Growing Pains

Guest post by San Solo (Treasurer & All Star skater) explains the trials and tribulations involved in ‘professionalising’ Amsterdam Roller Derby

All leagues start from an idea. A few friends getting together with this amazing idea of a new sport for themselves and anyone that wants to join. The more the merrier! As the league grows it’s not just the group of friends, a moment comes when not everybody knows everybody and you realise: Sh**! We’re actually something official and real! And then the hard part starts….

It becomes important to communicate everything, to set rules as a league and live by them. And this is no easy feat. Apart from disagreements about what you decide together, it all comes down to being clear and professional. And that’s the core word of this post; professionalize.

It's important to communicate everything through several different channels, maintaining transparency and consistency.
It’s important to communicate everything through several different channels, maintaining transparency and consistency.

As former president and current treasurer of our league I have made this my primary goal. Things that might not seem important as you are starting out are becoming more and more important as your league grows. Here are a few tips for financially and administratively professionalising your league.

I can’t emphasize this one enough. It is of vital importance that all rules and decisions made together are findable for all league members. It is literally the worst to have to point out to someone a rule they did not know existed, but it does…

Keep the right address for all official/financial communication
This may seem logical, as board members change sometimes league addresses need to change. Make sure to do this right away. I know it’s a boring job, and it doesn’t really need to happen right now. But it does. Really. Change the board members at the Chamber of Commerce right away. Make sure the right person is in charge (on paper) for your bank account and PayPal. Make sure all invoices go to the right address, update it at all companies your league deals with. Make a list with what needs to change with a board-change for the people that will do your job after you.

Keep your member list up to date
Make sure you know at all times who is a member and who is not. Who needs to pay what dues and when and how can people terminate their membership if they want to. Think about using specialised software for this as soon as you can afford it.

Making a list and checking it twice, thrice, four times...
Making a list and checking it twice, thrice, four times…

Have a back-up system
Make sure your league can keep running smoothly as people quit, burn out, get sick, move away or god forbid… are suddenly no longer with us. Use official email accounts for communication, so no private email addresses, Facebook messaging, texting or ‘apping’, if it can be avoided. Make sure there is someone who can access all league email accounts if needed.

Did i mention transparency yet? It’s important!

It is an never-ending, ever-changing and mind numbing job to keep your league administration up to date. Even for our 7 year-old league this all is still a work in progress, but the sooner you start, the easier it will be!

Administrative #derbylove
San Solo