Do you feel that? Flowers blooming in a field… Dandelions settling on the bleachers.. That’s right, league season is almost upon us! How’s your plan coming along? You have your team qualifications? Your staff hired? Your contact info all finalized?
Don’t worry. You’re here because you care about your players and want to make sure you have the best sports league ready to go. To do that, the fundamentals of a sports league need to be satisfied—and we’re here to help you out! Let’s begin by asking these six questions.
1. Do I Have A Permit?
Permits are vital and not something to wait on. Why? They are a general requirement and grant you legal permission to reserve space at public parks, sports complexes, community centers, etc. for your sports league. Without one, your league is more or less trespassing into a park and runs a risk of getting permanently banned from a perfectly nice location for your league. To check the requirements for permits in your area, contact your town’s department of parks & recreation and reach out to the facilities you wish to rent from for specific details.
Side note on sports league locations! Proximity plays a big part next to price when choosing a location that’s best for your league. If you have people interested in joining a league, survey their hometowns to establish a central area that’s best for your future sports league.
2. Do I Have a Website?
No? Don’t worry! Making a website for your business is possible for anyone no matter the level of your computer knowledge. Websites act as a central hub for your league that’s available at their convenience—and it does not need to be complicated. There are both free and paid services that can aid in building up your league online and it can be as minimal as one page with contact info, hours, location, summary description and a few images correlating to your sports league. One of the best ways to determine what website service is best for your league is to draft an outline of your league website. Then you can determine how robust or simple your website needs to be. When drafting the outline of your website, make sure what you offer is clear on the front page
3. Do I Have Staff Or Volunteers?
When you are creating your league (business or nonprofit), you may feel like you’re on top of the world—like you can handle it all on your own. You need to be careful of the overwhelming risks and taking on too much! There are a lot of moving pieces in a sports league that could slip through the cracks and hurt your league. Avoid these nightmare scenarios and assemble a team. Hire umpires, assistants, schedulers, score-keepers and other positions you think will keep the management of your league in a healthy state. Once you have a staff team, it would be a great idea to introduce them with bios on your website!
4. Do I Have Waivers?
Naturally a sports league wants a good relationship between each and every league member. One of the best ways to do get that done is to have a waiver or sports contract that both establishes the expectations of being in a league and forewarns the possible risks. Why have waivers? Well waivers are like good tires for your car. Without them, the journey of your league won’t be smooth or safe for any of your passengers—both staff and league members. You can easily write a waiver yourself or find a template online, however it is best to run the content by a lawyer so that your writing 100% conforms to your specific state or county laws.
5. Do I Have A Marketing Strategy?
Imagine starting a league with no members to play the sport. This is why marketing is important. Consult with your staff to find towns near or within the area you plan on playing. Once that has been decided, collaborate with the local newspapers, schools and stores to hang flyers, and develop online advertisements. Getting the word out in advance—both local and online—means more people will come to you.
Side note on marketing! Consider the low-cost option on social media. Set up a Facebook Page for your league and create posts that call attention to your opening—and don’t forget to list your finished website in the About Section of your Facebook Page!
6. Do I Have A Management System?
A good league management system is the glue for your sports league. For the choice of league management software, it can be daunting to sift through the options, but one thing is certain: finding the right one can mean reduced expenses, increased profits, happier members — and, more time for you. If you’re not already using a sports league software solution, start looking into the possibilities today. And if you are, consider an overall assessment to be sure the one you’ve got is the absolute best choice for your new sports league.