Monday, May 15, 2017

TSTM Emergency kit

The set of files in this emergency kit makes team vital data available to admins no matter what happens to the server.  Although a lot of efforts have been made to keep the server online, there are situations that are out of our control to make the server available, such as power outages or network interruptions. With this kit, admins should have the most important team data at hand. The data may not be the most up to date, but it is better than empty handed right before a meet.

The zip file can be generated on the Season Setup page. At the upper right corner, click on the red cross icon to create the the emergency package. Then you can download the file to your local machine. You are recommended to recreate this file weekly or when your team data has significant changes.

TSTM backup server

To improve server availability, TSTM will have a backup server hosted in Virginia. This should reduce potential server down time during the busy months (May though July).

You can access the backup server using either of the following URLs. They point to the same web site.

TSTM Backup Site URL1:


TSTM Backup Site URL2:

Due to the dynamic nature of the TSTM web site, the backup server will not have the most update to date data. The data will be replicated from the main site periodically. Please only use the backup site when the main site is confirmed down and doesn't appear to recover in a few hours. Of course, if you only need to look up some team data, the backup can be used at any time. Don't make changes on the backup site unless the main site is confirmed down for extended period of time, or you may lose your changes on the backup server when the main site becomes available and the downtime is brief.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Preparing lineup for the trial meet

TSTM does lineup based on past personal best times. For the very first meet in a season, in order to make the lineup meaningful, we will need the results from the past season. If your team has the premium features enabled, on the Meet Setup page, at the lower right corner, there should be two arrows. The left arrow will activate meets from last year and right arrow will deactivate them.

Here are the steps to prepare a lineup for a trial meet:

Activate the past season meets.

Go to menu Meets->Line up

In the popup window, you should see personal best times calculated from past season meets.

Click on the link Lineup at the upper left corner.

Select the trial meet in the drop down box (probably already selected for you)

Select max 4 events per swimmer.

Select 0 relay teams.

Select "All" for lane type.

Click on the Line up button.

When the lineup shows up, click on the blue ribbon icon at the upper right corner.

In the new window, select "all heats" checkbox at the upper right corner.

Click on Create Event Sheets button.

Download "TSA Boy Main Event File" (for printing on blue sheets).

Download "TSA Girl Main Event File" (for printing on pink sheets).

Download the Heat Sheet CSV File (view it in Excel).

Go back to the Meet Setup page and deactivate (right arrow) the past season meets!

That is all!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seasonal checklist

At the very beginning of a season:

Make sure your team past season data is cleaned. To do so, go to the Season Setup page and set the Status to Close. This will clear and archive all past season data. Then change the Status to Open.

Go to Team Setup and Season Setup pages to review all settings. Make necessary changes for the new season.

Go to the Other->Manage roles page and update roles for the new season.

Let me know of your admin changes (if any) so I can update the mailing list.

After all swimmers are registered:

If any families in the View families page is grayed out, please resolve them. This means that these families never verified their registration by clicking on the link sent to them in the registration email. Admins can help them to verify their accounts on this page by selecting the checkbox of the corresponding families and scroll to the bottom of the page, selection action "Lock / unlock (verify)" and then submit.

Generate the TSA required swimmer roster file. Go to Swimmers->View by criteria. Then click on Export "Roster" (upper right corner) and then download the file: TSA Swimmer Roster CSV File.

Download the TSTM Emergency file. Go to the Season setup page. Click on the red cross icon (upper right corner) and wait for the green download icon to appear. Click on the green download icon to save the zip file on your local computer. This zip file contains important team data (family list, volunteer info, swimmer roster and meet attendance) and can be very useful when the web site is unavailable. We hope you never need to use this file, but just like an insurance, it is better to have it in case the unexpected happens.

For teams using Hy-Tek, it is very important to synchronize the swimmer roster between TSTM and Hy-Tek. Please use directions here:

Freeze volunteer assignment/selection:

Two weeks before the first dual meet, you can freeze up the volunteer assignment/selection. Go to the Season Setup page and change the Status to Freeze to prevent members deselecting their assignment or selections. They can request switching jobs afterwards.

For teams using volunteer preference selection method (instead of first come first serve), there is an automatic volunteer assignment feature. Please take a look here. You need to freeze the season for families to see their assignment.

Before each dual meet:

Majority teams used TSTM's automatic lineup. If your team has new coaches or admins using the auto lineup and needing help, please use these instructions. They can email me directly if they have questions.

