This system was dreamed of many years ago, and we started to develop it in mid 2019. To see our hard work come to fruition, and to have it in your hands now, is incredibly rewarding. Let’s create a league!
This article is the first part of a two-part tutorial to help you get started with OpenSports leagues.
In this article, we’ll walk you step-by-step through (i) creating your first league. In the next tutorial, we will walk you through (ii) creating and publishing a round robin schedule.
Let’s get started!
1. Create a group & connect to Stripe
If you already have a group on OpenSports, skip this step.
A) Log in to your admin user account and create a new group.
- Go to the Create a Group page
- Enter a name and location for the new group. A location is required as it will dictate the primary time zone used for the league (e.g. registration dates/times).
- Tap “Create” to create the group.
B) Set up payment details (Stripe account)
- From the homepage of the new Group, tap on the Payment from the menu of options.
- On the next page, tap on “Link to Bank Account”.
- You’ll be taken to a Stripe page. Fill out the simple form and you’ll be ready to collect payment for your league!
2. Creating your first league
A) Getting started & select league type
- Starting on your Group’s homepage, tap on the “Leagues” tab and click the “Create league” button
- Select the type of league (one-off league or a multi-season league)
- Ask yourself: Is this going to be a one-off standalone league, or is it going to repeat over different time periods (e.g. seasons)?
- If it’s a multi-season league, enter a name for the league — this is the name it will always have, no matter what season it is (e.g. “Friday Night Coed Soccer”).
- If it’s a multi-season league, enter the season (e.g. “Spring 2021”).
C) Basic Details
- Add a banner photo (this is what players will see in the list view of all the leagues are listed in your group, and on the league registration page).
- Give your league a name/full title (if it’s a multi-season league, this space will automatically fill with the league title and season name). This name/title will be used identify the league and season to potential players looking to join a league.
- Format— OpenSports leagues can support both a round-robin stage and an elimination (playoffs) stage, or just one of the two.
- Description — be creative and promote your league! This field is markdown enabled (see https://www.markdownguide.org/cheat-sheet/ for more details on markdown).
- Youth League — In a youth league, guardians will sign up using their OpenSports accounts on behalf of the youth, and team rosters will be hidden.
- Enable Team Chat — Allows players on the same team to chat.
- Tags — Tags are displayed publicly on the league page. Groups can opt-in to creating filters for leagues based on tags, making it easier for players to find the leagues they are looking for.
Set up pools/divisions (Pools are optional)
- If you are operating a large league, you can set up pools like Eastern and Western, or Pool A, B, C, D (you can set up an unlimited amount of pools/divisions).
- It is also possible to add and remove pools after teams have signed up if necessary.
E) Key Dates
- Match Dates — The period during which all matches in the season will take place. The start date should be close to or after the end of the registration period.
- Join Team Deadline — Players will not be able to join a team through an invite from their captain after this date. You will still be able to move players between teams after this date.
F) Registration Settings
- League Privacy — Secret leagues can be viewed and registered for by anyone with the link, but they will not appear in the lists on the discovery or group pages.
- Max # of Teams — The system will use this info about max # of teams to help you create team registration tickets (so that, for example if the max is 16, you can’t sell tickets for more than 16 teams)
- Payment currency
- Max players per team roster — OpenSports will not allow more than the max players per team to register for a team.
G) Add Registration Options — how players/teams will sign up
OpenSports offers a wide array of registration options. Two popular options are by Team (with multiple ways to collect payment) or by Free Agent.
Team Registrations: Captains will sign up their team and players will join the team created by their captain. Team payments can be paid in 3 ways:
- Captain pays the whole team fee up front (aka “Captain pays in full”);
- Fixed price split payment;
- Custom Payment Split.
Free Agent Registrations: players register as free agents, and the league admin can assign them to a team later on. This option is popular for leagues where everybody registers as free agents and the league admin assigns everyone to teams manually, or for youth leagues. In this case, do not add any team registrations.
We provide a detailed guide and breakdown of all the registration options/ways players can pay here.
Privacy — Secret registration options are only shown to players who have a specific registration link. Once the league has been created, come back to the list of registration options in the league settings to copy a link which players can use to unlock this secret registration option. This is a great way to create discounts for teams or free agents. You will not be able to change if a registration is secret after it has been created. More abut secret registrations here.
Custom Questions — if you would like captains & players to answer custom questions while they are registering as a player in your league
- Tap “New List of Questions” to start creating your custom questions, such as “what is your t-shirt size?”
- You can toggle on “Required” if you require for that question to be answered, and the min and max characters allowed in the answer
- Tap on “Add New Question” if you would like multiple questions to apply to that registration
- Tap Save when you have added all the questions, and you will be able to preview the questions from the Team Registration set up page
- Review the info and tap “Save”
Registration dates — The range of dates when this registration option for the league is discoverable to players, and can be registered for.
Add — Click on the Add button if you want to add additional registration options (i.e., split payment, free agents, early bird, mid-season registration…) The options for registration types are endless!
H) Match settings
- Default Match Description (optional) — Default description displayed on every match page. Can be overridden at the match level.
- Score Entry — Specify whether matches are self-officiated by toggling on Captains Can Enter Scores. If matches are self-officiated, captains will be able to enter the scores after each match. Once the opposing captain confirms, the score becomes official. Otherwise, only league admins will be able to enter scores.
- Click “Save” and confirm you wish to create the league. This will show you the card view/list view that players will see on OpenSports. When they click on it, they will be able to view the full registration page.
- Once you confirm league creation, You will be re-directed to the Dashboard view.
I) League dashboard & Edit league settings
Hooray! You have created your league! Once your league is created, you will be brought to the league dashboard home page, and you can see the navigation bar with all of your tools on the left.
- Click on “Edit” to edit many of the options we went through above.
J) Invite players
Now that you’ve created your league, you’ll want to share the link to the league with everybody! That way they can register.
- You can share the link to the registration page by clicking on the View Registration button from the navigation bar. This will launch the registration page, and you can copy and paste the URL to captains/players
Let all of your club’s members know that registration is open and direct them to the OpenSports app (or your group’s web URL) so that captains and free agents can find and join the league.
- Only captains and free agents will register for the league through the team/free agent registration page.
- Once captains register their team, they can easily generate an invite link to send to their teammates to invite them to register for the team/league.
🍾🍾 Congrats! You have created your first league!
When you’re ready, move on to Part II, where we’ll continue by creating and publishing a schedule of round robin matches.
Any questions about setting up a league? Send them our way to email@example.com.