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Player Draft Manipulation


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#1 Guest_Cencal_*

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 02:44 PM

Hey Everyone, I'm a new incoming President along with almost an entirely newly elected Board.
Everything is going pretty smoothly as we prep for 2016.
One thing that is always in the back of my mind is the player draft itself.
I have never attended one and am wondering what should the player agent and myself be looking for during tryouts, managers meeting and the draft?

#2 Plesh

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 03:15 PM

First off, what draft plan do you use?



#3 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 03:48 PM

As Plesh indicated, the first thing your BOD needs to decide is what Draft Plans you will use (you can use different plans for different divisions). You have to use a Plan from the Operating Manual unless you get your own plan approved by Williamsport (before you use it).

YOU, as the President, will need to decide who you want to "appoint" as managers.
Then your BOD will have to "approved" your "appointments".
A person cannot be a manager with being appointed by the president AND approved by the Board.

Obviously, before appointment/approval you need to have their Background Checks performed (you don't want to appoint/approve someone only to find out later there is a "problem" with the Background Check).

The rest is pretty simple.
Based on Registrations, the PA puts together the "Lists" of players for tryouts (by division/age).
Each manager attends tryouts and evaluates the players.
If a player in a competative division does not attend 50% of the tryout sessions he/she cannot be drafted unless the BOD approves the "justification/reason" for missing tryouts. If not approved, that player cannot play in the league this season.

Drafts are done in accordance with the Operating Manual (or your pre-approved plan).
Make sure all Options are declared/drafted properly.

It's not as hard as some think it is but it's not as easy as you think it would be !!!

Hopefully, as a new President, your DA will be there to help you if you need it.

#4 amutz

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 07:19 PM

"what should the player agent and myself be looking for during tryouts, managers meeting and the draft?"

 

These might be obvious, but:

 

- make sure you track # of remaining 'mandatory' players (12yo and returning) during the draft and call out when players MUST be picked from 12s + returning; no more new 10s/11s.   

 

-  track number of 12yo per team to ensure each team carries at most 8 total on their roster.

 

- it's helpful to provide information from last season such as which kids were allstars, pitchers, and catchers to new managers if practical.



#5 cencal

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:03 PM

We are using plan B, and we are following everything Lou has pointed out.
Our ADA will be at the draft to help us out. After looking through my post again, I should have also stated what will managers try, to manipulate the process.
Since we are new, we don't want to have one pulled over on us.

#6 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:36 PM

MY preference is to use "ALTERNATE PLAN B" rather than "regular" PLAN B.
That is, use the One Part Draft rather than the Two Part Draft (Returners then New Players).

Let the manager pick whichever kid he wants, a returner or new player, in each round.
Some new players are better than some returners so let the manager pick whichever kid he thinks is best.
Make sure all Options are identified and are all taken in the appropriate draft rounds.
With Alternate Plan B you just have to "make sure" that all returners get drafted (as well as all 12 year olds except those that have a Waiver to play in minors) and that no major team has more than eight 12 year olds.

Although it says "no gentleman's agreements" there really is no way to prevent it/know about it.
If two managers get together and "secretly" decide who picks who then there isn't much you can do about it.


Be very restrictive with Trades.
They have to be player for player and the player's ability should be fairly equal (don't let one team trade a first round pick for a tenth round pick, that will obviously result in the team talent not being balanced).
Trades should be done immediately after the draft, before the managers leave.
That way, every manager knows which kids are on which rosters before they leave the draft room.
Trust me, if a manager thinks two other managers are making a "deal", you'll hear about it.
Don't forget, all trades need BOD approval.
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#7 amutz

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 09:36 PM

For a 'written-for-laughs' catalog of all the ways a draft can go wrong, read "Little League Confidential" by Bill Geist.  



#8 Jeremy

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 10:32 PM

You as President appoint all managers with your boards approval......It doesn't matter if a manager has been part of the league for years, if you feel they will try to manipulate the draft in any way maybe you shouldn't appoint and approve....so first thing is make good manager selections, try your hardest not to just settle for people when filling the spots.....this can make or break a season.

One rule I have is dont talk about gentleman's agreements once you walk in the door....if someone doesn't follow their end I better not hear about it in the draft room and really don't care to hear about it at all.

#9 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:07 PM

Many many many many years ago (yes, that many) we moved from St. Pete, up the west coast of Florida.
Signed my boys up for LL and volunteered as a coach and umpire.
About half way through that first season I was "appointed" by the BOD to replace the Treasurer.
So, the following year, guess what, I'm the President.

Comes time to appoint the managers and I do not appoint a long time manager who also happened to be the BOD VP!
The BOD approves all my appointees except one and they tell me I have to appoint the VP.
Well, the year before, as an umpire, I had something like 4 ejections and he was 3 of them.
He was fine while/when his team was winning but turned nasty when they weren't.
Not the type of guy I think should be a manager.

I said there was no way I would appoint him and if they wanted him appointed I would resign the presidency and the new President could appoint him.
They approved my last appointee and the VP stayed on the Board (for several more years).
By the way, we worked well together and he was a very good VP.

