“Winners never quit and quitters never win” [right, Dad?]. At this time of year, many owners find themselves out of the running and just give up on the season. Without incentive to play, we usually find other things to be better uses of our time and a hobby with no fruits of labor is shelved until next year.
This is a common problem in many leagues and it is frustrating for those who are still in contention. Two of my leagues have put into place several rules that are meant to keep owners active all season.
There are two ways my keeper league keeps most owners active all season. My keeper league is just that. The season is winding down and several owners are holding all out fire sales trying to get prospects or draft picks for next year in return for players that aren’t worth holding on to. Teams who are out of the running are trying to put the pieces into place for next year, just like many Major League teams are doing. Also, since the league has a head to head matchup every day, you have a chance to win 120 different times during the season.
There are three ways my money league keeps players’ interest. There is a buy in every year of $52. It’s not so much to make you miss a mortgage payment, but it’s not so little that you are willing to just say “Heck, I’ll come back next year and try again” when you are out of it on Independence Day. Besides, there is a payout each week for the weekly winner. So even if you are not going to win the league title (and it is pretty much already sewed up before August 1), you have a legitimate shot at winning some of your money back with a good week. And because everyone in the league was invited by a person they know in real life (not someone you’ve run across on the internet), there is some accountability to someone you know. Guilt can be a powerful tool.
Having dead weight in your league is always a problem. Both of my leagues have one owner who checked out a month or two ago, and those things happen. The goal is to keep as many owners interested as long as possible, all season if you can.