Friday, April 15, 2011

Auction Twists

Howard Lynch's league has a wrinkle many leagues don't have: they allow a time-out during the auction.
my league has always allowed for calling "timeout" ... in other words, I think we do our auction at a pretty good pace, but if/when it's crunch time on player you want to take a breath and think about, you call a "timeout" ... it doesn't stop anyone from bidding, just stops the auctioneer for a moment from closing the bidding.
It's an interesting idea. My home league auctions generally don't have an auctioneer. Typically, we ask an owner who is low on cash or locked out of a lot of positions to take over when the bidding slows down. 
One of our owners who commonly takes over as auctioneer has a bit of a "fast call", particularly during the end game when you really do want to have time to think. I would say as long as the number of time-outs you have are limited and they don't last longer than 15-20 seconds that it would probably be OK. I wouldn't want an indefinite number of time-outs at the end game slowing things down.

The other wrinkle I've played with is the "pass." In this league, you were allowed one pass when it was your turn to call out a player. You could do this early but generally most owners saved this option for toward the end of the auction when they were targeting a player and/or a position. The most interesting think about this wrinkle is that not only do you have to keep track of who is left and who isn't, but who has passed and who hasn't.

Yet another twist this league had was trading during the auction. I always found this distracting. One of the owners would write the trade down on a piece of paper, run it up to the Commissioner, and as soon as the bidding stopped on whoever was being bid on, the Commissioner would announce the trade. It made tracking slots/money a lot harder, particularly because we weren't using a whiteboard in that league at the time. They did away with the rule at some point.

Yet another twist this same league had was the throwback rule. You could throw back up to three players right before the auction started. So much for calculating inflation, since there was a contingent of owners that wanted the auction to start right away (and this was in the pre-computer days before your spreadsheet could do the work for you). You had to also make sure you didn't miss who was thrown back, since you could lock out at a position and miss out on a superior player and/or a bargain.

I bring all of this up because while I don't like most of these twists, some of you might, particularly if you've been in a league for a long time and feel like your auctions are becoming ho hum. As I've always said, do what works for your league and makes you happy.


Frank said...

I joined a new league this year, and they allow unlimited time-outs for an indefinite period of time. I hate it.

Eugene Freedman said...

In the auction I run, we get 3 timeouts and one extra in the reserve draft. Teams with partners generally call more than those without.

They last as much as a minute or until the caller bids or calls time-in.

richard said...

In my two main auctions, we feel we only do this once a year so why be in a rush. There is no time limit and lots of talking and joking during each player brought up. After the bidding has come to a stop, one person always asks if "anyone is thinking?" If so they have time to decide if they want to bid anymore or not. It is just a mellow, San Francisco auction. We take a substantial break for lunch, which the previous years winner provides.