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In light of the recent CBA negotiations, it seems that communications can break down quickly between the players’ position and the owners’ position (commissioner’s). Both sides feel that their side is the correct one, and that the other side’s point of view does not clearly understand them. Unfortunately, similarly strained communications can come between a fantasy team owner and the  fantasy league commissioner when discussing what works and doesn’t work in the league.  Here are four steps on how to have highly effective discussions and/or correspondence in regards to fantasy league matters. 

Clear concise statement of fact

“I think that it is not right how the scoring is.  Team B has a big advantage over my team and this isn’t what I signed up for, so fix it.”  First things first, exactly what is wrong with the scoring?  In this case, this particular fantasy league uses kickoff yardage in the scoring system.  The NFL owners recently voted on the new kickoff rule that the teams will kickoff from their 35 yard line and that players on the kickoff teams will lineup at the 30 yard line which is 5 yards closer.  Studies have shown that kickoff should see an increase of touch backs and perhaps shorter kickoff return yardage.  Players like Josh Cribbs and Devin Hester will see their values decrease in these types of leagues.  A simple: I’m concerned about the new kickoff rules and what it does to the KRs, will the league scoring change, or should it? Now, that is something a commish can answer quickly and perhaps put up to a vote after a little league discussion.

Give examples

“I don’t like it when Team H keeps on taking advantage of Team F.  Their trades are not right and they will ruin the league.”  Instead of being vague state simply: Team H gave up Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, and Miles Austin for Team F’s Arian Foster and Hakeem Nicks.  This trade may help Team F in the short-term, but in a dynasty league the balance of this trade is not even and will hurt the league. Now the commish knows that the concern is league integrity.  League integrity has caused the fall of many dynasty leagues; however, facts are not emotionally charged.  It serves a league best to keep the emotional side out of discussions and deal directly with the issue(s).

Present the problem with a possible solution

“This is wrong and you need to fix it, because you are the person in charge.”  Let me share a secret with every one of you.  Being a commissioner doesn’t always make one correct, and it doesn’t come with a degree of exceptional knowledge.  The world is full of problems, so try to make a suggestion, on how to avoid a sticky situation and make the league better.  Not everyone thinks the same way and perhaps the way you deal with something or someone in your every day life could be an effective way to change something in your league.  Yes of course, your suggestion may or may not get used; however, it could be a bridge to a new way of looking at the problem and finding a solution.

Benefit the league not yourself

“This rule sucks because it benefits Team P and not mine.”  Good commissioners want fair rules for everyone and a competitive chance for each team.  Owners need to do their part as well by making suggestions to benefit the league.  Team P has three of the top seven tight ends and is now trying to get the rules to change to favor TE scoring by an extra .5 per catch.  A proposal that clearly benefits Team P  is not a good league change.  For a positive example if there are a lot of close games, suggest decimal scoring which has no clear benefit to any particular team.

Positive outcomes

In my case, I enjoy interacting with my league mates to discuss rules that are working and rules that are not.  Why not have an actual rules committee that reports to the commish to make suggestions.  Let’s be honest, in many existing dynasty leagues, there are groups of teams that are trying to get things done.  Offer both groups a seat on a rules committee, so everyone feels represented.  Whenever you are discussing  league issues: give clear pointed statements of fact, give explicit examples, offer answers with your problems, and focus on the league as a whole not for anyone’s particular advantage.

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