From the Desk of Gordon Henderson
Ohio South Youth Soccer
January 10, 2020
RE: You Talked – We Listened!
As we launched our member survey at the end of 2019 and presented the results at the recent OSYSA Annual General Meeting on January 5, we want you to know;
“You talked…. and we have listened”
Accordingly, we would like to announce the following registration platform changes for the 2020-2021 seasonal year.
Competitive Leagues & Clubs:
Spring 2020: All leagues & clubs will remain on the Stack US Soccer Connect platform.
Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 Season: Ohio South will be moving from the Stack Sports/ US Soccer Connect registration platform to Demosphere. This registration platform will be mandated for all competitive leagues and clubs.
Why the Change?
There were several major driving factors, with one of the largest being that the current US Soccer Connect platform as we all know it is going away – completely.
Last year, Stack acquired Blue Sombrero and Affinity – taking two major registration platform competitors out of the game and changing their name from Stack to Sports Connect. The decision was then made by Sports Connect that after the 2020 spring season ends, the US Soccer Connect platform is to be sunsetted (meaning no longer available with no further upgrades to it). This meant that regardless of if Ohio South stayed with Sports Connect, they would be moving all clients to the Blue Sombrero or the Affinity platform. In short, change would be coming for everyone in some fashion, whether we wanted it or not. There were also cost increases from Sports Connect which we were uncomfortable with. We saw a potential opportunity – again, based on your feedback – to evaluate other platform providers to see if they can fit the needs of our clubs, leagues, and State office better.
In December, we invited Demosphere and GotSoccer to present demos of their platforms in our office. We then reached out to all league and club registrars with an invitation to come and see these demos. Stack Sports presented their product at our AGM in January. Thank you to all who participated in the in-person demo and presentation sessions with Stack Sports, Demosphere and GotSoccer, and provided valuable feedback to us on each one. We also thank those who participated in the OSYSA member survey as well as those who gave us feedback in person at the AGM.
You talked…. we listened. The feedback was clear that you wanted a change. This must be a ‘one-system-for-all’ due to player carding, transfers, and USYS rules specific to competitive players. Demosphere’ s platform should deliver improvement regarding roster management, payment processing, and payment plans - all of which should see a significant upgrade.
Spring 2020: All recreational leagues will remain on the Stack US Soccer Connect platform.
Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 Season(s): Recreational league members will have the freedom to select the registration platform of their choice. The big three are Demosphere, GotSoccer and Sports Connect (formerly Blue Sombrero).
Why the Change?
Feedback from you! You talked … we listened.
The use of a unified system for all was done with the right intent. However, the Stack Sports system was just not working for you. Your needs are different from the competitive leagues, you don’t have players cards, and operate under less strict rules from USYS, so we wanted to give you the flexibility to run your league as you see fit.
How will this work?
Option 1: As the State Association will be moving to the Demosphere platform, this will be the platform that is ‘the recommended provider’ for all recreational leagues.
Why? As before, the Risk Management system will be completely integrated (Lindsay’s Law, Concussion Education, Safesport, background check) and the State office will be taking this off your plate and giving you all the assistance, you need.
Option 2: If a recreational league chooses to go with another provider, that is ok – however we will ask that a Risk Management certification letter is signed that indicates the league is in full compliance.
Why? Our approved vendor list (Demosphere, Stack/Sports Connect) will have all of the Risk Management requirements integrated into the registration process (Lindsay’s Law, Concussion Education and Safesport), but that information stops with you – that is why you will need to self-certify. GotSoccer will let us know in the next few days if they are able to provide this for Fall 2020. In addition, background checks will still need to be done through the OSYSA vendor…. we will report the results back to you.
It’s an extra step, but for those leagues that have a strong preference to another provider, it does give you that flexibility, while we are all able to solve the Risk Management process which is so critical today.
In summary, one of my priority goals is to improve communications with our entire membership. Expect more detailed information on this and other important topics in the coming weeks, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
You talked…. We listened!
Thank you for all you do. I am excited about the future and look forward to continuing to work with each of you to make OSYSA an even better organization for everyone.
If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the OSYSA Membership Services Director, Joe Gould or phone the office: (513) 576 - 9555.
Follow-up to Announcement (Rec)
Follow-up to Announcement (Comp)
Demosphere Press Release