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Common Scheduling Problems for Sports Leagues and How to Avoid Them

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Across the USA, there are almost 150,000 sports and fitness venues. Many of these locations organize sport leagues for their members to enjoy. But the scheduling process for the competitions can be a real hardship.

If you’re in charge of scheduling one of these many competitions, you probably already know how difficult it can be to get everything right. Whether you’re running a weekend tournament or a year-round league, you might find it difficult to manage all the difficulties of scheduling.

Looking for some tips on improving your sports scheduling skills? We’ve put together this list of common sports league mistakes to help you know not what to do. Knowing what to avoid can help you hit a home run in the world of sports schedules!

A Lack of Flexibility in Sports Scheduling

You can lay down the most mathematically sound, well-thought-out schedule anyone has ever seen. It can win awards for its amazing efficiency. But if it doesn’t have a little room for flexibility, it’s not much good to anyone.

Any sports schedule worth its salt should allow for unexpected bumps in the road. Postponements can occur for any reason from bad weather to player illnesses, and you need to allow time for rescheduling.

That’s why it’s so important to add some spare days over the course of your schedule. You ought to have several free days in your calendar, spaced out throughout the year, allowing you to cover for any unforeseen circumstances.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #1: Complacency

Complacency can be disastrous in any business. When you sit back and think there’s no way of improving sports scheduling, you can be sure you aren’t getting the best out of your business.

When you rely on old methods and never look for opportunities to improve, you could be missing out on so much. You aren’t providing the best possible customer experience, and you could even run

Some businesses let mistakes slide for too long, and their popularity suffers as a result. If there’s a consistent issue in your business, don’t just sit back and take it. Sport scheduling software is developing at a rapid pace and there are so many new developments that can help your scheduling.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #2: Not Making Full Use of a Facility

The ideal schedule should try to make use of as many of your facilities as once. Many sports administrators make the rookie scheduling mistake of focusing on one sport facility at a time by, for example, hosting hockey in the morning, baseball in the afternoon, and soccer in the evening.

If your sport facility contains an ice rink, soccer field, and a batting range, there’s no reason they shouldn’t all be in use at the same time. If you lack the infrastructure to support the use of multiple facilities at one time, try to upgrade for better operational capacity.

Alternatively, try to prioritize the most profitable elements of your facility. If you’re reaping twice as much profit from hosting soccer games as you are from hiring out the basketball courts, it makes sense to focus on the more lucrative option.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #3: Poor Communication

A sport league can’t be scheduled by committee or you’d never get anything done. But a complete failure to communicate with participants can have disastrous consequences.

Failing to communicate properly can lead to all kinds of problems. For example, if you schedule games in a rec league at inconvenient times for your players, you could lose out on business as players fail to show up to games and teams eventually pull out.

Using team sports scheduling can help you communicate easily with customers. You’ll be able to send out messages to everyone who uses their facilities to ask for thoughts on potential changes. When you can communicate at the touch of a button rather than spending hours making phone calls, it streamlines the communication process and makes things easier for everyone involved.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #6: Overscheduling

Depending on the sport, players often need plenty of downtime between games. It might not be fair to schedule fixtures too close together. Even if the pros can play games every day for a week, it might not be so easy for the rec league guys playing after work!

Try to space out the schedule so there’s plenty of downtime between games. The specific amount of time will likely depend on the type of sport and level of competition.

Communication is important here. Your league’s players will give you a good insight into how regularly they’d like to play games. Consult them if you’re considering making a change to an established schedule.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #5: Oversubscribing

As a business owner, you want to bring in as many customers as possible. But it is possible to have too much of a good thing!

It’s never a good idea to build up a clientele that’s so large you can’t cater for them all. The key is to know your limit and avoid overstretching yourself. Try to build things slowly and sustainably, so you can grow your business without a drop-off in quality.

When you have quality software on your side to help with your organization, you’ll be able to head off problems before they arise and understand your limits more clearly. Technology can also increase your capacity and allow you to cater to more customers, by taking out much of the admin and other work that goes into organizing a league.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #6: Failing to Link Up Facilities

Some businesses operate multiple sports facilities and their games might take place around these separate venues. League participants could be required to move between facilities from week to week, playing home and away games against teams based in different areas.

If you run a league like this, scheduling sporting events becomes even more difficult. Now, you’re managing multiple schedules at different venues! Failing to link up the admin for your different facilities can make the problem worse.

When you use DaySmart Recreation’s sports scheduling software, it’s easy to link up your different venues’ admin. This will help you, your staff, and your customers!

