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The team manager is a very important element of each team, acting as a communications hub and organizer. Being a team manager satisfies your volunteer requirements for the year (and then some). Duties include:
- Communication of team-related information to families.
- Tournament management, including team registration, passes and/or other documentation for games, and coordination of travel/lodging (if any).
- Game management, including presentation of required passes and documentation, payment of referees, substitute players, and game rescheduling.
- Team liaison with league.
Most of what follows is geared toward managers of Select teams, but even if you are managing other teams you may find some of it useful. Please remember that the coach has the final say in any decision regarding the team and all program elements (games, tournaments, practice schedules, etc.) - your job as manager is to assist the coach where possible. If you have any questions, please contact the Club Office.
If you know you will be manager before the initial team meeting (usually occurs in early July), it is useful to attend the meeting and take notes that you can distribute later to the team families - this helps parents that could not attend, and also creates a written summary of the meeting that people can refer to later if needed. A sheet is handed out at the team meeting that outlines the program, including tournaments - hold on to this sheet, as you will need it to know what tournaments are coming up and overall schedules.
At the beginning of the season there are usually a variety of items that need to be taken care of to get the team ready for the new year. You will normally receive a team contact list from the Club in late July - this will indicate each team player along with their family contact information. It is helpful to the coach and the other families if you create and distribute a condensed contact sheet from this list that has each player name, and their parents names and phone numbers. You will also want to create an e-mail list that you can use to send e-mail to the entire team.
Prior to the start of league play you will receive a official league roster from the Club listing all of the players, their names and league ID numbers, and their player numbers. A copy of this document is usually required at league games and when registering the team for tournaments. Player passes will be created by the Club (the Club will gather the necessary information to create each pass). When they are ready you will be contacted about where to pick them up. It is very important to keep track of the passes, as they are required for league play and must be given to the referees prior to each game. Remember to pick them up after the game, and to get substitute player passes back to the corresponding team manager if your team is using substitute players from another team.
Before the season starts (and prior to the first tournament) you should obtain a manager pass from the league. You are the backup coach (by rule), and you can be on the bench if you like, but you can't act in that capacity without a manager pass. Application for a manager pass requires a background check (which just involves filling out a form). You can obtain a pass by following the instructions for a new pass from WYSA from this link.
Medical releases are required of all players. For WYSA league play, the Club requires each player (or associated adult) to agree to a medical waiver when they register, so you don't need to collect a separate medical waiver from each player. If your team is playing in a different league, please check with the Club Office about waiver requirements. Tournaments usually require that you bring along a medical release from your state association (WYSA event medical release), or they may require you fill them out for the state where the tournament is held (each tournament is different, so make sure you check the tournament website).
The Club will handle scheduling of all league games. If there is a reschedule window, which is typical after the publication of the provisional schedule, then you may request one or more games be rescheduled (the league will contact you with instructions, but typically rescheduling a game involves coming to an agreement with the other team manager on a new date and time, and then informing the league of the change). Check with the coach to make sure that the schedule is okay (he/she should already have approved it, but check anyway). If you know that a certain date will not work for a large number of families, then you may want to try and reschedule games on that date. You will need to involve the coach in these decisions, since it needs to work with his/her schedule. You will also need to make sure that the referees know about the change, so send updated game information to the Referee Coordinator.
Since you will typically be required to pay referees at league games, the Club will send you a check for the expected total amount prior to the start of the season, as well as information on how much to pay for each referee per game (each team is responsible for half of the total for a game). You will typically want to separate out the payment for each referee into its own envelope with the amount marked on the outside, so that when you hand over the documentation at the game the referees will know who gets what envelope.
You will likely want to set up a team fund via an assessment on the parents to pay for incidentals, coach travel, etc., that are not covered by the program fees. How much you ask from each family depends on the tournament schedule and other factors, but typically from $25 to $50 is reasonable, and you can return any unspent funds at the end of the season. Keep track of all deductions from the team fund so that you can account for expenditures and know what you owe to parents, or when you need to make an additional assessment. Things that typically come out of the team fund are coach travel to tournaments, optional indoor sessions, optional tournaments, captains armbands, etc.
League games typically require the presentation of player passes, an official roster, and your team's portion of the referee pay, all to the referees prior to the game. Usually the referees will keep the documentation for the league records. They will also hold on to the passes until the end of the game, when they will be returned to you. Players cannot play if they do not have a pass, or you do not provide their pass to the referee. When you have substitute players, remember to add their names and other information to the official roster so that they can play in the game, and make sure to get their passes from their team manager.
