With a little bit of housekeeping, your SwimTopia website will be ready for your new season to start!
➧ Are you a new Site Admin this season or want to start using more features? Check out our pre-recorded videos to learn at your own pace:
- ▶️ Video Guide - Topic-Focused Training (categorized list of all videos)
- ▶️ Video - SwimTopia Team Management Overview (a great start for a new admin)
» Note: If you like checking off tasks as you move through your setup steps, we've created a handy checklist with a PDF version you can print ➞ New Season Setup Checklist. If this is your first time to set up your site, use our ➞ SwimTopia Quick Start Guide (for Teams).
➧ Steps Prior to Creating Your New Season
- Discuss Annual Team Configuration Updates
- Confirm Old Registration Forms are Closed
- Confirm Site Settings - Billing Contact & Online Payment
➧ How to Create Your New Season
➧ Steps After Creating Your New Season
- Update Access to Site Administrators & Other Coordinators
- Update/Create Coach Accounts
- Update Role Assignments
- Edit Content on Your SwimTopia Site
- Update Sponsorships
- Create New Merchandise Items
- Update Online Store And/Or SwimOutlet Team Store Offerings
- Update Your Schedule and Meet/Job Templates
- Create New Registration Forms
- Update Records & Time Standards
- Communicate to Previous & New Season Members
➧ USA Swimming Teams
» Note: This is a suggested order, but proceed however works best for your team, and skip areas not utilized.
Discuss Annual Team Configuration Updates
To eliminate tracking decisions in emails, we suggest sharing a google doc (or something similar) containing annual decisions with your board members. Everyone can update as decisions are made, and refer to this document at any time before, during, or after the season to recall configuration decisions. Below is an example of some decisions you may want to include:
➧ Role Updates: Board, Committee Leads and Coaching Staff
- Are there any changes to who is assigned to each Role?
- Are there any changes to Role descriptions?
➧ Treasurer Updates
If the Treasurer is changing this season, the following configurations need to be updated:
- Online Payment: Transfer the online payment account to the new Treasurer ➞ Reference our Stripe Account Access & Management article for details.
- Registration Reply-To box: If a parent replies to their registration confirmation email with questions it goes here. An email is required.
- Registration Confirmation: Does the Treasurer want a copy each time someone registers?
- Check Payments: If accepting checks during registration, an physical address is needed for the registration payment page. PREMIUM
- Online Store: Does the Treasurer want a copy of each purchase? PREMIUM
➧ Date Confirmations
- Early Registration: Will registration be open for returning members first? What dates?
- Late Registration: Will there be a late registration timeframe with an extra fee? If so, when?
- Pre-Season Clinics & Lessons: Will the coach want to do these? If so, when?
- New Swimmer Tryouts: Does the coach want to have tryouts for particular age groups?
- Registration / Kick-off Party: Will you have one? If so, when?
- Practice dates/times: First day of practice, and what is the breakdown by age group?
- Stroke Judge Certification: dates?
- Registration Fees: Any changes to current pricing (early/late registrations as applicable)?
- Sibling Discounts: Do you offer a sibling discount?
- Age-Range Fee Overrides: Do you offer a price break for older athletes to entice signup?
- Per-Athlete SwimTopia Technology Fee: Do you want to display this fee for the member to pay during registration? (N/A for teams where the league pays this fee on behalf of the team. Learn more about this fee ➞ SwimTopia Per Athlete Fee Collection - FAQ)
- Discount Codes: Do you offer committee lead & board member discounts?
➧ Registration Limits
- Do you want to set a registration limit to ensure the safety of the athletes?
- If so, do you want to set an overall registration limit or limit by athlete age group? Learn more about this topic ➞ Registration Limits
➧ Volunteering Decisions
- Job signup during registration or parent selects X number of volunteer preferences? This decision depends on how your Volunteer Coordinator (VC) manages volunteers. Allowing parents to select their volunteer jobs during registration can save time, but requires that you have your meets set up when registration opens. A parent can come back into their account later and remove themselves from the job, so the VC has to keep an eye on signups. The volunteer preferences option does not require that your meets are set up but is more work on the VC to work with parents to determine their roles (not everyone can be a timer). You would set up Roles for each job, so your VC can assign people to these roles for communication. Learn more about this topic ➞ Registration: Volunteering Section
- Conditional Fee Option: If volunteering was an issue last season, you can take advantage of our conditional fee feature. It would be an acknowledgment on the registration form that parents must accept. If volunteer requirements are not met, the Treasurer can capture this pre-approved fee from the View Registrations page at the end of the season. Learn more about this topic ➞ Conditional Fees: Approve, Capture & Release.
