, I will register my availability and I practically always get the opportunity to do the match I’ve put my name down for.
What sports have you covered so far?
M: At the beginning of my adventure with STATSCORE I mainly covered football, but after a short period, thanks to passing the exams for other sports, I was ready to deal with basketball, handball, tennis and ice hockey. Over time, STATSCORE has expanded its coverage of more and more niche sports so that I can now also cover beach volleyball, table tennis or even snooker.
I see, and are there any sports that you especially like and any that you try to avoid? If so, why?
M: As an admirer of the NBA, I am really interested in reporting on this league and it is not a problem for me to get up in the middle of the night for a match. Besides the NBA, I love volleyball, tennis and snooker, which is fortunately very often on television. As for sports I try to avoid, I can honestly say this is not something I do. A true sports enthusiast is always ready to watch anything.
Do you report on matches from home on TV or are you travelling around the stadiums and watching events live?
M: I watch matches both at home and from the stadiums and venues. I am fortunate that I live in the Silesian region where there are a lot of football, volleyball and ice hockey clubs. This creates a wide range of matches that can be scouted from the venue, however I usually go to venues at the weekend and for the rest of the week I focus my attention on TV matches.
What’s the most prestigious event that you have reported on directly from the venue?
M: Definitely the final of the volleyball World Championships in Poland in 2014. Poland beat Brazil 3-1 and it all happened at Spodek in Katowice – this is a venue where many Polish national teams play their matches regardless of the discipline and this creates unforgettable emotions and impressions. It’s without doubt my favourite arena to watch athletes complete.
Is there an event you would rank the lowest in terms of prestige?
M: Practically every match from the lower football leagues in Poland. Apart from the III and IV Polish Soccer Division, I always pay attention to the coverage of the whole match: the organization itself, the fans and their behaviour. Sometimes such a game can sink deep into the memory.
Are there any funny situations when you travel around the stadiums and venues? Maybe some that were even unpleasant?
M: Sometimes, once we got to the stadium and it turned out that the game was being played at another facility in a completely different part of the city, so I was forced to order a taxi so I could report on the game. I’ve had a lot of funny situations but can not cite them. That said I like reporting from the charming Fortuna Gliwice. Watching the match in the company of cows and chickens is the real “icing on the cake” for every football fan.
Tell me what you need to do to become a Scout at STATSCORE and what’s the process of reporting on a particular incident.
M: First and foremost, you must prove that sport is an important aspect of your life (fill the questionnaire for candidates here). After the analysis of the CV and the covering letter, the recruiters send you a loyalty agreement, after which you will receive test materials so that you can learn the sport you are interested in. Then after a good time to prepare, you need to pass the exam for your chosen sport. The moment the examiner has marked it, you can actually start to feel part of the STATSCORE team. You are ready to report on matches by simply submitting your availability in a given week. Of course, you can change it at any time if your plans have changed. Then overtime you will be given your own specific matches to cover. You can also choose matches from the stadiums or venues in your area of residence.
Who would you recommend to become a scout? Do you need any special qualification?
M: I would recommend it to anyone that sport is more than just a hobby, people need to be interested in many different sports and really know the rules of the sports they are interested in. Students who have time after classes while at university or those who are working but would like to earn some extra money. This is also the perfect job for those who would like to be involved in the world of sport in the future.
In conclusion, what is the greatest advantage about working as a scout, and what’s the biggest disadvantage?
M: The biggest advantage? Flexible working hours combined with being able to mix a hobby with making money. As for any drawbacks, I can’t point out too many, but sometimes it happens that, for example, a tennis match that I was planning to spend 2 hours watching takes 4.5 hours. 🙂 In summary, however, there is nothing more pleasing to me than watching a favourite team or sport and getting paid for it.
Thanks for talking and good luck at work!
M: Thank you very much!