Print heat sheets and persoanl best time labels:

Invoice date:

6/20 is the invoice date and your team due will be finalized at 3AM. Please make sure you don't have duplicated swimmer registration before that time.  Invoice can be viewed in the Team Setup page (upper right corner). You can send in payment by check or Paypal (non-credit card payment). Payment is expected to be received on or before 7/20.

Late fees: Due to a growing number of teams paying late in recent years, we reluctantly introduced late fees to encourage teams paying on time. Your payment check will not be cashed before 7/20 no matter when it is received. If a payment is not received by 7/20, there will be a 5% late fee. Each additional month past due will have an increment of 1% late fees.

Admin guide:

Monday, July 21, 2014

TSTM meet result notification service sponsor program

TSTM (TSA Swim Team Manager) is the largest online swim team software system serving 15 TSA (Tarheel Swimming Association) swim teams in the 2014 season. We will start offering an email advertising service for our sponsor businesses in 2015. If you want to reach out to thousands of swimmer families and send your contact information through us, this is a great opportunity for you.

Here is how the advertising system works:

When swim meet results are entered into TSTM, emails are sent to the registered parents of the swimmers. At the top of the email message, it has the most up to date swimmer meet results. 3 pieces of your business information (business name, telephone number and web site or email address) are listed at the bottom of the message. The entire message is short enough to fit most email readers. Although such meet result notification emails are optional, 98% of the families remained subscribing to the service in the 2014 trial run. This provides a great channel to promote your business information to the majority of the swim team families. Your business information is estimated to be delivered to families (spread out in Wake county) for at least 2000 times which statistically covers every family subscribing to the meet result email service. These emails are typically sent in June and July months after swim meets so please signup early so we can set everything up for your business.

Your business information is expected to go to these teams (teams marked with a star, subject to change each year).

After signing up as a sponsor, we will create an account for you at Using this account, you can monitor the number of times your business information has been sent to families.  You can also update your business information to be delivered to families.

Please contact us at if you are interested in sponsoring TSTM.

Thank you!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Messaging in TSTM

Sending messages has always been a weak link in TSTM services, mostly because we depend on an external service to deliver the messages. Sometimes, thousands of mails are sent without issues but some other times, it just stops sending for no apparent reasons. Sending messages in time is very important for teams, such as during inclement weather. If you found TSTM is not sending messages, there is a feature to assist you to send the message from your own mail client. TSTM provides you with a list of addresses that you can plug into your email software. Here is how to do it.

Go to admin menu Other->Send messages.
Select your recipient criteria and click the "Show recipients" button.
On the new page, at the upper right corner (above the Subject field), there is a link called "Email address list". Right mouse click on the link and copy the addresses.
Go to your own email software and in the To, CC or BCC field (your choice), paste the address list.
Type your message there and send it!

This works for both email and text messages.

Although this is not as convenient as directly typing messages and sending within TSTM, it should be a good workaround.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Transfer from one team to another

As the number of teams using TSTM grows, more and more families have the need to switch from one team to another due to moving or changing clubs. In the past, all such requests are manually handled by me.  To facilitate such changes by all teams, a new feature has been implemented so that such team transfer can be accomplished between the transferring family and the new team administrators. Please save this link so you can refer to it when a family requests to be transferred to your team.

To securely transfer a family from one team to another, there are three steps needed.

1. The family goes to their Family information tab. At the lower right corner, there is a new drop down labeled "Transfer to". The family selects the new team they want to join and click the button "Go" on the right. An email will be sent out to the new team's administrators. BTW, this admin email address is set on the Team Setup page. Multiple emails can be set in that field delimited by commas.

2. When the new team admins receive such an email, s/he should validate if this request is true, not someone plays a hoax or accidental. The best way is probably through email or phone call. Once the admins confirm the request is legitimate, s/he should click on the link that is included in the transfer request email. The transfer is then approved and an email will be sent back to the family.

3. When the family receives the email from new team's admin, s/he should click on the link included in the email to complete the transfer. Note that the actual team transfer is done in the third step. The first two step hand-shake is just to make sure neither party makes any mistakes and the transfer is agreed by both parties.

In the past, all family transferred to a new team would lose their swimmer's past meet results. There is an improvement such that the past results will be carried over with the swimmer to the new team.