I ran a live auction draft 12 team 5X5 mixed league from 1994-2002. Every draft day lasted 7 - 8 hours. I never had a problem with the length but others did. Now I'm reforming the league with most of the same crew. And it will also be a live auction. In doing my early research so far, I've read about auction draft software. The software claims it can shorten the draft to about 4 hours. If everyone shows up prepared, and I expect they will, does it really shorten the draft to that length? And how well does everyone do with being given a specific time limit to make a decision? Are there a lot of sore feelings throughout the draft because people feel they're being preempted? Thanks.
I have been in a Auction League with 11 teams for a lot of years. We meet and do not use software. We have 23 player teams. There is no reason an Auction has to last more than 4.5 hours. If you are moving in a circle with your bids, that is why it takes so long. Use the "Random Yelling" method. Just let everyone yet out their bid. Take turns throwing out names. The guy that throws out the name must bid, after that everyone just yells out what they want to bid. It moves fast and each player bid rarely lasts more than a minute.
Thanks for the response bigmck. The random yelling method you described is something I witnessed in an NBA fantasy draft a couple of years before I started my baseball league in '94. A housemate of mine held the draft at our place, and even though I wasn't in the league, I hung out to see how it went. It was chaos. Guys were arguing that they had made a bid before someone else throughout the whole thing. (I said $20 before you...that kind of thing...and there were a lot of ties for bids, especially on what would be the last bid that some were willing to make) The commish tried to keep it moving but guys would get in 5-10 minute arguments. I had been thinking about running a fantasy baseball league ever since I read the books about the original Rotisserie guys in New York in the early '80's. So I figured watching the NBA draft would give me ideas on how to run my future league.
What it told me was that the random auction way was probably going to be a problem. And with so many more players in a baseball draft we couldn't afford to lose time with people arguing. So I went to the circle method like you described with a twist. If someone wasn't sure if they wanted to bid when it came to them, they were allowed '1 pass'. When it came around to them again, they had to bid or were out. I described the 'random yelling' method and the 1 pass' method to all in the league and it was decided unanimously to go with the 1 pass way. And everyone was happy except for the time it took.
So, after describing all that, I guess what I'd like to know is how your leagues have avoided the constant arguing over who had the last bid, even when there were ties for who called out the last bid. And how did you deal with sore feelings? Thanks.
I was in a 12 team NL only live draft in the 90s. We used the "yelling out" procedure, but the auctioneer role was played by the commissioner. He was a fair guy and the auction of a player went on until one owner had outbid all the others. No ties, no hard feelings.
But, we experienced the typical 7-8 hour draft lengths and it was grueling. What took so much time was that everyone who brought up a player for draft started at one buck. "I'll take Barry Bonds for a buck." Then it took so much time for the auction to progress until Barry Bonds finally sold for 50+ dollars. Also, people with their heads buried in magazines delaying the bidding process or calling out of the new player to be bid upon.
The process worked out somewhat seamlessly, but the delays were all based on human nature. From this perspective, a real auctioneer pushing people along could really help. But, how many leagues hire someone like this?
There will always be a couple people who drop out of the bidding early on a player. One of these becomes the auctioneer. who says "Going once, going twice, Sold to Joe Blow for $21". == If two people yell out the same number, there are no arguments. It is easily decided by the group of those not bidding on the player who was first. When the bidding gets towards the end, there are normally only two bidding and the chance of a tie is slim. It has happened before but the group of those not bidding just voices their opinion on who bid first. It is not a problem. I can't speak for your group, but there should be no arguments unless they are very immature.
The responses here have convinced me to do the 'random' method rather than the previous way. There is good advice here and each person gave enough variation on the same theme that they've given me plenty of ideas. And the last sentence by bigmck made me realize I was underestimating the people who will take part in this new league. Most of us are in our 40's and I would not classify any of them as immature. Thanks to all who responded. I really appreciate it.
One more thing. == It is important that everyone takes a turn throwing out a player to bid on. When you get near the end and each person only needs a couple players and a couple of dollars, throwing out the name and being able to make the first bid with the few dollars you have is a big advantage. == When we arrive we sit as close to a circle as we can. The order goes in a clockwise rotation. Point out to everyone the order the bidding will go. Then draw lots to determine who goes first and continue in the order that you previously pointed out to everyone.
I agree. Going in a circle, with each person calling out a name in turn, was standard back when I previously ran the league. It's probably also why the circle method for drafting became the norm year after year. You're also right about how when everyone is short on dollars, that they be allowed to throw out a name in turn. I used to love the strategy behind throwing out a name throughout the draft. And there definitely is a strategy to it. Even late in the draft.
We go in a circle throwing out names. Previous year's champ throws first player and clockwise from there. If you throw out a player, you are also auctioneer for that player. You have the final say in any dupe bids etc. We don't have any major conflicts and draft runs 4-5 hours. Been doing it this way for about 15 years.