When one season ends, it's already time to start scheduling for next year. This can be a time-consuming and challenging process, and can create some headaches along the way. Here are some ideas for how to schedule your youth sports season efficiently and effectively.
Release the Schedule ASAP
Members of your sports organization like to know everything ahead of time - especially the parents. The best way to accomplish this is to release the game schedule well before the season starts. This requires a couple of things.
First, the planning should be done well in advance. This involves getting everyone together during the off-season, and hammering out the details early on. Doing so allows you to focus on other aspects like registration and practice as the season draws nearer, and it gives you an ample amount of time to make adjustments if scheduling conflicts arise.
Second, the schedule should be distributed to the parents and posted on your sports organization's website right away. Between work, school, and extracurricular activites, families already have a small amount of time together to begin with. Releasing the schedule quickly gives parents the opportunity to adjust their own schedules, and plan accordingly for events like family vacations.
Make Re-Scheduling Less of a Burden
Inclement weather is the natural enemy of schedules. It can cause everything to be thrown into disarray, and it can be a hassle to make changes. A lot of sports organizations post a PDF version of the schedule to their websites, but this can be troublesome when you need to edit game information and rearrange dates. It is also problematic for parents who received a hard copy at the pre-season meeting, and now have to scribble out dates and write-in new ones.
Technology is your biggest ally in the fight against weather and other unforseen events. Using a web application to create your schedule can make the re-scheduling process less painful when the time inevitably comes. It gives you the ability to easily change the date, time, and location of a game, or remove it completely if it will not be made-up. This means you won't have to keep posting a new file to the website each time the schedule is updated, and parents won't have to splash ink all over their paper copies.
The game schedule is one of the most important aspects to figure out before the season starts, but there are a number of other schedules that need to be created for your sports organization to run smoothly.
Staff and volunteers are essential parts of your operation, and they, too, have to schedule their tasks ahead of time. Whether it be for the concession stand, fundraising events, or refereeing, having schedules set in place can ensure that everyone is on the same page for their responsibilities.
Similarly to games, it can be difficult to alter these PDF or paper schedules throughout the season if people are unable to attend. Using something like Google Drive allows you to post the schedules in one location and make any adjustments if needed. You can also set the Google Drive to "private," and invite certain people to view and edit it. This means you can still post a link on your website for easy access, but only the people with permission can get in.
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