Tanking Rule

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Tanking Rule

Post  Dan U on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:41 pm

Tanking will be defined as the act of attempting to purposely lose a regular season game (regardless of reason), by starting a lineup designed to fail by nature of being grossly worse than the optimal lineup an owner could have started with the players they have available to them. This can include obvious attempts such as starting a player on IR or leaving an open space in the starting lineup, and more subtle attempts, such as starting obvious NFL backup(s). In the case of an owner starting an injured player and taking zero points for the week, the specific situation will be reviewed (including when it became clear that the player would be Out for the week - starting a player ruled Out on Wednesday is far less acceptable than starting a player ruled out on Saturday, but still more acceptable than starting a player out for multiple weeks). It is understandable that owners will make poor decisions, and with 40 man rosters, starting the absolute optimal lineup is nearly impossible. Owners are expected to choose a lineup that they feel will give them the best chance to win in the current week, and the current week only.
Two major situations that will be considered tanking: Losing to manipulate draft position and losing in order to manipulate playoff position. A situation that will not be considered tanking is trading major assets away with an eye towards improving in future years. This would be labeled rebuilding, and as long as owners are not in obvious collusion, trades should never be reversed.
If an owner starts a player on IR or on a bye, it will be considered tanking IF the owner has an alternative on the roster. For example, if Owner J signs 3 D/ST in the offseason before the schedule is released, and all have byes during the same week, the owner will not have a tanking charge brought for failing to start a legal D/ST. However, purposely releasing a viable alternative in order to leave yourself with no viable alternatives will be considered tanking. To summarize, an owner will not be compelled to make a tansaction in order to avoid being accused of tanking, but to avoid gray areas and those who would 'shoot angles,' dropping viable players for the sole purpose of leaving yourself with none for a given week will be considered tanking.
The issue of enforcement can often leave much room for interpretation, as the line between "terrible lineup decision" and "tanking" can mean different things to different owners. Any hard and fast rule will almost always have an exception (such as leaving a starting spot open after benching a Monday Night Football player, with a small lead and no one left to play on your opponent's team - in this case you are doing your best to win the week, and giving up potential tiebreaker points in the process). Because of the highly subjective nature of this offense, a league-wide vote will be required before any consequences will be levied. The process will be as follows: Either commish can bring tanking "charges" against an individual by 5pm Tuesday for the previous week. An owner wishing to bring charges against a commish should do so, with their argument, by 5pm Wednesday. This should be made in writing in a public area (ESPN message board and/or Facebook), and the plaintiff should nut-up and notify the defendant themselves before the deadline. If an owner wants to bring charges against another owner, they should consult either commish, only one needs to approve the charges. If neither approves, you're probably being way too nitpicky. A commish should approve a charge if there is a reasonable argument that an owner tanked, but this does not guarantee said commish will vote guilty. The defendant owner should be given reasonable time to defend their decisions (also in writing, in a public area). Reasonable time will be considered noon on Sunday. After that deadline passes, the league will vote on whether the lineup was started with the intention of purposely losing the game. The commishes will be responsible for conducting the vote (contacting managers via any means necessary to ensure a large portion of the league votes). The plaintiff commish and defendant owner will abstain from the vote (assuming their votes will cancel each other out anyway), and the spare commish should abstain from voting except in cases of a tie. The vote will conclude at 5pm Tuesday whether the entire league has participated or not, though voting is strongly encouraged, and active abstaining would be preferred to refusing to reply. If the owner or commish is found guilty of tanking, the previous week will be remedied by a commish manually changing the offending owner's lineup to the absolute optimal lineup, and the standings will be manually updated to reflect these changes. Should an issue occur near the trade deadline, or the start of the playoffs, the commishes will do their best to expedite the process, as a manual update of the standings may affect 3rd party owner decisions. Furthermore, the offending owner will forfeit their earliest 1st round pick the following year, or a 1st round pick the year after (if the owner has more than one, their own pick will be forfeited, if they don't possess their own but still possess more than one, the commish(es) will collaborate to decide which pick is forfeited). Finally, there will be a 2 strikes and you're out policy. 1st strike means losing the pick, 2nd strike you're out of the league. If a manager is removed from the league due to tanking, the commishes will use their best judgement as to whether the previously forfeited 1st round draft pick should be returned to the new owner.
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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Brandon M on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:56 pm

This is a blatant breach of executive power; and, it offends that a fellow economist would make it. The incentive structure is in place for a reason. It is moronic to expect an owner out of the playoffs to purposefully sabotage their own draft pick. Any owner threatened by an "illegitimate" win by a competitor has not thought their argument through, for every team plays every other team; and, if you played the tanking team before they began to tank, you probably beat them: that's why they tanked later. If you played them early and lost I contend you deserved it. Any team at the bottom of the standings who feels threatened by an "illegitimate" loss has also not thought their argument through, for they too have the opportunity to set their lineup every week.

