Tim Mellander has been an active volunteer in the soccer community for 28 years. Like many parents, his initial involvement began with his youngest son joining a recreational program in 1986 and subsequently lead to being asked to help. Without any knowledge of soccer, he took it upon himself to learn the sport and coaching fundamentals, which resulted in several successful seasons with his son’s team winning the recreational league. Tim and his son gravitated to the local travel club as his son’s skills advanced and he needed more challenges. Initially, Tim did not coach his son’s travel team, but when it became necessary, he and two other fathers assumed the responsibility from 1987-1993 until the boys got older and needed better coaching.
Binghamton District Registrar
Near the end of his coaching career, Tim was asked by then Binghamton District Commissioner, Gary Acker, to take over the district’s player registration, which at the time was converting from paper to computerized registration. Little did Tim know this was the beginning of his long and impressive administrative career. He served as the District Registrar from 1993-1995 writing the registration policy for the district and organizing the collection of data.
New York State West Registrar
Recognizing his valuable computer and organizational skills, in mid-1995, the New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NYSWYSA) Board of Directors appointed Tim to the vacant position of NYSWYSA State Registrar, a position which he holds to this day. Briefly stated, Tim brought much needed order to the organization and administration of soccer in the State Association, which had no registration policy or rules at the time of his appointment. To accomplish this daunting task, he began by authoring a registration policy to be used statewide whose basic framework is still being utilized today. He then organized a team of District Registrars to coordinate player registration throughout the State Association, to bring uniformity to the process, and to migrate from a DOS based to a Window’s based program.
Early in his long tenure as State Registrar, Tim recognized that the world of soccer administration was dynamic and continually changing driving the need for a vehicle to keep the soccer community informed and updated. In 1996, he worked closely with his son Micah to design and develop a website, which then became the State Association’s primary means to communicate its policies and procedures and information to the membership. With over 200K visits annually, the website also became the leading piece of technology to move the State Association forward by incorporating additional pertinent technologies as they became available.
In 2002, it became apparent to Tim that the time was right to take the next step in registration technology. This lead to his partnership with Demosphere Inc. to work together and develop an internet based registration product. This task culminated in the 2003-2004 seasonal year when he introduced to the State Association’s membership the Demophere’s RosterPro system, a web based registration and rostering application. This innovative system brought the state association membership database together into one collective location for the first time. It further simplified and improved the ability of the member clubs to transfer their membership data to the State Association in real time. Tim continues to work with Demosphere on an ongoing basis to enhance and improve the RosterPro system, which still remains at the cutting edge.
As State Registrar, Tim tackled other administrative tasks that needed his attention. The first was the State Association’s lack of a formal process for credential’s check process for the State Cup Competition, which was identified by Region 1 in 1995. He developed the process as it is known today to the Region’s satisfaction and has continued to refine and streamline the process each year making it run smoother, more efficiently and easier for the teams entering the competition. To further simplify the process for teams entering the competition, he also moved the State Cup application to an on-line process through the State Association’s website.
In his continued quest to simplify the paperwork for the State Association’s membership, Tim moved the Permission to Travel Process from the laborious paper form to an instant on-line process. This made it easier and simpler for teams to obtain the proper credentials to travel to tournaments and events in other states. Additionally, he also developed a means for potential tournament directors to apply for permission to host a tournament via an on-line process rather than through the submission of paper forms.
US Youth Soccer Region I Registrar
In late 2001, Tim’s growing reputation as a recognized and respected administrator became even more evident when he was asked to consider taking the position of US Youth Soccer Region I Registrar as the current registrar needed to resign for family health reasons. He readily accepted the position and during the 2002-2007 timeframe, he led many Regional Registrars’ Meetings and assisted in the resolution of many issues for the State Registrars in the region. Region I consists of 15 state associations in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic area of the United States.
US Youth Soccer National Registrar
Tim’s reputation continued to grow and in the spring of 2007, the US Youth Soccer President, Larry Monaco, asked Tim to consider taking the chair of the US Youth Soccer Registrar’s Committee at the national level. He sensed it was time to take the next step and gladly accepted the position. During his tenure as the National Registrar, Tim lead the effort to develop a common form for player transactions across the state lines of all 55 state associations, and the development of an on-line forum for state registrars to discuss and solve issues. Along with these accomplishments, he organized the state registrars of all 55 states for an annual summit meeting at the US Youth Soccer Workshop each year. Tim continues to be sought out by state associations as a subject matter expert on the rules and regulations regarding player registration and rostering.
Assistant Director of New York State West
In January of 2010, the NYSWYSA approached Tim to consider a paid position with them because additional help was needed in the State Office. With his experience and the excellent, diverse skill set on registration, rostering, and web services he had developed over many years, Tim more than adequately matched and filled the need. He accepted the position of Assistant Director and currently works daily with the Executive Director, Technical Director and other office staff striving to provide the State Association’s membership with meaningful soccer programming at every level of the youth game.
Thruway League Commissioner
One of Tim’s major responsibilities as Assistant Director is serving as League Commissioner of the Thruway League. This league had grown rapidly and its management was overpowering the volunteer administrator. The league requested the NYSWYSA to consider becoming its professional administrator. In the winter of 2010, as the league’s commissioner, Tim began working to make the Thruway League a sound business, obtain its incorporation, re-write its rules and procedures, and set up a new league website that made application and management of league play easy to handle. As a result of his extraordinary efforts, in three seasons, this now highly successful league expanded to over 200 teams with over 800 games in 2013 spanning the State Association from Fredonia to Albany. The league is now recognized by two state associations, the NYSWYSA and Eastern NY Youth Soccer, as a national championship qualifying league. The league has also been recognized by US Youth Soccer Region I, as they promote the Thruway League Division 1 winner to the Region I Champions League. The league’s second division is also used in the US Youth Soccer Region I President’s Cup selection process for the NYSWYSA.
On a personal note, Tim is a US Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, a member of the American Legion, an active member of his church, an avid trout fisherman and member of Trout Unlimited. He also is the founder and president of the Triple Cities Browns Backers, a Cleveland Browns football fan club. Tim and his wife Rebecca enjoy spending their summers at their second home on Lake Erie. They currently reside in Endicott, and have two adult sons and three grandsons.
NYSWYSA Rochester District Commissioner and Awards’ Committee Chairman Roger Best said this of Tim, “I have been privileged and fortunate to know and work with Tim since he became the NYSWYSA State Registrar. In that position and all of the various positions he has held, Tim always put the best interests of the membership and its players in the forefront. One can have nothing but respect and admiration for his dedication and all that he has accomplished to advance the game of soccer in the State Association and beyond. He is the consummate organizer and administrator and the State Association is fortunate that he continues to serve the youth soccer community.”