Marin Juniors teams compete in tournaments, both area and overnight, that require lengthly car travel for players, coaches, and parents. It is the policy of Marin Juniors that club teams travel together as a team to/from tournament venues by way of parent coordinated carpools. Carefully planned team carpools:
- Streamline team coordination efforts
- Create a more bonded and balanced team
- Help players arrive to tournament venues on time and as a team
- Give parents a break from driving to/from every tournament, and/or the flexibility to arrive late and leave early
At the close of a tournament day, after players have been dismissed by their coaches, players may choose to ride home with their parent(s) if desired. This often means after the team's final reffing assignment, even if a player is not "on duty" for the last game.
Teams establish a central carpool meet-up location in Central Marin and close to the highway (101). Peet's Coffee at Bon Air Shopping Center in Greenbrae has historically been the meet-up spot for many MJ teams. If the tournament location is to the south and there are families in Mill Valley/Sausalito/Tiburon, teams often move or add a second carpool location. Same goes if the tournament location is to the north and there are families in Novato. If there are families in the East Bay or San Francisco, it is not expected that they drive into Marin to carpool.
PARENT DRIVER SIGN-UPS
The team carpool coordinator creates a carpool sign-up for parents (via Google sheets, Team Snap, etc.) that includes each tournament, date, location, and driver slots. Carpooling responsibilities are shared across all parents, and each family aims to sign up for an equal number of shifts. As a carpool driver, your responsibility is to transport players safely and in a timely manner.
DEFINING CAR GROUPS
The carpool coordinator is responsible to define which players will ride in each car. This information is communicated to the team parents via email about a week prior. The carpool coordinator will blend different groupings of players in each car for each tournament day (avoiding the same players always riding together). Players are not grouped by where they live, who their friends are, what position they play, parent/player preferences, etc. Each carpool driver will have their daughter in their car along with other players.
The carpool coordinator is responsible to check-in with their coaches and see if they wish to ride to/from the tournament venue with parents or drive on their own. Some coaches ride with parent drivers the whole season, while some prefer to drive themselves (coaches may have other teams to coach and need their car).
If the coaches require rides with parents, the carpool coordinator needs to ensure that coaches rotate between parent drivers for each tournament day to prevent coaches from riding in the same parent car for the whole season.
Coaches should not be expected to drive players in their own vehicles.
When meeting at the carpool meet-up, parents and players need to know whose car they are assigned to, and communicate if their player will need a ride home with the carpool or not. Parent carpool drivers need to keep track and depart on time so the team isn't late arriving to the tournament venues at the time specified by the coach. The carpool coordinator may or may not be at the meet-up!
Carpool drivers can be reimbursed for any tournament tailgate fees or parking fees by the team treasurer. Gas and toll are the responsibilities of the drivers.