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Keeping keeper leagues

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Keeping keeper leagues

Postby fmluder » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:31 am

So it seems like many (if not most) people are moving towards dynasty / keeper style leagues now, but there does not seem to be a deterrent to people dropping out of them whenever it suits them. I've also found it more difficult to get replacement owners in existing keeper leagues because they'd rather get in on the ground floor than work on a "project" team.

With this in mind and the existence and proliferation of LeagueSafe I had the following idea;

What if owners continually paid a year ahead of time? For example, if the league fee were $100 per season, and it started in 2014 then everyone would pay $200 now. Half would go towards this season, and the other half for 2015. But before the 2015 season started, you would have to pay an additional $100 for 2016 and so on. The advance money would just sit in LeagueSafe perpetually, or until the league disbanded. If someone did leave the league (for anything other than a crisis situation) it would provide an incentive for a replacement owner to receive a discount on joining the league. The would still have to pay the $100 next season fee, but their current season would in essence be free.

Is this completely crazy and no one would go for it? Have you heard of anyone trying something like this? I would appreciate your comments.
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Re: Keeping keeper leagues

Postby bigmck » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:07 pm

It is a way to make people commit for next year, but I doubt that people would agree to that.
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Re: Keeping keeper leagues

Postby PJLO » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:38 pm

There's no fool proof method of keeping a league together but I've found that keeping the rules simple, making the rules simple enough that the available technology can enforce them without commissioner intervention, and having something unique - for example giving a portion of the leagues winnings to the winners favorite charity - will help keep a league together.
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Re: Keeping keeper leagues

Postby fast dogs » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:55 am

you might get guys unwilling to commit to 2 years and might leave the league easier than if just 1 at a time. I'm sure most wouldn't mind but it is the other few owners that might not be worth the year in advance idea.
Make the leagues fun and fair to play in and you'll keep keeping on.
best advice I can offer is give weak teams a chance to quickly rebuild and contend; really seems to attract new owners and help prevent weak teams from abandoning the league in the first place.
it is difficult to find 12,14 or 16 fairly equal owners, the weaker owners usually end up leaving. Some settings with huge keeper rosters makes it really tough to rebuild when exiting owners leave a decimated roster.
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Re: Keeping keeper leagues

Postby MoHead » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:31 pm

In my league, I doubt any owners would agree to that. No one wants to feel like they've made a lifetime commitment to a league with a $100 penalty for wanting out.

Here's my advise as a commish of a keeper league that's been around since 2000 with really good owner retention:
1) Too simple to say "start with good owners" since you won't know how good they really are at the start. Instead I'd say "don't be afraid to pitch the bad eggs." The guy who causes league strife in year one will still be the guy causes league strife in year five. The guy who doesn't care to set his lineup this year will never care in the future. When you spot these guys, let them go at year's end and take your chances with a new owner.

2) When you need a new owner, go to your best teams first, not your best friends first. If you have a great owner who can vouch for someone he's played with before, you'll likely bring on another great owner. Much better than getting your best buds half-brained coworker who has never actually attended a baseball game.

3) Structure the rules so that every team can improve every year. Easier said than done, of course. My league almost went belly up when we went full dynasty (sign a guy for four years, you must keep him for four years) many years back. Now it's more of a super keeper league where you can keep a core together for many years, but some high end talent is always forced back into the auction each year. The rules are not simple, but they are complete and well written, and most teams understand them.

4) Be a good commissioner. That's where it starts. It takes a lot of work to manage a dynasty or keeper league, and a lax commissioner will run it into the ground after a few years. Make sure your rules are complete and don't change them in-season unless you absolutely must close some loophole. Don't make wholesale rule changes every year, if you spot ten things you want to change, change only three each year. Feed the rules and rule changes to the league in bite sized pieces (email, message board) instead of a twenty page manual that no one will read. Spoon feed the owners that need to be spoon feed, some interested and active owners still struggle with the keeper stuff. Offer advise and don't be too much of a hardliner.
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Re: Keeping keeper leagues

Postby fmluder » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:24 pm

Thanks, guys. I appreciate your responses. I like the concept of just making the league as good (and appealing) as possible. That makes sense to me.

Can we at least admit that it's a double standard though if everyone wants to join a keeper league yet no one wants to commit to them for multiple seasons?
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Re: Keeping keeper leagues

Postby MoHead » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:52 pm

fmluder wrote:Can we at least admit that it's a double standard though if everyone wants to join a keeper league yet no one wants to commit to them for multiple seasons?


Chances are the teams that don't want to commit for multiple season, or more specifically those who will quit simply because they have a bad team, are just bad owners and will be bad owners in most any league. They probably fit one of the other stereotypes too; the complainer, the inactive owner, the guy who doesn't pay on time, etc. Asking them to pay two seasons in advance will probably make them drop out anyway (so, hey, maybe it is a god way to weed them out in advance!), but still, you might chase away some decent owners with them. Risk/reward I suppose...

Entering our 15th year (12 team h2h keeper), I can tell you why all of my previous owners have quit:
one guy left after a year because he was a rookie and just did not get into fantasy baseball the way he thought he would
one guy was booted after two seasons because he was an inactive owner
one guy was booted after six seasons for non-payment (which was odd because he had previously been a decent owner)
one guy left because his wife told him he was in too many leagues!
four guys left over the years because they just lost their passion for the hobby.

But we still have 7 of our original 12 owners. I really think it's more about finding the right owners and making sure it's a well run league than finding a way to force not-so-good owners to stay. Just my opinion...
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