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DraftHelp.com HOW TO Series

The following articles are meant to aid you in starting and running a fun and fair Fantasy Sports League.

HowTo Start a League

HowTo Create a Constitution

HowTo Build a Scoring System

HowTo Judge a Fair Trade

HowTo Run an On-Line Draft

HowTo Add Value to Your Draft

 

HOW TO: Run an On-Line Draft
by Nathan Noy

March Madness is upon us, and for those of us in roto/ fantasy baseball we don’t mean the NCAA Tournament.  It’s finally draft season, and most of us anticipate this day more than we did Christmas as a kid.  This season, more than ever before, there is growing interest in using the Internet to help conduct drafts or auctions.  Whether your draft is in Boston – and you live in LA – or your league was formed in college and everyone now lives in a different city, the Internet my be an inexpensive solution to your draft day problems.

There is a common misconception that using the Internet to conduct a draft is quite difficult.  In fact, it couldn’t be easier.  The following information details in easy to follow steps how to set up an on-line draft using two of the big boys on the net: Microsoft Network and Yahoo.  I will describe for each of them the steps both your league representative (most likely your league commissioner) and your league members need to follow.

Before we jump right in it is important to examine what is often a very import issue when considering the Internet as a means of running your draft: Firewalls.  As most of you that use the Internet from work know, a majority of companies in this country use a filter to restrict what information can be sent from or sent to the company web servers.   This filter is most commonly known as a firewall.  The main use of firewalls is to prevent employees from using company time to view sites that are either inappropriate or would be considered a waste of time.  Unfortunately, this means that most firewalls will severely limit one’s access to any chat room since most companies would clearly view a chat room as a serious waste of time.  There are ways around the firewalls, however some of them may get you fired.  Consequently, I would recommend doing the draft from home or any other place that does not restrict your use of the Internet with a firewall.

Both Microsoft Network and Yahoo have their various pros and cons.  The first problem with both is that you must have either a Microsoft Network Passport or a Yahoo ID to use the chat room.  These are easy to obtain and I will explain the process as we go along.  Remember that league representatives must do their thing before the rest of the league can use the chat room, so here we go:

IMPORTANT MSN NOTE: Although it is the easiest tool to use there is one catch.  You MUST have Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) to use their chat rooms, i.e., Netscape simply will not work.  Therefore, if you do not already have IE you must download it.  It is free.  Simply go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/ and download the current version of IE.  Be advised that with a slow connection to the Internet this can take up to 4 hours.

(1)     A Step-by-Step Guide for the League Representative using MSN:

(A)   Launch Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

(B)    Go to http://communities.msn.com/home.

(C)    Click on “Create a Community”.

(D)   If you already have an MSN ID then click on “sign in”; otherwise click on ”create a passport ID”.

                                                               i.      If you select “create a passport ID” then follow MSN’s easy to follow steps and create your passport ID.

(E)    Once you have created your community following MSN’s easy to follow steps, click on “Invite friends and family to join”.  Once there you enter everyone in your league’s e-mail addresses.   They will then receive an easy to follow message from MSN on how to join your community.

(F)    Next confirm that everyone in the league has successfully joined the MSN community.

(G)    Finally on draft day, log in to your community. Click on “Chat Room” and you are ready to go.

(2)     A Step-by-Step Guide for the other members of your league using MSN:

(A)   Launch Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

(B)    Log in to your e-mail account and open the message that has arrived from MSN concerning the community created by your League Representative.

                                                               i.      If you do not have an e-mail account go to www.hotmail.com and sign up for a free one (note this will also create an MSN Passport ID for you).

(C)   Click on “Join Now” in your e-mail, this will launch you to the MSN site, once there you will be prompted to either sign in or create a passport ID.

(D)   If you already have an MSN ID then click on “sign in”; otherwise click on ”create a passport ID”.

                                                               i.      If you select “create a passport ID” then follow MSN’s easy to follow steps and create your passport ID.

(E)    Next let your League Representative know that you have successfully joined the MSN community.

(F)    Finally on draft day, log in to your community. Click on “Chat Room” and you are ready to go.

IMPORTANT YAHOO NOTE: The main disadvantage to using Yahoo is the fact that you MUST be logged in to their chat system before your League Representative can invite you to the chat room.  The process to logging in to the chat system can be very confusing.

 (3) A Step-by-Step Guide for the League Representative using Yahoo:

(A)   Launch either Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Netscape.

(B)    Go to http://chat.yahoo.com/.

(C)    If you have a Yahoo ID sign in; otherwise click on “Sign Up For Yahoo! Chat!

                                                                                       i.      If you select Sign Up For Yahoo! Chat!” follow Yahoo’s easy to follow steps and create your Yahoo ID.

(D)   Confirm that every member of you league has obtained a Yahoo ID.

(E)    Now comes the tricky part: You must log in to the yahoo chat system. 

a.        Click on ” complete room list”.

b.       Select any room. I would suggest clicking on “Y2K Problem” since it should be empty.

c.        You are now in the yahoo chat system.

(F)     Once in the chat system select “Edit your Friend List”.

a.        At this time you must add all league-member IDs to your list of friends using Yahoo’s easy to follow steps.

(G)    On draft day follow steps A-E.  Once you are in the chat system select “create a room” from the bottom portion of the screen.

a.        Once there you will select a name for the room.  Then click on “Create my Room”.

b.       You will then be in your newly created room.

(H)   Once you have created your room on draft day the final step is to invite the other members of your league to join the room to conduct the draft.  Yahoo will automatically notify you as each member of your “friends” list enters the yahoo chat system.  As they enter, simply click on their username and select “invite”.  As soon as everyone logs on it will be draft time.

 

(4) A Step-by-Step Guide for the other members of your league using Yahoo:

(A)   Launch either Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Netscape.

(B)    Go to http://chat.yahoo.com/.

(C)    If you have a Yahoo ID sign in; otherwise click on “Sign Up For Yahoo! Chat!

                                                                                       i.      If you select Sign Up For Yahoo! Chat!” follow Yahoo’s easy to follow steps and create your Yahoo ID

(D)   Next let your League Representative know that you have successfully obtained a Yahoo ID.

(E)    On draft day comes the tricky part: You must log in to the yahoo chat system. 

a.        Click on “complete room list”.

b.       Select any room.  I would suggest clicking on “Y2K Problem” since it should be empty.

c.        You are now in the yahoo chat system.

(F)    At this point if you have successfully informed your League Representative of your correct Yahoo ID you simply have to wait for an “invite” to join the draft room.   Accept this invite and you are off and running.

Hopefully these have been easy to follow instructions that will enable your on-line draft to go off without a hitch.   I would suggest that your league carry out a “trial run” to be sure that everyone understands the process.  If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at nnoy@drafthelp.com.  I will do my best to help clarify the process for you and the members of your league.  Good luck this season, and I hope that your “March Madness” is as enjoyable as mine.



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