Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tie Goes To The Runner

A few days ago, Rich posted about some of the Challenges faced on Draft Day.

One of the challenges he mentioned had to do with the reaction of one new owner to the format and pacing of the CFCL’s draft. Traditionally, the CFCL has conducted our auctions in a very structured manner -- an owner nominates a player and an opening bid. The bid then goes clockwise around the table, with each owner either increasing the bid or dropping out when it is his turn. Once an owner drops out, he is out for good -- he cannot pass and stay in the bidding.

This differs from the bidding method used in the vast majority of leagues – a true free-for-all auction format in which a player is nominated at an opening bid and any owner can raise the bid at any time.

In a comment to Rich’s post, Kenn Ruby wrote: “I don't know if the CFCL greybeards have ever done an auction the "real" way, but it would be a shock to the system.”

The CFCL did try the “real” auction format … for two rounds in the 1997 Draft … or at least something close to it. A number of owners were concerned that they would not have time to fully consider their bids in the frenzied pace of a true auction, so while we allowed owners to call out bids in any order, any owner could halt the auctioneer’s call at any point for additional “think time.”

Because of this concession, the two auction rounds didn’t go a whole lot faster than the regular rounds, though they did lead to some pretty interesting situations. One of these was determining how to resolve ties that occurred when two owners called out the same bid at the same time. In most cases, one owner was willing to break the tie by raising the bid by a penny.

The video below depicts the beginning of the true auction rounds and illustrates the trepidation Dave Holian had about the free-for-all bidding format. It then transitions to the bidding on Pedro Martinez, is which Six Packs owner Kelly Barone and I both call out “seventeen” at the same time. Kelly makes a clever observation about how ties are handled in baseball, which inspires Dave Holian to suggest a clever way of breaking future ties.

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