Team Challenge Best Practices

Best practice tips for running your Team Leaderboard challenge

MoveSpring Team avatar
Written by MoveSpring Team
Updated over a week ago

The MoveSpring platform offers two team-based challenge modes: Team Leaderboard and Team Virtual Race.

The Team Leaderboard mode runs in a leaderboard fashion scored on average total steps. The team with the highest average of total steps, distance, or active minutes moves to the top of the leaderboard.

The Team Virtual Race is also scored by average totals, but uses distance instead of steps. The team with the highest average total distance at the end of the challenge wins. Team Virtual Race also includes a secondary finish line goal that determines how far teams will need to move to complete the virtual race path. The goal also determines the placement of virtual milestones during the race.

Participants will be able to view team rankings as well as individual members' standing within a given team in both challenge modes. Users can also switch the viewing metric to see standings based on totals or averages for steps, active minutes, and distance.

Team-Based Challenges: Best Practice Tips

Create a general participant team

For larger challenges we recommend creating a general participant team. Not all users may have a team to join, but they still want to participate and see stats. We suggest having one general participant team that users can join! Share the team name to all participants so individuals can easily join this general team if they want.

For example: No team? No problem. Join the general participant team called _______ to participate and see stats!

Enforce a Team minimum

It's typical for teams to be made up of an uneven amount of participants. One team may have six users while another will have fifteen. We recommend enforcing a minimum number of users on each team. Teams with only one individual will solely reflect that user’s average—giving them an unfair advantage. The last thing you want is a team of 1 who happens to be a high stepper.

Once you've decided this minimum (we suggest 3-4 as a minimum) make sure to include this in your initial communications, along with the detail on how you'll handle a team that does not meet the minimum requirement. It's very important to set the precedent in the initial communications.

For example: Should your team have less than the minimum of 3 users by [X] date we will delete your team and move all members to the general participant team.

How to handle non-syncing users

Users who aren't syncing and who subsequently have 0's will affect their team's score. This can bring team morale down. If sync reminder push notifications are on, users who have not synced at 3 and then 7 total days will get a push notification reminding them to come into the app to sync.

As syncing is important to the overall success of the challenge we highly suggest using the content or chat features to also remind everyone to sync their steps to MoveSpring.

It will be beneficial to implement a rule for how you'll handle users who never sync. Include this in your initial communications and reminders to help users remember to sync.

For example: Users who have not synced after [X] days from the challenge beginning will be removed from the challenge.

How to handle users who have not joined a team

If you are not assigning teams yourself, when users join the challenge they will see a prompt to select and join a team. This step is required for users to participate in the team challenge. While this is prominently shown in the user experience you may still encounter users who join the challenge, but do not join a team.

To monitor this, you'll want to pull the Team Virtual Race reports from the Reporting section of the admin center before the challenge begins. Refer to the Team Roster Report, and identify any users with a blank team field. This signifies they still need to join a team. From here you have two options: to manually place them on a team or send out a targeted email to these users reminding them they must join a team.

Add an activity cap

Teams are based on averages, which helps level the playing field if you have any high steppers. You might also want to consider adding an activity cap to your challenge to keep things fair. An activity cap limits the total number of daily steps, distance, or active minutes each user can score into a particular challenge mode.

If you have an activity cap on a team mode, the cap is applied to each user’s totals before they are averaged into the team total. For example, if you have a cap of 20,000 steps/day and a user’s fitness device tracks 25,000 steps, only 20,000 of their steps will be calculated in their team’s totals.

In a team challenge, teams are ranked from high to low based on their average total steps, distance, or active minutes moved to date. Totals will increase over time as users move each day.

As your challenge progresses, you will see team totals that are higher than your daily activity cap. This is to be expected. If you look at each team on a day to day basis, you’ll notice participant’s daily totals are being capped daily. The overall team scores, however, should increase over time as they reflect the averages for the entire challenge, not just one day.

Sample Communication Schedule

A challenge with a team-based module may requires increased communications than a typical challenge. This is because of the ideas outlined above. Below we've put together a suggested communication schedule based on these factors.

Before the Challenge Begins

1. Users who have joined the challenge, but not yet joined a team

Channel: Email

How to find your recipients: Team Roster Report. Users who appear on this report, but have a blank Team Name field.

2. Users who have not connected a device

Channel: Email

How to find your recipients: User Report. Filter by All Groups. Remove all users not in this challenge. Filter by device type: None.

First week of challenge

1. Teams who have not reached minimum number of participants

Channel: Email

How to find your recipients: Team Rank Report. Filter by Team Member Count.

2. Users who do not have a device connected

Channel: Email

How to find your recipients: Team Individual Member Report. Filter by device type: None.

Sample Communication Template - Team Challenge Rules

Use our template below to easily communicate challenge rules ahead of time. You can schedule it as an announcement in the MoveSpring app, or send via another communication channel that’s convenient for you.


  • Teams are required to have a min of X members and a maximum of Y members.

  • Any team that does not meet the minimum of 4 members by X/XX/XX will be merged to another team

  • 0’s affect team scores so sync daily. Users who do not sync every [7] days will be removed from their team.

  • *An activity cap of [X] steps per day has been added to the team leaderboard and virtual race challenge modes, which means that each individual can only sync up to [X] steps.

If you have any questions around team challenge best practice tips, please reach out to your client success manager or contact the MoveSpring support team.

Did this answer your question?