SPECIAL REPORT : Site Data

This discusses information needed by the webmaster to create and maintain a Majors team site which is similar to the other team sites.

Information typically supplied by the coach or manager is generally of three types:

The contacts may find it helpful to use a checklist to guide them in gathering the needed information.

The webmaster will try to get as much information as possible from other sources, to minimize the amount of information which others must supply. For example, the webmaster will get the regular game schedule from the COBA website when it appears in late April: changes to the schedule, however, often don’t appear on the COBA site, so others must tell the webmaster about any changes.

To Create a Site

The webmaster needs these types of information to create a new team site:

Messages and Documents

The following should be provided:

  • Sponsorship Letter(s). There may be two letters: a form letter which may be given to any potential sponsor; and/or a customizable letter which must be edited for a particular potential sponsor. The letter(s) should be provided as early as possible to improve the odds of attracting sponsors.
  • Message for Sponsors (to appear on the Sponsors page). If no message is provided, the webmaster will create one from the Sponsorship Letter or the previous year’s message.

The following may also, optionally, be provided:

  • Vision Statement. If the first news format is used (see sidebar), the Vision Statement appears near the top of the Team page; otherwise it appears on the News page.
  • Mission Statement. If the first news format is used (see sidebar), the Mission Statement appears near the top of the Team page; otherwise it appears on the News page.
  • Message from the Coach. This welcomes parents and players to the team for the coming season, and will be put at the bottom of the Team page.
  • Team Budget. This would be put on the password protected Confidential page.

Other messages or documents of interest to the team may also be provided.

Information About People

Staff

This is needed about the coach, assistant coaches, manager, and any other team staff:

  • Names.
  • Uniform numbers.
  • Headshots: see discussion of photos, below).
  • Phone numbers, to be posted on the Contacts page.
  • Phone numbers, to be posted on the Confidential page (to be password protected).
  • Email addresses, to be posted on the Confidential page (to be password protected).
Parents

This is needed about the parents:

  • Names.
  • Phone numbers, to be posted on the Confidential page (to be password protected). For each number, indicate whether it is a home, cell, or work number.
  • Email addresses, to be posted on the Confidential page (to be password protected). For each address, indicate whether it is a home or work address.
Players

This is needed about the players:

  • Names.
  • Uniform numbers.
  • Headshots, to be posted on the Confidential page (to be password protected): See discussion of photos, below.

In addition, it is necessary to know how player names should be listed on the Team page, normally one of these choices:

  • First names only.
  • First names and initials of last names.
  • Full names.

Information About Sponsors

For each sponsor:

  • Name.
  • Address of website (if any).
  • Logo (if any). If the sponsor has a website, the webmaster will try to get the logo from the site. If this isn’t possible, the logo should be provided as a high-quality image file, or printed on paper which doesn’t have a matte surface.

Information About Tournaments

For each tournament:

  • Start and end dates.
  • Name of tournament.
  • Address of tournament web page(s), if any. The webmaster will try to find the address from the name and dates provided, but sometimes this isn’t enough.
  • Tournament details. Sometimes available on tournament web pages, this includes:
    • List of teams playing, organized by division of the teams are divided into divisions.
    • Schedule.
    • Hotel information (when appropriate).
    • Maps provided by the tournament organizer.
    The webmaster will try to find these details on the tournament’s website, but often the details aren’t posted on a website, but instead are emailed to the coach or manager by the tournament organizer prior to the tournament.

Sometimes news articles are published about teams which do especially well in tournaments, especially in the Mississauga.com. When this happens, tell the webmaster: he will provide a link to the article on the tournament page, and quote the article on the Archive page. For example, see the news article about the 2009 Major Bantam team.

To Maintain a Site

The webmaster needs this information to maintain a team site:

  • Practices : dates, times, and locations of practices.
  • Games : dates, times, and locations of games.
  • Scores : results of games. A volunteer should be responsible for finding out what the result of each game is and informing the webmaster. Note ► scores of regular games appear on the COBA site, however, they often aren’t posted in a timely manner, and sometimes are incorrect; it is therefore not feasible to depend on the COBA site for this information.
  • Special Events : any other event which should appear in the calendar, for example, uniform fittings.
  • News Items : any news which should be posted on the News page.

Note ► the webmaster will collect as much of this information as possible from other sites. For example, the webmaster will get the regular game schedule from the COBA site before the regular season starts.

Important Note ► it is critical that the webmaster be notified of any changes in the above information.

Photos

There are several types of photos which may appear on the team site. They include:

  • Headshots : these are head and shoulder photos of staff and players. For example:

    Sample headshot

    Headshots of staff appear on several pages available to the general public, e.g. the Team and Contacts pages. Headshots of staff and players appear on the password protected Confidential page.

    Note ► a common problem with headshots is red-eye; I can fix it, but if your camera has an option to prevent it, using it would save me time.

  • Action Shots : these are optional photos of players in action.

    Sample action shot Carefully selected action shots will be put in the photo album on the Photos page. Some of these may appear on other pages: for example, it is common to have a page with an action shot picked randomly from a set of action shots.

    Note ► Photos taken from far away require a zoom lens: a real zoom lens, not a digital zoom.

    Note ► You may wonder why some photos are picked for the albums, and many others aren’t. There are several reasons. First, preparing a photo for the web takes a lot of time, so it is only feasible to pick a few photos. Second, photos are unsuitable if their quality is poor or the main subject is too small. Third, some types of photos are simply too common, e.g. photos of pitchers or batters, so only the most striking would be picked. Finally, sports photos are more interesting when they are action shots with good colour and a clean background, and few are like this.

  • Team Photos : there should be at least one photo of the staff and players. For example:

    Sample team photo

    It is nice to have a team photo after any tournament in which the team has done well: such photos would go on their respective tournament pages, and may go into the photo album.

  • Award Photos : these are optional photos of trophies, medals, and other awards. For example:

    Sample team photo

    These should be taken with a plain contrasting background so that details of the award are clear. Note ► it is hard to take good photos of many awards, since shiny parts of the awards tend to reflect and take on the colours of nearby objects. It is possible to reliably take good photos of awards, but it requires equipment — a “white box” — which most people don’t have.

Several points should be noted about these photos:

  • Protecting the Players : when a photo of a player appears on a page available to the general public, the player won’t be identified; if any player must be identified, the photo will be put on a password protected page.

  • Team Photographers : I recommend that photos be taken by volunteer “Team Photographers” who are willing to take photos during games and/or tournaments. These people should have digital cameras and know how to use them to full effect. Those who take action shots should have telephoto or zoom lenses — not digital zoom — because action shots are typically distance shots in which parts of the photos must be blown up, and a good lens is needed to ensure adequate picture quality.

  • Photo Quality : photos must be of high quality, and image files sent to the webmaster must be sent in a format which maximizes photo quality. For example, if the image file is a JPEG file, it shouldn’t be saved using an option which reduces the size of the image file, since reducing the size of the file is achieved by degrading photo quality.