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Paul (Bristol) - Monday 10-16-06 0:32
Just wondering whether there might be a better way to decide on the draft pick order. The current system has obvious advantages re clarity and simplicity, but it equally obviously has the disadvantage of providing an incentive to attain as low a league position as possible. This incentive mostly comes into play for mid-table sides, or where promotion and play-off places are already decided.

Last season BN just pipped BFC for 3rd place in Div 2. It didn't make any difference to play-off places, but its effect has been that BFC have a GK 2 SL higher than BN's GK. I'm not suggesting for a moment that Graham pulled up at the end of last season in order to improve his draft pick, but in many ways it would have been the logical thing to do - the slight difference in morale bonus is more than outweighed by having a star GK for 4 or 5 seasons.

There are ways to remedy this outside of the draft system, for instance by seeding the AP / MSWL Cup draws, but I wonder if the draft itself might be organised to reduce this incentive? How about ordering the draft picks in batches of 4, such that the bottom 4 teams in Div 2 are randomly ordered for picks 1-4, then the mid-table teams get picks 5-8 etc.? That way, most teams would find they'd have to drop a long way, possibly even flirting with relegation, in order to change their draft order group.
Dave (Shoeburyness) - Monday 10-16-06 16:52
Paul You are talking about "having a star GK for 4 or 5 Seasons" does the 2 difference in skill level at the start of their career really make that much difference ? I cant see it myself . If you have the draft system , which we do, then it goes that the draft order is determined by finishing position, so that the teams that finish bottom have the first choice ! . I dont see how you can start re-organising the pick order. The draft is the Draft !
Steve (Asteria) - Monday 10-16-06 17:47
Obviously I can't speak for everybody but I know that I always try to finish as high as possible - it's a pride thing. My five draft picks came out 5th, 9th, 1st, 4th, 18th. I'm confident that if I'd finished above Zaragoza Lions (which is worth more than 2 SL just to say I managed it) that I still would have picked up the 0/8 GK as I think that if Tim wanted a GK he would have put the 0/7 in front of the DF he did pick up.
Paul (Bristol) - Monday 10-16-06 18:55
Sure, sometimes the difference in draft order makes no difference to whether you get the pick you wanted. And sometimes it does. Potentially, the difference can be very great - what if Graham had picked up the last GK available? I think that where a GK is concerned, a difference of 2 SL across 4 seasons or so is a very big difference, and it's possible to see scenarios where the difference is even greater.

I agree with Steve that pride would make me play for the highest possible league position, but I don't see why there should be an incentive not to do so when there are alternatives that would at least mitigate, and possibly eliminate, this.

On the example that I proposed, the draft would continue to be 'the draft', such that the weaker teams (i.e. bottom 3 or 4) would fill the top 3 or 4 draft pick positions, whilst GS etc. would fill the bottom 3 or 4. I don't see that this deviates very greatly (or at all) from the principle of the draft giving the weaker teams a shot at the best draft picks. Am I missing something?
Tim (Zaragoza) - Monday 10-16-06 19:00

Adding to Steve's comments, as teams don't know what draft players are going to be available in advance and they then pick the one most useful for themselves, why bother fiddling with position? Unless they are going for the same pick as someone else, teams frequently get their first pick well up the order. I got my number 1 pick the season after BOP finished 2nd in the league (still amazes me).

It would be mildly interesting to know how far down the picks team's still got their first choice this season.

Tim (Zaragoza) - Monday 10-16-06 19:05

I think you may also be forgetting the kinds of age 0 players available in the auctions and what people were paying for them, Paul. Frankly, if you couldn't get better than 0/6 in your position, you'd be just as well to pick up an age 1 filler in the draft and buy a rookie in the auctions. 24 age 0 players in the auctions last season, 19 of them 6+ SL, half of them 8+.

Paul (Bristol) - Monday 10-16-06 19:32
I take the point that it's always possible to pick up what you want in the auctions, although it obviously costs, and is by no means certain.

Either the draft order matters or it doesn't. The draft is based on the principle that it does (otherwise the pick order would be random) - hence draft picks coming in reverse order of league position. It might well be the case that one pick order here or there often doesn't make a lot of (or any) difference (although sometimes it can), and that it's more the case that there are ranges of picks that make a difference, such that if you're in the first 4 picks you're much better placed than if you're in the second 4 etc. - but then, that's precisely the point of my proposal.
Graham (Barcelona) - Tuesday 10-17-06 2:32
I know that Paul has said he doesnt think I would take a dive at the end of a season - but if anyone is in any doubt I'd like to present the CB performance at the end of last season in SESL as mitigating evidence.

I could quite easily have stayed in the bottom of the division after a shaky start to the season with a poor team, but the first half-season of emergency team building that I undertook meant I ended up in 9th (and 7th or 8th was a distinct possibility at one point). I could quite easily have stalled it at around 12/13th and grabbed a higher SL Bosman than I eventually ended up with. No-one would probably have been any the wiser as I was predicted to finish last that season anyway.

Just thought I'd mention it.....


Graham (Barcelona) - Tuesday 10-17-06 2:34
Probably just for interest anyway - I got my No 2 Pick....

Draft:  (I actually typed "Daft" first - maybe thats fitting).

  11. 0/8  GK
  18. 0/7  GK
   2. 1/12 GK
   7. 1/10 GK
   1. 1/13 FW  
   5. 1/11 MA
  15. 0/7  FW

  17. 0/7  FW
  23. 0/5  DM 


GMcD. Name: Roger McKenna

Tim (Zaragoza) - Tuesday 10-17-06 10:29

It isn't so much that I'm against your proposal, Paul. More I just don't see it worth getting out of my chair to change the channel. :-) Once you're at the top of Div 2 or in Div 1, you're pretty much presuming that you aren't going to get what you want anyway. And the only way to be sure would be to get down into those first few picks. And why bother with that as the payoff is no-where near good enough? I'm just glad that they can be dumped straight onto the trade board if you don't want what you get. :-)

Paul (Bristol) - Thursday 10-19-06 11:50
Just think, Tim - if you'd only thrown a game or two at the end of last season, it could've been you trousering the 1200k from GS - worth getting out of the chair for, no? ;-)
Kevin (Kirksville) - Tuesday 10-24-06 13:23
Wait, Graham wasn't throwing matches last season in SESL? Um... this is embarrassing. Ignore that tirade posted under the other league tab then, OK? No hard feelings, really... (exits room quickly).

(Returns just as quickly) But about the topic at hand, while the potential for a manager to try abusing the current draft order system is theoretically there, I have faith that our current managers are classy enough people (and felines) as to not do such a thing intentionally.
While I think Paul's proposal would address his concern regarding a potential ethical breach, it also opens up a bigger injustice. The team that finished last in the league and is obviously in need of the most help could only pick 4th. The top 3 GKs could be gone by then (again theoretically) and the team in most in need of one gets robbed. Also, a team which clearly dominated the league and finished well ahead of the competing 2nd to 4th-place finishers could end up picking ahead of them? Stealing a top 0/? apprentice left over through some fluke (like BOP's pick noted above) instead of a low SL age 1 player perhaps? How's that any more "fair" to the league as a whole?

Creating the high probability for random travesties of the "fairness principal" is too high a price to address the small chance of a deliberate violation. As it stands, should any such "tanking" or "diving" moves be suspected just let Al know and he'll handle it appropriately without needing to change the rules yet again in an effort to making 'cheating' not worth it. Anyone who would throw a match just to get a CHANCE at a better pick (not guaranteed in this league as no one knows the draft choices until after the season closes) really needs to find a new hobby...

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