SportsHeadz Brackets Overview

Video is also available at the bottom of the page.

Sportsheadz Brackets builds on over a decade of experience with the standard Hosted Tournaments module within the Sportsheadz (formerly MBSportsWeb) website platform.  Organizations have long been able to provide tournament-specific portions of their websites complete with integrated schedules and standings.  However, to this point, registration of teams involved using our simple and cost-effective Online Forms features, or another external service.  In either case, there was always an extra step needed to get the list of teams registered into the list of participating teams within the tournament to construct the schedules.

But with Sportsheadz Brackets, teams are now able to register directly with the tournament, essentially adding themselves to the list of participating teams.  But only after tournament administrators have validated and accepted their entry.  We’ve also integrated multiple payment & payment tracking mechanisms, including the option for deposits, early entry fees, coupons, and more.  Team admins can now create accounts with the website, unlocking their ability to securely perform more administrative actions like contact management, managing payments, uploading files, and managing hotel rooms.

Sportsheadz Brackets consists of three main components which can be used somewhat independently but work best when all used together.  These three components are:

  • 1)     Team Registration, Payments, and Contact Management*
  • 2)     The Sportsheadz Mobile App Tournament Experience (coming soon)
  • 3)     Hotel Reservations & Booking Management (coming this fall)

* team Contact Management is a pre-requisite to both the Mobile App and the Hotel Reservations.

This document provides instructions how to setup these components within the tournament module.  Screenshots and terminology is likely to evolve and may not be exactly as shown but the general principles should remain intact.  It is also meant to be used by those with the “Tournament Administrator” (or Global Administrator) role of the website.

Since Sportsheadz Brackets builds on previously existing Tournament Module features, this document assumes there is already a tournament created with the structure already in place (Groups and Divisions).

Team Registration, Payments, and Contact Management

With the Tournament and it’s optional Groups created, there are a number of new pages available within the Tournament Admin module of the Control Panel within a section called Tournament Defaults:

A combination of settings within the first four pages listed will help establish the configuration of team registration, email notifications, custom content areas, and payment options.  Please be sure to have gone through each one before launching your registration.

Just like other parts of the website, these settings can be setup as tournament-wide defaults which are then inherited by every group unless overridden at the group level.  In most cases, this means defining these settings for the tournament and then only using group-level settings to override them, however, some tournaments may benefit by setting every group individually and not using tournament defaults.  In addition, there are a few settings that can be set at the organization level so that they are used by default for all tournaments within the organization.  Access to those settings requires Global Administrator access and can be found in System Administration -> Current Season Defaults -> Tournament Reg (Side-Wide Defaults) -> [Choose from 1 of 4 options].

Unless otherwise stated, all fields are optional.

Tournament Defaults -> Registrations

These are the settings that are used to determine when registration opens / closes, how many teams are expected for each Group, the rates (deposit / early entry / regular entry) and corresponding due dates, etc.  These are the settings at the time of this writing:

  •         Registration Opens / Registration Closes – REQUIRED – can be different for each group within the same tournament.  The open date means that on midnight of the date specified registration can begin, and the close date means that at 11:59pm of the date specified registration will end.
  •         Full Entry Fee – REQUIRED – this is the highest amount paid by a team to enter the tournament / group.  It is also assumed to be inclusive of any taxes required.
  •         Entry Due By – if payment for the tournament is to be submitted before a certain date (usually well before the tournament) then enter that here.  Otherwise, teams will be encouraged to pay as soon as possible, but not by any specific date.
  •         Self-Withdrawal For – For any team which has not made any payments and has not been scheduled for any games, then if their status is either Submitted, Pending, Waitlisted, or Declined, they can self-withdraw at any time.  However, if their status is Accepted, then this setting allows for a limited time window for the team to self-withdraw and includes warnings in the team’s management portal that they need to decide to withdraw by a certain date (the number of days after being accepted).  The purpose of this setting is to get teams who may have entered multiple tournaments to withdraw from the ones they do not intend to enter if they are accepted in a different one.  Also, any team with a status of Confirmed cannot self-withdraw under any circumstances.
  •         Deposit Amount / Deposit Due By – if the tournament or group is going to allow for deposits, then the amount of the deposit can be provided here.  It’s also recommended, but not required, to set a deposit due by date well before the tournament begins to encourage that team’s commitment to full entry later.
  •         Early Entry Fee / Early Entry Deadline – if the tournament wishes to incentivize teams to register as early as possible, they can use this to offer an automatically reduced Full Entry Fee if the team is registered (status of Pending) by 11:59pm on the Early Entry Due Deadline.  The payment itself is still due by the settings defined in the Entry Due By (if set).  The usage of Early Entry Fees is independent of, and does not effect, any Deposit settings.
  •         Team Limit / Limit Includes – used to automatically shut off registrations once a certain number of teams have been confirmed (or accepted or confirmed via the Limit Includes setting).  If this limit hasn’t been set, or is set to 0, then Allow Waitlist must be set to True (checked) in order for registration to be enabled for the tournament / group.
  •         Waitlist? – As mentioned above, if a Team Limit is not set, then this must be set to True (checked) for registrations to be enabled.  If a Team Limit has been set, then allowing a Waitlist will keep the registrations enabled beyond the limit however those teams will not be able to submit payment or do most other administrative functions until they are either Approved or Confirmed.
  •         Auto Accept? – By default, tournament administrators are notified via email and can click a link within the email to mark a team as Accepted (or use the Control Panel to do the same).  However, if so desired, the Auto Accept setting will automatically move teams from the status of Pending to Accepted.  Essentially, as soon as they register, they are Accepted and can make payments, manage contacts, and perform other team admin functions.
  •         Auto Confirm on Payment of – By default, when a team makes their Full Amount (Full Entry) verified payment, they will be marked as Confirmed which should indicated they now have a guaranteed spot in the tournament.  Other options for this setting include “Deposit”, which will set the team as Confirmed when either the Deposit or Full Amount is paid and verified, or “None”, which will never automatically change a team’s status from Accepted to Confirmed.

