COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges for youth sports organizations.
After navigating postponed and canceled seasons, administrators and coaches are now facing new obstacles as teams return to play.
But, just like their athletes, youth sports leaders are a resilient group and have discovered new ways to use the existing tools at their disposal to keep sports in session and athletes safe.
To help you do the same, we’re excited to share the top five ways your organization can use SportsEngine HQ to navigate COVID-19:
1. Use RSVPs for contact tracing and health checks
RSVPs have always been a popular feature for teams, and now it’s taken on even greater importance. RSVPs are an easy way to keep an accurate attendance record for contact tracing and even require pre-event health checks.
Contact tracing is a method used by the CDC and other health organizations to figure out who an infected person may have come in contact with while they were contagious. Keeping an accurate attendance record for every event is critical in case a team member tests positive for COVID-19.
If an athlete tests positive for COVID-19, you can go back and see when that athlete last participated to alert other families on your team.
Better yet, invest in a temporal thermometer that coaches can use on athletes before they’re allowed to participate in an event—these are fast, easy-to-use, and can be purchased for around $50. Read how the Minnesota Blades are doing this.
Organizations are now creating two events for every in-person activity: one event to confirm an athlete’s attendance and the other to confirm that a health check has been completed.
The second “health check” event can be fairly simple. In the details of the event, provide a quick checklist of items families need to verify before marking their athlete as able to participate that day. Here’s an example checklist:
Is your athlete currently running a fever?
Are they exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19?
Have they been in recent contact with a COVID-positive individual?
Also, refer to CDC guidelines when considering what items to include in your health check events.
Don’t want to create a second event every day for health checks? Create one daily recurring health check for a month and quickly send reminders if needed through SportsEngine HQ.
2. Collect waivers and health information
Online registration forms can also be used for health surveys and to collect waivers.
Right now is a great time to update participation waivers, your refund policy, and to protect your organization from liability. Make sure you’ve included a COVID-19 acknowledgment section in your waiver so families understand the risks of catching the illness. Then, update your refund policy to establish how much of their registration fees are refundable.
These health surveys and waivers can be collected during registration or as a page element on your SportsEngine website.
3. Keep in constant contact with families
Communication is always key when operating a youth sports organization, and right now timely messages are even more important. Families need to quickly understand the protocols and activities they need to complete to ensure their athlete is ready and eligible to participate in activities. SportsEngine HQ provides multiple ways to communicate with families, including these easy-to-use features:
Administrators can quickly send messages to entire teams right from their SportsEngine HQ member directory. Simply craft a message and select entire rosters and groups, or individual contacts, to keep everyone on the same page. Likewise, coaches can keep their teams up-to-date via free team chat and text messaging through the SportsEngine mobile app.
Regularly scheduled newsletters are a great way to keep families informed and feeling like part of your organization. Clubs are getting creative and sending out more newsletters through SportsEngine HQ than ever before—adding video workouts and online challenges to keep members engaged and spirits on the rise. Check out how Bartlett Raiders used a Zoom link in their newsletter to promote an online class.
4. Make your website an information hub
New information and regulations are being posted daily across the internet. Make it easy for your members to find everything they need to know about participating in sports right on your club’s website. Consider posting local regulations, guidelines, plans of action, and any other requirements all on the same page.
Sitebuilder makes it easy to add text elements, news articles, and even scrolling code to get your messages across. Get step-by-step instructions here.
5. Create virtual programs and paid content
Many families don’t feel comfortable with in-person sports right now, and that’s okay! Provide new ways to keep their athletes active, while driving important revenue, with virtual programs and paywall content.
Organizations everywhere are getting creative with online workouts, practices, training sessions, and more. With tools like Zoom readily available, and kids getting used to taking online classes, virtual programs are now more viable than ever. Once you have a program in mind, create a listing on SportsEngine.com and start collecting registrations and payments right away. Read more about creating virtual programs and listings.
Exclusive, on-demand content is a great way to generate revenue and engage with athletes in-between virtual and in-person events. Coaches can create fun workouts and programs that athletes can access at any time while at home to hone their skills. Post the videos behind a simple paywall and collect fees right from your SportsEngine website. See how Wear Out the Net basketball is using paywall subscriptions.
We hope the ideas shared above help your organization grow and thrive—even during these challenging times. As always, SportsEngine HQ customers can reach out to our support team for help and guidance at any time.
If you aren’t a current customer and would like to learn more about SportsEngine HQ, visit www.sportsengine.com/hq.