I didn’t want last year’s post on the Consitution to be my only advice for fantasy commissioners. As an experienced league commissioner who’s only had 3 fantasy-related fistfights between owners in the past 5 years, I feel secure sharing my knowledge as a guide for other league managers. Hopefully you find this chronological guide helpful for the smooth sailing of your league.
1. Initial Interest Inquiry/Invitation
If you don’t have the players, you can’t have the game. So in July, you need to find out who is playing. Why so early? Because you never know if you have to recruit someone, and recruitment can take time. Especially if your league has initiation proceedings such as requiring completion of a multi-state scavenger hunt to prove you’re tenacious enough to set your lineup every week.
An important initial interest inquiry question is to gather a few possible nights that they can do the draft. You don’t want to pick the dates yourself, put them on the survey, and have half the people say they can’t make any of your proposed dates. Also ask for proposed rules changes.
2. Create the Constitution
Your league should have a Constitution. I first learned the importance of the Constitution from a teacher in elementary school, but I didn’t learn the importance of a fantasy constitution til much later in life. Last year I helped you prepare for your fantasy season by providing you with my home league’s newly-written constitution. I’m pleased to report it was ratified for last season, and I’m also pleased to report that the League did not have to employ its power “to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the League, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.
Does your constitution need IV (4) articles, random Olde-Timey capitalization, and adherance to the outline of the United States Constitution? Yes, but I’ll let it slide. Mainly, you should cover things that your standard website doesn’t cover. For instance, some websites don’t explicitly state how playoff seeding is done; they just do it themselves. Look over your website’s “Settings” or “Rules” page. If you can’t find something that you feel is important–think about things like ties, seeding, prizes, house rules, trading, whether or not you’re allowed to bench your kicker in the Monday night game if you have a 1 point lead and the other team used all its players just to make sure your kicker doesn’t score -2 and lose you the game, and how future rules changes should occur.
3. Send the Survey
I recommend an annual survey. There’s numerous free websites where you can set up such a survey and compile the results automatically, or, you could complete it via email or even a Google document. Take a look at this sample–it took literally 2 minutes to create it.*
Why do you need a survey? To enact the will of The People. Our league always has people with lots of great suggestions–Should we get rid of kickers? Should we add TE’s to the Flex position? The Survey can settle questions as simple as switching from Draft to Auction, or how many seconds each pick should be. And always ask a question determining what night to hold the draft, and more importantly, what food?
4. Set up the Site
At this point, you know the league rules, and you know who’s playing, and so it’s time to set up/update the site. It’s now early-to-mid-August, and if your league allows draft pick trading, or involves keepers players will want the site ready to go.
Once the site is up, your work is mostly done. All that’s left to do is pick your team name, hold the draft, and hope for good luck.