You do need whatever device you’re using to manage the tournament to have access to the internet. Most people use their phone for that, so no problem.
From there, setting up scoreboards at each court takes your tournament to the next level, and they do need internet connectivity. Displaying a dashboard on a monitor, projector or TV can also make an event more fun, and that’s obviously got to have internet access too.
If you’re in a location without WiFi you can use a mobile hotspot, either your phone’s or a MiFi device.
Overcoming Weak Wifi
If your venue has weak WiFi, here are some things to know and try. The strength of connection from the router to the tablets and fire sticks is more important than the speed of the internet connection. Also, both distance and line of sight matter, so set up your devices as close as you can to the WiFi router, via as unobstructed a path as you can manage. Some organizers have found that simply opening the door to the closet where the router is can help.
Problematic Wifi or None at All
If you can’t address your weak WiFi situation and get full signal on your devices by trying those things, or you’ve got no connectivity at all (like at a park or something) you’ll want to set up a mobile hotspot for your scoreboards and dashboard to connect to. In a pinch you can use your phone, but it’s better to set up a “MiFi” device. (By the way, Scoreholio doesn’t use very much data, less than 1 MB for a multi-hour tournament on as many as 8 courts.)
MiFi devices are mobile routers that can be connected to a cellular network and provide internet access for up to ten devices. All of the major carriers offer them, so you can buy one through your carrier at an electronics store or online.