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#1 HaRDBaLL

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 05:56 AM

I thought I was a member already, but I see my comment in the introduction section as 'Guest Jerrod' so maybe not.

 

In lieu of a complete standard redraft each year in Minors and Majors, I've read numerous articles about Leagues allowing coaches to assign kids to teams based on their personal knowledge of their abilities, their performance in tryouts and any other information they may have (All Star, travel ball, personal coaches, etc).  Once the teams are as evenly divided up as possible, and all coaches agree, they are passed out to the coaches at random and their child is then placed on the team.  Last minute tweaking may be necessary to account for the abilities of the coaches' children.

 

This method, or something very similar, has been approved by Williamsport and in use for several years from what I remember, but I'm not having any luck finding the links I read.  One was on a LL Facebook forum and I remember Lou commenting on that site as well, but I'm just not having any luck finding it.

 

I need to prepare a case for this lesser known draft method to present to our Board and would like any theoretical pros and cons, as well as any real world experience anyone can provide.

 

Thanks,

Jerrod



#2 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 02:26 PM

First, for minors, your BOD can use any plan/method it feels is fair.  Minors are re-drafted every year.

 

The approved Player Selection Methods (Draft Plans) for Majors are in the Operating Manual.

There are two sections, one for "Existing Leagues" and one for "First Year". 

I believe the plan you are describing is similar to one of the plans listed under the "First Year of Operation".

 

I know of existing leagues that use methods under the "First Year of Operation" and they get a Waiver to do so.

They have had no problems getting such a Waiver, after all, these plans are "approved methods".



#3 Guest_HaRDBaLL_*

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 04:01 PM

Exactly.  We do redraft our Minors teams each year and use the franchise system with Majors.  Both drafts depend on how familiar the coaches are with the players, how many years they've been drafting their team at that level and the prior year's record of course. 

 

Having one undefeated team each season, followed by a few in the middle and one or two that can barely eek out a single win doesn't seem to follow in the spirit of Little League baseball.  Our teams are so unbalanced year after year that we always have at least one team that rarely even gets to play a full 6 inning game throughout an entire season.  They are 10 run ruled after 3 1/2... almost EVERY game.  Meanwhile, the dominate team has multiple shutout victories, is composed mostly of travel ball and All Star players and is rarely challenged.  Other than to stroke the coaches' egos, I can't think of a single reason to continually use this draft method without at least questioning it.  I had one fellow board member tell me that they have to learn that life isn't fair.  While that is true, I don't think 10, 11 and 12 year olds should keep that as their primary memory of Little League baseball. 

 

A hybrid draft system using franchised players and filling in the blanks with new players each season to balance the teams as much as possible seems like common sense to me.  A coach will always have to deal with injuries, illness, absences and attitudes, but walking away from the draft table year after year and already knowing who is going to go undefeated is no way to keep kids rushing to the baseball field.  Nothing is going to make teams perfectly balanced, but I know we can do better.

 

Jerrod



#4 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 05:38 PM

Your problem (in my opinion) is that you are still using Draft Plan A (teams retain returning players).

I have been involved in a number of leagues and have seen cases where Plan A is used and you end up with a team that wins just about every game while another struggles to win 1 or 2.

The solution, get your BOD to agree to Re-Draft every year - my preference is Alternate Plan B.

 

Re-Drafting has the "best chance" of balanced/fairly equal teams.



#5 HaRDBaLL

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:20 PM

I agree that re-drafting each year would provide better results, but think we can tweak it to get the best of both worlds.  We have an entrenched majority that only know the franchise way and I'm afraid it would be next to impossible to get them to change it.  If, however, we were to be granted a waiver, franchise players could remain on their team with the same coach, but the new influx of players would be divided up onto the teams to make them as even as possible THIS YEAR, instead of what happened last season.

 

In any closed draft where the coach drafts only for his/her own team, there is a high likelihood of ending up with uneven teams.  The coach looking to win it all with goes strictly with talent.  Other coaches will pick family friends regardless of talent.  Newer, well-meaning coaches will trade talent away after the draft because they just want to teach kids.  There are so many chances for teams to get lop-sided even when completely re-drafting every year.   

 

It makes no sense to me that a team with 8 returning 12 year olds gets to draft first because of their record last year, while the team with 1 or 2 returning players (who normally didn't play much the prior year) has to pick last due to winning the most games.  This three year cycle of drafting young players, losing a lot of games, drafting more players the second year and then dominating the third year is ridiculous. 

 

Do you remember the Facebook discussions on league who received a waiver to make more equitable teams?  After several days, and hours of reading, I haven't been able to locate them.  I think it was leagues along the east coast or in the south, and several said they would never return to Option A or B after having a co-op draft.

 

Thanks for passing on your wisdom through the years!

 

Jerrod



#6 amutz

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:18 PM

For what its worth, our league debated ending the boom/bust cycle by 'rescuing' the franchise model in our league via a modified draft starting with new 12yos, distributing them to even out the number of 12s/team.  This would even out legacy players per team the FOLLOWING year.  The debates were painful and we would still have needed a waiver to implement the modifications. In the end we just went to a full redraft. 



#7 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:21 PM

Yup, team with eight 12s dominates and wins the league.
Next season they only have a few returnees and draft last.
Feast to famine.

That's why re-drafting is better.
The decision is up to the BOD (which is one of the reasons why managers and coaches should be a minority of the BOD - don't let the inmates run the asylum!).

#8 amutz

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 11:42 PM

The 'inmates' problem is subtle, because it could creep beyond the managers/coaches.  Some parents of kids on the 'dynasty team' can be quite invested in the status quo.   Several parents on the board from 1-2 of these teams, plus some managers coaches can quickly become a majority.  

 

Personally I think the 'coach/manager' rule is right-minded but not quite right.  I see manager/coaches from younger divisions balance the views of managers and parents with kids in Majors, so would prefer a rule stating that managers and coaches from one division (or two if a split league) should always be a minority.





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