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Auction - Keeping it Moving

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Auction - Keeping it Moving

Postby halos17 » Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:34 pm

This will be the first year in our league using the auction format. I was hoping some of you could provide some suggestions for keeping the auciton moving along at a decent clip. How long do your auctions generally last? We will be keeping 12 players, so I assume it would take less time than a full draft.
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Postby lsommerer » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:19 pm

Here are the things that we've learned...

1) Start when you say that you will start. If an owner isn't present he'll just miss out on the first few players.

2) Take breaks every so often. We take a break after about every 50 players. That gives people a chance to assess what they have and need and lets the actual auction go more quickly. For us, this is a break about every 45min to an hour, and that's a good time to break anyway.

3) Have an auctioneer. Someone who knows a little about baseball is good. They should keep things moving with a reasonable, "going... going... gone!".

4) Have other help if you need it. We also have someone entering rosters into SportsLine during the auction and someone entering all of the auction info into a spreadsheet that we display on a screen.

5) It's not a bad idea for owners to bring a "second" if they can. someone to look stuff up for them, or keep track of who still needs what. Anything so that the actual owners can keep up with the bidding. This is also a good way to get new people interested in your league.

6) Call the place you're ordering pizza from the day before, and make sure they can deliver your food when you need it.

7) Have some owners at the auction an hour a head of time to help setup. Otherwise, you'll be doing it up to the last minute and you won't feel ready for the draft, or everything won't be ready on time.

I know that some of this probably only applies to the way we do things, but at least it's something to think about.
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Postby halos17 » Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:54 pm

Thanks, those are all great tips.

From the actual auction itself, is it fair in the essence of speeding things up to impose some sort of minimum bid rule? Say, you must start your opening bid at something around 30-60% of value?

I hate situations where someone opens up bidding on say Chris Carpenter at $1.

How long does your auction typically run?
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Postby egl22 » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:17 pm

i was also told guys at new drafts sometimes mess up there budgets and either spend more accidently or do not realize how little they have left or even are just plain bad at math and make errors.
we combat that by giving everyone 260.00 in monoploly money and have them turn it in when they win the bid.
that way they have their leftover payroll right in front of them and there is less pressure for someone to try and keep track of the finances.
if you do not want anyone to know what you have left just keep it in your pocket but make sure you know how much you have left.
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Postby lsommerer » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:53 pm

From the actual auction itself, is it fair in the essence of speeding things up to impose some sort of minimum bid rule? Say, you must start your opening bid at something around 30-60% of value?

We have not needed something like that. Occationally someone will open with a laughably low bid, but people just chime in and in a matter of seconds the bid is reasonable. I think you'll actually lose time if some one has to police if a bid is too low. But I can see how it might seem like this would be necessary; in practice people move the bid up quickly.

As far as keeping track of money goes, we have a spreadsheet that shows what everyone has (both players and money) projected onto a 12'x12' screen. But if no one can come up with a video projector, a draft board costs about $25 as I recall, and would also work well. Just make sure you have someone --not the auctioneer-- to keep it upto date.

Here's the spreadsheet that we use. If has validation, so you don't have to type in player names/positions. You have to select the position near the top left, then the drop down box will contain that position. It's setup for 2006. On the second page you can change the players:

http://www.sewardweb.com/baseball/

There are other spreadsheets there as well. You want auctions.xls
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Postby Schwetty Balls » Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:23 pm

lsommerer, that is awesome! how long did it take you to set up?
I would love a 2007 version if you have one to share or if you can tell me how to make one for our league.

;-D ;-D ;-D
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Postby thecubsyear » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:20 am

Our auction usually lasts 3-4 hours. The last hour and 100 players are basically a snake draft because many managers only have $1 left.

Set up an excel spreadsheet and assign all positions $1. Then do a formula to subtract all the $$$ from your total (ex 260-sumc2:c27)

That will let you know everyone's max bid and help speed up the draft.
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Postby lsommerer » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:10 am

Schwetty Balls wrote:lsommerer, that is awesome! how long did it take you to set up?
I would love a 2007 version if you have one to share or if you can tell me how to make one for our league.


I've been refining it for a few years. This year we've got 16 teams, and I don't think I can fit that on one monitor, so I'm working on a 2 screen version that will also simplify our setup quite a bit (we display a lot of information during the auction).

I uploaded a new version that is (a) blank (b) a little easier to use (c) updated with 2007 players. I wasn't sure what to use for eligability, so I used a pretty low limit of 5 games at that position last year for hitters and all of the SP and RP that sportsline listed. I also removed the DH category and added "all hitters" in case I missed anyone.

The new file is called: auction_blank_2007.xls
and is still at: http://www.sewardweb.com/baseball/

If anyone else wants to share spreadsheets that they use, email them to me and I'll put them in the same directory.
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tips

Postby lucatorrent » Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:18 pm

Tips to keep your auction moving:

1) Enforce the auction rules. Once "going once" is announced, the only thing that stops the count down is a bid.

2) If you don't have a dedicated auctioneer, have an owner announce "I'm auctioneer." The owner forgoes bidding on that player only, and acts as auctioneer for that player.

3) Have a master sheet (alphabetical, perhaps by position) to pass around. We nominate in a circle. So after nominating a player, I cross him off the master and hand it to the next owner. This does two things, eliminates the guy asking if Pujols has been nominated already and puts the next owner on notice that he needs to nominate.

4) If an owner doesn't have a player ready to be nominated when asked, either force him to nominate the first player on the master or let anyone in the room throw out a name. The master rule works well because you don't want to be stuck with some player @ $1 that normally wouldn't have been drafted.

5) Keep a spreadsheet open to track ALL teams salaries, every 3 rounds go around the table and verify budgets left are correct.

6) Consider scripting players for all or part of the auction. In our league we nominate several players the night before the draft and the commish generates a random list to start the draft. You could simply take a ESPN or Sportsline top 300 list and script the entire auction. {NOTE: this takes out some of the fun & strategy of the auction, so we limit it to approximately the 1st 50 players}
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Postby halos17 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:54 pm

Wow,

Thanks for all the input guys. Invaluable!
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