Turn out the lights, the party's over"-Joseph Don "Dandy Don" Meredith
After a busy season, most commissioners and owners alike want to say those very words. Please don't let that be you as it is a great time to consider what can make the league better for next year..now. Take the time to call/email your fellow league mates or post on your league message board with these topics:
1) Ask for feed back: How did the league go? Do you like the league? What could be done better? How can we make it more fun? Your commissioner isn't going to know something is wrong unless you let them know or what you don't like. If you aren't happy, at least let it be known why.
2) What is working and was isn't working in the league? Are the rules doing what they should? How is the scoring system? Sometimes a scoring system can favor a certain position above all other positions, make sure your league isn't like that. Are there enough rosters spots or too many? If you look at the waiver wire and there is no one that can help a team in trouble, maybe you do have too many roster spots. How is the league leadership? Some commissioners need help with the money, running the waiver wire, etc as work and family commitments can busy up the most dedicated commissioner. What is the best way to get free agents? Some like blinding bidding and others like first come first serve. Do we need to replace a lot of owners? A league needs to be able to adapt to new trends in the NFL and other dynasty leagues.
3) Rule updates/tweaking : Should we change defensive scoring, go to IDP format, take off for turnovers? Many owners like to try new things, why not give a new scoring wrinkle or another player to start. Is a certain position more important than another, how do we balance that out? You could use a PPR scale with RBs getting .5 pts, WRs 1 pt, and TEs 1.5 pts. Do we need rules for replacing owners? You could have a replacement owner draft to distribute teams that have left. How do we do that? Make sure everyone can understand the rules easily so they can enjoy themselves.
4) Owner activity: Are owners using the waiver wire, putting in their lineups without being prompted, voting timely? Owners that don't make adjustments hurt your league as their teams slowly fade away and are hard to find owners to replace bad teams. Is the website easy to use? Are there any rules that aren't clear? I'd rather have too many questions than someone suffering in silence without letting anyone know.
5) Money collection in money leagues: Who are you chasing for money? Trying to get league dues gets old real fast. Set limits of when fees are due and enforce them. Do you award weekly prizes? This keeps some owners involved throughout the season. Do teams that aren't doing well have a way to recoup some of their money? Efficiency awards work well as they reward owners that played their best possible team week after week.
Dynasty leagues are like a living, breathing organism. The members of the league can change year to year due to: time, finances, other leagues, and/or family commitments. As a commissioner, be ready for change; however, find ways to get other owners to add their opinions to make the league feel like their own. Take it from me, these steps you take now will go a long way to make your league better.