Furthermore, you openly admit this is a highly subjective offense. So, what happens when an owner, instead of starting his worst running back, starts his second best running back. Is that tanking? You can't draw the line; or, at least, you haven't. You certainly can't kick someone out of the league for it!

What's the point of a dynasty league if you can't plan for the following year? If an owner tanks a game their punishment is that their opponent won it. To mandate further consequences as a result of a single game is, again, a breach of executive power. The government cannot tell me how or where to spend my money; and, you sir, cannot tell me what lineup to start.

Respectfully,

An owner who doesn't even use his draft picks

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Dan U on Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:51 pm

The very first sentence in the rules is yoy must be active and committed. I would say based on that alone we have grounds to boot a tanker.
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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:07 pm

I love this new policy and am all for it. I assume I would vote yes then?

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Tom G on Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:46 pm

Brandon, I think you are missing the bigger picture here. We play this game for fun (or a little money), and we expect to compete and be competed against every week. I'll take this past season for example: The playoffs were locked up basically by week 8. In your perfect world, 6 teams would then basically have started empty lineups for then next 6 weeks. Where's the fun in that? You make the argument yourself that a team at the bottom of the standings threatened by an illegitimate loss also has the opportunity to set their lineup, so at that point it becomes a game of who can tank better?

Additionally, it seems you misunderstood the rule's position on subjectivity. That's the reason we seek to implement a league-wide voting system IF a manager is suspected of tanking. To use your specific example, there's a big difference between starting your 2nd best running back, and starting a 3rd stringer on a real NFL team (or a backup TE). We can't nail down exactly where the line is, but most of us can realize bullshit when we see it.

We've sought from the outset to mirror the NFL in as many ways as we can. Any owner or coach in the NFL who purposely lost games would most likely face a 7 digit fine along with a lifetime ban. They made trade away too much talent to have a realistic shot at competing, but they would never sabotage their chance of winning once kickoff began.

The incentive structure that you spoke of is in place so that the worst teams can get better. You are not some brilliant strategist because you happened to start tanking before someone else. It's stupidly easy to lose on purpose, and that penalizes the teams trying to win, and losing anyway. We DON'T have balanced schedules, how do you explain away getting to play a tanking team twice if your playoff competitor only plays them once? You seem to also have missed some potential scenarios in which tanking can affect more than just draft position. For example, if you and Jason were competing for one playoff spot, and Jason is playing me, is it fair that I lose to Jason on purpose to keep you out of the playoffs? It effectively takes all the power out of your hands and negates your entire year.

I hope the league will vote yes on this (you know, democracy and such), ultimately if Dan and I had a do-over this would have been written into the constitution to begin with, but I'm pretty sure neither of us ever could have conceived people would be low enough to lose on purpose. This league has great parity because of both the balance of the draft, and free agency.

Finally, a 'YES' vote is in favor of implementing the rule

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Brandon M on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:38 pm

Exactly, that's competition. You're either competing or the playoffs this year or you're competing for the playoffs next year. There's no pride to be had in a 6-8 season. I'm supposed forfeit next year's playoffs too so you can feel better about your wins? Tanking does increase competition because it ensures every team is competing for something down to the last game. I'd contend it takes an equally sound owner to lose a game between two teams trying to tank as it does to win one between two teams tying to win. Tanking increases league activity.

I understand that the vote is designed to correct subjectivity; but, I believe it will only exasperate it. If the result of a playoff-contending team's game is on the line, every owner also vying for that spot will vote "tanking," biasing the voting results in that direction. There is no way to eliminate the subjectivity of this offense.

While the point you make about the NFL is accurate, remember they have a paying fan base to entertain. As the owner of the Detroit Football Club, I am responsible for their results only to myself. While such an incentive is necessary in the NFL, it is not here.

If I face a tanking team twice, no playoff competitor of mine would face them only once. Need I remind you, comish, we only compete for playoff spots within our division; and, each team plays each divisional opponent twice. Tying it to your example, it is fair because I got to play you once too and, if your tanking, I probably got that win as well. Maybe I didn't and maybe you would've beat Jason that week if you tried, either way it raises the stakes of deliberately contending for a championship. That's what makes the championship more valuable and counteracts the incentive to tank.

