GFA advances into the digital world

EYEING A JUNE START: In this 2018 file photo, participants in the 2018 Docomo Pacific Soccer Moms League pose for a group photo ahead of the 2018 spring season matches. Guam Football Association has since introduced a new, fully online registration system through PowerUp Sports for clubs, players, coaches, referees, administrators and other stakeholders. The GFA Competitions Department has targeted the weekend of June 19 as GFA's return to play for four selected leagues: the Budweiser Futsal League, Bud Light Women's Futsal League, Budweiser Soccer League Masters Division, and the Docomo Pacific Soccer Moms League. Photo courtesy of GFA

In a move to streamline operations, the Guam Football Association replaced its traditional registration procedure with a fully online system for all players, coaches, referees and administrators.

GFA signed with Canada-based PowerUp Sports as the platform to be utilized in managing the organization’s stakeholder database and to provide an online management system for its clubs and teams, GFA stated in a press release.

“With the lull in league play due to the pandemic, we moved forward to fully implement an online registration and club management system before the restart of play,” said Samuel San Gil, GFA competitions director. “Over the last year, we’ve been meeting with club and team representatives to introduce the new procedure for registration and to find solutions for club management through the new online platform. We’ve been very fortunate that PowerUp Sports has been very accommodating to tailor the system to meet unique needs of both GFA and our member clubs.”

The GFA Competitions Department is targeting the weekend of June 19 to re-start the new season of leagues, beginning with adult futsal and recreational leagues, according to the release.

The Budweiser Futsal League, Bud Light Women’s Futsal League, Budweiser Soccer League Masters Division and Docomo Pacific Soccer Moms League are the first four leagues planned to begin. In the meantime, clubs and players will be required to utilize GFA’s new online registration and club management system before receiving the green light to compete.

Players interested in participating in the leagues will need to register first with a club or team and, after completing registration requirements at the club level, the player will be authorized by the club to continue registration with GFA. Once registration at both the club and GFA level is complete, clubs will be able to manage team rosters for league matches. Coaches, referees, other match officials and administrators also will be required to register online.

“We’ve actually been planning this move to an online system for quite some time to help streamline GFA and club operations, as well as contribute to our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint,” San Gil said. “We’ve always looked for ways to alleviate previous issues of long lines of parents and players at GFA waiting to register for leagues through a single computer system and to eliminate the usage of paper registration forms. In addition to previous challenges with player registration, we have been looking for a complete, efficient system to manage other competitions aspects. This is a move in the right direction for us at GFA, our member clubs and all football stakeholders in Guam.”

The online platform includes features to generate league schedules, assign and confirm referees and provide communication tools for GFA and clubs. The system also has an option to pay fees online. Those registered will be able to see a comprehensive list of their football activity and certifications – whether as a club player, National Team player, coach, or referee, among other roles.

In addition to the convenience the online system provides, GFA is working with FIFA to integrate data from the online system with the FIFA Connect ID service. According to the FIFA website, the FIFA Connect ID service generates a unique global football identity for all football stakeholders worldwide – including players, referees, coaches, officials, organizations and venues, and offers verified data of all player registrations. The unique FIFA ID number each stakeholder receives will be used for football activity worldwide regardless of geographical location.

FIFA has mandated that all member associations must be integrated with the FIFA Connect ID service and have players registered and assigned a FIFA ID number by July 2021. To date, half of FIFA’s 210 member associations are fully integrated.

The start date for upcoming summer leagues is subject to change. The restart of all other leagues, including Premier and Amateur divisions of both the Budweiser Soccer and Bud Light Women’s Soccer leagues, the GFA Women’s Recreational League, the Bud Light Co-Ed Masters Soccer League, the Aloha Maid Minetgot Cup Elite Youth League and the Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth League will be communicated at a later date.