Being a youth baseball or softball coach is no easy task. Coaches are expected to teach kids the fundamentals of the game, keep them in line, and keep the whole experience fun and positive. Yet the most difficult part of being a youth coach is often dealing with scheduling conflicts. League directors, coaches, and parents will likely experience more trouble finding a time to play than they will with any on-field issue.
Let’s just get this out of the way: there is never going to be a schedule that works for every single player, coach, and parent in your youth baseball or softball league. Okay, so how do we work with all of the relevant parties to reach the best schedule for all?
The key is communication. Any reasonable adult will understand that there are only so many fields and only so many time slots to go around. Not every game can be a home game on Saturday afternoon. Get an email list or get automatic notifications set up (more on this below) to keep everyone informed right away.
And yes, not everyone is going to be a reasonable adult. Before letting frustration take over, remember that scheduling can be stressful on both sides of the aisle. We are all in this together, and it would do us all good to remember that we are doing it for the kids!
Dealing with Scheduling Conflicts in Youth Baseball
Scheduling conflicts are not always as simple as double booking a field. Many coaches and youth baseball players are active participants in multiple leagues, wires get crossed, and any number of other circumstances can lead to conflicts.
Again, this is where automation truly shines. Where a human being cannot possibly be expected to remember every individual and field’s availability, a computer will.
If a conflict does arise, the league director must decide whether or not that conflict warrants a reschedule. No doubt the impacted party will prefer to reschedule, but the other parents and coaches may have already altered their plans to accommodate the game or practice time. Communication with all parties in a swift and clear manner will allow everyone to speak their mind and ultimately reach the best conclusion as a group.
Rescheduling Cancelled Softball Games
Baseball and softball game cancellations are extremely common, particularly in the wet spring months. Here are some useful tips on rescheduling canceled games and practices:
Reschedule as quickly as possible. The only thing worse than a cancelled game is a cancelled game without any resolution. Parents and coaches need to alter their plans in advance to be available for a makeup.
Try and keep the times consistent. If a game was scheduled at 7 pm, try to reschedule the makeup game for 7 pm. If the game was a Sunday game, try to reschedule on a Sunday. Obviously, this is not always possible, but it is preferable.
Avoid clustering games and practices too close together. Consider how many games and practices are taking place in a certain month, week, or even handful of days. Schedules can get back loaded when multiple cancellations occur. Schedulers should make every effort to keep things reasonably spread out.
Use automated scheduling software. Yep, we are bringing this up again. Even for the most technophobic amongst us, quality scheduling software is cheap (some is free) and easy to use.
Automating the Baseball Calendar this Year
There is no getting around the fact that automated scheduling software is faster and more convenient than the old school methods. Even if the league director prefers to work things out manually, inputting those manual decisions into an automated calendar for all to see is empirically superior.
Some key reasons why we recommend automating your baseball or softball schedule include:
Parents are able to easily register players for the upcoming season.
The ability to instantly notify all coaches, players, and parents of the schedule.
Immediate update notifications should any information change.
The software will store all information regarding field availability, dates, and times.
Many programs also provide standings and other league information.
Many programs allow parents and coaches to input player information, contact information, and more.
The decision of whether or not to use scheduling software is entirely up to the league administrator(s). We do believe that automating the calendar makes life easier for everyone involved.
Learn Youth Baseball Skills with Hustle Training
Pittsburgh startup Hustle Training is quickly rising to one of the most popular sports drill apps out there. Their website, along with their mobile app puts players and coaches at the top of their game by providing skilled workouts and drills crafted by coaches, trainers, and professional athletes, and informative articles to take your team to the next level.