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If you haven’t noticed, COVID has mixed up youth sports schedules for at least the foreseeable future. It used to be easy to know when baseball season began and ended, so it didn’t crossover soccer or football season. Now, all sports may be happening on the same day as leagues adjust to reopening. This makes it difficult and risky to know interests for a particular club or league sport. Registration can help you forecast future interests in a sport, reducing the variables and financial risks.
Why Forecasting Matters
Every family has a comfort level when it comes to COVID risks. Since COVID-19 has a significant impact on the respiratory system and if my child has a history of asthma, I am going to be far more cautious about the kind of activities they should engage in. It doesn’t mean, though, that I won’t look for opportunities for them to play in sports. If my child’s club used registration as a means of feeling out what sports our family is up for, that club will get a better sense of what the season may look like and communicate expectations to families.
Timing Is Everything
There was a time when you could play sports year-round, finishing one league and starting the next one a week or two later. When COVID shut down all sports for months, every single activity was put on pause, only to resume at the same time when the “play” button got pushed. We’ve seen it at the professional level with the NBA Finals wrapping right before the MLB playoffs – unimaginable before 2020.
Utilizing TeamSnap Registration allows you to manage expectations and gauge where attention is for families as they have to decide whether or not to sign up for hockey or baseball or basketball. If all three are on the same schedule, you can use registration to determine the interest level for your club and sport and plan accordingly.
Forecasting the Unknowns and Budgets
Just because kids are playing sports right now doesn’t mean with the coming winter and increasing COVD cases, they won’t be cancelled until safer conditions arise. Using registrations as a forecast tool allows you to gauge participation without collecting fees until it’s game time. TeamSnap’s invoicing feature allows you, as an organization or administrator, to set up additional fees outside of registration, allowing you to postpone fee collection.
Setting up registration without fees also allows you to get a sense of where to distribute resources. How many coaches do you need? What’s the best schedule that works for everybody? What kind of budget should you set? You can reduce these unknowns by using early registrations as a way to gauge interest.
When it gets closer to your season’s start date and plans are finalized, you can send invoices to interested parties. Plus our new reporting allows you to view and export all of your invoices from a single location—making it easy to see who still needs to pay!
There are still so many variables when it comes to youth sports under COVID. It can feel overwhelming and hard to know which ones you can limit, or even what matters. Every family is making new kinds of decisions that impact health, schedules, and both theirs and your budget. Reduce some of the unknowns by using registrations as a way to forecast your upcoming season.
Kendall Ruth is a writer, photographer, and strategist finding the best ways to tell resonating, re-humanizing stories. You can find him at kendallruth.com, kicking the soccer ball with his kids, or out on a long trail run.