I’ve been to many draft parties over 20+ years and I usually do at least two or more live drafts a year so this list comes from my personal experience.
If you’re a first timer holding the draft at your place or you get to chose where the draft should be here’s 10 tips to make sure you have a terrible fantasy football draft party.
1. Don’t provide food or drink or you provide it in the middle of the draft
I get it, you’re busy getting your place in order and it slips your mind to order food or ask your owners to bring any. One time we did have this happen and we just ordered pizzas in middle of the draft but the problem with doing that is that it disrupts the flow so my recommendation would be to order it up early and eat before the draft. Invite over the owners early to eat and allow for chit chat before hand.
2. Don’t have enough places for owners to sit
The sure way to piss off your fantasy football owners is to have them sit on the carpet. Have enough foresight to know that people are going to have magazines and paperwork, they are going to want to spread them out so they will take up space. Make sure you have enough room.
3. Do the draft party during “Little Suzy’s Birthday” party
When you do this invariable the spouses come in and bother everyone by asking “Honey, who was that actor in that movie we watched last night?”. Ugh, don’t do it, just don’t do it. Hold your draft party as it’s own party and if the spouses are going to come you need to put them to work. Have them get food and drink for everyone or ask them to monitor the draft board. Keep them busy or they will get bored and interrupt the flow of the draft.
4. Have your draft outdoors with lots of wind and rain
We had held the draft at my Dad’s house for a few years. The idea was that he’s got a pool and everyone would swim before or after the draft. Well, that wasn’t the case at all. It was an “ok” place to do the draft but being outdoors brings up other issues like not enough seating or if there is seating its loungers which people hate when they are drafting. There’s also the wind and potential for rain, you need to be very careful about doing it outside and make sure you have a backup plan in case it’s too windy or starts to rain.
5. Let owners pay you later
This one always chaps my hide because you are there on draft day and other people are paying their $250 but you always have someone who can’t pay right away. The bad thing is that they don’t end up paying you until the end of the season or maybe even never. Get that money up front and make sure they make a commitment. I’ve had a couple times where someone didn’t pay me and then they ended up winning money and it sucks because they basically played for free all season long, not good. Set the bar high right away and stress payment early or on draft day.
6. Don’t have a fantasy football draft board so owners can visually see who picked who
There’s nothing more irritating then listening to people who don’t pay attention yell out “who was just taken?”. Get a draft board, make a spouse monitor it and you will be very happy. The league will be very happy to see who drafted who visually.
7. Don’t have wireless internet or enough power outlets
Laptops are the norm now so make sure you have enough power outlets for everyone and make sure you have wireless internet. Have the internet key to log in ready to go so it doesn’t slow down everyone at the draft.
8. Have it in a super loud place or play music in the background so owners get distracted
We had our draft at a few bars like BW-3 and Champps but they are loud. Call up a bar and ask them for a room where you can hold your draft in private. Last year we went to a place that had a room where they closed the doors, it was perfect. The only problem was that they didn’t have good wireless and the projector was down so again, make sure you check out the place you hold your draft and treat it like a big deal because it is.
9. Have owners call in and do it over chat
I will no longer tolerate people doing a draft over IM or by conference, when you do this you are beholden to that persons internet connection or cell phone. If you have someone on AT&T, god help you as they will cut out like 5 times an hour and you have to call them back. The draft has a rhythm, keep with it and it will go smoothly.
10. Rules? What rules, definitely don’t talk about the rules
Make time for people to talk about your rules, it kills me when someone drafts a player and then asks the question, “can this person get points for Kickoff returns?” because when they hear “NO” they will complain. Talk about how you will handle a player who is a WR and also a Kickoff return specialist, do they get points for both of those? Then talk about all the other rules and don’t draft until every question is answered.