What Online Registration Looks Like Today
By Clay Burnett, CEO, FinalForms, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
5. Think like a lawyer
Demand a digital, time-stamped, paper trail so when parents make claims; you have
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.