If the referee determines that the jerseys for the two teams are too similar, it is incumbent on the home team to switch to their away jersey, so make sure to remind parents that players should always bring both jerseys to home games (it is a good practice to have both jerseys at all games).
If you are the home team, then you may be responsible for recording the score of the game on the league website (this is the case for WYSA, for example). This usually requires that you log in to a particular web page and enter the data (for WYSA you have to find the appropriate league on their site - Southeast Classic League, for example - and on that page there will be a link for schedules and scores). If this is required, you will be given login credentials and instructions by the league.
If the game is cancelled due to weather, then it will be necessary to reschedule it for a later date, and this is done via negotiation with the other team manager. Once a new date/time has been established, you inform the league of the change so they can update the global schedule. As with any rescheduling activity, make sure you check with the coach, and also notify the Referee Coordinator, prior to finalizing the change.
As manager you are technically the backup to the coach for the game itself, meaning that if the coach(es) for whatever have to leave the game, you can fill in as necessary. Not to worry - this is a very rare circumstance indeed, but it has happened and is useful to keep in mind.
The tournaments that your team is to attend are listed on the program sheet that is handed out at the initial team meeting. Attending a tournament requires several steps:
- Signing the team up for the tournament. Usually done via the tournament website. Note that this step is usually done several months prior to the actual tournament, so look ahead to what tournaments are coming up and check when you can register the team. For tournaments that are included in the program fees the Club will pay the registration fee, so usually you will indicate that a check will be sent separately.
- Collecting necessary documentation for registering the team. This typically includes medical waivers, team roster, travel form (if tournament is in another state), player passes. Most tournament websites have a managers checklist that indicates what you need to bring with you to register the team.
- Coordinating team/coach travel. How much work is involved here depends on the tournament - obviously for local tournaments you don't have worry about this. If you have to travel, note that many tournaments require that you book accommodations through a designated agency at a few selected hotels (so-called "stay-and-play" tournaments). In this circumstance you may need to coordinate with your parents how many rooms you need and where they want to stay among the available options. In cases where teams are free to stay wherever they choose, you may still want to coordinate which hotel to use as it is often convenient to have the entire team in the same hotel. You also will typically need to provide travel money for the coaches before they leave for the tournament. This you may take from the team fund (if you have one), or from a separate assessment to the parents. You may also be asked to secure a room for one or more coaches for a tournament - the cost of these are split among the attending teams. It is a good idea to ask your coach if he/she needs a room (the answer is almost always "yes", but somebody else may have already gotten one for them).
- Registering the team. This is usually done when you arrive at the tournament, but sometimes can be done in advance. What is needed to register the team, and when/where to do it, is usually indicated on the manager's checklist for the tournament.
- Tournament games usually require only that you show the player passes - make sure that you retrieve them after each game. Also, home/away jerseys don't have any particular meaning in tournaments, so you will need to decide what you want the team to wear at each game. Typically you will have the team in the same jersey for all games played on a given day, and switch for the next day. Make sure that the players bring both jerseys to each game, as generally the referee can require either team to switch to avoid conflicts.
Coach Travel Expenses
Tournaments and league games will sometimes require travel for which the associated coaches must be compensated for expenses (see Travel & Living Expense Policy document). Typically these expenses are the responsibility of the teams involved in the event, and often there are multiple teams and coaches so some coordination is required to determine the amount owed by each team for coach travel compensation. As a team manager you will be expected to help in this coordination and ensure that you contribute your portion of the coach travel reimbursement. A team fund helps with these expenses, but you can also assess the parents separately for each event once you know what the expenses will be. Things to consider/remember include:
- The total coach travel reimbursement amount is a combination of lodging, per-diem, and mileage. These should be computed, collected from the teams, and distributed to the coaches BEFORE the event. The reason to disburse these funds before travel is that some coaches may not be able to pay for their expenses out of their own pockets.
- Hotel rooms sometimes take special consideration. Some coaches do not have or carry credit cards, and since most hotels require a credit card imprint during the check-in process, even if the coach has cash to pay for the room he/she may not be able to check in. For this reason it is a good idea to check with the hotel in advance to determine their check-in policy, and to make arrangements accordingly.
Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association (WYSA):