Major milestone met in the national database

We have now reached a major milestone in the online registration of our members into the national database – 20,000 members for the current season.

When we compare this to last season’s numbers, we are about 5,750 members short of reaching the 2014/15 season, but our numbers are climbing every day and it is anticipated that we will be very close to this number in the next couple of months.

Many thanks have to go to the tireless volunteer registrars and admins who work behind the scenes to make sure that our database is setup for your associations and clubs, and who make sure that everything from registration through to permits and clearances are processed correctly.

Demographic information

We have been asked a number of times why we collect demographic information, and what do we do with it.

Demographics allow us to better understand the makeup of our member base.  It shows every admin at their level, in real numbers, who their members are.  Each state can view the same information for their state; likewise with the clubs and associations.

However, because the states and Softball Australia are further removed from the registration process, they do not have the same inherent understanding of their member base that the clubs and association have. Bottom line is that these bodies are not meeting the members on a weekly basis like the clubs and associations do, so knowing the mix of members is difficult without the database.

In addition, the members’ demographics in Far North Queensland is different to that in ACT, Hobart, East Pilbara, Perth and Alice Springs.  Having an overarching view allows for broad understanding at a state and national level.

National level

At a national level, understanding our member base is very important and something that we’ve not been able to do before with any confidence of accuracy.  For example, we currently know that just over one quarter of our member base is women over 35 (5,016 members at the time this article was printed).

Most importantly, the more we understand our demographics, the better decisions we can make for the future of our sport.  If we notice that numbers are growing in a specific demographic in a state, we can look at the programs they are running and see if by replicating them, we can emulate the same results in other states.

Similarly, if numbers are falling, greater focus can be brought to bear in those specific areas.

The second reason we aggregate the demographic data is in seeking sponsorship.  Sponsorship money is becoming harder and harder to source; and sponsors are keen to only give dollars to groups that have the demographic that their service or product is suited for.  If a company is interested in sponsoring softball, one of the first questions they ask is what our membership demographics is.  If they are a company with specific services or products for women, then the fact that 66% of our demographic base is female is a strong positive for us.

We don’t use the demographic information for anything else.  We certainly do not use it at an individual level.

Below are some graphs that will give you an idea of the demographics that make up our sport at a national level.

Percentage breakdown

    Percentage of total membership

It is interesting to note that a little over a third of our member base is over 35 (with a quarter consisting of over 35 women), and that a little under a third are under 15 years of age.

Female and male work categories shown in proportion to size of population in the database, is based on those members over 18 years old who responded to the demographic questions.

Female Work Category

The same with education status.

Education

Of note is the fact that about a quarter of the men (who responded) have completed some level of tertiary education (24.9% with Degrees or Post Graduate Degrees) and for women this was almost a third of the respondents (32.5%).

Respondents listed Certificates II/III/IV and Advanced Diploma as their Education Category; for men it accounted for 60% of respondents, and for women this was 50%.

Female and male occupation categories shown in proportion to size of population in the database is based on those members over 18 years old who responded to the demographic questions.

Female and Male Occupation

Interesting to note that the top 4 (out of 21) categories for women accounted for 60% of respondents (Office and Administrative support 21%; Education, Training and Library Occupations 19%; Healthcare Support 11%; and Sales and Related Occupations 9%).

For men, the top 4 categories accounted for just over 50%  (Construction and Extraction Occupations 16%; Transportation and Materials Moving 14%, Management Occupations 12%; Sales and Related Occupations 10%).