Buyer's Guideby Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: January 4, 2018
Sports leagues are popular for kids on up to adults. Where else can kids learn about teamwork? What other activity helps millennials stay active and meet new people?
But managing a sports league is no easy feat, especially when there's multiple leagues under the same business umbrella.
Luckily, there's some great sports league management software to help business operators stay organized and flourish in their respective markets. But not all systems are right for your business, so let's take a look at what you should be looking for from your new sports league software.
Here's what we'll cover:
Reviewers' Choice Products
Our Reviewers’ Choice list shows the five highest user-rated software solutions for Sports League Management when adjusted for total number of reviews and recency of reviews.
If a software solution has more reviews, and more recent reviews, we value those ratings more highly than a product with fewer, older reviews. This is because is it much harder to get 100 five-star reviews than it is to get 10.
We also know that software vendors continually tweak and update their product, so we believe that more recent reviews tend to be more accurate.
To determine which products made the final cut, we looked at how users rated each solution's:
- Overall performance,
- Ease of use, and
- Customer support
A solution can make the Reviewers' Choice top five in all three categories, or just one or two. All software solutions in the Reviewers' Choice have at least 10 reviews from real software users. The final products are listed in alphabetical order from left to right.
For more details on how we selected our Reviewers' Choice, read the full methodology.
Common Features of Sports League Management Software
There are tons of capabilities that make up even the simplest sports team management software tools. These include:
|Online registration||Enable sign-ups and player reservations. List preferred team(s) to join. Join a waitlist if league or preferred team is full.|
|Online payments||Complete payment for registration. Offer discounts for siblings, couples, or late-season additions.|
|Practice and game schedules||Set schedules for team members, league managers, and referees. Make adjustments for missed games.|
|League rosters, scoring and standings||Store team rosters, scoring results from played games, as well as league and/or division standings.|
|Message boards||Allow team members and/or all league members to easily communicate.|
|Reporting and analytics||Analyze payment information at the team and player level. Track absent players to spot trends in unreliable players/team members.|
|Website management||Create a fun and interactive website that keeps potential league members engaged and willing to convert and play.|
The two most important components of sports league management software are registration and scheduling. Registration capabilities are the gear that drives the entire league. Potential league members have come to expect online registration for signing up for a team. Key features within registration software to keep in mind include:
- Options to join specific teams or join random teams
- Ability to volunteer to be a team manager
- Complete registration payments
Once the league is set up and registration is complete, it's primarily the scheduling capabilities that keep the league moving throughout the season. Admins need to be able to easily adjust the schedule due to weather delays, team dropouts and other issues that can lead to cancellations. Given the likelihood of having games rescheduled, it's important that sports league scheduling capabilities include easy, one-step notifications and alerts to let players know about schedule changes.
Benefits of Adopting Sports League Management Software
Before digging into the benefits of sports league management software, it's important to note that it's pretty much a necessity to create and manage a sports league. Members have come to expect a software backbone managing the league.
With that being said, the specific benefits of adopting sports league management tools include:
- Organization, organization, organization. Considering the alternative to using sports league software involves managing multiple disparate documents and software, sports league management software offers unparalleled organization for league and team managers.
- Record and analyze key data. Surprisingly, your sports league and/or team can benefit from data analysis. For example, you can track and record member attendance to identify problem players that might need reprimanding.
- Offer easily accessible information for league members. Maintain league engagement by giving members access to schedules, team standings and team member contact information.
- Enable communication channels between league members. Helping foster communication and relationships between league members is central to sustaining engagement between the league and its (paying) members.
Sports League Management Software Tips for New Buyers
There's no doubt sports league management software can offer your business a ton of benefits. But that doesn't mean that all sports team management systems are right for your needs. There's a lot that should go into your sports league software selection since it'll be the backbone of the league.
These recommendations will help you navigate the vendor landscape and ensure you choose the best sports league management software for your business. We've formalized these recommendations from surveying cross-industry software buyers to determine effective strategies for choosing the best business system. The most popular tactics your small business peers use are as follows:
- Don't skimp on your due diligence. Whether you're starting a new sports league business or optimizing your current one, there's software out there that's right for you. However, you have to put in the effort to do the research and read up on what the market offers. Don't be afraid to consult with other sports league business managers.
- Identify your current needs and pain points. Before you begin reaching out to software vendors, make sure you know where your business is failing or could at least be operating better. By taking these needs to vendors, they ought to identify software features that will help improve your business. Don't just be wooed or blinded by systems with the coolest features. Make sure the core features meet your business needs.
- Take advantage of software reviews from your sports league peers. It sounds simple, but reading software reviews from league managing peers will provide you with the information you need to make the most informed decisions. Seeing your peers' thoughts will help you cut through the marketing jargon that vendors often use.
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