The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

ASA/USA Complex of the Year 2014 !

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Arrowhead Park in Broken Arrow, Okla.

named 2014 ASA/USA Complex of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY —After hosting two ASA/USA National Championships this year, including the inaugural 2014 ASA/USA Girl’s 16U Gold National Championship, Arrowhead Park in Broken Arrow, Okla. has been selected as the 2014 Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America/USA Softball Complex of the Year presented by Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. Announced today by ASA/USA Softball, Arrowhead Park will receive their award at the 83rd ASA/USA Annual Meeting in Reno, Nev. and will also receive approximately $2,000 in field maintenance products from Stabilizer Solutions.

“Arrowhead Park stepped up to the plate this year as hosts of the first-ever ASA/USA 16U Gold,” said Chris Sebren, ASA/USA Director of Championships. “With less than a year to plan the 48-team tournament, the staff and city’s efforts to create a first-class experience for the fans and athletes shows just how deserving of this award they truly are.”

Previous award winners include the Charlie McVay Complex (Roswell, N.M.) in 2013, the Botetourt Sports Complex (Botetourt County, Va.) in 2012, the James I. Moyer Sports Complex (Salem, Va.) in 2011, Veterans Park and Athletic Complex (College Station, Texas) in 2010, Heritage Park Softball Complex (St. Joseph, Mo.) in 2009, Twin Creeks Softball Complex (Woodstock, Ga.) in 2008 and Freedom Ridge Park Complex (Ridgeland, Miss.) in 2007. The Field of Dreams Complex (Las Cruces, N.M.) won the inaugural 2006 award.

“Oklahoma ASA is honored to have Arrowhead Park in Broken Arrow to be named the 2014 ASA Complex of the Year,” said Oklahoma ASA Junior Olympic (JO) Commissioner Carolyn Shafer. “Broken Arrow Girls Softball has been a long time supporter of ASA. Thank you to the staff of Broken Arrow Girls Softball for making this award possible.”

Built in 1995 as an eight-field complex, Arrowhead Park underwent a renovation in 2013 that included the addition of four fields to bring their total to 12. Staffed and operated by the Broken Arrow Girls Softball League, the complex sits of 30 acres and features a walking trail and park just outside the fields. Inside the ballpark, each field offers covered spectator seating, covered dugouts for the athletes and coaches, digital scoreboards and a PA system. In addition to the covered seating, the complex features two gazebos at each grouping of fields for spectators to watch the action on four different fields. Fans also have access to free wireless internet at the complex.

“Congratulations to all those who have helped Arrowhead Park join the ranks of Complex of the Year award winners,” said Jon Hubbs, President of Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. “It is obvious that their success comes from dedication to providing not only top fields for play, but a true overall experience for players and spectators alike. We look forward to their continued success and innovative practices.”

Most recently, Arrowhead Park hosted the inaugural ASA/USA Girls’ 16U Gold National Championship, which was held July 21-26. Eight of the fields were utilized for game play while the remaining four fields were dedicated solely as warm up areas for teams. All fields of play offered free online stats during the weeklong National Championship, while Field 1 offered free live streaming. Arrowhead Park also held the ASA/USA Girls’ 18U Class A Southern National Championship July 13-19.

About ASA
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.

Codi Warren, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Amateur Softball Association of America/USA Softball
Office 405.425.3431 | Cell 405. 420. 2817

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“SODA is an Allied Member of ASA/USA Softball since 1983”

Sports Facility Operations: Automated and Streamlined !

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As I train sports facility owners and managers on how to set up their businesses with eSoft Planner online scheduling software, they often tell me specifically how their facility operates and expect the system to conform to their operations exactly.

In reality, you’re not likely to find a system that can replicate your operations in every way. Some flexibility is required when you’re automating your operations with a software program. This automation always saves time and money in the long run compared to scheduling by hand or using an Excel spreadsheet, so it’s definitely worth making a few tweaks – either to the software or to the systems in place at your sports facility.

In fact, existing facilities that are starting to use a new software program have a good opportunity to re-evaluate operational practices. Keep in mind that most sports facility scheduling software is built to accommodate the operations at a majority of sports facilities. If your own scheduling practices deviate wildly from the norm, it’s worth considering the benefits of the alternatives that are presented to you, especially because it’s difficult to change your software once it’s already been set up.

I typically get pushback during the setup process when facilities want to be more lenient with their customers than the system suggests. eSoft Planner, in particular, was built specifically to help sports facilities save money by preventing lost revenue due to last-minute cancellations and no-shows by requiring upfront payment at your sports facility. If clients are used to paying for private lessons when they show up for that lesson, they might not like upfront payment at first, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get used to it. (eSoft Planner does allow sports facilities to set aside time without payment – but we don’t encourage it!)

However, if your software system can’t do something that you’ve determined is important to your clients and your bottom line, there are usually minor workarounds that can be achieved. Software systems and sports facilities may use different language to descripbe the similar services and operations. When setting up your facility software, everything boils down to how and when you require your clients to pay for their services.

For example, in eSoft Planner, you can:

*  charge clients regularly each month for services to be used that month (referred to as a “membership”),

*  have a client pay up front for a group of services that need to be used before an expiration date (referred to as a “package”)
*  have a client pay upfront to enroll in a series of group lessons all at once (referred to as a “camp”)
*  have a client pay for group lessons, one at a time (we set these up as “classes”)

One recent client balked at the restrictions because his facility had defined “sessions” that started on the same date each month for everyone and had a pre-determined number of classes in each. Since eSoft Planner’s “memberships” can start on any day of the month, he wasn’t sure the software was a good fit.

However, we quickly determined that clients starting mid-session could just purchase the remaining lessons in the session as “classes.” They could purchase a “package” if they just wanted to pay for one month, and if they wanted to auto enroll in future sessions, a “membership” would work.
Remember to be open minded and work with your software provider to come up with the bests solution for your sports facility.

If you have any questions about how you can make scheduling at your facility more efficient, I’d be happy to set up a consultation session with you.

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