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Fantasy football and baseball teams are a thing of the norm, but what about a Fantasy CrossFit League?
Believe it or not, it isn’t all that difficult to create a fantasy CrossFit league and in turn, compete against your gym members and coaches.
With the Open right around the corner, now is the time to start naming managers and creating team rosters if your gym is interested in creating a Fantasy CrossFit League this year. With every athlete analyzed to death by CrossFit HQ and various competitions across the country (and world!) it should be interesting to see how you use those statistics to create a team and how that team stacks up against others in your box.
Creating a Fantasy CrossFit League
Step 1: Get People Involved
First things first, gather participants in your gym or “managers,” as they’re called in fantasy league-speak. You can motivate your competitors by having each person pay in and using the money pool as a cash prize at the end of the season or use the money to purchase a prize for the overall winner.
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If gambling isn’t your thing, make it to where the winners get to create a WOD for the losers or the winner gets a free month at the gym. If you want to make the world a better place, still have everyone pay to play and donate the money to the winner’s favorite charity at the end.
Step 2: Set Parameters
Once you’ve established your “managers” for each team, set parameters. Can they choose their teams from all CrossFit competitors or just competitors that qualified for the Games in the previous year? How many people are they allowed to have on their team? Are you going to restrict it by sex and require them to have so many males and so many females? Are you going to include wildcards?
Make sure you take into account what your players should do if one of their competitors is injured or withdraws from competition. Will you allow them to replace them with an un-drafted pick? Are you going to allow trading between teams and if so, how often?
Step 3: Establish a Time Period
We advise you to pick an event and stick to it, at least for your first time doing a CrossFit Fantasy League. For example, start at the beginning of the Open and declare your winners at the end. You can do the same with Regionals or even the Games, although you’ll have to wait until after the Open or Regionals to figure out which athletes are even eligible. Trying to keep up with points throughout the entire Games season is a large responsibility for the first your first go-round.
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However, it isn’t impossible. If you do plan on having your League throughout the Games season, make sure your managers are allowed to pick a first string and bench team and adjust them accordingly. You can set rules for how often they’re allowed to do this — after each workout, after each major competition, etc. — when you establish parameters for the Fantasy League.
Step 4: Select Your Draft Method
There are several ways to draft your teams. The standard method is divided into two categories — the snake method, which means that the order is reversed for each round of the draft (first person in the first round picks last in the second round, and so on) or the linear method, in which the order stays the same through all of the rounds of selection.
There’s also an auction method, where managers bid for competitors and the highest bid wins. To keep things simple, we advise simply having your managers draw numbers out of a hat and then vote on their preferred standard method to select athletes.
Step 5: Establish a Point System
There are many, many different ways to do this, so you can really select whichever one works for you and your gym.
For example, if you’re using the Open, you can award points based on the place each athlete finishes in for each respective workout and the person with the lowest score at the end of the five weeks win.
If you’re using the Games, you can assign points for each place in each event — ten points for first place, five points for second-fifth place, 3 points for sixth-tenth place and so on and the person with the highest score at the end of all the events will win.
Whichever way you go, your managers are going to have to be organized and keep up with what their athletes are doing in whatever event you select. Make into a social event and watch the live announcement of each workout together or go to the closest wing joint to watch the culmination of the Games.
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Remember, most Fantasy football leagues and baseball leagues have software that makes all this much simpler and more efficient, so be patient with your box owners or whoever is running the program at your gym. Most of this will have to be done by hand, but that’s sort of what makes it part of the fun. You aren’t playing with a bunch of anonymous sports fanatics hiding behind computers, you’re playing with your friends and enjoying time spent together.
If you’re participating in a league for the first time, take time to research athletes and have your picks, back up picks and alternate picks lined up for the draft so that it goes quickly and efficiently.
You can also do this in teams to up the ante a little bit. If you have enough interest, make your managers partners or groups of four. It ups the camaraderie — the more the merrier!
If your athletes are not interested in doing the research behind a well-organized draft, randomly assign 2015 CrossFit Games athletes among them. Remember to leave out people who have already said they aren’t competing this year, like Chad Cole.