Owning or leasing a facility requires club directors to operate on a year-round basis, including lessons, camps, clinics, leagues and team practices. This doesn’t include the off peak times when other programs such as pickleball, senior activities, and dodgeball can utilize court space to generate extra revenue.
Due to growth in participation and offerings, as well as the desire to streamline club operations, what may have worked well for your administrative staff three to five years ago may not work anymore. There are numerous apps and software programs for organizing court schedules. However, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to use, and what information to share internally vs externally.
Whether your club utilizes three courts or as many as 12 courts, here are four solutions for organizing and managing your court and facility schedule:
1. Google Calendar
Carolina Union uses Google Calendar since it was the easiest app for them to implement internally, as well as with their coaching staff. Associate Director Abby Hayes feels it’s simple to share and most coaches were already using google calendars on their phone for personal use. The club also uses Google Calendar to block off any club events/practices so everyone has access to view the schedule and see what is happening in the gym.
CUVC has some ground rules that are shared with their coaching staff, for example, lessons end 15 minutes prior to a scheduled practice. Since the facility has six courts, there can never be more than six courts booked at a time. The only duplicate tasks required of the administrative staff are inputting into the calendar and creating events/registrations in the club’s team/event operating system, LeagueApps. CUVC rent their courts to a local adult league for a big source of income. The league organizers do all the scheduling and communication for the league, and rent the courts after 7:30 on Wednesdays, Fridays and some Saturdays. The only thing the club staff need to do is adjust the nets to men’s height.
Since 2008 Triangle Volleyball Club has used Google Calendar when scheduling its eight indoor courts and three sand courts. The club utilizes different calendars (and colors) for different programs/events. For practices, the calendar lists every court occupant, so it is easy to see that the facility is full. For all other events, the club simply indicates the number of courts in the title [i.e. Court rental (2 courts)].
This year, Triangle integrated their operating system, TeamWorks with Google Calendar, which has been convenient in terms of communicating the schedule to the teams. Below is a ‘typical week’ during the club season. Note: the 15s to 18s girls teams no longer have color indication due to the TeamWorks integration. Brown events are admin and not visible except to the club’s administration. Purple events are all created and viewable via both Google Calendar and TeamWorks.
Below is a screen shot of Triangle’s website that is public facing for parents and athletes to see.
2. Google Sheets
A5 Volleyball plans their facility’s 14 court assignments as much as six to eight months in advance for all teams and programming in Google Sheets. Their schedule revolves around master coaching, individual practices, tournaments, lessons, camps, clinics, and extracurricular activities such as badminton, throwball, etc. The only people that have access to make edits to the schedule are office staff. The coaches have to make request to use a court or make a change to the schedule.
Although the schedule is made far in advance, there can be adjustments made closer to the actual date, and those edits are made in the Google Sheet. For example, the staff may decide a month in advance that they need to cancel master coaching because of a long weekend tournament weekend. Always looking to improve their operations, A5 has been on the hunt for a program that’s simple and has a video presentation for inside the facility.
One year ago Minnesota Select just switched over to the platform Skedda for all of their court bookings. With eight courts to manage, Associate Director Kayla Cole says it has been an absolute life changer. Previously, she tracked everything on Google Sheets and it required someone to manually update it, and it just became too much of a hassle. With Skedda the administrators can block out practices and have overall control of the platform. Coaches have a personal login to use in order to book their own time for lessons. The coaches can then pay for courts on the platform or in person. There is an option to charge the consumer immediately when they use the space as well.
Northeast Volleyball Club uses a combo of Google sheets and Schedulicity for their court scheduling, however, after moving into a new six court facility from their previous three court facility, they are looking for a more efficient way to keep calendars internally as an organization and externally for each team. Northeast VBC uses Google calendars to share the schedule externally with their teams. Director Cat Dailey admits that they struggle with what to share/not share and the best software/app to use in order to become more efficient and more transparent with their court schedule.
The court schedule includes renting to a local Pickleball Association Monday-Thursday from 8:00-11:00AM. It brings in additional income and more people in the gym when it was empty. The club staff is only responsible for putting down pickleball lines.
Time management for club directors and administrators is essential, especially during the club season. As your club continues to grow and evolve your programming, there will be some things that you will naturally outgrow, and it is common to entertain different options that may help streamline the court scheduling process. If you have a solution that works for your club, we’d love to know about it. Please share it with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Briana Schunzel is the Director of Marketing, Education and Partner Development for the JVA. She enjoys interacting with passionate junior volleyball club directors and coaches on a daily basis, as well as building relationships with partners who share the same vision and goals as the JVA, and are all about giving back to the juniors. Bri has 15 years of coaching experience at the grade school level all the way through the college level. She was a four year starting setter at Ohio University from 2001 to 2004, where she garnered All-American and Conference Player of the Year honors. She then continued her career competing professionally in Paris, France.