7 Tips for Successful Game Administration

It’s Friday night during basketball season and like most Christian schools you’re hosting four home games. Even though you’re the athletic director, you’re also probably coaching at least one of the teams. Nights like this are filled with responsibilities that start around 1:00 pm and last until well after the final buzzer sounds. Nights like these will kill you eventually (or at least give you an ulcer). Take some of the burden off by recruiting a game administrator.

Game administration is a big part of an athletic director’s job. If you’re at a bigger school, then you’re probably able to be the game administrator at most sporting events, since you don’t coach as many teams. However, many Christian school AD’s also coach at least one team every season.

Currently at VBA I wear the following hats: teacher, athletic director, weekday gym custodian, cross country coach, volleyball assistant, junior high basketball coach, varsity boys basketball, track and field assistant. We’re looking to add baseball in the near future, and I will more than likely be the one spearheading that venture.

I have all these responsibilities on top of being first and foremost a husband and a father. I don’t say these things to brag; I share them with you because I know that many of you are in similar situations.

We don’t do it all ourselves, though. We all have terrific coaches and volunteers to help us get things done.

 

However, many AD’s (myself included) have a severe problem with delegation.

 

We can’t do it all ourselves. If we can’t find other people to coach our teams, then the easiest way to relieve some stress from the job is to appoint game administrators.

Michael Hyatt is a blogger that devotes much of his platform to helping equip leaders with tools and tips to be as productive, efficient, and happy as possible. Hyatt has so many valuable articles, books, podcasts, and resources. I’ve recently come across his advice on delegation.

Hyatt advocates finding things that you currently do that other people can handle. Once you’ve identified these things, offload them to those that you trust to handle them.

After looking over my responsibilities, I’ve found that game administration is something that can definitely be given to a parent volunteer or another staff member.

Eventually, I would love to hand over most of my coaching duties to others that are more qualified and more passionate about the sport. This will give me more time to focus on athletic director administration and advancing our athletic department. Additionally, it will give the athletes better coaching.

So if you’re in need of delegating your game administration to someone else, here are seven thoughts on what they need to do. If you’re the game administrator, see what you could be doing and please give us your feedback on what else should be on this list.

 

The game administrator should not be coaching that day.

This doesn’t mean they can’t be a coach. They just shouldn’t be involved in coaching that day. You’ll need someone without a dog in the fight to distract them or cloud their judgment. This will allow them to devote their time to making sure the event goes smoothly.

 

The game administrator should greet the officials.

This was one of the biggest issues that officials had with Christian schools in general. Many times they arrive at the venue and have no idea where to go. This should be a priority for the game administrator. Have them greet the officials, show them where to go, and offer any additional services.

 

The game administrator should monitor the facilities.

Nothing like having a mom come up to you on the volleyball bench and tell you that a toilet in the ladies’ room is overflowing. This would be a job for the game administrator. Things like making sure the restrooms have paper products or keeping the water coolers on the bench full are little things that need to be done.

 

The game administrator should record scores and fill out game reports.

After each game, have the game administrator fill out the game report and submit it to you. This is a whole lot easier than trying to hunt down scorebooks on Monday morning or trying to remember the score yourself.

 

The game administrator should collect (and balance) gate and concession money.

Personally, this is the thing that keeps me at the office late at night (because I’m a poor delegator). At halftime of the last game, the game administrator can collect the gate and balance it. Have them record the totals on a form, and you can enter the numbers into your accounts later. Obviously, this is a job for someone you trust both ethically and mathematically.

 

The game administrator should deal with fan problems.

This is the biggest reason why the game administrator shouldn’t be a coach. The officials need to be able to go to someone who is not involved with the game to report issues. Nothing looks worse for your athletic department and ministry when a coach has to walk across the court to dismiss a fan because there is no game administrator. If you have a game administrator it can be less of a scene as play continues.

 

The game administrator can assist with clean-up.

They don’t need to mop the bathrooms or anything. However, simple and quick tasks such as locking doors or taking the trash out will greatly aid in helping you shut things down.

 

These responsibilities don’t necessarily have to all be done by one person, but there definitely needs to be someone that is identified as “in charge.”

Whether it’s you or someone else, every game needs a game administrator. No one should have to do all the work that goes into hosting home games.

If you’re the busy athletic director that is also a coach, then delegate these tasks to a responsible member of your program. Your effectiveness as an individual and as a program will grow.

 

Do you know of any areas of game administration that have been overlooked in this article?

Jeff is the athletic director at Victory Baptist Academy. He is also the founder and administrator of TheAthleticDirectors.com.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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