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #7: Not Allowing Time for Changeovers

Naturally, making full use of your facility to maximize efficiency is important. But it’s possible to go too far and forget to allow time in between games.

Picture the scene. A soccer game ends on a field at 12 noon. Another one is scheduled to begin on the same field at 12 noon. But it’s very unlikely things will finish exactly on time, and this can create a scheduling issue with teams waiting around for their game to start.

You need to account for rules of the game holding things up, like potential overtime, as well as allowing players the time to pack their stuff and get off the field. People don’t just vanish once the game is done!

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #8: Forgetting Your Staff

A sports facility isn’t just a place. It’s also a business with the staff required to support sportspeople. Referees, maintenance staff, administrators, and more are all needed to keep the various sports around your facility running smoothly.

When you forget your staff in your scheduling arrangements, you’ll be offering poor service to the athletes who use your facility, as well as making things difficult for yourself from an operational perspective.

Ensure staff members are properly scheduled to cover busy periods. Communicate in advance in order to head off any particular scheduling issues.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #9: Neglecting Your Infrastructure

When scheduling a sports league, it’s easy to focus too heavily on the facilities themselves. After all, the fields or rinks are the most important element of the facility.

But it’s important to remember all the other aspects of a successful sports facility. You don’t want to overschedule your events space and overwhelm the parking lot, changing rooms, and other support facilities.

Causing a crowding issue around your facility might result in major issues. If you find your infrastructure can’t support the expected number of participants, consider investing in some temporary facilities to help manage the issue.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #10: Requiring Too Much Paperwork

It’s a fact of the modern world that we have to fill out more forms than we used to. It’s often necessary for your own records and it might even be mandated by local government for safety or financial reasons.

Still, you should avoid loading up your customers with paperwork if you can possibly avoid it. When someone shows up for a hard day’s work keen to blow off some steam on the basketball court, they don’t want to be forced to fill out a mountain of forms!

Using a good sports management platform can remove the need to sift through mountains of paperwork. It will also allow players to fill it in before they arrive at the venue (so they don’t need to fill it out at the desk!) and allow you to better keep track of your documents.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #11: Scheduling The Old-Fashioned Way

Perhaps the minds behind the earliest sports schedules drew up schedules themselves, working out the calendar with only the simplest of tools to help them. The sports administrators of generations past might have done everything with a simple notepad and candlelight. But the simple ways aren’t always best.

Sitting in your office and trying to draw up a schedule manually might seem like a good idea, but it can lead to all kinds of problems. No matter how smart you are, there’s always room for human error.

That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of the sports scheduling softwaretools at your disposal for maximum efficiency. Sports are always progressing, and you should too. When you digitize as much of the process as possible, you’ll end up with much better results. Check out DaySmart’s all-in-one sports facility scheduling software to streamline your daily operations, including payment processing, event management, and other advanced scheduling features.

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #12: Failing to Digitize

Some rec leagues aren’t great at promoting their schedules. They post their monthly sports league schedule up on the wall at their physical locations or even rely on word of mouth to spread the news. This is inefficient and can cause major errors or miscommunication.

For more efficient scheduling, you need to make use of modern technology. Participants in a league should be able to access their leagueschedules online and receive alerts when changes are made.

Our sports facility management platform allows you to share upcoming schedules with your customers easily and efficiently. We can offer you bespoke solutions to help you communicate efficiently with your customers and keep them in the loop!

Common Sports Scheduling Mistake #13: Choosing Inexperienced Partners

Sports facilities are increasingly bringing in outside help to manage their scheduling and daily admin. With all the hard work and expertise that goes into making the best of a sports facility, it makes sense to get a little help.

But some businesses slip up when they partner with a company that’s not well-placed to help them. A company without the relevant knowledge and experience might not be able to give you the best service possible.

Here at DaySmart Recreation, we’ve worked with all kinds of different venues and businesses. From large, city-wide sports programs, to NHL practice facilities, we’ve done it all. This is the kind of experience you need to ensure you’re getting the best out of your business partner!

Bring Your League Scheduling into the 21st Century!

Scheduling sports leagues is tough. There are so many different factors to juggle but It’s no wonder there are so many potential pitfalls for organizers. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult.

New technology can help you with all your scheduling needs. DaySmart’s recreation platform is the best cloud-based sports league management solution to help you in your sports league scheduling. We’ve worked with a huge variety of different sports venues and we can provide a bespoke solution for you.

Request a demonstration today to find out exactly how we can help you. Our technology takes lots of different factors into account and can help you knock it out of the park when it comes to sports scheduling.

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