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The Role Of A Good Fantasy Commissioner
Posted by David Martorano at 5/8/2008 12:59:00 PM
View more posts by this author


Being in a number of different fantasy leagues, there are a number of different fantasy commissioners that I have to deal with. Some are great, some are ok and others are terrible. It is my opinion that to be a good fantasy commissioner, certain simple rules need to be followed.

They are as follows:

1. Recruit a good bunch of fantasy owners to fill up your league. They need not all be superstars, but they should all be active owners.

2. Put thought into setting pre-draft settings and set them in a way that maximizes the level of fun for all participants.

3. Stand by your pre-draft settings.

4. Be willing to change settings only where there is general consensus from the league regarding the change and only where it is absolutely clear that the change will provide an increase in league fun.

5. Figure out a way to collect money from each and every team. There is nothing worse than winning a fantasy league, only to realize that your winnings are substantially smaller than you imagined. In most cases, the threat of a freeze-out will induce payment from all owners by a certain date.

6. Avoid controversy at any cost.

7. Where the rules or settings fail to address a certain scenario, involve the league in coming up with a solution for an unforeseen problem.

8. Keep it simple. Fantasy sports is supposed to be fun. There is nothing worse than a league where rules are hidden in a 10 page document that only a handful of owners will take the time to go through. If a constitution is absolutely necessary, make it as concise and plain to read as possible.

9. When faced with a controversy or potential controversy that rules or settings have failed to address, always seek to reach the most fair and just solution.

10. Put trades through as quickly as possible.

11. Be thoughtful and then decisive in making important decisions.


Not only do I disagree with number 8, I think it is inconsistent with number 6. Constitutions are necessary, especially in keeper leagues, because you need an established set of rules that everyone can follow and abide by. Without such rules, people will invariably disagree about what the commissioner should do, and that's when controversy results. The easiest way for a commish to avoid controversy is to point to the constitution and say "that's the rule, my hands are tied." That's also the best way to be fair to everyone.

Reading the constitution isn't fun for anyone. But it's essential to prevent chaos and to ensure an orderly league. And not reading the constitution is suicide and will invariably hurt your team, i.e. by causing you to get players cut because you don't draft the right number of minor leaguers, etc.
Posted by MPStopa at 5/8/2008 7:30:00 PM
A good fantasy commissioner would not vote to veto a trade of Gallardo for Markakis that was agreed upon prior to the injury. Unfortunately, I don't have a good commissioner in my league.
Posted by skinsnut at 5/9/2008 7:14:00 AM
I'm just curious, but what is worse:
a) winning a fantasy league, only to realize that your winnings are substantially smaller than you imagined.

b) a league where rules are hidden in a 10 page document that only a handful of owners will take the time to go through.

Seriously though, a is much worse. As Mr. Stopa said above, you gotta have a good constitution in any keeper league, and probably also in plenty of one-year leagues as well. If it's a just a public yahoo league, no big deal. If it's a yahoo league in which 12 guys each paid $100 to join, it's a big deal.
Posted by kennruby at 5/9/2008 1:17:00 PM
You always have issues in keeper leagues with trading....only way you won't is with no trading, rofl. If trading is allowed, I prefer the veto over the commish, since the commish probably plays...5 vetos in 16 team league seems reasonable. Here is how I run my league and it is competitve and headache(drama) free.

1.Rules don't change after the draft....only emergency would be a software issue.

2.Payment is paid in full before the draft.

3.No Drama....which means NO can be also is the cause of 99% of the b.s. and drama in all fantasy leagues. Plus working trades can eat up a lot of time imho...

4.First come frist served on fa picks, 48 hour wait on waived players.

5.If you don't like rules 1-4 you aren't welcomed.

Unless there is a software issue the league runs itself and is DRAMA free, very active, and very competive. To each their own.......
Posted by Zenguerrilla at 5/9/2008 3:22:00 PM
I agree with the no trading proposal. The NFBC doesn't allow trading. Maybe every league should follow suit. Just not worth it in the end.
Posted by skinsnut at 5/9/2008 3:39:00 PM

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