Using Upcoming.org to organise sports fixtures
If you're in this boat, here's a potential solution that involves using the social networking website Upcoming.org as a way of reducing the weekly load. I hope this will be useful to anyone who manages a team and has regular fixtures.
The first thing to do is to ask all the players in the team to register with Upcoming. It's free and very easy to do.
Once everyone's registered, get them all to tell you their Upcoming usernames and then add all the players to your Upcoming friend's list. The players should then reciprocate by adding you to their friend's list.
The reason for doing this is so that only your team members will be able to see your team's events.
The next step is to create a new event for the next fixture. Obviously you could create events for as many fixtures as you like but it may be simpler to just create one at a time.
Creating a new event is simple but make sure you select the correct privacy options so that only your 'friends and people you invite' (i.e. your team members) can see the event or you'll end up with a bunch of people you've never met before signing up to play (although if your team's anything like mine this might win you more games than your real team).
When you set up the event you can also specify a maximum number of people who can play/attend which can be useful if you're lucky enough to have more players than places in your team.
After creating the event there are a couple of ways you can go, depending on how much work you want to do and how much faith you have in your team members' enthusiasm:
The hands off approach is to rely on the players to remember to check the site regularly to see what fixtures are coming up.
The other, more proactive approach is to send emails to all the players to remind them to check the site. Upcoming's 'Invite friends' feature can take some of the burden off you if you choose this route.
Whatever way you go, the idea is that all the players log in to Upcoming at which point they'll see all the fixtures that you've created.
They can then click on a fixture to view its details and, if they can play, they should click on the 'I'm Attending' link. This will add their name to the list of attendees.
With any luck, your job is now done. You can sign in to your account at any time to see exactly who's signed up to play for any fixture and to make sure that enough players have signed up to play. No more worries over player numbers or frantic last minute phone calls.
Well that's probably a bit hopeful but if it's any better than what you were doing before then I class that as a success.
If you really felt like get into Upcoming you can even use their comments system to write match reports or anything else about the games and get your players to join in. Limitless fun.