➧ Merchandise & Sponsorships
- Offer the same merchandise or new items? (pricing, sizes, and gif/jpg needed for each new item)
- Sell Sponsorships during registration? (sponsor levels need to be set up as merchandise offerings) PREMIUM
➧ Meet & Event Schedule
Request access early to begin creating the schedule of events on your team site. It is important to confirm specific warm-up/start times for each meet since these can vary at away meets.
» Note: This is only applicable if your league is not importing your schedule into your team site.
Confirm Old Registration Forms are Closed
Before updating your Current Season, it's imperative to confirm that your prior season's registration forms are closed (if that season is complete).
Go to Manage Team > Registration. If any forms in past seasons are still open that should not be, slide the Open slider bar to Closed.
It is possible to have multiple registration forms open if seasons overlap. Learn more about this topic ➞ Multiple Seasons in a Year.
Confirm Site Settings - Billing Contact & Online Payment
➧ Billing Contact
Most configurations within your site-wide Settings will remain the same each season, but your Billing Contact will eventually change. SwimTopia sends renewal reminders to the email listed as your Billing Contact, so it's imperative that this remain up-to-date to avoid any disruption in service.
This is found under Settings > Billing Contact.
➧ Online Payment Configuration (Stripe)
Ensure your Stripe account is in good standing each season. Although rare, there are times when they need to request information due to KYC (Know Your Customer) banking regulations.
» Tip: Don't save this step until right before opening registration. We may not be able to help you get issues resolved immediately, so we stress this for your benefit.
This is found under Settings > Stripe Account.
» Note: If you do not yet have a Stripe account, you will need to set up an account to accept online payments. Reference our step-by-step tutorial ➞ Stripe Account Setup
➞ Reference our article on SwimTopia Site-wide Settings to understand the additional "site-wide" settings you can update as needed.
Update the “Current Season” on Your Team Site
➧ What is a Season?
A Season is simply a span of time during which your team’s activities take place.
- A season defines a range of time, from the start date to the end date (default is the calendar year).
- Seasons are used to organize your events, athlete affiliations, role assignments, sponsorships, and registrations.
- The selected current season determines which season is active, regardless of the current date.
- Members affiliated with the active current season are included in Communications and Reports.
- If a season has an age-up date, that date is used to determine athlete ages for age groups.
- By setting the current season you can control when your team "rolls over to the next season."
➧ How do I update my season?
When the current date falls outside the time that defines your current season, you'll see a gentle reminder that your season is out of date. When you go to Schedule > Seasons and click on Fix the Current Season, your new season will be created for you.
Or you can select +Add Season to create one manually. (also update the age-up date)
➧ Why did information disappear?
Once you change your season, you might notice that the previous season's registrations, role assignments, people/roster, division assignments, meets/events, sponsors, and reporting information seem to “disappear." This is because this information is tied to the previous season.
Past season data can be found by selecting the season from a drop-down box or from the left margin (meets and events), and past registrations can be found by running the Registration Details / Data Export report from the Reports tab.
» Note: If you open your new registration form before creating a new season and setting it as the "Current Season," new registrations will be tied to a previous season. If you forget, contact your Customer Happiness Team with the form name and corresponding season, and we’ll be happy to help.
Update Access to Site Administrators & Other Coordinators
As teams set up for the first time, or transition to a new season, one of the first tasks is to ensure board members, coordinators and coaches (discussed next) have access to all or specific areas of the team site.
➧ Site Administrator Access
“It takes a village,” right? Make it easier on yourself by delegating team management responsibilities to your capable teammates.
Administrator accounts from the previous season, those with the red "Admin" badge, will automatically carry over each season in People, but their "Parent Affiliation" to the current season will not be automatically renewed. This occurs when they register for the season.
