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How to Optimize the Use of Season Registration

By Coach Carl, 10/17/17, 3:00PM CDT

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Leverage your spring registration by extending its functionality

If you are a webmaster, registrar or player agent, or in a similar position, you are (like me) getting geared up for another spring baseball registration. Take advantage of this opportunity by extending your registration to support communication and reporting.

Registrations Are Your Database
Don't worry if the term database is unfamiliar to you. What it really means is that the information stored in the registration will be there for as long as you retain the registration.

What I want to pass along is the fact that since the information is stored, you have a wide range of things you can do with what it.

With spring and/or player registrations you are storing information related to the player. In a standard registration the SportsEngine registration captures contact information, date of birth, emergency contacts, medical information, etc.

Those are the basics, and they are fine for gathering fees and having players within SportsEngine for team placement.

But I've found that if you extend the information by adding fields, you can do so much more.

 

Extending Player and Family Records

Take a moment and think about all of the types of information that are associated with players and families.

Now let me share with you examples of the information (questions) that I have been adding to our spring registrations and see if they might be things you'd want to add to your own.
 

Tracking Waivers
Little League and other organization have restrictions on league boundaries. For Little League this means that a player must reside within the boundaries of the league to be eligible to play.

You can track this outside of your registration, but since it's part of the player record, why not extend your registration to include residence information.

With that in mind, I've added the following questions:

1) Are you a resident? (Yes/No)

2) If yes - agree to provide proof of residency.

3) If you are not a resident, but have a waiver - check off the Waiver Type

4) Upload the waiver document

By asking these questions during registration, you've just reduced the time for your registrar or player agent to check for non-residents and chase them down for waivers if they are needed.

 

Assigning Tryout Numbers

Most baseball leagues have a tryout prior to the season where players perform a number of drills, and coaches watch and evaluate the players.

Typically players arrive on given day and are assigned a tryout number or similar identifier that is pinned or stuck on their jersey.

What we do is add the tryout number to our player registration record. Now we have the ability to:

  • Ensure number-to-player accuracy
  • Easily distribute name/number combinations
  • Track players who have and have not participated in the tryout.

We leverage applications to make this easier, but you may simply take the name/number combinations and update the registration.

 

Volunteer Commitment

If your league is like ours, you have a volunteer commitment that must be met each season by your player families.

Before we had SportsEngine it was always a monumental task to enforce these commitments because we did not have the mechanisms to track commitments and hours.

Adding Commitment to Registration
To begin with, we add a field asking parents to confirm they understand the volunteer policy (hours of commitment, possible jobs, and assessments for not completion). Then we ask for their signature - their full name -  as well.

Next we ask for the selection of two possible options:

1) Yes I commit to fulfilling my hours

2) No, I would prefer to buy out my time

If they choose No. 1 they must fulfill their hours or they will be assessed a non-volunteer fee. If they choose No. 2, they will be charged a significant buyout fee.

 

Admin Only Fields

The examples I have given were questions that you or your SportsEngine registration team member would set up so that the person registering can enter data for you.

However, there are a number of circumstances where you may want to extend a registration with questions on an Admin Only page.

For our Spring Registrations we use these Admin Only pages for questions such as:

  • Date of Waiver Confirmation
  • Play-Up Division (when requested)
  • Missed Volunteer Hours (for postseason billing)
  • Missed hours assessment billed (to verify)
  • Assessment paid (to ensure players have paid assessment before placement on a team.)

Not just to facilitate tracking and reporting, but you can use these for communications by creating reports or even smart groups.

Admin Forms and Questions Are Easy
It's pretty straight forward to add an Admin Only page. Simply click on Add New Form, add a Form Name, and click on the Show Advanced Options button.

Select the Hidden Form: checkbox, save the form, and begin adding questions.

Tip: Group/move all of your Admin Only questions to the Admin Only page, and add a text block at the top of that page that lets administrators know they can skip the page when they are performing a registration for their player(s).

 


Carl Rendell has the 2018 Spring Season Registration up and running on the Benicia Little League website.

Not Just Spring Registration

Extending your registration database is not limited to player registrations. I've been extending nearly all of our registrations with extra user questions and admin only questions/pages.

These extensions have allowed the league to keep track of a wide range of processes and, with reports, provide progress status and other insights.

In essence we've moved nearly everything we used to track in spreadsheets into registrations. We gain history, multiple access and edit (with privileges) reporting and communication.

With a little thought and some experience I'm certain you too will be able to leverage your SportsEngine registrations as databases for your organization.

 

Benicia Little League Spring Registration Examples

For reference, here are the registrations we use to manage our spring activities:

  • Spring Registration (player registration)
  • Coaching Application
  • Volunteer Application
  • Coach Request (players 5-8)
  • Friend Request (players 5-8)
  • Play Up Request (gather fees and approval)
  • Volunteer Fee Waiver Codes (more in another article)

It may seem like a lot, but these have replaced at least as many spread sheets with the reporting and communication benefits of a registration.

About COACH CARL

Carl Rendell grew up in Fremont, California, where his mother, a grade school grammar teacher, passed on her love of baseball and teaching. After high school, Rendell began coaching local youth baseball teams. He became well-versed in software programming and strategy while working at Silicon Graphics Inc. and in 2000 he founded Solution43, a technology consulting firm that he continues to operate. After moving to Benicia, California, in 2009 Rendell began coaching and volunteering at Benicia Little League. He developed apps to make his practices and clinics more efficient, which later turned into Big Time Coach, a software company that offers six apps for baseball coaches. Read more

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