HOW TO: Becoming a Commissioner

The best leagues in CSFBL are run by commissioners. And to be even more specific, the best leagues in CSFBL are run by the best commissioners. So what’s involved in being a commissioner? And what makes a great commissioner? Read on and you’ll find out…

What’s a Commissioner?

A commissioner is the leader of a league. They are usually one of the 24 owners in the league but they don’t have to be. Many leagues have more than 1 commissioner, with different members of the commissioner team taking on different league responsibilities.

Benefits to being a Commissioner

The best thing about taking up the role of commissioner is you get to ensure your favorite league continues to thrive. You get to have a say in rules and who you play with. Taking things into your own hands means tasks can be done correctly, efficiently, and basically however you want. As long as you have the best interest of the league in mind, and along with the support of league can call the shots.

Who Can Be A Commissioner?

You Can! All you need is a basic understanding of how CSFBL is played and a desire to lead a league. There are plenty of commissioner tools that’s make it simple, lots of admins, commissioners and mentors to answer questions, and of course there are ‘How To’ guides like this one in the CSFBL Wiki.

What Do Commissioners Do?

Commissioners run the league business that is not already automated by the game. The primary tasks are:
  • Recruiting
  • The Draft
  • League Management

Let's discuss each in more detail...


Leagues have 24 teams and, to state the obvious, leagues filled with 24 engaged owners are more active and competitive than leagues with lots of open, unowned teams. So one of the most important tasks for a commissioner is keeping a league full. Openings happen in all leagues from time to time, and here are some tips on how to fill those openings quickly:
  • Post in the League Announcement thread
  • Post on the chatbox
  • Respond quickly to recruitment requests (these go to your email so make sure your email address is one you check frequently)
  • Reach out to users through private messages or the chat
  • Increase the profile of your league (if you have unique rules, let people know!)

The Draft

Every league has a three-round amateur draft every season. The list of 80 draftees appears on May 6th and the game “sims the draft” on July 15th. To state this differently, owners can start scouting the available players beginning on May 6th and the players get distributed to new teams on July 15th. The best and most active leagues typically have live drafts on the CSFBL forum. And running the live draft is one of the most important tasks for the commissioner.

Live drafts usually run two rounds live, split into eight blocks of six with 24 hours per block. Some leagues will do 1 round or 3 round, blocks of 4, or no blocks at all. There are a lot of options and commissioners can typically decide what format works best for them and their league. As a commissioner tasked with running a league’s draft, you have several steps you must take to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Steps for running the draft:

  • Set up the draft board in your league's forum. There are several draft tools that can help you to easily copy and paste a draft table into the forums (see below). Make sure the draft order has been adjusted for all trades and lottery seeding. "Sticky" the draft thread so league owners can easily find it.
  • Send PM reminder messages to the owner(s) that are on the clock each day. Its helpful to include some basic information in the PM such as a link to the draft thread, the deadline for the pick and a list of the teams who are on the clock.
  • Collect and post picks sent to you via list and update the board/fill in the blocks daily (or more frequently if time permits).
  • Assign an autopick for any team that doesn't make a selection. Typically the autopick will be the highest salaried player remaining on the board, but different leagues have different autopick rules.

Checklist To Do before draft sims on 7/15:
There are 3 tools on the League Management page that should be used every season prior to the draft simming. Using these tools properly will ensure that the draft sims without any errors.

  • Use the Low Minors tool to make sure everyone has room for their picks in low minors (20 players max in Low Minors)
  • Use the Reorder Draft tool to ensure the draft order is correct and all traded picks and lottery reordering has been done
  • Use the Set Draft Picks tool to make sure the right players will be selected by the right team in the right spot.

League Management

Commissioners are responsible for setting, managing and maintaining league policies and procedures. Some of the tasks that fall under that are...

  • Monitoring specific league rules like a draft lottery, hard salary cap or minimum win penalties
  • Reassigning traded draft picks that were dealt in previous seasons.
  • Posting forum content
  • Resolving any league disputes
  • When certain situations arise, typically in the forums, a commissioner should step in and be the voice of reason. If someone is acting inappropriately, you can moderate their comments. But always try to be as transparent and unbiased as possible. You don’t want to exacerbate a situation.

What are the tools that a Commissioner can use?

Draft tools are the most common form of tool used in the forums. There are several tools at your disposal, linked here:

Other features to add to your league’s forums can be found in this thread:!

And on the wiki here:

Another nice thing to add to your league forum are draft grades. This can spark discussions amongst owners, many arguing the upsides of the players they drafted. If an owner has a question about their draftee’s grade, you can explain to them what you saw when grading that pick.

Tips on posting tables

A table always starts with [table] on the same line as the column names/descriptors You then place | in between columns of data on all rows, but never on the outside of the first or last row A table ends on a new line when you write [/table]

If you want to make a table in excel, you can insert columns filled with | wherever you want to separate columns. Then you just copy and paste. Make sure you have the [table] and [/table] also.

Commish Calendar

  • Preseason: During March, you generally reassign traded draft picks and enforce hard salary caps. Typically, the hard salary cap is regulated between 4/1 and 4/15. League rules may have additional, or different league dates.
  • May: The draft list drops on the 5/6. You want to post draft boards shortly thereafter.
  • July: The draft sims on 7/15, so you want to make sure draft picks have been set before this date. If the draft does not sim properly, you will need to reassign players ASAP.