If there are admins who will not return, you can click the Revoke Admin button in their profile.
» Tip: To give you more control over who has the ability to make changes that could affect your parents/athletes and your site, we highly suggest limiting the number of administrators with full admin privileges.
➧ Other Board Members and Volunteer Coordinators
Many Board Members and other Volunteer Coordinators only need to access particular areas such as People, Registration, Meets/Events, or Reporting. You can grant partial privileges based on a “Role” to limit access for each volunteer.
➧ Manually Add Season Affiliations
When your new and returning members complete the new season’s Registration form (if you use online registration), they’ll be affiliated with the new Season as Parents and will display on the People page.
If some of your key coordinators go above and beyond the call of duty and are not a parent of an athlete, you can manually add a Season Affiliation to these members by clicking their name on the People page. (If they are not visible in the People list, you can search for them in a previous season using the Search function at the top.)
On the right, you will see “Add affiliation for.” Select the current season from the drop-down box, then click “Save.”
Learn more about managing your members ➞ People/Roster
Update/Create Coach Accounts
More often than not, the Coach does not have children on the team, and sometimes the Assistant Coaches are athletes who are also competing now or they have in the past. We’ve created a short step-by-step guide to follow based on your specific scenario.
➧ Options for Adding a Coach:
- Coach has an existing Parent or Athlete account in your system
- Coach does not have an account, and does not have athletes competing
- Coach has an athlete to register (or doesn't, but you need a form filled out)
Keep in mind, if you try to use an email address when creating a new account that is already on your site in a previous season, or on another SwimTopia site, you will see a message informing you that “this email is already taken”.
This is not an issue when people register themselves and use the exact same first name, last name, and email address, but manually creating accounts is a different process. If this occurs, submit a support ticket with the name/email, and we will be happy to help.
Update Role Assignments
Role assignments are also associated with seasons. Some roles are set up so the assignments are seasonal, and others can be set up so the assignments are ongoing from year to year when assignees do not change often.
➧ Seasonal roles
If “This role is reassigned every season” is checked, the role assignments will be reset at the change of a season, and all members who were assigned to those roles last season will no longer be assigned to those roles. If you know that any of your members are repeating their roles from last season, you have the ability to manually reassign them, but keep in mind, you won't be able to assign somebody to a role if they aren’t a member of the current season.
See ➞ Update Access to Site Administrators & Other Coordinators if you need to manually affiliate someone to the season.
➧ Ongoing roles
If “This role is reassigned every season” is unchecked, role assignments will carry over from season to season. Once you've updated your Current Season, you'll see people in your Roster with this Role badge next to their name. They won't have the Parent badge until they have completed the registration form. If a member is not returning to one of these roles in the new season, you’ll need to manually remove them from their role assignment.
Go to Roles and then click on Role Assignments in the upper right corner.
- To remove a name, click on the “X” next to the member’s name
- To add a name, click on “Add/Remove” next to the role
- Begin typing in the name of the member, and select the name when it appears
- Click “Save.”
» Note: Once a Role has been set up as being reassigned each season (or not), it's best to leave that setting as-is. If you need to change that setting, it's better to delete the Role and create a new one. Changing the setting from one season to the next may produce unexpected results for previous vs new assignees.
Learn more about how Roles are used ➞ Defining Roles
PREMIUM Volunteer management features that are demonstrated in this video are available to our Premium customers.
Edit Content on Your SwimTopia Site
First, since your members may start looking at your site early, scan through your website content to see if there are any references to policies, dates, deadlines, etc. that are relevant to the last season but may have changed for the new season. You can edit those pages directly by going to Website > Pages.
» Tip: Limiting specific dates throughout your site will expedite this process each season. If you need to list specific dates, keep track of the pages that will need to be updated.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Managing Your Website
➧ Do you need some inspiration?
Check out how other SwimTopia teams have set up their sites ➞ Example Customer SwimTopia sites
➧ Do you want to require a CAPTCHA to prevent spam?
If you use the Contact Us Form snippet, you might want to consider turning this feature on if your team has received any spam through your Contact Us page. You can turn this setting off at any time and revisit the need for this extra security level each season.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Contact Us Form Snippet.
