We always try to give credit and thanks to the parents, coaches and volunteers who keep youth sports teams running. It’s a big job with little thanks and it is most certainly a labor of love, but without their help organized youth sports just wouldn’t be possible! But we too often forget to thank one other group of people without whom youth sports would fall apart—the league administrator. This person isn’t on the field like a coach or official. They aren’t on the sidelines cheering on the team. You might never actually meet them face-to-face, but they are the ones working to ensure your child has a sports team to join this season!
League Administrators Handle More than Paperwork
Imagine you had 500 individual athletes that wanted to play football this season. You have to keep track of 500 registration forms, 500 forms of payment (cash, check, credit card, etc.), order uniforms and equipment for 500 kids, manage field maintenance projects, create the actual teams and assign coaches, schedule practice times and games equally, deal with angry sports parents, absent coaches and more. That’s an immense amount of work for one person (or if they are lucky, a small office) to handle. The league administrator is really the one keeping the wheels on the bus! If they don’t do their jobs than the whole season grinds to a halt because kids don’t have coaches, coaches won’t have fields and tournaments won’t have schedules.
Even if they move everything into an online registration system, a large sports league might have hundreds, if not thousands of players spread across 6 or 7 different sports (if not more). There are so many moving parts to keep track of and they have to do it season after season.
League Administrators Add an Extra Line of Defense
It pains us to think that predators use youth sports to find and groom new victims. And while keeping our children safe is never just one person’s responsibility, league administrators put up one extra road block in keeping predators out of our sports leagues. Provided they run background checks on every single person that comes into your league, including coaches, officials, grounds keepers and more, they keep a lot of predators at bay by never letting them into the league in any capacity. League administrators should also be working with professionals to create guidelines, policies and protocols for handling allegations of sexual, physical, or verbal abuse that put the safety of the player above all else.
We know that every year there are a few disappointing stories of league administrators caught stealing funds from the sports league, but just like we hear about verbally abusive coaches and parents getting into fights on the sidelines, we can’t let a few bad apples ruin the reputation of a group of truly amazing people! The next time you stop by your league’s office to be sure to give this folks your thanks.