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Lists, Web, E-mail, Chat room, or Live?

By default, Scoresheet leagues use draft lists, where you list the players in the order you want them, then Scoresheet will draft the players for you taking the top player eligible from each list according to Roster Balancing rules. You can over-rule Roster Balancing in some cases using the Plus, which I used very liberally back in the day when I used draft lists. This article explains how I used them.


Many leagues such as my AL Brett have switched to a web based draft. This allows us make one ongoing draft list of any length we wish. We just need to stay ahead of the continuous draft from its start in February to its end in March. We can turn off Roster Balancing altogether by setting its starting round to a larger number than our last pick (50+). Most owners much prefer this to sending in their draft lists. You can see live who is drafted one pick at a time and make adjustments to your list any time. The picks are spaced about four hours apart running 24 hours a day. It is more dramatic and more interesting to see the draft unfold this way and you feel more in control of the players you get. Indeed, it is easier to plan the draft the way you want it to pan out for yourself. Of course, it is easier for everyone else, too.


Some private leagues prefer to draft my e-mail. I am not very experienced with this method, but it requires an immense amount of cooperation and accommodation. Each owner would have to either have a scheduled time to make their pick or an allotted time after each pick in which to make their own pick. With the web draft, you can go away for the weekend and not even look at your computer. All you have to do is prepare your web list for your next couple picks as you would a draft list. By e-mail, you have to respond when your time is up or drag the entire draft down, if not get penalized. If you are all on the computer at the same time e-mailing each other with your picks, then it would probably be easier just to conduct your draft from a chat room.


My now private league AL Robinson Canada has used a web site chat room for their winter draft for many years. It is easy to just type in your pick and fun to make a dramatic introduction about who you are about to pick. While you are waiting for your next pick or deciding on who it should be, you can razz your colleagues. We have a blast, but it does require, at least, one member to record all the picks for Scoresheet. Fortunately, we have Gil Lau who has done this most years and keeps our live rosters updated at the same time. The only drawback is that sometimes one manager has unforeseen business to attend and has to communicate his list, somehow, to another manager.


Since you don’t have to do any pre-draft listing and all the drafting is done in large bunches, this form of drafting requires the least demands on your time. Of course, it pays to come prepared with a list of players you want most at each position and where the gaps are in the levels of quality amongst those available. You don’t want to be in a panic searching for someone you think is worth drafting towards the end of the night.


We draft 7 players in mid-to-late February, 7 more in early March, then run through the last 8 rounds after everyone is back from their March break about a week before the end of the spring training. Since, most of us keep a few prospects eliminating those late picks, each of us is likely to have different needs and goals at the end of the draft, and that the quality of players flattens towards the bottom of the MLB talent pool, this last draft goes very quickly and most of us get most of the players we were hoping for.


Drafting in person is much like a chat room, except you can all be drinking beer and chowing down pizza together. Owners who draft in person swear that way is the best. Personally, I like having all my resources comfortably on my desk in front of me instead of the hassles of setting up a laptop, finding the common location, finding a cheap parking spot, and having to drive home. Besides, it is nice having owners from all over the country. Just a few years ago, the majority of us in A.L. Robinson who all happen to live in southern Ontario did get together for a Blue Jays game and some beer afterwards.


Which is best? For most leagues, the web draft is a brilliant solution. If everyone gets along and someone is willing to do the official player bookkeeping for Scoresheet, then the chat room has an added degree of personal connection at the cost of having more time to make each selection that the web draft allows. For some, that cost is a benefit of requiring less time. However, that is only an option in private leagues. If you all live in the same area, have the time to get-together, and someone is willing to host the event – or you can call reserve a room somewhere – then have a live draft. Be careful what you tell your wife/girlfriend/etc., though: did you all see Knocked Up? If you can’t get your league to do either of these, and are stuck doing draft lists, have fun, anyway. I certainly did; those lists were works of art to me.

John Carter