First off, there are many, many forums and resources for finding new league members or finding a new league to join. The thing is, none of these resources do much to help solve the problems that come with bringing in a new member or joining another league as an outsider—and it's not their fault. The main issues are as follows:
Creating: You cannot expect a league of strangers from around the interwebs to magically form a bond that fosters a lasting league for years to come. It can happen, but it's very rare and there is almost always turnover.
Joining: You cannot expect to join an established league as an outsider and find a long term bond. Each league has it's own personality, roots and expectations—and while you may be a perfect fit, more often than not you'll be plugging a hole and nothing more.
Acquiring: Similarly to the above, you shouldn’t expect a new member you’ve recruited to magically assimilate. Again, there are exceptions to all three of these problems, but more often than not open spots will become open again in the future.
The healthiest leagues are competitive ones. Leagues become competitive for some combination of the following reasons:
- The members are all well connected, typically including a group of long time friends or people who have played together for years already.
The members have similar expectations for communication (I've played in amazing leagues who never speak to each other, as well as the opposite. It depends on the expectation from the outset).
There is a common skill level throughout the league.
Everyone involved feels properly incentivized by the pot (budgets match up).
The league rules are clear and agreed on.
Unfortunately, what the vast majority of fantasy leagues actually look like is as follows: A core group of fully bought in die hards who meet the above criteria + a handful of fairly disengaged members who don't really fit the bill for a number of reasons—but can't be removed because they're a friend, or family, or original member — but mostly, bad league members are kept around because replacing them sucks. It's an unreliable process, people like the sentimental aspect of keeping the original group in tact, and again. It sucks.
The thing is, mismatched leagues severely hamper the trading, competition, communication and enjoyment for those who take their leagues seriously. So what can we do? Because the current "straggler" method is inherently flawed.
My solution is as follows: Create a common service/practice of matching healthy “cores” with others, thus creating leagues with batches of committed players who are already comfortable with each other. The result would be an influx of new and/or revitalized leagues comprised of committed, involved, competitive players who not only already know and trust the play style of a few familiar members, but can rely on the rest of the league knowing and trusting each other as well.
Below are the links to use the beta - this is pretty simple, operated through google forms & sheets.
After you fill the form out, I will add it to the public sheet. Once this populates you will be able to sort through options and find some groups that match. We will reach out to each other via email. Once you have found a match, you will be able to check the box marked "Match Found" and I will relegate your group to the bottom and mark them as completed.
Fill out the form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd2zd9tAoZqIK_VKpx9Suny9rTOp8yrcOeITPpX1wd_wv2s4A/viewform?usp=sf_link
Browse Results here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BFoNm7BD3zbWcFmsMItFUx1s1YF1hdQHv2BTEjdRZfE/edit?usp=sharing
Any feedback, additions or changes are welcome, so please just comment. We can test this out for a couple weeks and then iterate.