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Soccer webmaster says goodbye to paper registrations

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Soccer Northwest Ontario's Ken Pytyck reduces workload by switching to online registration

Webmaster of the Week: January 16-22

Ken Pytyck

Soccer Northwest Ontario

District administrator, webmaster

League, Registration, Sitebuilder

Pytyck grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he played youth and high school hockey as well as in college for Lakehead University. Pytyck coached Thunder Bay’s St. Patrick high school boys’ hockey team for 20 years before retiring four years ago. Soccer? The sport wasn’t on Pytyck’s radar until the oldest of his three sons decided to give it a try. “My oldest, when he was about 6 or 7, he played in a baseball game,” Pytyck said. “He stood out in the field, and then he came back and said, ‘Is this it? Is this it, is this all I do?’ Then he tried soccer, and he fell in love with it.” All three of Pytyck’s sons played youth soccer, and Ken, also a retired teacher, is in his fourth year serving as Soccer Northwest Ontario’s District Administrator.

One thing Pytyck doesn’t do much of anymore is chase down late payments. As recently as a year ago, before switching to SportsEngine’s Registration software, Soccer Northwest Ontario still was using paper registrations and accepting cash and checks as payment. Pytyck said the indoor soccer season usually has about 1,500 registrants, most of whom register through their respective clubs. “Basically I would have to send invoices out to all of these clubs, then keep track of how much each club owes me. The indoor season starts in November, and I would spend all of September and October reminding all these clubs that they owe Soccer Northwest.” Now, instead of collecting 1,500 paper registration forms, all of the organization’s registrations are done online. “We have pretty well eliminated anybody not ever paying,” Pytyck said. “You only have one choice, you go online, you register and you pay by credit card.” Pytyck keeps schedules, scores, statistics and standings updated using League. A storm on Nov. 18 caused the collapse of Thunder Bay’s Sports Dome, severely limiting the indoor soccer options in the city. Pytyck scrambled to find open time slots (usually in the early mornings and late evenings) at school gymnasiums in an attempt to keep his winter leagues running (participation was cut to about one-third). He’s already planning ahead to next winter with the hope of avoiding a similar situation (there are no plans to rebuild or repair the inflatable Sports Dome structure).

Pytyck has posted renderings of what Thunder Bay’s Chapples Park Sports Complex could look like, with a new indoor field complex serving as the centerpiece of the facility. He also has prominent home page links to other information that is part of the Thunder Bay’s FIT Together, the city’s recreation and facilities master plan.

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