How Youth Sports Leagues Would Use Schedule Utopia
This is perfect for all youth sports - little league (baseball, softball, t-ball), soccer, lacrosse, hockey, basketball, football, cheer leading, gymnastics, swimming, etc. You name the sport and Schedule
Utopia can help. This is instrumental in being able to speed up the communication process and eliminate phone trees. You post it, and everyone who follows gets notified by their preferred method.
We encourage you to figure out how to best use it for your league or team but for teams – a practices calendar and a games calendar because parents will need to know about practices, but grandmas, friends, and extended family will want to follow the games calendar. Be specific not general – we call get “mass communication” now with things we don’t care about. Here are a few suggestions:
- Coaches – You can have a news calendar for all coaches. This provides a vehicle for them to easily communicate any games, practices, or changes with their team’s parents and athletes without managing any contact information.
- Players - There no longer has to be a delay for players to wait on coaches to contact them with event information. They get it the moment it is
posted. This is great for cancellations, location or time changes, new games, or news/events you want to share with them – like what to bring for practice that day.
- Games – You can schedule games, link to the location and manage these team by team versus a league or district as a whole. If something changes you now have the means to instantly communicate with your players, families and community. You can even link to map locations, making it easy to find addresses and use from mobile phones.
- Practices - You can schedule practices on a separate calendar because they only affect players and parents and not extended family, friends and community. If you put them on one calendar, these individuals would get updates they don’t care about. With Schedule Utopia, that doesn’t have to happen anymore.
- Facilities/Fields - You can schedule and manage fields, gyms, and rooms, and post these events publicly.
- Volunteers/Concessions/Officials – You can help notify volunteers and officials of anything pertinent and keep them coordinated and informed.
There are also plenty of other ways for people to use and benefit from Schedule Utopia for schools, clubs, adult sports, churches and programs, families, retail businesses, restaurants, and many more.
Best of all, you don’t have to maintain any contact information – users do that themselves. Schedule Utopia is 100% free and the moment you change something, Followers get notified how they choose, by their preferred means of communication. The application also tells you how many followers your calendar has (due to privacy laws, we don’t share who).
Some basic set up instructions:
Set up your league as an organization in the system (teams can be set up independent of any league, but it is not recommended to do that). Please make sure you have the proper permission to be the administrator for your league or that you invite that person to administrate this organization once you have created it. You would probably want to invite someone other than leadership of the league to also help manage this.
Set up the calendars for each type of communication or resource that you need and want. This can be for different age levels/divisions, teams, facilities/fields, locations, games, practices, volunteers, etc. You can then invite people to see this calendar and follow it (or them if more than one). (This can be done directly through Schedule Utopia or share to Facebook
or Twitter.) You can invite certain people to administrate a calendar. You can also create certain private calendars, which are only viewable by those that you invite to follow them – such as a board-of-directors- or managers-only calendar.
If the person you invited already has an account, they can just login and follow any of the calendars that are public or that you invite them to. If they don’t have an account already, they will need to set up an account before they can follow a calendar or manage one. Each person can then begin adding their own activities, events and information to their calendar. Administrators can add things to the calendar(s) that they are asked to administrate, and this information would be viewable to all followers of those calendars.
When something gets changed on any of your calendars, all followers will get notified instantly of those changes via the means of notification they asked for. This will all happen immediately with no delays and no communication tree needed (league-to-coach, coach-to-players/parents, parents-to-extended family, interested parties).
It would be a good idea to embed any public calendars right on to your website for viewing. This is easily done, and most webmasters or content systems will allow you to copy and paste the code you need. That way, this is the only set of calendars you really need to have. The organization calendar will compile all calendars onto the overview in the system so you can view it holistically.
It’s also a good idea to add a “news” or “events” type of calendar for activities that apply to everyone – like something important that needs immediate attention (like a cancellation) or any “news” that you want notifications out immediately. If someone follows this “news” calendar, they will automatically get notified via their preferred method when it gets revised.
It would be a good idea to have separate calendars for each team for practices and games because your base of followers would be different. Extended family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc) friends and neighbors would want to know about games and locations, and any changes to those, but for the most part not the practices – that would be just parents. You would want them on separate calendars so they only get notified about the things they want and not everything.
You can now easily manage all of your teams, coaches, volunteers, fields, schedules, etc., all in one place, while being able to inform all of your players/parents/coaches just by updating the calendar – no calls or
emails need to be sent. It will also communicate to them via their preferred means of notification instantly and automatically when the calendar has changed.
It would be a good idea to tell people to get the unlimited texting (SMS) plan if they want to receive the text updates. (Once the mobile app cue is available, those with smart phones won’t need the texts). The text cost is the only cost for this, otherwise it is 100% free.
COMING SOON: We are working on iCal Syncing and Outlook Syncing. We are also working on creating private events (you can already make a whole calendar private) so an entry could be private (i.e. for staff only). You can see all the features in development here.
*text message rates may apply. Please see your cell carrier for text messaging rate