Fantasy Baseball

How to Run a Rotisserie Fantasy Baseball League



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In the early days of fantasy baseball, "rotisserie" was a more common term for the game played by the ordinary fan.  It was much less common than the fantasy versions of today, mostly because it required more work than most people were willing to put forth.  Today, the word rotisserie has been dropped by many people who have joined the Internet-based version of fantasy baseball as modern "owners" do not know the roots of the sport where manual tracking was required in order to play.  In many ways getting involved in the sport and being a "commissioner" is relatively easy.  Here are a few thoughts on how to run a rotisserie fantasy baseball league.   

Pick the delivery method

There are undoubtedly a few purists who play fantasy sports manually, but most leagues are now online.  The greatest benefit to the online version of fantasy baseball is that the fantasy owner does not have to perform any calculations.  Some sites even have "live" scoring, which means that fantasy points are calculated the moment a player has an at-bat.  If a person wants to run a baseball league online, they start by picking the site.  The major sports providers such as ESPN, Yahoo, and Fox Sports all provide free leagues and even Major League Baseball provides fantasy sports at MLB.com.  Some leagues have cash prizes, while others are played simply for "bragging" rights.  There are some leagues that can be played for free, but the sites offer certain services for a cost, such as scouting reports and extra packages of statistics and tracking. 

Determine the rules

Once a person picks a medium, they need to then determine the rules of their particular league.  The basics of baseball are usually input into most free leagues, but many of the sites provide commissioners with the opportunity to customize certain rules.  These customizations include details such as number of players per position, how many points are awarded for particular statistics, and timetables for various transactions.  Obviously, the commissioner might pick customized rules that fit their particular style of play, but overall it does not necessarily give them an unfair advantage. 

Invite the players

After setting up the league, a fantasy baseball league creator needs to invite people to play.  With most sites, this can be done via email, as potential players can be given the league name and perhaps a password.  Some leagues are "public," which means that anyone can join.  Others are kept "private" so that commissioners can restrict the league to people that they want involved.  When someone creates a league, they have to ascertain who would make the league the most fun.  Usually it is fun when people take it seriously, but sometimes people can take it so seriously that it actually becomes tense between certain individuals.

Communicate and have fun

Finally, a person who creates a league should stay in touch with the owners and just have a good time.  In theory, fantasy sports is supposed to be a social diversion, and people should theoretically be enjoying themselves.  Obviously, when money is involved and there are entry fees and prizes, people can increase their level of competitiveness.  Therefore, it is up to the commissioner to keep things light, so that the overall experience is enjoyed by everyone and people remember that ultimately this is "fantasy" sports. 

More about this author: Todd Pheifer

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