Thursday, May 24, 2012

Get ready for the meets!

Teams did really well during the registration process and all data are pretty much online now.  I hope the web site can boost your team management efficiency.  Keep adding the extra number of hours you would have spent working the traditional way :-).  I may do a survey at the end of the season.

At this time of the season, you may want to review the following,

1. check your family list to see if any family is still unverified (grayed out).  These families might have lost (or didn't know where to look for) the email to verify the account so they could not log in.  As a Super Admin, you can verify these accounts manually and email them to log in and complete the registration.  There are not many such accounts, so don't be surprised if you don't find any.

2. The meets will start in a few weeks.  When the time comes that you don't want families to freely change volunteer positions, you should lock the season (on Season Setup page).  Once locked, families can only request switching of a job.  The original family is still responsible for that position until another family takes it over.  You can review if all families signed up required number of jobs on the "View family" page.

3. Browse the admin area and get familiar with various export files to see which ones you can use through out the season.  It may save your team volunteers a lot of time to use such export files.  If you plan to use the automatic line up program, please also check out the auto generated meet sheets (blue and pink TSA forms).  These forms are new features so please let me know if you find anything unexpected.

4. Experiment the swimmer numbering methods and pick one that works for your team.  If your team needs a method that doesn't exist, please let me know.  Once you decide on a method, you may want to clean up all swimmer numbers for now because if a new swimmer registers now, many swimmer numbers can be shifted causing confusions to the families.

A few new features added.

1. The system now supports Meter to Yard results conversion.  It determines the type of the pool by team and the meet type.  For example, a Home meet for a team that has a Meter pool, it will automatically assume the meet results will be in Meter.  Meter results are converted and saved as Yard results.  This way, all results are comparable and can be used for lineup purpose regardless of what type of pool a meet was held.  I need input from teams with a Meter pool how you publish the results to the team.  Are they in Meter or converted Yard results?  It seems to me posting converted Yard results makes more sense because  swimmers can easily compare with other Yard pool results to see their progress.

2. There is a new basic Forum feature from the admin menu (Other->Forum).  This is intended for all team admins to share ideas and experiences about using the system and/or managing a TSA team in general.  At this time the forum threads are created by me.  If you think of an interesting topic that is not listed, please let me know and I will add it.  I'd appreciate it very much if you can spend a few moments to wrote a paragraph in the customer feedback thread.  I may use that as user testimonials and publish somewhere on the web site.  Thank you very much in advance!

3. Teams now can have an optional slide show (up to 7 images of identical size) on their home page.  The images will fade out and in during transition.  This is part of the premium options (free in 2012).  Manual set up is needed.

Some of you asked about how many teams are using the system.

There are 6 new teams joining this year in addition to the 3 teams that used the system in the past, total 9 teams so far.  I am really excited about the growth rate.  I hope more teams will adopt it in the future and reduce more team volunteers' workload.  If you like the system, please share the web site info with other TSA teams.  Your words weigh much more than mine.  Thank you!