A few months ago I wrote about an attempt to crowdsource the purchase of a soccer club. It was just a matter of time until the concept of crowdsourcing would be applied to the actual game.
The Israeli team Hapoel Play65 Kiryat Shalom, a shared project of the online backgammon room Play65 and the Israeli social network for sports fans Web2sport, prides itself with being the first web 2.0 soccer club in the world. The club has begun experimenting with a wisdom-of-the-fans approach that allows the team's supporters to monitor the game online and suggest starting line-up, tactics, and substitutions – in other words be the manager and coach. On the club's web site, the fans can drag virtual players into their preferred positions on a pitch diagram. The information is then collated and the players who get the most votes line up for the next match.
Ahead of the season's opening match some 6,000 people took advantage of this opportunity, however, it remains disputable whether the wisdom of the crowd can match the solitary genius of star coaches like Arsene Wenger (Arsenal London) or Frank Rijkaard (FC Barcelona): In its first crowdsourced game, Hapoel Play65 Kiryat Shalom lost 3-2 to Maccabi Ironi Or Yehuda in injury time.