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Old 09-19-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
rberney
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Building a better league

So... I've been involved in fantasy baseball in one way or the other for the better part of the past 20 years. I've been in OOTP leagues, Yahoo leagues and High Heat leagues. I've been the commissioner of 2 seperate leagues for a total of 10 years, including a Yahoo 'keeper' league that I created and kept active for better than 8 real life years alone.

The last league I was in - a High Heat 'keeper' league - I was involved in for better than 5 years. It was a great league, with very active owners - most of which were in the league for as long as I was. However it became 'boring' as it just wasn't very realistic and after running a team for 25 years... I decided to come back to OOTP.

I've joined 2 leagues since returning. 1 folded after 3 weeks from inactivity from the commissioner and the other is going okay but it's not as active as I generally like.

So... I'm thinking of starting my own league and want input from the community. I want to know what you all like or don't like about the leagues you are in. What makes you want to be active, or not be active... or whether or not you even care about activity.

See, I think a good league is made up of active, caring owners that take the time to be online and involved... making trades (not for the sake of making them but at least being active enough to consider them), writing articles about their teams and basically just laughing it up and having a good time.

So what I'd like to know is what would make you want to be involved. Do you like historical leagues? Do you like using real players or fake players? Would you like it if I created a league using real players but 'recreated' major league baseball... meaning mixed up the divisions or whatever else?

What about scouts? Ratings? Finances? Anything else you can think of that you like or don't like?

Also... do you think now would be a good time to create a new league or is everybody focused on football now and before spring training next season and possibly with OOTP 11 be a better time?

I wasn't sure if this was the appropriate forum but since this dealt with online leagues I figured it was the best spot to discuss it.

Please everyone open up and let's have your thoughts, good or bad.. about what makes a good or bad online league.

And thanks for your participation and hope to see those of you that get excited about this join up once it gets started.

Although there needs to be ONE commish that makes final decisions on things... I certainly think the best leagues are those that take the input and advice and even criticism of it's owners into consideration when making decisions.

Any questions post them here or feel free to message me privately.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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Good luck

Your welcome to join our league, if you can't get 1 started- we have 1 inactive owner and we are looking to expand. We are a fictional league so that might not interest you.

The AHIBA league started in the mid 90s unsing front page sports, then high heat baseball, and finally OOTP. We recently restarted the league a few month ago but cut the league to 14 teams to get started. We had trouble finding new owners. But we kept half the league of original owners and are looking to build back up to 30 teams again. We welcome GMs of all experience and would love to have more experienced owners. Especially ones who can help attract new GMs and maybe help out with the league. Best of luck!

I have found that the leagues that fill the easiest use real players, have talent ratings of 1-10, don't use coaches, but some use scouting. There are also a lot of leagues that are talent only.

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Old 09-19-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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If you're looking to start your own online league I think a much more important question than what do others like is what do you like? When you're, hopefully, going to be putting so much care and attention into an online league it really helps for you to love it in as many ways as possible. For example, say polling everyone tells you that there's a need for a league without financials yet you just don't really care for the slow pace of no financials leagues then it'd really be silly for you to start one because chances are you're going to give it up sooner rather than later. If you haven't already, you really should find out what types of leagues you love and then build that. You might think, well, the market for the league I would like could very well be saturated, but it doesn't matter. If you really love it and put in the effort then it'll rise above the others. You just try to cater to what you think others want and you may very well get it up and running and who knows, someone else might fall in love with it and take it over and it could still be very successful, but IMO if you're going to go through with the effort then you might as well cater to your own likes first and others' second.

That said, take a look at rem's thread. There's not many replies to it yet and obviously everyone has different tastes or has different ideas of what makes a league successful, but it'll give you some ideas of figuring out what it is you like.

And any time is a good time to start a league IMO. This community has been going strong for about a decade now and it's built up quite a lot of people. The number of people who post here is honestly a drop in the bucket compared to all those who participate in online leagues. So if you build it and care for it well, people will be drawn to it no matter the time of year.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:13 PM   #4
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I pretty much know what it is I like or don't like... but am very interested in what others like or what makes them WANT to be involved.

Myself personally... were I really going to start a league I liked I'd make it real players but redesign major league baseball... meaning mix up the divisions and make them more realistic.

