Who all is interested in a blogger-and-blog-reader fantasy hockey league for the '07-08 season? Yahoo Fantasy Hockey will begin taking signups on August 22nd, and it's good to start these things early to get past the overheard and drafting process.
Over the past few years, I've participated in many different types of leagues, but the ones I've always found most fun are the Yahoo Head-to-Head leagues with people you actually kinda-sorta know, rather than randoms.
How do Yahoo Head-to-Head leagues work? Here are the rules:
We would utilize a draft process to pick which players we all get. The drafting order is random and is a snaking draft (eg, if I draft 2nd last in the first round, I draft 2nd overall in the second round, then 2nd last in the 3rd, etc.). Yahoo can host a live draft where all players would be online simultaneously to do this, but that's seldom very practical (it's hard to coordinate so many people). So what I usually do, and what I'm comfortable doing, is hosting a manual draft. I'll maintain a webpage that shows the current drafting results, and when it's somebody's turn to draft, I'll email them the current draft picks. They then reply with their pick, the website is updated, and the next player notified. We set a maximum-reply-time of about 2 days, and if a draft pick isn't made within those 2 days, we use Yahoo's "best-player-not-yet-drafted" feature to automatically give you a reasonable one.
In a Head-to-Head League, your team squares off in a weekly matchup against another manager's to see who can compile the best stats across a number of different categories.
A new weekly matchup begins every Monday and consists of a set number of games based on your league's statistical categories. Each stat category counts as one game, with the win going to the team that finishes the week with the highest total in that category (the cumulative total after each Sunday's games).
So, if in a given week, your team scores more goals than your opponent's, you would be credited with a victory. However, if your opponent's team ended the week with a better save percentage than your team, you would be charged with a loss. If the two teams end up tied in a given category, each receives credit for a tied game.
This weekly win-loss total is added to a cumulative season record where each win counts for two points, each tie counts for one, and each loss counts for none. The total of these points is used to determine standings and playoff seedings.
This process happens over several weeks (all before the season starts). The amount of players we draft, and what positions we draft for (eg, do we do 2 LW, 2 C, 2 RW or do we do 4W 2C or do we do 6F? etc) is something we can discuss before the draft starts. When the season starts, you can choose for each day which players will play in which position. That sounds like an awful lot of work, but in reality it's not: you only have a few more players than you do positions, so only a few swap out here and there. For example, I usually draft 3 goalies but the teams typically have 2 goalie slots. Most of the time, only 1 or 2 play per night, so which I decide to play is easy. But sometimes, like on many Saturdays, all 3 goalies play and I need to make a judgment call (eg, I'd play Kiprusoff vs Edmonton, Giguere vs Columbus, but bench Raycroft vs Buffalo). The settings you make the day before carry over into the next day's default lineup, so only minor tweaks are needed. Plus, you can do this for weeks in advance...I typically take a few minutes sunday night and set my lineup for the entire week.
The main cool thing I enjoy about the Yahoo Head-to-Head is it's got a real-time tracker that shows how you are doing as games are playing. So it shows your scores from all your players as they are occuring (like 5 mins delayed from the real game), and your current matchup with your opponent.
Of course, this is a completely free league and there's no prizemoney involved. Just fun and pride. Newbies welcome.
I probably did a thoroughly crap job explaining this. So if anyone's got any questions, comments, or suggestions, reply via comment. Once Yahoo opens up registration I'll sign create our private league and will post the joining details here.