Commish HQ: Your Season in Review

By Reginald James
Reginald James

It’s time to take a quick review of your fantasy season. This doesn’t have to be that extensive or detailed of an exercise. That work can come a couple of months later down the road. If you haven’t been keeping track during the season, you might want to make note right now of situations or moments, good and bad, that happened that are still fresh in your mind. This process is simple. You’re taking a little time to reflect. However, you’re not just taking a closer look at your role as commissioner, you’re also examining the overall state of the league itself.


The Good


• What went well during the season?


• Are there any highlights that you’re most proud of as a commissioner?


• Was there a specific rule change or league feature that you introduced that worked well?


• Was there a “first” of something that occurred in your league this year? For example, was there a first time:


- that everyone paid their dues on time,

- that there wasn’t any drama between league members,

-  that people traded, or didn’t trade?


These are some examples of the type of questions you want to ask yourself. Write down your responses. Did you have any responsibility for the positive outcomes that occurred with any of the scenarios that you listed? Can you credit someone else? Perhaps there was a new league member who brought in a new sense of competitiveness or energy to your league.


As you identify what worked, figure out if you can apply the same effort or action that resulted in a particular success, to another area that you determine needs attention. Which brings us to the flip side …


The Bad


The same rules apply. Ask the questions, write down the answers. List everything that comes to mind. Being honest in your assessment is the key.

• Was there any unnecessary drama in your league this year?


• If so, who was responsible? Was it the same person each time?


• Were you somehow involved? Each time?


• Did someone take advantage of any loopholes in the rules?


• If you could change on thing from this past season, what would it be?


If you are able to own your transgressions, you’re in a good place to help your league. As for your league mates, it’s pretty easy to pick out a bad apple in the group. The question to ask, however, was there anything in your league set up that helped facilitate bad behavior? Allowing people to draft and start the season before they pay their dues is a good example. That type of leniency sets a low bar that practically begs for repeat performances in subsequent seasons.


I usually get a few letters each season from commissioners who will have a chat room that will get out of hand in some way. Sometimes it’s the language that some use that bothers them. Sometimes it’s the escalation of smack talk that teases of impending fisticuffs. I always want to know if the league members were made aware of what the commissioner wanted, or expected as evidenced by written rules or expectations clearly communicated via email or text. One would hope league members would honor league parameters, as long as they knew they existed.


The Other


What are you going to do with your very own league breakdown now? You could stash the info away and return to it in a couple of months. Take a break, you deserve it. This is supposed to be a quick exercise anyway. You could also start grinding to prepare for next season, and begin to make changes. It’s your call.


If you do decide that there are changes that need to be made, I always like to remind folks that in general, if you add or modify rules, do so out of necessity. Don’t look to add rules simply because you can.


The process I’m suggesting is just one way of doing things. Find whatever process works for you. The point of all of this, is that if you have started a league, and you intend to keep it going, it’s important to perform routine maintenance. Members will come and go, but the foundation will always be the league itself. How fortified that base is, will be up to you.


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