Tournament Defaults -> Email Settings

There are a significant amount of email notification triggers built into the registration process, including when a team registers, changes its status, or makes a payment.  All these settings can be set on a per-group basis if needed.  These are the email settings available at the time of this writing:

  •         Email From Name / Email From Address – If not set, any notifications that are sent to team admin contacts will come from the name of the tournament and the email address authorized by the website to send emails on its behalf.  The Email From Name can be set to add a bit of personalization to indicate the name of the tournament organizer(s) instead.  The Email From Address is used in the email as the “reply to” address, meaning the recipient should be able to reply to the notification email and have it go to the address provided here, rather than to the email used by the website for sending the notification (which is usually a “noreply” or unmonitored address).
  •         Email To – On Register / Email To – On Payment – these are meant to go to one or more tournament organizers when either a team is first registered, or a team makes (or cancels) a payment.  These email notifications include a link back to the affected team’s management or payment pages.  In the case of the On Register notification, clicking the link in the email will allow a tournament administrator to set the status of the team to either Accepted, Confirmed, Waitlisted, or Declined; or change the name of the team if needed.  For the On Payment notification, clicking the link in the email will allow a tournament administrator to mark a payment as verified (useful for e-transfer or cheque payments where manual verification is needed).
  •         Custom Email Content – Submitted / Pending / Accepted / Confirmed / Waitlisted / Declined Notification – when empty, each box includes the contents of the emails that are sent to team admins when their status changes to become one of those specified in the setting.  If a tournament chooses to override one of these, make sure to include the basic information provided in the default notification in addition to whatever other custom information is being added to the notification.  Examples of things to add would be specific instructions about how / where to find hotel information, whether teams are expected to submit their rosters, etc.  For the most part, however, these instructions can also be included within customized content sections of the team’s management portal.

Tournament Defaults -> Content Settings

Each tournament will likely wish to customize on-screen instructions that are available throughout the registration and team management process.  The entire Tournament Registration section uses “responsive web design” which means that any custom content provided should have flexible widths and be optimized for viewing on a small screen size.  Settings available at the time of this writing include:

  •         Landing – the landing page for the tournament registration process, available at the address of /Tournaments/[tournament_id]/Register.  The tournament-wide setting will only appear at the top of the page and should be a message mostly about welcoming and thanking teams for their interest in registering.  It can also include details about game number guarantees, sanctioning numbers, calibre of play, links to tournament rules or entry requirements, and/or links to hotel information.  For tournaments with Groups, the Landing content setting for each Group will appear within each group’s listed on the Landing page.  This setting is not inherited from the tournament to each group – so if each group needs to have the same content it will need to be repeated for each group.
  •         Start – when the team admin clicks the button to Register from the Landing page, they are taken to the Start page.  This page will show group-specific content near the top of the page, and tournament-wide content at the bottom.  This setting is not inherited from the tournament to each group – so if each group needs to have the same content it will need to be repeated for each group.
  •         Pending / Accepted / Confirmed / Waitlisted / Declined – these will appear at the top of each team’s management portal.  They can not be customized per team – they apply to either the entire tournament or to each group depending on where they are set.  In each case, the default on-screen instructions and prompts should help teams figure out most of the administrative functions on their own, however, organizers may wish to add more specific instructions for their own tournament’s policies.
  •         Refund Notes – strongly recommended – if the tournament has a refund policy, it should be placed in this area (if it’s relatively short) or linked to within this content area.  When provided, these Refund Notes will show at the bottom of the payment page including a message that by making a payment that the team has read, understands, and agrees to the refund policy provided here.

