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What Online Registration Looks Like Today

What is your definition of registration? Is it tossing papers in a stack? Or, is it a process including collection, verification, and distribution? Historically, “registration” has been associated with completion of paperwork or online forms. But registration has evolved. Athletic Administrators must collect accurate information using a single system for parents, students, and staff; then ensure data rests in the right hands before a deadline or, worse, an emergency.

Do these changing demands require re-thinking registration?

We’ve discussed this question with hundreds of administrators. We documented registration successes, failures, requirements, and scenarios. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Create an end-to-end experience
    Confirm data can be collected from parents, verified by administrators, and delivered to staff and software required by your department, district, or state.

  2. Think about privacy, security, and endpoints
    Ask tough questions: How is data collected, stored, secured, and retained? Is data sold?

  3. Think like a promoter
    Inform parents and coaches with “How-To’s” and “Why’s” of your registration system.

  4. Think like a parent
    Collect data in the simplest way, providing power-users and technophobes convenience.


    1. Go Mobile
      Parents are on the go! Allow them to register and upload documents using their mobile devices.

    2. Enable Translation
      Lower the language barrier for parents and students who may not know english. 

  5. Think like a lawyer
    Demand a digital, time-stamped, paper trail so when parents make claims; you have evidence.

  6. Think like a caregiver
    Allow parents to update health conditions, or family situations, in real-time so your staff provides the best care for your athletes

Requirements, risk, and liability, are redefining registration. The measure of success is not a checkmark or a closed drawer, but the delivery of data to endpoints. Administrators of the past thought like file clerks. Today’s administrators must push themselves and their systems to think more like lawyers, insurance agents, and safety officers – creating a real-time, data-driven system within the department, considering the student experience, using data to make decisions, and measuring effectiveness based on outcomes. 

Online Forms for Schools