January 15, 2020
Iowa Soccer Community,
Several months ago, a natural opportunity arose for our staff to evaluate club and association management platforms when current provider Stack Sports/U.S. Soccer Connect made a business decision that will bring a platform change to all its clients starting Fall 2020.
Our team wants to deliver on our commitment to employ an integrated technology solution for members that will bring all functions of club/association management, competitions management, registration/billing, risk management, referee assigning/management and coaches into the same technology environment. Over the last four months, we have dug in and researched the leading options in the market to find the solution that was equal parts proven and integrated.
Effective Fall 2020 | DEMOSPHERE!
Our research and testing have led us to partner with Demosphere, who has a proven and integrated technology platform. Demosphere will provide a fully integrated sports management solution to Iowa Soccer, to member clubs (and those who run them ??), to the referee and coach communities and to league and tournament directors.
Here are some key highlights of the Demosphere experience:
- It’s an integrated and streamlined online registration solution for clubs that syncs youth and adult player, coach and team registration data with the state-level database (Iowa Soccer) and with U.S. Soccer’s National Data Center.
- Management of background checks and all risk management and compliance needs for coaches and referees in support of our player safety priorities. This will be integrated with Safe Sport training and with concussion education/training through the Center for Disease Control.
- Integration with U.S. Soccer’s Digital Learning Center for coaches and for referees.
- Robust reporting features that will enable members and our organization to make data-driven decisions.
- An integrated league and tournament registration, scheduling and communication platform to streamline registration and roster management for the multiple leagues, cups and events Iowa Soccer hosts annually. Externally, parents and fans of teams will enjoy schedules/results and communications within a single environment.
- In addition, clubs opting in to Demosphere's club platform will be able to take advantage of this same scheduling technology for all club-hosted recreational leagues at no additional cost to the club (a benefit negotiated for our clubs).
- A sophisticated referee management tool integrated with our competitions, allowing for a better workflow between competition directors, referee assignors and referees.
What does this mean for members and what are the next steps?
- We’ll be using a proven, integrated platform and saying goodbye to the days of using multiple providers, platforms and tools.
- Enjoy a reliable, modern, convenient and improved Iowa Soccer experience
- Full implementation set to begin effective the Fall 2020 season
- For spring 2020 season, there are no changes
- U.S. Soccer Connect will continue to be our provider for all player, coach, and team management. Nothing will change in terms of pass and roster processes for this spring.
- Connecting with the Demosphere team
- In the coming weeks, Demosphere team members will be contacting your organization regarding its club platform, features and pricing.
- Please make sure to ask them about the free use of the competitions scheduling tool, a benefit negotiated for our members opting in to the club platform.
- If you are attending the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore starting tomorrow (1/16/20)
- Demosphere is available to talk with you, just stop by booth #1119
- At our Iowa Soccer Symposium February 29, 2020
- Demosphere will be a presenter and vendor. Stay tuned for more information about connecting with Demosphere at the Symposium.
- Training and updates via email
- Please regularly check your club email address for messages from Iowa Soccer in the coming weeks/months. We’ll push out information about implementation steps, training environments and dates, on-boarding guides, competitions and referee integration steps, and overall guidance and updates through this transition.
- An opportunity for your club to evaluate a new club management tool
- We have always believed, and still do, that clubs are best positioned to determine the management tools that work best for them. Our partnership with Demosphere has associated benefits for your club and for Iowa Soccer, and we encourage you to set aside time to assess if the Demosphere club platform is a good solution for you. Our testing and evaluation of the multiple products in the market was done with clubs in mind and we do believe that it stands above other products and therefore ask that your club take a test drive and make its own determination. As always if you choose a different platform, we’ll have a way for you to input your club’s data into the state level platform.
Tackling Adversity, Appreciating You
Being involved in soccer, whether it’s as a player, coach, or someone behind the scenes helping his or her club…well, it offers lessons that go beyond the field. Dealing with unforeseen obstacles and pushing through the adversity is a big one, as is relying on each other for support and execution – teamwork!
Two years ago, we asked a lot of you in the transition from an outdated tool to a new platform – which, unfortunately, has not delivered as billed. You put in extra hours to learn the system and even more hours in dealing with its shortcomings. Your effort in the face of adversity hasn’t gone unnoticed – our staff sees you and we all appreciate your dedication, persistence and effort!
In the coming months we’re going to ask you to push through the adoption of an established platform that is equal parts proven and integrated. The experienced Demosphere team will be there to lead you through training and our team will be prepared to jump in and help as well.
So, keep an eye out for updates and reminders – from Demosphere and us. Give us a shout if you need help answering questions or need any support as you evaluate and test the Demosphere club platform and scheduling functions.
The fall 2020 Iowa Soccer experience begins today. An integrated and proven solution that brings our soccer communities closer together to create the best possible soccer experience for all involved.
The team at Iowa Soccer