Commissioner’s Corner: The Constitution

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We The People ConstitutionHello fellow fantasy commissioners. Welcome to our corner. Here we shall discuss the trials, tribulations, tribbles, and elations of the job of fantasy commissioner.

Today’s topic is the league constitution.

Every league should have one. I mean it! There needs to be a place for everyone to go and review the rules and stop any disputes before they happen or blow up into friendship destorying disasters. As a commissioner, it will mean less work for you and resolving the disputes are never fun. (People start thinking you take sides and are unfair, turning a fun activity into something much less enjoyable.) Don’t assume that because everyone in your league is friends that you can work it all out, this may be true, but if it’s not then you are up shit’s creek and have no paddle.

Are you still thinking that you don’t need one or that you don’t think you can write one? It doesn’t have to be a spectacular document that gets displayed for ages in the National Archives. It doesn’t have to cover everything. It never will anyway – even if you’ve had a league for 20 years, there’s still something that may come up. This is where you, as commissioner, make the tough decisions, and then add the rule to the constitution. In this way, your constitution is always changing and getting better.

The first step to building a constitution is to brainstorm and write down what you can think of. Go through the day to day and add that to what happens.

BrainstormStart with the general things: How many teams? Divisions? What is the scoring style? Draft/Auction? Does it snake? How many rounds? How many players/positions? Can you trade? What about add/drops? Does trading end? Are there limits? How are winners determined? Are there playoffs? When? If you’re using an online system, they usually have a page that displays all this info for your league and you can just copy it all.

Then move on to Finances: Entry fees? Transaction fees? Paying for your stats provider fees? Who wins and what do they get for winning? Any other prizes? 

Now you have to get a little more detail. Go through the season and think of things that have come up or may come up: When is the draft? How is eligibility determined? Think of what happens when the season is over, will you still play next season? Can you keep players? Is the a limit or cost to keeping players? Does this season affect draft order next season? Can you trade or add players in the offseason? Can you trade draft picks?

Now you should have a bunch of unorganized data about your league and how it’s going to run. Time to compile it into a working constitution. The next step in creating the final product is to write a preamble. You don’t have to go all Jefferson here, just have a sentence or two about WHY you are playing this league. Maybe it’s you and the college buddies keeping in touch. Perhaps it’s for office bragging rights. Or maybe it’s to determine the best fantasy players of all time. Whatever the reason, this is where you put it. 

a pen writingNow to organize the rest of your info, go to google and find another leagues existing constitution or an example constitution and organize based on that. Why didn’t I say to do this first and just copy? Because your league is different from the rest, you should only have this other document for reference on how to possibly order things, so find one you like the look of. It could be an outline style with lots of roman numerals or it could be section headers and paragraph descriptions. What’s also nice about using an existing constitution is that you might see some things you may have missed during the brainstorm or they have added from experience and you would have never thought of.

At this point you should be done. Run a spellcheck and ask a friend to proofread and maybe make some edits. You have drafted a constitution! Now you can move on to the hard work: drafting a winning team. Good Luck.