Rugby players, administrators and volunteers are set to benefit from an online registration trial designed to make it simpler for New Zealanders to sign up for rugby each year.
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) is working alongside Provincial Unions to pilot online registration with selected clubs and schools, as an alternative to completing the NZRU paper registration form.
NZRU General Manager of Provincial Union and Community Rugby Brent Anderson said the trial aims to offer an online alternative for the country's 600 rugby clubs and 1,000 rugby schools so that their players can complete their annual registration online.
"Doing this online is not only simpler and faster for players, it will also reduce the workload for volunteers and administrators at clubs, schools and Provincial Unions who have to manually enter each player registration form into NZRU's National Rugby Database."
NZRU has commissioned web-development company, Sportsground.co.nz to work with
NZRU's National Rugby Database developers, StayinFront, to provide the online registration system. Sportsground.co.nz currently works with clubs and schools across New Zealand, providing website content management systems, sport registrations and group email communication services.
"We are thrilled to have been engaged by the NZRU to deliver online registration for rugby in New Zealand," said Mike Purchas, CEO of Sportsground. "By committing to this trial, the NZRU has focussed not only on its own requirements, but on meeting the needs of rugby administrators and the wider rugby community."
The online system will allow clubs and schools to replace the existing NZRU paper registration forms with web input forms. Clubs and schools can adapt the web forms to meet their own unique requirements. This avoids the need to duplicate the registration process in the way that some have in the past. Clubs will also have the option of accepting payments for subscriptions and goods online if they wish.
The online registration trial is being implemented for the 2012 season to gain an understanding of how the online registration process will affect the clubs' and schools' existing processes and to test the technology. Once findings of the trial have been incorporated, the online system will be rolled out nationally as an option for Provincial Unions for the 2013 rugby season.
In 2011, 145,689 New Zealanders signed up to play the sport of rugby each week.