Being in charge of a franchise isn’t a glamorous job and no one will ever thank you for it. It takes a certain kind of person to successfully manage 32 different people and their ideas, schedules, and personalities.
Here are 9 steps that every good commissioner must follow to run a successful Madden 20 online franchise.
1. Always Communicate
Communication sets great leagues apart from average leagues. As the commish, not only do you need to be aware of everything going on within your league but you also have to communicate that information to your users.
A great way to do that is to use a chat such as Groupme, Discord, or Facebook Groups to help users schedule games & to discuss league matters.
2. Encourage Scheduling
It’s always a good idea to send out a schedule (and tag each user individually) after each advance so that users are aware of their next opponent. This keeps the league moving at a faster pace & keeps the league active. It also stops users from claiming that they didn’t know the week had advanced or didn’t know who they play.
Yes at the end of the day it is each users’ individual responsibility to schedule their own games but some users in your franchise will need the help getting started.
If you have to give a force win, make sure you have proof that the user you are giving the free win to has reached out multiple times to their opponent and didn’t get a helpful response.
In a 32 man league, you are bound to run into scheduling conflicts. When that comes up, make sure it is a straight sim or give the owner with more availability the free win (use your discretion).
3. Choose Great Co-Commissioners
Every commissioner needs help, so you should try to get a few like minded people to help you with the league. Be careful though. All it takes is one bad co-commissioner to ruin a league so you should only give people power that you completely trust.
Choose co-commissioners that you trust to do the right thing & share the same ides for what the league should look like. If there is dysfunction at the top, the league is bound to fail.
4. Ensure Fairness
Keep the integrity of the league intact at all times. This especially applies to you as the commissioner since you have absolute power. Treat all users how you would like to be treated.
If a conflict of interest comes up, make sure to clearly communicate it and step back from the situation. Let your co-commissioners make a ruling. You don’t want to be seen as a dictator who is using your commissioner power to get an unfair advantage.
5. Set Rules
Good league rules should be clear, concise, and enforceable. People don’t like being told how to play but at the same time, you have to protect the league from abusers.
Vague rules are the downfall of many leagues. Well intended rules like, “Don’t run up the score” and “Have a mix of running plays and passing plays” sound great but there are all kinds of grey areas. What exactly is running up the score? What is the proper mix of running plays and passing plays?
A better rule would be something like, “You must run the ball at least 5 times per game.” Or “You may only pass the ball on 3rd down if you are up by more than 21 points in the 4th quarter.” Obviously both of those rules are made up and the numbers will be different for every league. The point is that you want something enforceable and not left up to interpretation (or argument).
Enforcing the rules falls squarely on the commissioner. Try to be as fair as possible and never play favorites.
6. Owners “Getting Busy”
Every commissioner knows that a user telling you that his life is “getting busy” is a basically just a code for whatever the real reason is.
It can be that the user started out 0-6 and isn’t interested in playing out the season. He’d rather get force losses and the #1 overall draft pick next season when he will miraculously be free again right at the start of the new season.
It can be that the user just is tired of the game and needs a break, or it can be that the user just doesn’t like his time. Every now and then, one of your members might legitimately have a life circumstance that temporarily gets in the way of his activity in the league.
A good commish should be able to catch on to the real reason a user “gets busy” pretty fast. If you have a good member who just happens to be busy, be understanding. If “getting busy” at convenient times becomes a habit, make sure that member knows that it isn’t acceptable. Do not be afraid of booting a repeat offender from your league.
7. Encourage Activity
A league without activity is a dead league. Keep up chat activity amongst the users to keep them excited to be apart of your league. Offer prizes or incentives. One idea is to let the user with the highest win percentage (2 min active seasons) have first pick of the teams for the next madden.
Get creative with it. Anything that keeps users engaged is a good thing.
8. Boot Cheaters/Disrespectful Users
Just rip the band-aid off and get rid of them. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend. One bad user can ruin an entire league if not addressed quickly and fairly.
9. Have Fun
Make it fun for your users. If they aren’t having fun, then they will quit on you. Chances are that no one in your league is a professional Madden player. They play as a hobby to have fun and to relax.
The same idea applies to you as a commissioner. If you stop having fun with your commish duties, there is nothing wrong with temporarily handing over control to a co-commissioner while you just get back to enjoying the league and having fun.