The President appoints and the BOD approves, neither can do both.

#10 rsnyder6

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:25 PM

Most managers are pretty fair, but it gets more serious as you work up the divisions, and some will try things.
(I had them do the, "I forget that I wanted to pick him first," so you don't get him in the fourth round. Funny, since it was his grandson he forgot.)
 
But a lot of it is what other managers let them get away with.
I was the nice guy in an early draft, and ended up trading away my 3, 4, 5 picks, (the first three after my son and the guy I would coach with).
Part my fault, (I even took near bottom round picks in exchange) though part the one manager fibbed to me. 
 
But I'll back up Lou's comments about being struck on trades.
That's where I see a lot of the trouble happening.
Unfair trades, or managers just giving kids to another team.
I have to tell the mangers, most of which should know better, that they can't make trades on their own after they leave the draft.

We do use rating sheets from the previous year managers in drafts.
In their first year of Majors, managers tend to rate pretty fairly.
Managers that have managed in Majors before tend to rate the better players lower than they should be, (I assume so others don't take them).
That seems almost universal.

#11 coach andy

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 05:32 PM

I have a question about drafts, can a league make "addendums" to the draft plans. I am talking about nailing down some items not specified in the draft plans as I read them. below some things I am considering suggesting (ie trying as hard as I can to force it down the throats of our league at least for softball).  FYI, we are doing away with tryouts (cost savings, we have to rent indoor facility for a day), and instead relying on evaluations from managers from last year, "investigating" to be done if there are gaps in this information.

 

 

based on alternate draft plan B

 

all players wanting to pitch must indicate this at registration.  if they do not, they cannot pitch that season.  (this is to prevent managers from sandbagging their pitchers).  also, include on registration form, and info given to managers, which parents are willing to coach, etc.  exception for first year players (total in divisions with player pitching, not just present division).  each team needs pitching to keep games moving.  

 

1st rd pick must be a pitcher

 

If there are slots in next division up, and players choose not to be considered (not a tryout since we are doing away with tryouts), can they be excluded from all stars (if we can do this, we would make it clear up front) ?

 

No one but managers, players agents, and division rep and softball rep at draft. (this is to help prevent issue I caused last year, due to scheduling conflicts, I had my daughters with me, one of whom is one team, the other is in next division, but knows most of the players in my division (her DOB is just before softball cutoff).  NO ASST COACHES

 

trades must be done immediately after draft (ie before we leave the room), and must be approved by player agent and division rep

 

serpentine draft order

 

managers & coaches children slotted through mutual agreement of all present, must be taken in that round or before.

 

 

I hate that we will have to spell all this out, but without doing so, leave ourselves open to schmucks trying to manipulate everyone else (because we all know that coaching a division champ 9/10 softball team is an accomplishment that will go down in the annals of sports, so it is worth screwing over other players in the division to acheive it)



#12 Plesh

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 06:01 PM

If you want to amend the any of the 4 draft plans (or come up with your own) in the OM then you have to submit it for approval.



#13 coach andy

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 07:06 PM

I guess my point is the draft plans are very broad strokes, they do not address a lot of the issues. we would still be following everything in the draft plans, just laying out all the ground rules so no jerks try to manipulate process in gray areas (sad that we have to do this really).

#14 Plesh

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 07:44 PM

Well some of the things you mentioned are kind of obvious, like no assistant coaches. I don't think that has to be in the draft plans.

 

Also, you can tell everyone trades must be done before you leave the room.

 

And IIRC doesn't plan B use serpentine draft order as stated in the OM?

 

However, I do not like your statement on pitching. You can't force a manager not to pitch a kid, I don't care if they said they were not a pitcher. You can ask whether they would like to pitch, but can't require it.

 

And remember, there's a big difference between wanting to pitch and actually being able to pitch.



#15 Jeremy

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:16 PM

The can't pitch rule would be a change in playing rules, you would need a waiver.

If you forced my 10 year old up by using AllStars as an ultimatum and I didn't want her to go up, I would probably just start an ASA travel team (I'm that as*%*^%)....There's a difference between an 11" and 12" ball and a difference between pitching at 40' and 35'....AllStars shouldn't have to be a factor in what path I take to develop my kid.

I take a catcher with my first round pic, have a pitcher player protected till the 4th and even if I didn't I could make an argument why a catcher is more important at this age especially if one catcher stands out over all other catchers....If you trust me enough to appoint me as manager please trust me enough to draft my own team......If you don't want schmucks managing, don't appoint schmucks or passive managers that allow schmucks to walk all over them in draft.
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#16 coach andy

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:03 PM

regarding not taking schmuck's, our league is not in a position to turn away volunteers unless they have some documented issue (ie not just a jerk).  Last year, they were scrambling to find 4th manager for minors on draft day.  I get about 1-2 coaches a year to help me.

 

I need suggestions then, how do you keep jerks and parents from manipulating the evaluation/draft process.  Our league does not require all players to try out, league requests it of first year players and if they wanted to move up if that was option, this year we are going strictly on evaluations, no tryouts whatsover, possibly some indivual evaluations for first year players (cost saving measure, avoid rental of indoor facility)?  

