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Irish Sea Coastal Conference 2013/14 Season – Chatterbowl II

Mark Simpson has given me League Manager powers which have, of course, gone straight to my head. Mark will remain as President, figurehead and God-like entity over the league while I will manage the intricacies. Ultimately, all decisions over running the league will need to be agreed by both of us but I will take responsibility for enacting those decisions in a CEO-type role.

Franchises & Ownership

The 2013/14 season will see a new expanded format with the league increasing from 12 to 16 teams. In addition to 4 expansion teams there will be 3 further new owners, replacing owners from the 2012/13 season.

The departing owners are:

Gareth Simpson – to be replaced by – Neil Hawke
Tim Travers – to be replaced by – Pete Conaghan
Mike Elmes – to be replaced by – Phil Malcolm

The expansion owners are:
Team 13 – Ian K
Team 14 – James Goodson
Team 15 – Mat Ward
Team 16 – Jay Kelly

Keepers & Drafting

The league will allow one player to be kept from the previous season’s roster. This player may not be kept for a second successive year. New owners will be able to keep one player from the roster they inherit. The first round of the draft will auto-pick the keepers for the established teams and allow the expansion teams to pick players for their roster.

The draft will continue as a snake draft with round 2 starting in reverse order of position from season 1 (except new owners get preference and are moved upwards), thus:

Team 16 – Jay Kelly
Team 15 – Mat Ward
Team 14 – James Goodson
Team 13 – Ian K
Pete Conaghan
David Slater
Mark Simpson
Phil Malcolm
Ben Archer
Dan Sayles
Neil Hawke
Mike L
Dan Smith
Ben Hendy
Chris Braithwaite
Max Cubberley

The snake draft works by reversing the order each round.

The draft date is yet to be decided. It will be set for a time and date when as many people are available as possible. It is likely that we will not be able to please everyone with the draft date and if you are not available for the date you will just have to accept it.

The new ESPN Fantasy Football iphone/ipad app includes drafting abilities so you won’t necessarily need to be at a computer to draft. You will need an internet connection though.

You can set a draft board to auto-pick for you but obviously this still leaves plenty of things to chance.

Rosters

The agreed roster structure for this season is:

1 x Quarter Back
2x Running Back
2 x Wide Receiver
1 x Tight End
1 x Flex (RB/WR/TE)
1 x Defence/Special Teams
1 x Kicker
5 x Bench Spots
1 x Injured Reserve

The reduction in bench spots is because the increase in teams will limit the availability of talent and a greater number of bench spots will lead to player hoarding which could prove especially unfair in the event of an injury crisis.

Trading

All trades can be subject to veto by either myself or Mark in our roles as league managers. If a trade is deemed too one-sided it will be rejected. If managers have concerns about the balance of a trade they should raise it with either Mark or myself and we will enact a ruling. All rulings will be final.

The trade deadline will be at the end of week 10 of the regular season.

The league manager structure grants us the possibility of trading draft picks. There will be a vote on this.

League Structure

The league will be divided into 4 divisions of 4 teams each.

Each team will play the three teams in their divisions twice (6 fixtures)

Each team will play one other division once (4 fixtures)

Each team will play two teams from another Division once (2 fixtures)

Each team will play one team from the final Division once (1 fixture)

This will make a total of 13 regular season weeks.

In the two divisions with only partial fixtures, the match-ups were selected based on positions in previous years.

The new divisional structure has been determined:

The teams were split into four pots of 4 based on position in 12/13 (thus pot 1 was Cubberley, Braithwaite, Hendy, Smith). One team from each pot was placed into each Division. Some gaps were filled according to existing friendships/rivalries – ie Ben H and Neil H were grouped together, Mark S was grouped with Mike L and Max C, David S was grouped with Ian K. The remainder of the groups were assigned randomly, as follows:

Cairnryan:
Max C
Mike L
Mark S
Mat W

Larne
Ben H
Neil H
Pete C
James G

Hoylake
Chris B
Dan Sayles
Phil M
Jay K

Holyhead
Dan Smith
Ben A
David S
Ian K

The fixture list has been determined. The final 3 weeks of fixtures will all be Divisional games in order to increase competitiveness for Divisional titles.

Playoffs: 8 teams will qualify for the playoffs – the winner of each Division will be seeded 1-4, the 4 next best teams will win a wildcard berth and will be seeded 5-8. Second place in a division will not guarantee a playoff berth. There will be no byes available. Round 1 of the playoffs will be 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5. The semi-final stage will see the highest remaining seed play the lowest remaining seed, and, obviously, the other 2 teams playing each other.

The winners of the semi-finals will contest Chatterbowl II.

There will be a ‘losers’ post-season too, which will be playing for draft position in 2014/15. Players deemed to be purposefully tanking in this section in order to gain favourable draft position will be subject to sanctions, as yet to be determined, but likely to be based on draft pick forfeiture or changed draft order. So don’t do it. The league’s decision will be final and binding in any punishments.

Pick Six

In 2012/13 there was a pick six competition. This was based on the fixtures picked out by the Guardian weekly preview blog. Each entrant would pick the winner of the six selected fixtures. The person who picked the most correctly at the end of the season won £2 from each other entrant, to be paid via paypal (or other means, if applicable).

This will be replicated in 2013/14, though I suggest stakes of £5. If people aren’t comfortable with £5 we can stick at £2. Playing is not mandatory.

Tie-break – a tie break was necessary in 2012/13 and was selected as picking the winners of all playoff games. Ben Hendy and Ben Archer tied through the regular season, with Ben Hendy winning the tie-break which came down to the Superbowl.