Sponsorships are tracked per season, so once you update your Season, old sponsors will no longer show up in the section of your website that is created by the Sponsor snippet. You'll need to set up new Sponsorships for the new season.
We offer a handy tool for copying Sponsorships that renew from one Season to another:
Go to Website > Sponsors > Sponsorships
- Select the last season
- Select all the Sponsorships that will be renewing for the new Season - you can either select all by checking the box to the left of "Sponsor" at the top of the list, or you can select individual Sponsorships from within the list
- Once you've selected one or more Sponsorships, you'll see a drop-down box that says "Copy to Season"
- Select your new season
Once the Sponsorships are copied to the new season, you can edit their categories. And you can add new Sponsors to your new season's Sponsorships, and upload a new Heat Sheet Banner (if using Meet Maestro to manage your meets).
» Note: If you need to change your sponsorship category definitions, you can do that under Website > Sponsors >Categories.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Sponsorships.
Create New Merchandise Items
Merchandise items are not tied to seasons. If you need to make changes after sales have occurred or when transitioning to a new season, it’s best to archive old items and create a new item, or make a copy of last season’s item and then make your edits.
If you were to simply edit the old item, it would effectively change the description or pricing of the item for all past orders and would affect tracking and reporting. Also, if you have any merchandise items with order limits, SwimTopia will see last season’s orders as accumulating toward the overall quantity ordered.
Go to Merchandise, then click on the item, and click on “Copy.” (you can archive old items from this screen as well)
Learn more about this topic ➞ Merchandise
Update Online Store And/Or SwimOutlet Team Store Offerings
If your team is using SwimTopia's Online Store and/or SwimOutlet features to sell your merchandise, sponsorships, donations, etc., outside of registration, you will want to make sure these pages are displaying your updated merchandise offerings each season.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Merchandise Offer Snippet
Learn more about this topic ➞ SwimOutlet Team Store Snippet
➞ Click here for a direct link to our SwimOutlet Team Store Snippet video.
Update Your Schedule & Meet/Job Templates
➧ Swim Meets & Calendar Events
Meets and Events are managed from the All Meets & Events tab in the Manage Team console.
Depending on your team's process, there are multiple options for how you can create meets:
- Creating Meets thru a League Meet Schedule Import
- Creating Meets by importing a Meet Event File
- Creating Meets by Applying Meet Templates Saved from Previous Season Meets
- Creating a New (Empty) Swim Meet (Optionally Apply Meet Templates)
Learn more about ➞ Creating Meets (Options) to determine which option works best for your team
➧ Meet Templates
If you are creating meets through one of the last two options above and utilizing this time-saving feature of building a repository of Meet Templates to apply to your meets, you should review these templates each season to ensure they're set up properly.
Double-check that your Entry Rules and Seeding/Scoring Rules still apply for the new season (if using SwimTopia's Meet Maestro to run your meets).
Once you've confirmed the setup of your Meet Templates, you can apply them to your meets as you fill out your schedule.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Meet Templates
➧ Job Templates
Your jobs/shifts may or may not change each season, but it's always best to review your Job Templates to be sure. Once you've confirmed the setup of your Job Templates, you can apply them to your meets as you fill out your schedule.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Job Templates
➧ Calendar Events (Non-Meet)
If you have recurring non-meet events (i.e. kick-off party, end-of-season banquet, etc.), copy the event from last season and make appropriate changes. Go to Schedule >All Meets & Events > Select the previous season from the left margin > Click into the event > Click on Copy.
Learn more about ➞ Creating Calendar Events (Non-Swim Meets)
➧ Calendar Display on Your Website
Decide if you'd like the calendar on your team's website to show all events for the current season, or to show only upcoming events (with a link to toggle to past events). If you do not want your parents scrolling through a list of past events to reach the next event, then we suggest the latter.
Learn more about this topic ➞ Calendar Display Mode
Create New Registration Forms
As discussed above, all registrations are tied to the season set as the "Current Season" under the Schedule > Seasons tab at the time the form was opened.
So at the beginning of a new season, you’ll want to create new forms to help you keep track of your members from season to season.
