Youth sports league directors are busy people. Your job requires plenty of time, but time is always in short supply. Many of the processes and management functions required to run a league can be overwhelming. Consider:
- A soccer league with 300 players and paper registrations: If it takes five minutes to input and collate each registration (and we’re being generously brief with that estimate), you are looking at 25 hours of work.
- Roster formation for the same league, assuming 30 teams of 10 players each, might require 30 minutes per team when you factor teammate requests, coaching requests, more inputting into a spreadsheet, and the mere act of emailing everyone associated with the team. That’s 15 more hours of work.
- Anyone who has tried to schedule an entire season by hand and not otherwise held a Ph.D. in math can attest how time-consuming the process can be. We won’t attach a time value to it, but don’t make any other immediate plans …
League directors usually are volunteers and accept their roles out of love for the sport and the willingness to make a difference. But they have outside lives, too—day jobs and families. Plus, they have many league responsibilities—including fundraising, hiring officials, buying equipment, and, maybe, even coaching—that suffer when busywork gets in the way. League management software offers a means to save time; here are some tips to make that savings happen:
The mind-bending task that is scheduling becomes less headache-inducing with the best online league management solutions. You simply plug in parameters (locations, times, length of season, special requests, and so on) and let the software do the rest. Some adjustments may need to be made later (in case of rainouts, for example), but doing so is easy: Make the fix once and it appears on every schedule throughout the website (and notifications can be sent to coaches and parents as well). To save more time, use automatic scheduling to sort out practices.
Keeping and posting statistics for a youth sports league is a noble effort, but the actual keeping and posting sometimes gets in the way. With today’s online league management software, statkeeping is a streamlined, portable, and fun process that can be delegated to parents. Stats assembled this way instantly update to the league website in real time, so when a game ends, the score is applied to schedules as well as standings. Box scores update to team pages and league leaders, too.
As highlighted earlier in the post, registration might be the biggest bottleneck that youth sports leagues face. With online registration, the theoretical 25 hours of time needed to get through the process is reduced to zero. Parents register through your league website to give you an instant database of every player, not to mention special requests, medical information, contact info, and fees (which are then automatically deposited to the league bank account). Rosters can be seamlessly formed from this database, thus saving you even more time.
Many organizations avoid holding postseason or interleague tournaments simply because of the work involved. Although tourneys do involve some effort to pull off, the actual brackets and schedules should not be a deterrent—league management software can handle that aspect for you. With tournament information online, parents and coaches can consult your league website or download an app to follow the action, thus allowing you to focus on the nuts and bolts of running a great event.
Background checks are practically mandatory in this day and age, and ultimately, they keep kids safe. However, ensuring all your youth sports league’s volunteers are properly vetted is time-consuming—ordering checks, reminding coaches who haven’t submitted to a check, and tracking down the results cuts into your schedule. The solution lies in the same system you turn to for online registration. When prospective volunteers register their children to play, they can also fill out a form to get the background check process rolling. This way, coaches are approved far ahead of time, and you aren’t fumbling with forms and email attachments later. Time is saved, and your league will be stronger.
Which tasks take too much time for you and your youth sports league?