Tournament Defaults -> Payment Options

To collect payments from registered teams there needs to be at least one payment method setup.  By default, these are all off (unless there is an organization-wide default setup for payments).  The settings available at the time of this writing are:

  •         SportsPay Terminal ID / SportsPay Pwd – to enable online payments using credit cards, we have partnered with SportsPay to provide an online checkout solution that fully integrates with the Tournament Registration system.  If you already have a SportsPay account, enter your Terminal ID and Pwd here.  If you don’t yet have a SportsPay account, contact for more information.
  •         Cheque Payment Instructions – if the tournament will allow cheques as a form of payment, then the teams will need to know who to make the cheque out to as well as the mailing address to send it to.  The website will automatically add a note indicating that the team should include their own name plus the name of the tournament in the memo field of the cheque (or as a separate note / letter).  The payments section will also require that the team admin enter the number of their cheque being sent which both helps with cross-referencing them when received as well as providing a little extra proof that a cheque is actually being completed and sent.
  •         e-Transfer Payment Instructions – if the tournament will accept e-transfers as a method of payment, then the teams will need to know the email address to send their payment.  In most cases, the recipient (the tournament) will enable auto-deposit which usually by-passes the security question & answer part of an e-transfer.  However, to ensure that the senders (each team) enters the same security question / security answer, those are also required here.  The website also automatically adds a note about including the name of the tournament, group, and team in the “message” part of the transfer to help with the verification process.
  •         Allow Overdue Payments? – for any Fee that is added to the list of fees for a team, if that Fee has a due date, it will be indicated within the team’s management portal.  By default, if a Fee is past due, it cannot be submitted for payment on the team’s payment management page.  If all fees are overdue and can’t be paid when overdue, a message is generating on the screen that the team must contact the tournament organizer(s) to arrange for payment.  In some cases, a tournament might want to add an additional Late Fee to the list of fees assigned to the team.

More settings are likely to be added in the future as feature requests or other enhancements are submitted by users of the Sportsheadz Brackets system.

Changes to Previously Existing Features

Tournament Setup -> Participating Teams

The Tournament Module has always had a listing of Participating Teams available within the Control Panel.  This page has been slightly modified to include all teams registered, regardless of status.  Any team with a status other than Accepted or Confirmed will have their status indicated next to the team.

When adding or editing a team, several new properties have been added:

The Group, City / Association Name, Team Name, and Host Team? properties are all the same as they have been.  The Self-Management Code used to be referred to as the Edit Roster GUID – it serves mostly the same purpose now but the name change more accurately reflects its use.  When editing an existing team, there is also a link to that page provided.

Of particular importance on the new Tournament Team form is the Registration Status, which can be either Submitted (the team has completed the Start page but hasn’t yet confirmed the information submitted there), Pending (team has confirmed their information and is now waiting for acceptance), Accepted (either a tournament organizer has accepted, or their group auto-accepted them and they now need to submit payments), Confirmed (either they’ve paid in full, paid a deposit and the group auto-confirms on a deposit, or the tournament organizer has confirmed them), Waitlisted (the team has registered and either automatically added to a waitlist or the tournament organizers set them as such), or Declined (the tournament organizer does not wish to allow this team to enter their tournament).

Note: If a team was listed in a participating teams list prior to the launch of the Sportsheadz Brackets system, the only way they could have been added there was by a tournament organizer.  Therefore, the default status for any team who has not explicitly had their status set, is Confirmed.

This form also allows for the adding of Admin Contacts and eventually may also have the ability to manage the team’s fees & payments, contacts, roster, and rooms; however, these functions are also being added for Tournament Admins within each team’s management portal, which Tournament Admins have access to and are far more likely to use given they are part of the “responsive design” and available on any device or screen size, unlike the Control Panel which is available for desktop-sized screens only.  So, at the time of this writing, many of these options are not available in the Control Panel.

The importing of participating teams has also been slightly adjusted to reflect the importing of a Primary and Alternate contact (with their name and email address), the Status of a team (with the default of Confirmed if not specified), and several options of what is triggered when importing:

Email Communications

This page replaces the former Bulk Email -> Roster Editing Instructions page.  It can be used for both reporting on various aspects of ALL teams within a tournament, with the added ability to filter to a certain sub-set of teams based on various criteria including the ability to send an email to that sub-set of teams (or email all teams, or an individual team).  It also has a quick link to each team’s management portal page.

The list of teams can be filtered by one or more statuses, by the types of payments made (if any), by the number of days they’ve been in their latest status, or whether they have a balance owing greater than $0.  It’s likely that in the future many more additional filters will be added based on requests of tournament organizers.  To send an email to the desired teams, check them off in the list and use the “Message Subject” and “Message Body” boxes to compose your message.  By default, each team selected will receive the link to their self-management portal at the bottom of the email, which can be unchecked if so desired.

The Email Communications page is a great way to convert the pre-existing process to the new one – allowing teams to self-manage their list of contacts for the purposes of using the Sportsheadz App and/or booking hotel rooms.  Teams can be introduced to the new options available to them by sending them an email which includes their self-management portal link and some basic instructions.

Copying Seasons

The final note within this section relates to season-over-season configurations.  When copying a season there is now an option to include tournaments as part of the process.  When doing so, a tournament’s structure (groups & divisions) are copied into the new season, along with all the configuration settings.  This copy process will specifically exclude all dates, but particularly the Registration Start / Close dates so that registration is not opened by accident.   However, all other settings such as content, email, payment providers, etc will be available to use in subsequent seasons unless otherwise modified.

The Sportsheadz Mobile App Tournament Experience

This feature is being released in the coming weeks and documentation will become available when it launches.

Hotel Reservations & Booking Management

This feature will be released in the upcoming months and documentation will become available at that time.

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