Youth sports leagues are an amazing way for your children to stay active, learn team-building skills, and just have some plain ol’ fun. However, sometimes the difficulty lies in both getting more kids to sign up and getting their parents involved. If you’re running a youth sports league this season, here are some tips for how to get higher attendance rates.
Use online forms for flexibility
Using a youth sports registration form
is a great way to get parents to sign up their kids. An online form means parents can conveniently fill it out on their mobile devices or at home or in the office. Also, if they don’t happen to have all of the information you need right that moment (i.e. medical information and contacts), you can configure the form so parents can save their responses and continue later
Ask for a little at a time
If you’re having trouble getting more parents to volunteer time to help out, you may be asking them for too much of their time. But if you set up a rotating schedule so that parents only need to commit to a couple of hours every few weeks, they’ll be more likely to accommodate the league into their calendars. You can also remind parents that their time and contributions ultimately benefit their own child. It can be hard to get people to dedicate a couple of hours, but if they know it goes towards one of their own goals, they’ll want to make the effort. As parents become more invested, ask them on an individual basis if they’d like to play bigger roles.
Get referrals from the children
You can ask your parent friends to enlist their kids, but you’re actually missing an entire demographic of possible league referrals — the kids! Ask your kids if they have any classmates or friends that they think might be interested and get them involved that way. You can make posters for your kids to pass out in their classrooms or ask their schools to put them up on a bulletin board.
Avoid extreme competitiveness
Sometimes, it can be easy to mirror the professional sports we see on tv, but it’s important to remember that a youth sports league should be the exact opposite. The rules of most sports dictate that you keep score to see who “wins”, but beyond that, competitiveness shouldn’t be fostered in any other ways. You can encourage healthy competition, and also focus on including everyone and making each game fun at the same time.
At the end of the day, the goal of your sports league is to enrich the lives of the children. Keep this goal in mind with each strategy you use for recruitment, fundraising, and game play, and you’ll be sure to have the winningest league in the neighborhood.
How would you recommend getting more signups for a youth sports league? Let us know in the comments!
This article is originally published on Nov 10, 2016, and updated on Nov 13, 2018