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Photo Id Cards In Youth Sports

Apr 27, 2008
When it comes to competitive play in any youth sport, everyone wants to be sure that the competition is playing by the rules. This is especially true when it comes to the eligibility of a player on another team whether it's the player's size, age, or jurisdiction. This is where photo ID cards come in as an excellent way to assist in regulating these factors.

Through an online tracking system and photo id cards for coaches and players a process can be created requiring documentation to only be checked once. In many cases, governing organizations are required to check the player's eligibility documents several times during the year. And in most cases for several years as the player continues in the sport. People want to be sure the opposing coach is playing by the rules so every time a team plays in any type of event, documentation has to be reviewed. And still the question remains; was the right documentation shown for the player that is on the field?

In creating a registration system, an organization can create a method of removing the eligibility paperwork out of the equation for most situations. A good registration system should track the individual all the way from their first event to the day the player graduates or leaves the program. In using documents such as birth certificates or other government issued documents, a player can be verified and added to the system. When a photo is attached to the registration and the player and coach have copies of the player's registration card, this card becomes proof that the individual is eligible to play. And yes, a coach or manager could provide misinformation or bad documents at the time of registration, but it won't be long before it's found out since the player carries the card as well. If a player slips through the cracks, someone from an opposing team will speak up and the problem can then be rectified on the system and then replace the card. In our history, through producing millions of ID cards for players, it has been a rare case that someone has provided intentional illegitimate information in the beginning. Let's face it, the coach is the one doing the registration and it's placing their name on the registration request and it's tracked!

Team Registration VS Individual Registration

Some organizations manage registrations by the team and others by the player. Initially, one of the main reasons teams were registered was because of the ease in tracking. Even an eleven man football team frequently has 25 participants. The difference in an organization of 200 teams is the ease in tracking the 200 teams as opposed to the 5,000 players.

Because of the registration solutions that have been developed today, there are benefits to registering the participants instead of just the teams. The advantages range on individual registration from getting better rates on liability insurance to tracking the participant's movements from team to team from year to year.

Incorporating background checks is another great thing that can be included in a good photo identification program. We are all aware that in today's society, there are bad people in the wrong places. As our children play in organized sports, it's critical to be sure that everyone on the playing field has been properly screened. We have watched several organizations begin to require their coaches and managers to wear photo identification badges whenever they are on the field. An effective registration system will only allow photo identification cards to be produced after individual has been through a background check.

Other items that can be added to a good registration system are enabling team and league management features. Since all of the player's information is captured in the registration system, these records can be utilized to assist league and tournament directors, as well as teams. Tools can be created to build rosters, schedule league and tournament play as well as administrative tools for the governing body all utilizing the same locked participants registration records. Not showing any information that could be viewed as confidential and only allowing the proper people under secure logins to access the personal information.

Yet another great reason to add a photo ID program to your organization is because of the branding and marketing it offers. For our customers, we suggest printing two cards for each participant; one for the coach to check-in players for events and the other for the player to have for themselves. It's their badge of honor displaying their own picture and your logo and organization name.

Ultimately, there are many reasons that you should consider doing photo ID cards for your organized sport if you presently are not, but the largest is probably the paperwork that will be saved and the mistakes that get caught early.
About the Author
Author of Personal Discipline: Tools for Consistent Success and founder of http://www.fullidentity.com and Virtual Tournament Director, Allen Richardson has been a leader in developing solutions for registration and ID cards for organizations for over seven years.
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