Coordinating 3,000 volunteers for the oldest international youth soccer tournament in the United States is no small feat. That’s why organizers of the Dallas Cup turn to SignUpGenius for assistance. With 160,000 spectators coming to watch the games during the week between Palm Sunday and Easter each year, the small staff for the soccer tournament have to rely on volunteers for almost every facet of the event. Dallas Cup Volunteer Coordinator, Jolyne Doyle, says, “With SignUpGenius, I can take my 25 committees, divide everyone up and fill all of the volunteer time slots. It’s nice to put in all of the information that’s needed for one committee on a sign up and send out a different one for each committee. It lets me see when a sign up is full, and I can go into my SignUpGenius account and have all of the information in one spot.”
It wasn’t always this easy. The Dallas Cup is in its thirty-third year, and up until a couple of years ago, they relied primarily on spreadsheets, bulk emails, and shared online documents to coordinate the massive event. Then, one of their coordinators was introduced to SignUpGenius through volunteer activities at a local school, and that volunteer recommended the free online sign up system to the folks at the Dallas Cup. “It probably takes away a month’s worth of work for me,” says Doyle. Before they used SignUpGenius, there weren’t as many volunteers as there are now, so not all of the volunteer spots were filled. It meant that everyone had to work harder, especially the committee chair people who had the responsibility of getting all of the needs for their committee covered.
The Dallas Cup is a unique event to coordinate in that 40% of the teams in the tournament are from over 100 countries outside the United States. In fact, only 20% of the teams are local to the Dallas area. The remaining 40% are from one of 45 states represented in the tournament. That means that organizers are not only coordinating the games and receptions; they’re also organizing places for many of the out of town attendees to stay.
Doyle enjoys the feedback she receives from committee chairman about SignUpGenius. One recently emailed her to say, “Just wanted to say I love love love the new Sign Up Genius...it’s GENIUS!! Looks great and super easy! Whoever found this site is brilliant.” For her own part, Doyle likes that the online sign up site is user friendly while at the same time has a lot of features from which to choose. This variety of features allows her to customize each sign up to fit the tournament’s unique needs.
Despite the fact that the Dallas Cup is large and prestigious - only 180 teams are chosen to participate out of more than 400 applicants - event organizers pride themselves on the encouraging family feel of the tournament. “This is the thirty-third year of the tournament, and we have volunteers whose kids grew up participating in it and now they have grandkids who are playing,” says Doyle. Helping groups like the Dallas Cup impact their communities is why SignUpGenius exists. Because when families have more time to do things together, everybody wins.