The single-most important component to any fantasy league is the commissioner. While many people participate in online fantasy leagues against people they don’t know, there are still some of us that enjoy playing with friends (at least until the season starts), co-workers, etc. The duties and responsibilities of the league commissioner are numerous and important to the successful completion of your season.
1 – Owners must be invited to join the league and e-mails must be verified. This may sound simple, but try sending out an e-mail to 11 of your closest friends and ask for a one-word yes or no response within 72 hours. You’ll see what I mean.
2 – A site must be chosen to manage the league, keep score, track players and describe your league’s rules. The commissioner must enter your particular scoring system and modify your league rules on the site chosen.
3 – Players must be entered onto the site if you don’t hold your draft online.
The Two Most Important Rules
Rule No. 1
THE COMMISSIONER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!
Rule No. 2
See Rule No. 1
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a strong commissioner with autocratic powers. The commissioner must be in charge and not afraid to make decisions based on the overall good and integrity of the league. Choosing the correct commissioner will lead to years of fantasy enjoyment.
Commissioner Do’s and Don’ts
The integrity of the commissioner must be without reproach. He or she must be able to make quick and fair decisions after being presented with all information. The main goal/responsibility is to preserve the integrity of the league. If your league does not run smoothly, you don’t have the right commissioner in place or you haven’t given your commissioner this power.
Here are several things that don’t work 95-100 percent of the time.
1- Democracies – If you have to put everything to a vote, it will bog down the decision-making process and you’ll never get anything done. It also allows for lobbying that may not always be in the best interest of the league. All trades must be allowed unless vetoed by the commissioner due to perceived collusion.
2 – “Milk-Toast” Commissioners – If your commissioner has to lament for days over every decision, the natives will get restless and chaos will result.
3 – Trade Committees – There is a difference between a bad trade and collusion. When you put trades to a vote, there are too many people whose vote will be determined by how each individual trade affects them, and not on if it strikes at the principles of the league itself. Bad trades are part of fantasy football, and many trades often turn out to be not as bad as the weeks pass by. Collusion will destroy a league.
4 – Rotating Commissioners – Not all persons have the organizing and decision-making skills necessary to be a good commissioner. You will eventually rotate in someone that will allow your league to self destruct.
Ultimately, the best chance for league harmony and success, is a commissioner that is respected and in total control. Like any kingdom, the king or queen is in complete charge unless a majority of the serfs decide that it is time to be “off with their heads!” The commissioner’s decisions will not always sit well with everyone, but as long as league integrity is maintained, a successful fantasy league will result. Remember, when in doubt, Rule No. 1 must always apply.