Several years ago, we asked our readers ... How does your league handle long distance drafts? How does your league handle time constraints? Does your league use any interesting variations on the traditional drafting process?
Dick Eaton wrote about his attorneys league ... "We are all busy attorneys, most married, and have little free time on weekends, even for our draft. We've managed to shrink our draft into a three-hour window on Sunday morning.
"We use blind bidding. We go around the table and each owner throws out a name. We have 15 seconds to scribble our bid and our initials on a memo sheet. High bid wins. Ties go to an auction between the tied owners. The tough part is the winner usually has to eat a few bucks on each player since the next highest bid isn't always $1 more. In our first year, the winning owner would get his player for $1 over the next highest bid, but with no danger of over-bidding, one guy bid $75 for Barry Bonds and got him for $38. We changed the rule the next year.
"Two years ago we couldn't find an agreeable date for the draft, so we did it over a long lunch. Instead of blind bids, we did blind players too. Each round, we'd write down a player and bid. If we were the only ones throwing that name out, he was ours for that price. Two or more openers on the same player were decided by high bid. This made for interesting strategies. One guy grabbed Larry Walker for $1 in the first round because he didn't think anyone else would go after him that early, and he was right."
Doug Peterson e-mailed us this strategy for a long-distance draft ... "(Our owners) are spread all over the map. Using only e-mail to communicate, one of our founding fathers came up with this auction system...
"In each round, players e-mail their bids to the league office. The league e- mails the latest bidding status to all the owners. Success of this scheme hinges upon the parallelism of bidding and signing.
"(Ensuing) bids can be submitted on players who have not been bid on and players that have a current active bid from another owner. If a bid submitted in Round X is still active (has not been outbid by another owner) after Round X+1 is completed, the (last bidding) owner has officially signed that player at the bidding price.
"Each owner (has) a team payroll of $30. To help assure that the players chosen will never exceed the cap, owners are required to keep their total outlays, including new bids, below $30 at all times. As the auction proceeds, owners must take into account the bid salaries of signed players and players they previously bid on whose bids are still active. When a player is signed, the owner who is outbid gets back his tied-up money to use in further pursuit of the same or any other player.
"The auction ends when all owners submit "No Bid" messages to the league, which can only be done after they have filled their roster with signed players."
This approach likely stretches the draft out over a number of days, or weeks.
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