Online Registration and High School Athletics: More Than Meets the Eye

high school athleticsWhen you hear about online registration for schools, you probably think of nothing more than what the phrase implies – an online method of registering students for the back to school season. You might be surprised at the versatility of an online registration system with vital tools to support other areas such as high school athletics. Let’s use football as an example. Several issues, complications, and hassle can arise during football season. Some problems may include underfunded programs, a mountain of paperwork, and messy data collection. 

We’ve highlighted a few areas of a typical timeline associated with a high school football season below.  You may recognize some common problems and see how online registration can simplify the experience for athletic directors, students, and parents.

Pre-football season: Underfunded high school athletics programs

High school athletics across the nation are facing extreme budget cuts, affecting the quality of training and athletic experience for students. During the 2010-11 school year, an estimated $1.5 billion was cut from school sports budgets nationwide, and $2 billion during the previous year.

An integrated webstore included in your online registration system can help solve this problem.  You can maximize its versatility by collecting donations easily online.  It’s convenient for parents because they can easily click an athletic option along with other items already being purchased for the school year.  Furthermore, booster clubs can use the webstore to promote participation or fundraising for necessities like new equipment.

Utilizing the online registration system also raises awareness about the athletic department’s need for more funds and subsequently increases the amount of donations that come in. Some sports teams can also use EasyFunds as a fundraising mechanism that allows athletes to easily raise their own money.

Pre-football season: Gauging interest in students who would like to participate in football

Athletic directors can incorporate as many forms as needed within the registration process to collect information about students who are interested in any sports programs offered – in this case, football. Using this information, the football coach can make better decisions about tryout schedules or recruitment efforts.

Beginning of football season: Collecting fees and forms

Signing up for sports usually requires plenty of paperwork. Forms may include athletic signups, school waivers, tryout schedules, concussion sign-offs, and physician clearances. Not only can it be an overwhelming experience for parents and students, but the administrative duties of collecting and processing forms can potentially consume hundreds of hours of time that could be saved. Online registration streamlines the process for athletes and school admin by conveniently grouping all necessary forms in one location.

Having a paperless method for sports reduces hassle by enabling parents to sign up using one easy system. Parents can easily provide you with documentation or information needed for health and safety requirements using their mobile device.  This helps you comply with safety regulations and address any concerns early on.

A year-round option is also available for winter and spring sports or athletes who want to join in the middle of season. Additionally, various coaches can pull rosters containing information needed about athletes from the system.  Access to the system is assigned according to their role-based privileges.

Beginning of football season: Uniform rentals and purchases

The team has been decided and now you need to organize training and game uniforms for the athletes.  You can use the webstore for this, too. Reporting tools allow you to collect purchase options, sizes, and fees throughout the webstore. This information is helpful when ordering uniforms and/or spirit-wear from your vendor without wasting money on surplus items or having too many shirts in the wrong size.

How much time do you actually spend chasing this information while parents are just as busy with their own schedules?

Throughout the season: Ticket sales, spirit-wear purchases, on-site concessions

The webstore can also be used to support ticket sales and spirit-wear purchases throughout the year.  K-12 Online’s mobile merchant card reader allows teams to accept credit card payment from anywhere.  The extra profit from these sales can be used as additional funding for the football program!

Booster clubs can also participate and sell items online or on-site at your sporting event.  K-12 Online helps you keep track of multi-merchant sales without co-mingling of funds, and helps you provide financial transparency for funds collected.

Although we used football as an example, the same concept applies to other sports and organizations like band, choir, soccer, cheerleading, PTA/PTO clubs, academic clubs, and more.  

Anytime during the season: Have Fun!

The stress of administrative duties and never-ending paperwork often overshadows the very reason you signed up in the first place –  FUN!

Simplifying the process helps draw attention to the fun parts of the process and promotes increased participation which has proven instrumental in overall program and student success.  K-12 Online allows you to embed videos to create a fun sense of community throughout the system.  

Set the tone with a warm welcome, show off some action plays or highlights, share your goals with parents online, and easily communicate or win support by using the system.  Overall, integrating an online registration system and webstore for your athletic department provides a simpler, cleaner, and paperless approach to what is otherwise considered a messy sports registration period.  Using survey forms for parent and student feedback also contribute towards a positive experience for all.

Students can provide necessary information and submit multiple forms all online. The webstore’s one-stop shop platform allows them to purchase everything they need for their sport(s) in one place. Coaches, athletic directors, and volunteers no longer have to sort through hundreds of papers – all the information they need can be easily pulled from the system in seconds.

Going online is the smart solution to increase funding, organize information, and reduce dreaded paperwork. In addition to savings on cost, K-12 Online saves valuable time that you really don’t have in the first place – now you focus on more important things so your students can play ball!

If you’d like to learn more about how K-12 Online can help your athletic department or school sports organization, visit our website or schedule a demo.

For more facts about student activity and children:

http://www.aspenprojectplay.org/the-facts

http://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/10-reasons-why-high-school-sports-benefit-students

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About the Author

K-12 Online™ is an online registration software that streamlines student enrollment and online payment processes for K-12 schools. We simplify student online registration and update the student information system for public, charter, private and independent schools.

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