Go to Manage Team > Registration and either create a new form or make a copy of a form from a previous season. See ➞ Creating and Managing Registration Forms
- Update your form as needed.
- Be sure to enable or disable each applicable page (checkbox at the top).
- Remember to add new league-shared forms if any are found at the bottom of the first page.
- Set your new form to “Open” when your team’s registration window begins. (Private forms must be in an Open state for members to reach them)
➧ SwimTopia Fee Collection: Per-Athlete Technology Fee
➞ What is this fee all about?
SwimTopia's billing policy is on a per-athlete basis. We charge a lower annual subscription price and eliminate extra invoicing by deducting the per-athlete fee during registration when payment is accepted online, and the league is not already paying this fee upfront for teams. ($3/athlete for Premium, and $1.50/athlete for Lite)
» Note: This SwimTopia Fee Collection section will only display for teams who are not on a league-wide billing plan, where this fee is paid by the league upfront. If you are seeing this section and do not believe you should, then contact your league administrator for clarification.
➞ How is this fee collected?
Teams or leagues who are eligible for online athlete fee collection during checkout will have the choice to "Collect per athlete fee from registration." If checked, this fee will appear on the registration form as a separate line item for members to pay. This will display as the "Per-Athlete Technology Fee."
By default, the fee is not collected from the registrant and will be deducted from the payment prior to depositing funds in the team's Stripe account.
» Tip: Consider increasing your registration fees to recoup this cost if you do not want to display this per-athlete technology fee to your parents, but do not want to incur the costs. You could provide a breakdown of your fees using the available description boxes on the form, and on your website pages, as appropriate.
Learn more about this fee ➞ SwimTopia Per-Athlete Fee Collection - FAQs
Learn more about all of the features and configurations available when setting up your registration forms ➞ Registration Section
PREMIUM This video includes the following Premium features: volunteer signups and offering checks/member numbers as payment methods.
Update Records & Time Standards
Don't forget to create or update your record books if you didn't do this at the end of your last season. And if your league does not share Time Standards with the teams in your league through our automatic league sharing feature, you can create your own to apply to your Meet Templates and applicable meets.
➞ See more about Time Standards & Qualifying Times Overview
PREMIUM Adding records to a team's website is included in this video, which is only available to our Premium customers.
Communicate to Previous & New Season Members
➧ Reaching your previous seasons' members
When you are ready to start sending out your new season registration and/or general season information, use "Members - Previous Season" in your communications to reach your registered families from the season previous to what you have set as your current season. (only official seasons are considered)
➧ Reaching your new season members
Once you open registration and members register for your upcoming season, (or you manually assign members to your current season in their profile -- hint: registration will save you so much effort), you'll use the "Members" group to reach out to your current season's roster.
➧ Reaching members prior to the previous season
You can always reach parents or any groups in any season from the Reports tab using reports like the Registration Details/Data Export, Parents Information or Athlete Roster reports.
If you need to send to more than the last season, you can eliminate duplicate emails by sending to both at the same time from Reports > Registration Details / Data Export. Filter by that season you wish to also reach, generate the report, and you'll see a button to Compose and send email. After clicking on the Compose email button, add "Members - Previous Season" to the “To” field of the same email.
Another option is to go back to your Seasons menu and change the current season to whichever you want and then "Members" and "Members-Previous Season" will reach the current and past season based on what you changed it to. I would just make sure your Season is set to the current one when you are ready to open Registration. That's when it really matters most.
Learn more about the communication tools available ➞ Communications.
USA Swimming Teams - Check Member Status
USA Swimming Teams should check the USA Swimming Account Management page to contact members if they need to resolve any unmatched people on the team.
» Tip: You must have SwimTopia selected as your team management vendor on the USA Swimming Club Portal. This selection should be done now, if not already completed. ➞ Connecting USA Swimming and SwimTopia
Overview walk-through ofSwimTopia's integration with USA Swimming SWIMS 3.0.
Voilà! Your SwimTopia Site is Ready!
» Tip: Don’t forget to mine your volunteer base for help! With all the parents on your team, it’s likely some have website management skills. Set yourself up for an easier transition when you know you will need to pass the torch, by finding an apprentice to learn alongside you.