If you know you will be manager before the initial team meeting (usually occurs in early July), it is useful to attend the meeting and take notes that you can distribute later to the team families - this helps parents that could not attend, and also creates a written summary of the meeting that people can refer to later if needed. A sheet is handed out at the team meeting that outlines the program, including tournaments - hold on to this sheet, as you will need it to know what tournaments are coming up and overall schedules.
At the beginning of the season there are usually a variety of items that need to be taken care of to get the team ready for the new year. You will normally receive a team contact list from the Club in late July - this will indicate each team player along with their family contact information. It is helpful to the coach and the other families if you create and distribute a condensed contact sheet from this list that has each player name, and their parents names and phone numbers. You will also want to create an e-mail list that you can use to send e-mail to the entire team.
Prior to the start of league play you will receive a official league roster from the Club listing all of the players, their names and league ID numbers, and their player numbers. A copy of this document is usually required at league games and when registering the team for tournaments. Player passes will be created by the Club (the Club will contact the parents directly and ask for the necessary information to create each pass). When they are ready you will be contacted about where to pick them up. It is very important to keep track of the passes, as they are required for league play and must be given to the referees prior to each game. Remember to pick them up after the game, and to get substitute player passes back to the corresponding team manager if your team is using substitute players from another team.
Medical releases are required of all players, and these must be collected from the parents at the beginning of the season prior to the first practice. Each league has it's own medical release (typically), so make sure you get the correct form to the parents (these will be available as links on the Club website, so you can direct your parents to get the forms there). You will need to keep track of these releases. You should bring copies with you to games (although they are not required to be shown), and they will be required for tournaments (although tournaments often have their own releases that must be signed).
The Club will handle scheduling of all league games. If there is a reschedule window, which is typical after the publication of the provisional schedule, then you may request one or more games be rescheduled (the league will contact you with instructions, but typically rescheduling a game involves coming to an agreement with the other team manager on a new date and time, and then informing the league of the change). Check with the coach to make sure that the schedule is okay (he/she should already have approved it, but check anyway). If you know that a certain date will not work for a large number of families, then you may want to try and reschedule games on that date. You will need to involve the coach in these decisions, since it needs to work with his/her schedule. You will also need to make sure that referees are available, so check with the Club referee coordinator, and let the Club administrator know of the change.
Since you will be required to pay referees at league games, the Club will send you a check for the expected total amount prior to the start of the season, as well as information on how much to pay for each referee per game (each team is responsible for half of the total for a game). You will typically want to separate out the payment for each referee into its own envelope with the amount marked on the outside, so that when you hand over the documentation at the game the referees will know who gets what envelope.
You will likely want to set up a team fund via an assessment on the parents to pay for incidentals, coach travel, etc., that are not covered by the program fees. How much you ask from each family depends on the tournament schedule and other factors, but typically from $25 to $50 is reasonable, and you can return any unspent funds at the end of the season. Keep track of all deductions from the team fund so that you can account for expenditures and know what you owe to parents, or when you need to make an additional assessment. Things that typically come out of the team fund are coach travel to tournaments, optional indoor sessions, optional tournaments, captains armbands, etc.
League games typically require the presentation of player passes, an official roster, a game report, and your team's portion of the referee pay, all to the referees prior to the game. Usually the referees will keep the documentation for the league records. They will also hold on to the passes until the end of the game, when they will be returned to you. Players cannot play if they do not have a pass, or you do not provide their pass to the referee. When you have substitute players, remember to add their names and other information to the official roster so that they can play in the game, and make sure to get their passes from their team manager.
If the referee determines that the jerseys for the two teams are too similar, it is incumbent on the home team to switch to their away jersey, so make sure to remind parents that players should always bring both jerseys to home games (it is a good practice to have both jerseys at all games).
If you are the home team, then you may be responsible for recording the score of the game on the league website (this is the case for WYSA, for example). This usually requires that you log in to a particular web page and enter the data. If this is required, you will be given login credentials and instructions by the league.
If the game is cancelled due to weather, then it will be necessary to reschedule it for a later date, and this is done via negotiation with the other team manager. Once a new date/time has been established, you inform the league of the change so they can update the global schedule. As with any rescheduling activity, make sure you check with the coach, the referee coordinator, and the club administrator prior to finalizing the change.
As manager you are technically the backup to the coach for the game itself, meaning that if the coach(es) for whatever have to leave the game, you can fill in as necessary. Not to worry - this is a very rare circumstance indeed, but it has happened and is useful to keep in mind.
The tournaments that your team is to attend are listed on the program sheet that is handed out at the initial team meeting. Attending a tournament requires several steps:
Coach Travel Expenses
Tournaments and league games will sometimes require travel for which the associated coaches must be compensated for expenses (see Mequon Soccer Club Travel & Living Expense Policy document). Typically these expenses are the responsibility of the teams involved in the event, and often there are multiple teams and coaches so some coordination is required to determine the amount owed by each team for coach travel compensation. As a team manager you will be expected to help in this coordination and ensure that you contribute your portion of the coach travel reimbursement. A team fund helps with these expenses, but you can also assess the parents separately for each event once you know what the expenses will be.
Things to consider/remember include:
1. The total coach travel reimbursement amount is a combination of lodging, per-diem, and mileage. These should be computed, collected from the teams, and distributed to the coaches BEFORE the event. The reason to disburse these funds before travel is that some coaches may not be able to pay for their expenses out of their own pockets.
2. Hotel rooms sometimes take special consideration. Some coaches do not have or carry credit cards, and since most hotels require a credit card imprint during the check-in process, even if the coach has cash to pay for the room he/she may not be able to check in. For this reason it is a good idea to check with the hotel in advance to determine their check-in policy, and to make arrangements accordingly.