You know the registration math involved with your league: Double-digit divisions, possibly up to a dozen teams (or more) in each division, maybe a dozen or so players on each team, hundreds of player registrations, thousands of dollars in entry fees. Often, the one answer reliable answer produced from these advanced permutations: stressed-out directors, registrars, and treasurers. The registration process is an unavoidable reality of youth sports leagues, and if it isn’t efficient, can burn you out before the season even starts.
The prospect of online sports registration software to help with process may seem like a godsend for many league admins, but it could also feel like another factor to contend with. As a result, some organizations resist going digital, even if they are using a league management solution to help with their websites, schedules, and so on. The best online sports registration software options shouldn’t be a hindrance—if anything, you might wonder how you ever managed without them. Here are four simple ways to use such a solution to improve your registration processes.
1. REGISTRATION REMINDERS
Registrations coming in right at the deadline, as well as registrations coming in after the deadline (and most admins never turn kids away no matter how late their parents are in signing up), unnecessarily crunch the process for you. Perhaps a bigger issue is parents forgetting to register at all—life gets busy, the upcoming season isn’t on their radar, the deadline passes, and instead of registering late or contacting you to see if they still can, they say “Oh well!” and find another activity for their kids. Too many of these lost kids can impact the quality and reputation of your league. Online sports registration software provides the ability to send registration reminders to every family in your system. Email and text reminders can be scheduled throughout the preseason to nudge parents into registering early, and more importantly, to help ensure they don’t forget.
2. Instant data
A registration form contains fields for a wide array of information: age, division, gender, experience, contact info, coach and teammate requests, uniform size, and so on. With paper registrations, all that data must be manually entered into some sort of digital format such as a spreadsheet. The task lends itself to honest errors from even the most diligent registrars, not to mention the enormous amount of time required to type everything in. Fortunately, online sports registration software does all the work for you. After registration is complete (as well as during the process), you have a thorough and instant database of your entire organization. Finding an email address or determining how many XL jerseys to order is a cinch thanks to the software.
3. Online payments
Hundreds of paper registrations mean hundreds of checks—and even some cash. Signing and depositing all these checks is a time-consuming inconvenience; carrying an envelope full of cash to the bank can be a little disconcerting. By adding online payments—which can be easily set up with the best sports registration software—league directors and treasurers eliminate the manual steps. Parents pay with a credit card; their fees automatically show up in the league’s bank account. Furthermore, you know that everyone who has registered has paid, thus bypassing the need to chase down parents who hadn’t sent payment along with their entry forms.
4. Streamlined roster formation
Registration is only a first step you take in preparation for opening day. Rosters must be formed from those registrations, which is no easy task considering parents and coaches request players to be on certain teams. The process takes time and can be a bit maddening, particularly if you must sort through every paper registration form—perhaps over and over—to get rosters just right. Online sports registration software figures out this puzzle for you. Parents enter requests on registrations, and the software does the rest by forming rosters according to what was entered on the corresponding fields. Besides saving time on the front end, you also are dealing with fewer adjustments after rosters are formed.
What bottlenecks do you encounter during registration?