For the past five years, SquadFusion has marketed and delivered our Sports League Management software to thousands of organizations across the United States and Canada. With 2020’s Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in the number of Sports Leagues seeking fresh information about modern online registration software. They’re anxiously sitting on the fence waiting to receive the green light from their national sports associations and local government health officials that sporting seasons can begin.
Once that light turns green, Leagues have been anticipating a sprint to get their athletes registered and transitioned into competition. Many Boards are wondering how agile their organization will be to respond to that green light? How fast can they open online registrations? How fast can they communicate with their members, pulling them back to their website to complete an online registration?
There are two different “camps” that are posing these questions. The first camp is Leagues looking to implement their first online registrations system. They are usually small or relatively new Leagues. Their main goal is understanding how to replicate a paper-based registration signup form. They are also interested in learning what new capabilities an online system can offer. The second camp consists of Leagues frustrated with an existing system that is too difficult to use or experiencing price significant price increases. This second set of questions is more complex and dive deeper into understanding sophisticated software capabilities.
No matter which “camp” you belong to, we want to offer this blog post as a way to answer the most frequently asked questions about online registrations and provide Leagues with information to help complete their research. The first set of questions revolve around the registration forms and processes. The second set of questions revolve around the payment components of the registration.
Online Registrations form and process questions:
Can we customize the questions asked on the online registrations form to collect specific information about the player/participant?
Leagues can configure a custom form with as many, or as few, questions to complete the registration process. Our software provides 45 standard data fields that you can include on the online registrations form. We also allow you to create an unlimited number of custom data fields to supplement the standard 45. In our experience, you don’t want to ask too many questions as longer online registration forms can create frustration and abandonment. You should strive towards finding that right balance of questions to get just enough information to complete the registration. Members can always return later to their online profile to update other information.
Can the registration pull information from a player’s previous online registrations or are parents forced to re-enter the same data all over again?
When logged in, any new registration will automatically answer questions with information that was used in previous registrations. Parents only need to update blank registration questions or submit updates where the answer has changed. Examples would include having a new address, healthcare insurance policy, or email address. By automatically answering questions, parents can complete the registration quickly which also significantly improves completion rates.
Can we register multiple kids with one registration?
Yes, we allow a family to register multiple children in a single registration. Our software also captures common data fields like home address, home phone number, and parent contact information. The software automatically enters those data elements onto the registration form saving time. Again, having a simple and fast registration process produces more completed registrations and fewer abandoned registrations.
Can we utilize online registrations for different types of participants like coaches, umpires/referees, volunteers, or board members?
SquadFusion’s Registration subsystem allows you to configure registrations for any type of participant. You have the ability to create custom participant types as well as capture specific kinds of information about that role. As an example, collecting specific information about a prospective Coach might require the candidate to answer questions about playing experience, coaching experience, training, certifications, licenses, as well as questions related to background checks.
Can the registration software also include Uniform and/or Equipment ordering?
We provide the ability to incorporate Uniform and Equipment ordering into your registration process. You can create your own custom catalog of uniform and equipment items. Some item’s cost may be included in the Registration fees and the primary goal is just to collect sizing for the player. Other items may be optional, like sweatshirts and backpacks, requiring the collection of additional funds as part of the registration.
Additionally, we include uniform and equipment reports that summarize all player orders by size. These reports are helpful in coordinating a master order with your uniform vendor. There’s also a report summarizing each player’s order which is helpful in preparing and distributing the uniform and equipment packages to each player. We also provide Equipment inventory tracking, like for football helmets and shoulder pads assigned to a player during the season. When a helmet is found, a prompt return is accomplished through identifying the owner with a simple serial number lookup.
Can we incorporate our Club or League’s policies (Liability Waivers, Codes of Conduct, etc.) into online registrations requiring some kind of acknowledgement and/or approval?
Our software provides for the option to incorporate your liability waivers and/or codes of conduct right into the registration process. Your policies are presented to the Parents and require acceptance by marking an acknowledgement checkbox. If configured, policy review and acknowledgement is a mandatory section requiring completion before moving to the payment phase of the registration.
Online Registrations payment-oriented questions:
What different payment options are available through your online registrations system?
SquadFusion provides four primary payment options for registrations.
The first option is requiring 100% payment of fees to complete the registration. For relatively low registration fees (less than ~$200), this is the most popular option. Leagues enjoy immediate revenues and are not required to invest any administrative time in managing collections for outstanding balances. Parents who need additional time to pay can utilize the revolving credit feature of their credit card.
As registration fees increase, additional payment options become helpful.
The second option allows you to configure a deposit payment to secure the athlete’s position with the balance to be paid later. SquadFusion provides a mini accounts receivable subsystem to help you track the remaining balances for all your participants. We also include a mini invoicing subsystem to help with communicating and collecting outstanding balances.
The third option is establishing a formal payment plan, popular with those clubs or leagues with more expensive registrations fees. This option spreads higher costs across several months easing the financial burden for families. You also retain significant flexibility in modifying individual family payment plans to better match their individual situation.
The fourth payment option covers subscription plans, also known as monthly recurring payment plans. Many sports clubs are starting to offer supplemental conditioning or skills clinics and manage them like a gym membership. The League or Club offers conditioning or skills clinics at multiple times during the week. With a subscription, the athlete can attend as many clinics as they would like. The athlete receives a monthly recurring fee until they officially cancel from the program, just like a gym membership.
Can we automatically calculate registration fees based on age, membership, or some other criteria?
SquadFusion provides a Rules engine that allows simple configuration of registration fees based on data fields such as birthdate or discounts based on membership status. Inaccurate registration fee calculation can cause administrative burdens on your League managing refunds or collections. Our Rules engine allows you to accurately calculate fees and discounts the first time and eliminate time spent on corrections.
Many organizations also want to support larger families by configuring custom discounts for multiple kids on the registration. An example like $20 discount for child #2, $25 discount for child #3, and $30 discount for child #4. Our software provides a multi-family member discount calculator configuring custom discount schedules on a dollar or percentage basis. You can configure a flat amount for each child or a more progressive discount for each additional child. Whichever method you choose, we provide robust flexibility in configuring custom discount schedules for multiple children within a family.
Can we configure coupon code discounts to use for marketing purposes, scholarship administration, or as gifts for coaches and volunteers?
SquadFusion includes coupon and voucher code management to support all of your marketing, scholarship, and gifting administration. Leagues can configure unique voucher codes that can only be used once. Our customers use vouchers for scholarship administration by creating a custom voucher code for a specific athlete or family. You can also configure coupons that are available to be used multiple times. Many of our customers use these coupons for marketing purposes or as gifts for coaches. By creating custom coupon codes, you can better understand which marketing programs are most productive in driving registrations.
Are you ready for the green light sprint?
We hear the concerns from smaller or newer Leagues that are currently running manual, paper-based registration forms. They fear that they will be much slower to respond compared to those Leagues that utilize modern, web-based registrations systems. Similarly, we hear from Leagues running difficult to manage legacy registration systems. They are concerned about being slower to respond compared to competitors with agile, easy to manage modern registration systems.
If you’d like to learn more about the agility that modern online registrations software can provide for your League or Club once that light turns green, please click our “Get Started” button to share your contact information and start a conversation with us.