About RunMyLeagueMy Personal Experience - Why RML Was Built.
Located in the Capital District of New York State, Ed Frye has been active in youth baseball for the past 20 plus years. Starting out like many, as a father and manager/coach of three sons who played organized baseball in community-based programs such as Little League and Babe Ruth, Ed is now the administrator of a large, diverse and rapidly growing travel baseball program. Through his participation in the local community-based baseball programs, he recognized a major unmet need; namely, a large segment of players at all ages wanted a greater opportunity to develop their baseball skills by playing against better competition and by playing more games than were available to them through these programs.
In 1996 Ed co-founded the Eastern New York Travel Baseball (ENYTB) League for this purpose. It was the region's first independent youth travel baseball league and remains so to this day. Membership is open to clubs regardless of what organizations sponsor them or what other national baseball programs they may affiliate with. Members include Babe Ruth organizations as well as those baseball clubs unaffiliated with any national summer baseball organization, including high school clubs, college clubs and even ambitious dads who build their own multi-team clubs or simply own a single team that includes their son. ENYTB started with 8 teams and has grown to include nearly 200 teams. Ed has been the league administrator of ENYTB since its inception and its President for the last 10 years.
RunMyLeague's products have grown out of the actual experience and administrative needs of this rapidly growing travel baseball league. During the 2003 season, when that League's program was still relatively modest and included about 55 teams, Ed recognized that the administrative burden of the League was increasing exponentially due to both the rapid growth in membership as well as the expanding range of programs offered by the League. This was threatening to limit the League's ability to accommodate further growth and to further diversify its program. It was at this time that Ed began his quest for the "perfect" baseball league website. His educational background and 25 year professional career as an economist who specialized in the design and development of large scale computerized information systems, combined with his decade of experience administering his travel league uniquely qualified him to know exactly what he was looking for. Ed set about reviewing the various commercial league management solutions available in the marketplace at the time but could not find anything close to what he was looking for. In his words,
had there been a comprehensive and integrated league management solution that could adequately represent my league's exact structure and operations, while providing the range of functionality I needed, was user friendly to an audience that includes many website neophytes and could run itself almost entirely on member input, then I would have gladly subscribed to it.
Needless to say, Ed had high expectations.
After trying a commercial league admin solution for one year and finding it grossly inadequate, Ed accepted the challenge of designing and building his own league admin website, one that could satisfy his own demanding criteria. A project as ambitious as this requires much work from more than one person. Ed was fortunate to know two professional website developers who were willing to take on the challenge with him: his son, Peter Frye, with a Masters Degree in Information Systems from Boston University and living in Oakland, CA. as well as Dale Robert, co-owner and President of website development firm located in upstate NY, Media Innovations. The first version of the website was completed in early 2004 and was used by Ed to administer ENYTB's entire league operations during the 2004 baseball season. Work continued through 2005 and 2006 to revise and extend the website functionality and organization. As Ed puts it, "we had a good product the first year, a much better one the second year and a really special one by the third year."
ENYTB has used its website (enytb.com) for the last three seasons with great success. During this time, ENYTB has steadily increased the breadth of its program, now offering sanctioned play under three national baseball organizations across a dozen age divisions, each of which is differentiated by up to 5 levels of play. As a result, its membership has skyrocketed from a little over 50 teams to almost 200 teams. This website enabled ENYTB to manage its large and diverse program, and to customize its program offering and pricing within each age division and level of play, while greatly reducing the overall burden of league administration. Without the website as a management tool the league could not have grown and prospered as it has.
RunMyLeague evolved from the ENYTB website, beginning with the launch of our second generation layout with a lightweight and flexible design based on editable stylesheets and a new menu organization that accounted for our expanding functionality over the years. Ethan Frey, a professional website developer from Oakland, CA with a degree in Computer Science joined us for the tasks of rebuilding our database structure to be more scalable and secure and generalizing the functionality of the software to accommodate the full variety of leagues that are out there. As a result, RML can be easily customized to represent the internal structure, detail and operational characteristics of virtually any league.
Unlike other software tools sold as league admin packages, RML has been designed to meet the real world needs of a large, complex league and has a proven track record in doing so. RML is a league administrative tool built BY a league administrator FOR league administrators. This should be easily recognizable as you familiarize yourself with the site. Despite all its functionality and power, League admins as well as league participants will find the RML website fun to use and easy to navigate. And, with three years of heavy duty real world operational experience behind us, you can rest assured that all the major bugs have been discovered and fixed.
In summation, in Ed's own words,
I can confidently say that there is no product on the market that I am aware of that offers anything close to RML in terms of its intuitive approach towards the real world operation of youth baseball leagues, its flexibility in being able to represent the structure, details and operations of virtually any baseball league as well as the rich and varied functionality it offers."
Stop being a slave to league paperwork and "Let RML do the legwork for your League!"