To me, this rule sounds like a bunch of managers who want to post above-500 averages out of some sense of pride, but don't want to see their picks jeopardized in consequence. You can't have you cake and eat it too. Vote no.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Dan U on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:33 pm

Your week 14 opponent is someone you face twice but your fellow divisional opponents only see once. Therefore it is very possible to get an extra game against a tanker.
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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Brandon M on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:46 pm

Okay, but that's the team that finished where you did last year. Odds are when you meet them both teams will be in similar positions (i.e. both tanking or both competing for the win). It's only when one team is competing and the other tanking that an "issue" arises. Besides, most week 14 results are irrelevant anyways.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Dan U on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:09 pm

according to that logic teams never get better or worse, so why tank?
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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:58 pm

Here is my two cents... I've been in leagues before where I miss the playoffs due to the last week of the season getting jew'd. Sorry for anyone who might be Jewish. Example: I'm tied with another competitor for the final playoff position. This team wins its last match against a team purposely tanking. I also win my match, but due to points scored / head-to-head I am bumped out. Now, say that tanking team started the players that would have given their team a legitimate chance at winning and actually won (this would have been the case assuming they started relevant players) and I would have been in the playoffs.

Point here is that tanking affects everyone. It can screw someone out of playoffs, it can make a team super lucky and get in the playoffs when they don't deserve to be there and it changes draft position. The fact that you support tanking is utterly ridiculous. If tanking is allowed why stop there? Why don't we collude and do anything else that also gives us an advantage. I understand your whole, I'm trying to make my team better next year concept, but have some damn pride for crying out loud. As Dan and Tom have mentioned, this does not limit you from selling off assets to better position yourself. Just don't sit starters and/or injured/depth players who won't do a damn thing. It's insulting to those who are trying to play the game.

Tanking shouldn't be a vote. It should be a permanent rule and if you can't follow it, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Brandon M on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:16 pm

Dan - I'm referring to the expectation, which is what any league-wide decision must be based on.

Andrew - Pride is a poor man's argument. So you didn't make the playoffs... tough shit. Your compensation is your draft pick. If your upset it's not as high as a tanker's then you can tank too.

We all know what the repercussions of a win and a loss are. It's up to the owner to decide which route to pursue.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Tom G on Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:25 pm

Brandon why do you refuse to think about the repercussions of 6 tanking teams?!

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Tom G on Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:28 pm

Also, I think Andrew touched on a good point when he mentioned collusion. If tanking is allowed, whats to stop me from giving a draft pick to an owner to tank a game so I can get into the playoffs?

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Tom G on Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:42 pm

There's no reason that pride should have anything to do with either side of this argument. The parody in this league works because the worst teams (talent-wise) are getting the best draft picks. We identify the worst teams when every team does its best to win games and the cards fall where they may. Your argument boils down to 1) It's my party and I'll cry if I want to and 2) If you have an issue with that, you should just tank too. That doesn't work, because owners play to have fun. Owners like Dan (yep I'm gonna say it) who are out of it still can enjoy the season by playing spoiler and talking shit to owners who they have no business beating. One single owner who decides to take his ball and go home effectively ends the season for 5 other guys, which is an awesome way to lose owners.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Brandon M on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:04 am

probably for the reason you refuse to think about the repercussions on this rule... if six teams tank your odds to make the playoffs just skyrocketed. tanking > better odds to win > more incentive not to tank. its a self correcting process. you can't legislate it.

its only advantageous to tank when you're the only one doing it. if only one team tanks then, hey... you won...

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Dan U on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:07 am

I really wish EVERYONE would vote on this damn thing so we can move on.
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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Tom G on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:26 am

And that kills the league. You're either the only one tanking and getting an unfair advantage or 6 guys are tanking and the league sucks

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:15 pm

Pride was not my main argument and I know it's poor man version. But don't you take pride regardless of playoffs? Wouldn't you want to play spoiler as you mentioned. Or beat someone who is your sworn "enemy / rival"? I'm just saying at end of the day if you can't figure out a reason for not tanking, it should be pride. Fuck draft positions. If I'm out of playoffs I'm still going to play to win. I don't think tanking should come to mind.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Todd H on Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:04 am

Ummm hey guys, last time i checked,,,leagues like this are supposed to be FUN. if we continue to legislate every little thing that comes up, are we actually having fun? Dont get me wrong, I am as competitive as the next guy, but this is getting ridiculous.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Cat M on Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:25 am

I feel like we have one big argument a year as a league then the season comes and we all get along, plus its always fun.

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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Dan U on Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:31 am

Personally I like this rule because i don't like tanking. But should it fail i'd easily move on. I really just want to open up the other areas of debate, tweaking the tag rules, start date for the league, and anything else, but would prefer only one vote at a time.
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Re: Tanking Rule

Post  Tom G on Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:13 am

Ok this got 6 yes votes, its passed. If you didnt read the whole thing, just don't tank or Miller's gonna get you in the nuts. If you have other opinions, take them to the discussion thread (where they should have been anyway lol)

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