Just to the west of Baltimore lies the small town of Catonsville, Maryland, where community plays a strong role and history runs deep. With its large array of parks, it’s no surprise that there's a dense soccer population eager to take to the field.
Catonsville Youth Soccer is just one of the many sports offered by the Catonsville Rec & Parks Council, with soccer accounting for 1,400 of their 5,000+ participants. These participants range from four to 17 years old, across 16 different sports and activities, including traditional sports such as soccer, baseball, and lacrosse to non-traditional organized activities like square dancing and frisbee—all with the goal of engaging the community.
“We want to keep the community active in a forward way,” says Natalie Powell, who does computer system validation by trade, but also serves as the President of the Catonsville Rec & Parks Council. “The whole purpose is to keep the kids involved and active. We want to give them something to do, so when they go to school, they know somebody; when they go out in the neighborhood, they know somebody. Overall, just to bring everybody together.”
With registration just a few days away, Natalie knew she didn’t have much time to waste. “We were under contract with another solution, and they could not configure the registration the way that we wanted. And they weren't meeting timelines. So I needed something really quick, really fast,” says Natalie. It was crucial that she find a solution that gave her full control to quickly get registration across the finish line. She couldn’t risk having to go back and forth with a provider just to set up, configure and give approval on the registration form.
Also, as someone who configures software for a living, Natalie knew that there had to be a better way of handling certain registration cases, such as giving parents the option to register their kids for the recreational league, while also opting in to try out for the travel program. “We didn’t have the control. The solution provider we were using, as massive as they claimed to be, wasn’t able to do very simple things for us, like the way we wanted to set up registration,'' says Natalie.
“I was able to purchase the league, configure my registration—very intuitive—and go live in a matter of an hour and a half. It was awesome!” — NATALIE POWELL
Natalie knew that many of their individual teams were already using the TeamSnap app for rostering and scheduling, which made the transition that much smoother once she decided to move forward.
“All those rosters, teams and schedules fell into the league, which is really great for me, because then I can schedule something globally,” says Natalie. Even the teams saw a huge financial benefit with Catonsville Youth Soccer investing in the all-in-one solution. “It works out better for the teams because the organization is picking up the cost; it's actually less expensive per team per season.”
Although Natalie had looked around at alternative options, the level of responsiveness and support with TeamSnap really stood out for her. “I looked around, obviously, at a couple of other things. And the fluidity just wasn't there. The communication wasn't there.”
Most importantly, Natalie was able to get registration out on time, with full control. “I was able to purchase the league, configure my registration—very intuitive—and go live in a matter of an hour and a half. It was awesome!”
Using TeamSnap for registration has given Catonsville Youth Soccer the level of control that they desired and allows them to provide registrants the option to manage everything they need via one form.
Catonsville Rec & Parks Council has now extended the registration solution to their full array of sports and activities, and they are taking advantage of TeamSnap’s invoicing solution to collect varying dues on a team-by-team basis. It gives Natalie the ability to drill down and send invoices to a whole team, to an individual player or even exclude a player on scholarship.
The control and ease-of-use that Natalie now has with TeamSnap has given her a sense of comfort. “I used to have anxiety without it because I had to rebuild the entire platform every year,” she said.
“I guess the best way to explain it to people is: who trained you to use Facebook? Nobody. You just figured it out. Similarly, I didn’t need training to use TeamSnap, I just figured it out because it is that intuitive.”