The preferred method of receiving forms is via structured email. If you choose to create forms that allow uploads (using WooFoo or Google Forms*,) please be aware that you will be receiving personal information from persons under 13 years of age, through a website form and that carries with it certain obligations under COPPA and regulated by the FTC. We are not dispensing legal advice, however, so please consult with your legal counsel. We just feel it the responsible thing to do to let you know there may be prevailing laws and the main reason we do not allow file uploads onto our servers for registration data.
*Google Forms is free, but to upload forms, the user must first have a Google Account and be logged in. Google also warns you that the form should only be used by people you trust, so there is a danger a spammer will find your form and upload junk… lots of junk. Email attachments to an obscure email, published only to your teams is the safest route for attachments/uploads.
Many tournaments are moving toward receiving team registration documents electronically. Despite the appeal of replacing the in-person process with an electronic one, without a system, the process can rapidly get out of control. Here is our suggestion based on what we’ve seen work.
We suggest three web-based tools:
1. Gmail (strongly recommend a SEPARATE email that is used ONLY for registration materials)
2. Google Drive/Docs (Now Google Drive File Stream)
3. If This Than That (IFTTT) (not really necessary, just nice to automate stuff)
TO DO NOW:
1. Log into your Google/Gmail Account you created for registration.
2. Download the Google Drive (or will be Google Drive File Stream) app (Mac or Windows, whichever you have) this allows you to manage the documents on your desktop and/or web especially if you are off line… it will auto synch when you are. You can also share the folders to other people so you can have some help wherever they are…
To find the Google Drive download, click on the gmail.com upper right, Account, then Data Tools, Manage your space, scroll to the Google Drive icon, click, follow the links.. (yeah, I know should be easier but… just trust me when you have this all set up, it will flow easily)
1. Ask teams to attach their files to an email with the subject line:
GENDER AGE TEAMID (Nothing else. I would warn them that you WILL send back the email UNOPENED if they put anything else in the subject line.) Ex: BOYS 08 XXX141657865
2. Only COMPLETE registration packs. ONLY forms, no lengthy explanations of excuses as nobody is going to actually read the email, just process the forms. (Again, I would warn them you will send back the email, delete it, whatever if it is INCOMPLETE)
3. NO USE OF THIS EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER USE! That is what your online contact form is for.
If you have set up with an IFTTT account. If not, skip
4. Email will come in and a recipe at IFTTT logs it into /GoogleDrive/IFTTT/Gmail/RegTracking.gsheet
This should be used as a tracking sheet of emails that have yet to be processed. Once you save the forms, delete the row. This will come in handy if other people are helping you.
5. Make a new folder named GENDER AGE TEAMID Give Google couple minutes to synch up and then save the files into the new folder by right clicking on them and downloading them into your Google Drive.
6. Verify the docs are complete, mark the folder green (or whatever color or symbol)
7. Enter the progress on a the master spreadsheet, if you choose.
8. Update your admin area to show which teams are complete or enter notes into the Registration Area to let the team know what is still missing, not compliant, etc.
The success of receiving documents electronically is to be BRUTAL with the rules. Complete packs, subject lines compliant, no other communications regarding anything else on this email address.
You can also set up filters and such in Gmail if you are a power-user, but for now, this is probably enough. When you get really brave, you can start using IFTTT to do all sorts of automated things.