An estimated 20 million kids, ages 6-16, play organized sports outside of a school setting. Unofficially accompanying this number is an army of thousands of league registrars, tasked with collecting and managing the info provided by families during the registration process. The challenge for these volunteers is immense: Effectively registering kids into the league while tracking finances, organizing teams, honoring team and coaching requests—and doing so without feeling overwhelmed or always pressed for time.
Until recently, the only way for leagues to accept registrations was through paper forms, on which parents would fill in all the relevant information about their children, attach a check or cash, and mail it to or drop it off with the organization. When this process involves hundreds of athletes, the demands on registrars become understandably immense. But now, online registration software has emerged that is turning the tables on this laborious process. Here are some of the benefits of this solution:
No Paper Forms, No Extra Typing
A decent-sized youth sports league may feature 500 or 1,000 athletes, or even more. For organizations still using paper registrations, this number of kids translates into an incredible amount of work for registrars and administrators. Simply typing into a spreadsheet the previously handwritten registration info for 500 athletes, at a hypothetical five minutes a form, and you are looking at nearly 42 hours of what is essentially busywork. Online registration software removes all this paperwork. Parents enter their children’s data into an online form, and that info is instantly available to you in an easy-to-manage format.
Credit Card Payments
With hundreds of paper registrations come hundreds of personal checks that must be cashed, not to mention actual money that some families prefer to send. Taking these payments to the bank takes time for league registrars, who must wait in line, sign all the checks, and wait for the teller to reconfirm the math. Furthermore, carrying an envelope with a couple thousand dollars worth of cash understandably makes some people nervous. And because every registration rarely arrives all at once, you are looking multiple trips to the bank. A credit card payment option offered by online registration not only eliminates most of this hassle for registrars and automatically delivers fees right into the league’s accounts, but also is appreciated by parents who aren’t wondering when their checks are going to clear.
The other benefit of credit card payments is that bookkeeping becomes simpler as well. League fees are another bit of data to keep track of, and without online registration, administrators must manually add this info to the spreadsheet or whatever method they are using to chart expenses. With modern league management tools, this is one fewer data entry that registrars need to concern themselves with at the outset. Moreover, in the event of a dispute whether a family paid its fees or not, admins can refer to the software’s electronic record for confirmation.
Player Drafting & Team Formation Made Simpler
Registrars might also be tasked with organizing teams after all the registrations have been collected. This is another time-consuming process in which errors can easily and inadvertently be made, particularly if parents are making requests for their child to be on a specific team or with certain teammates or coaches. Online registration can also streamline team formation and take into account these requests. What might have required a whole weekend of a registrar’s time now can be accomplished in a few minutes.
What task monopolizes most of the time of your league’s registrar?