But.. that's not something that I 'have' to do, so I'm more curious whether others would be interested in something like that or if they want it built more realistically.

See I view fantasy baseball as not only a chance to run a team the way you want... but also run the league the way you want.

However, in order to run a successful league it's not all about what I want... it's about what's going to make everyone interested. Not that I feel the commish should bend to every single desire of one person in a league, but they should be willing to listen.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rberney View Post
Although there needs to be ONE commish that makes final decisions on things... I certainly think the best leagues are those that take the input and advice and even criticism of it's owners into consideration when making decisions.
A good Commissioner will certainly listen to owner input, and follow it, under the right circumstances. But the strongest, healthiest, longest-lasting leagues start with one thing: a Commissioner's Vision. He's already determined his league's main characteristics and important details. When you see a league starting up, and its Commissioner is saying that core league principles and key options are going to be decided by "owner vote," then he doesn't even have a league; he's got a vague notion and the league is already lacking the leadership that it needs, for it to be successful.

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Originally Posted by rberney View Post
However, in order to run a successful league it's not all about what I want... it's about what's going to make everyone interested.
You don't need "everyone" to be interested in your league. A small league has about 12 owners, and the bigger ones will have about 30. If you launch a league, and it's designed well, and it seems interesting and fun, you're going to have no problem attracting enough owners to fill it up. A good league will never have trouble finding enough owners, if its size is reasonable. No matter how unusual or funky a league is, if it's high quality, it will attract and maintain a sufficient number of owners. You will never have to intentionally modify your league's design to make its appeal more general or broad. If you've made good decisions about your league's rules, procedures, and details, you will have good owners.

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And any time is a good time to start a league IMO...So if you build it and care for it well, people will be drawn to it no matter the time of year.
Correct, and perfectly stated.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:42 AM   #6
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Given the amount of experience you've had running other online leagues, I'd say "what are you waiting for?"

I don't have any real evidence to support this statement, but I think the problem is not that there aren't enough potential GMs, instead there aren't enough quality on-line leagues around.

I'm always on the hunt for one more league to join, but I've noticed that the good ones not only have no vacancies, they have a waiting list.

See http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boar...e-dislike.html where I've already put my own likes; I'm surprised more people haven't responded.

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Old 09-20-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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Ha, what I'm 'waiting' for is to make sure I have my act together and when I start the league to start it and run it right.

As I said I'm relatively new to OOTP... I mean I've been in a couple of leagues but just came back after about a 4 year absence so a few things have changed and I am interested in what the majority of owners like or don't like.

Yes, the commish has to have a vision... which I do... but at the same time if my vision is to create an Irish Baseball League and nobody wants to play in an Irish Baseball League with fake players then it's going to be a very shortlived vision.



Since I'm curious... what happens if I start a league with real players but then contract 4 to 6 teams? Do those players get thrown into free agency?

I'm not necessarily saying I would do that... but it's an option if smaller leagues are better or easier filled.

I have other ideas... I'll post them later when I get a chance.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rberney View Post
...if my vision is to create an Irish Baseball League and nobody wants to play in an Irish Baseball League with fake players then it's going to be a very shortlived vision.
Your reference to an Irish Baseball League is extremely ironic, whether or not it was an intentional reference to my successful, well-established, fictional-player Jamaica League, the status of which is proof that a league's health, longevity, and appeal correlate with its Commissioner's execution, dedication, and management skills.

As an elite Commish, your responsibility to create an ongoing experience that is so immersive, fun, and inspires such intense loyalty, that your owners fall in love with your vision. They will thereafter adopt it into their hearts so devotedly that it becomes their new ideal, supplanting any kind of league that they had ever preconceived.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:30 PM   #9
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Thanking both satchel and kq76 for their well thought-out comment about the role of a commish in the community. Very helpful insights. I couldn't help, as well, drawing a fine comparison with Markus' aims over the years as, really, the commissioner of the game's community. While dissenting voices have been heard, appeased, or implemented, what lies at the core of his 'league' is his dedication and faithfulness to his own creation.

I'm not an online player, but in that sense- coupled with the company of some generous and genuine forum members -he has succeeded in providing an immersive and satisfying online experience for me.
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