The usual, and expected capability simply allows one member to message another. But messages can be sent in other contexts - a bit like chat rooms. For example, every team squad has its own "chat room" so that messages posted in the context of a team squad are delivered and seen by all players in the squad.
- Private message. Only visible to one individual.
- Member messages. Only visible to two individuals.
- Match messages. Only visible to all players in a match - normally 2 but could be 4 for doubles for example.
- Draw messages. Visible to all participants in a specific draw. Each individual box league is classed as a "draw" and so this context is useful to message every on in the box league. But it can be equally used for knock draws.
- Event messages. Visible to every one who has joined a particular event. For example everyone in a particular month's league.
- Team messages. All players in a particular team.
- Club messages. All users linked to a particular club.
To send a message you have to click a speech icon. Speech icons appear in numerous places throughout the system and each represents a context appropriate to its position. Where the system may show a box league a speech icon will be close by that allows the user to send and review all messages in the context of that box league. Or where another member's name appears there is usually a speech icon next to their name so that a one-on-one member message can be sent. As a third example, where the details of a match is displayed, the speech icon there will allow messaging in the context of that match.
All messages that are relevant for a user to see can be read from within ManageMyMatch. In particular, unread messages will be highlighted with a rotating red alert in the header strip. Thus it is easy to see you have new messages to be read and clicking the alert speech icon in the header will popup a screen to review them.
In addition, any message speech icon within ManageMyMatch's screens will also indicate with a rotating warning that an unread message resides within that particular context.
On Android and most browsers, messages can also be alerted to the user using native device alerts. This is an optional feature that a user can switch on or off on each of their devices. This is done in the Notifications tab of My account. Native iPhone messages are not yet supported.
As well as notifications, or as an alternative, every user can choose to receive an email containing the message. There is greater granularity in choosing what messages the user wishes to receive via email. Again, these choices are presented in the Notifications tab of My account and consist of:
- Important messages (Generally those from club officials or event organisers)
- Court booking messages
- Financial activity messages
- Member messages
- Match invitation messages
The Event and Club context messages behave slightly differently from the others. Because they could involve so many people, only certainpeople can broadcast to everyone else in the context.
For club messages only those sent by a club official will be seen by everyone linked to the club. Anyone else's messages in this context will only be seen by club officials.
For event messages only those sent by an event organiser will be seen by everyone participating in the event. Otherwise, only the event organisers will see participants messages.
Important note: When a club official or event organiser want to respond to a message from a member or participant they must be careful not to answer in the context of the club or event because everyone will see tht response and it will make no sense to them. So always respond to a members/participants message by starting a private member conversation between the two of you.
Private member messaging
If a member wishes to message or chat with another it's not necessarily the case that their name along with a speech icon is obvious on the screen. However any user may be chosen in the popup window after clicking on the speech icon/Messages main menu option in the header. In this window the user may search fo an individual and then click to choose to message them. Available users may not be just for from one club. Users from all clubs to which the messaging user belongs can be found here.
Alternatively, in My clubs, there is a Member list button in the Membership details section header. Clicking this will give a searchable, complete list of all users linked to the club each with a speech icon to bring up the messaging window.
Reviewing past, recent messages
The messaging speech icon in the header of the app is multi-purpose. As already described, it will list all unread messages (in any context) as well as giving the opportunity to find a member to message.
If there are no unread messages then this window will give a months history of all messages received.
Only the last month's messages are ever available for review. Messages are meant to be relatively transient in nature and historic ones are not deemed relevant.