 

In a small league like ours, one jerk and one family wreaked havoc on two divisions on the softball side.  I say parents as well because part of issue also was that one family that had the ACE pitcher and two other really good ball players somehow convinced board to let their 11 yr old play down in minors, when in our league 11s have always played majors; they had 4 girls, 7, 10, 10, and 11.  Of course during draft, that was his first pick, and given that our league always honors sibling requests, this family in our division constituted 4 picks.  The two LA10s made all stars (one was ace pitcher in division, and the softball admin for our league tried to force the coaches to vote for the 11 yr old for majors, hadn't played an inning in that division).  he did have to take the 7 yr old, but I had her in coach pitch, she was ready for minors (in bottom 1/2 of minors division talent wise, but definitley not his worst player either).  My other daughter was LA11 as well, and was in same class with a lot of the LA10s in minors, but I would not dream of asking to keep her down in minors just for convenience (of course she would have thrown a fit anyway, played majors as LA10 already).



#17 amutz

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:44 PM

Most of the abuses of a draft happen because they are allowed by the board and the player agent.
If you announce rules and enforce them (such as all 11yo are Majors) then the door stays closer to shut.
Redraft helps, simply because there are fewer options to use.

That said if a parent has 3 stud kids within a year of each other, there will be imbalance even without abuse.

#18 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 04:11 AM

Not much you can do about a family with siblings close in age.
We had 3 sons in less than 3 years so it was what it was, but I'm not splitting my son's up!
They were decent in baseball but they were much better and dominated in basketball.

In your case, in my opinion, no way the BOD should have let the 11 year old play down.
If she was good enough to be considered for the 11-12 team (although ineligible) no way should she play in minors.
So, you had 7 year olds playing with 11 year olds - 5 years is way to broad of an age bracket in my opinion.
No way I'm voting for that if I'm on the Board!

I realize that sometimes when it comes down to appointing/approving the last manager or two you "take whoever you can get" - it happens.
But, if the person is "that naive", then have the PA or someone else (BOD Member) help the person during the draft.

As for no tryouts and using evaluation sheets from last year in minors, I would think the sheets would identify who the pitchers were last year.

I would hope you are holding tryouts for majors!

Plan B is a serpentine draft and since you are redrafting there are no coaches, only managers.
Managers should "draw straws" to determine the draft order.
Coaches do not get appointed/approved until after the draft.

#19 coach andy

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 05:24 PM

we cut cards to get order, do we need waiver for that?  And I do not think we are doing tryouts period (any level, baseball, softball, etc., league trying to cut cost of facility rental).

 

as for "board approving things", on the softball side, my experience has been is softball administrator says it is good, board OKs it (ie a rubberstamp).  And in some (or maybe all) cases I think he indicates something is board approved without going even through the rubber stamp process noone would know unless they ask at a board meeting.  basically they cave to pretty much any parent request at all (5 yr olds with no experience into coach pitch, 11 yr old with 7 yr olds to get all four girls in same division/same team, etc.)

 

I understand that keeping the one family together inherently causes some imbalance, no problem keeping them together, but completely exacerbated by allowing the 11 yr old to play in minors.  letting 11 yr old play in minors should be reserved for extreme cases (developmental challenges, maybe a player with no previous experience, etc.)  also, he got those 4 in round 1, still picked in rounds 2, 3, 4, then got his granddaughter in round 5 (easily a 2nd or 3rd round pick if slotted by ability).  he had 5 or 6 of the eventual allstar team before we could blink.  softball rep and division rep sat right there at the table and watched. 

 

I guess I will just become a prick.  Not in the sense of trying to screw everyone else to stack my team, but in following letter of rules to the T.  no protection, if you want a family of four, you lose your picks in 3 susbsequent rounds, etc.

 

hopefully not an issue this year, as his granddaughter moved up (I wonder if they will try and have the 8 yr old play in majors, wouldn't doubt it).  love working with the girls (if you had asked me that 6 or 7 years ago I would have said you're nuts), hate the bs.

 

old division rep in minors is now softball admin in our LL, think he is keeping div rep role as well.  He did do one really good thing this offseason, put together 10 week clinic for LL softball (ages 7-12) for the two leagues that did combined play last year at local indoor facility, including some pitching instruction.  Just frustrated that prior commitments will not let my one girl attend more than about 7 of the sessions (older daughter (12) I think is done with softball).  



#20 amutz

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 06:19 PM

- The order of Plan B draft order is serpentine from random draw.  Cut cards, draw straws, papers in a hat... I don't think anything random will require a waiver.  

 

- I thought tryouts for Majors was mandatory.   If you want managers to draft balanced teams, it seems like the right thing to do.  I don't know if you need a waiver to skip tryouts.

 

- Run the draft by the rules; that is the job of the player agent.  A sibling pick IS a pick... The entire point is to build balanced teams so the kids will have a good experience.  If teams are wildly imbalanced it can ruin the season for both the 'strong' and weak' teams.   No one wants to play on either side of a blowout every week.  

 

- Grand daughter does not get a manager option by the book.  If you want to allow it - at least slot the kid into the appropriate round.   


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