FanFooty Tutorial: Leagues

Your FanFooty fantasy league season operates much like the real Australin Football League (AFL) - you play head-to-head against other teams in your league, home and away if possible, and then you have a finals series to decide who wins the "premiership".

The League Draw
Your league has its own "draw" - a week-by-week list of which fantasy teams are playing each other. However, regular fantasy leagues do not operate during real football finals series, because not all real teams are playing in those weeks - fantasy leagues which run in the regular AFL season will finish at or before round 22 of the real draw. Thus if you're in a full season league, you will probably finish near round 18 and you will have your "grand final" on round 21 or 22, depending on what your commissioner has chosen for your league. (FanFooty will run special mini-leagues for the four weeks of the AFL finals series, but that will be structured differently - keep watching in August for news on that!)

Your league's draw is created automatically by FanFooty based on preferences set by the league commissioner. The commissioner doesn't get to choose who plays who every week, but he or she does choose these options (which you can see if you are in a league by choosing the League menu above and clicking on Rules):
  • The number of teams participating (6, 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16);
  • The AFL round on which the FanFooty league has its Round 1 (typically the AFL round 1, although if that has passed already it will most likely be the next upcoming round);
  • The length of the regular season ("Full Seasons" go for 10-20 rounds and cost A$100, while "Half Seasons" run from 5 to 9 weeks and cost A$60);
  • How many teams qualify for the finals (between 2 and 8);
  • How many weeks the finals run (between 1 and 4).
Depending on the preferences set above, you might play each other team in your FanFooty league up to four times over the course of your regular season, or not at all. For instance, in the real AFL league each of the 16 teams plays 7 other teams twice and 8 other teams once over 22 rounds. The various configurations of FanFooty leagues are listed below, with the configurations that produce an equal number of meetings being highlighted.

Meetings between each team in a FanFooty league's regular season
Rounds6 teams8 teams10 teams12 teams14 teams16 teams
20 (Full)4 times2 or 3 times2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twice
19 (Full)3 or 4 times2 or 3 times2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twice
18 (Full)3 or 4 times2 or 3 timestwiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twice
17 (Full)3 or 4 times2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twice
16 (Full)3 or 4 times2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twice
15 (Full)3 times2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce
14 (Full)2 or 3 timestwiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or none
13 (Full)2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce once or none
12 (Full)2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or noneonce or none
11 (Full)2 or 3 timesonce or twiceonce or twiceonce once or noneonce or none
10 (Full)twiceonce or twiceonce or twiceonce or noneonce or noneonce or none
9 (Half)once or twiceonce or twiceonce once or noneonce or noneonce or none
8 (Half)once or twiceonce or twiceonce or noneonce or noneonce or noneonce or none
7 (Half)once or twiceonce once or noneonce or noneonce or noneonce or none
6 (Half)once or twiceonce or noneonce or noneonce or noneonce or noneonce or none
5 (Half)once once or noneonce or noneonce or noneonce or noneonce or none

Your commissioner will probably try to make it fair to everyone by trying to construct a league where everyone plays off an equal number of times. The most suitable configuration for a Full Season FanFooty league is 10 teams, because that way you can have a full league starting on AFL Round 1 going for 18 rounds where every team plays every other team twice (home and away), and then a finals series going for three weeks.

The dreaded Last Round Syndrome
Why have a finals system that goes for three weeks and does not extend right to the end of the AFL season, you may ask? The global experience with fantasy sports is that having your fantasy grand final on the last round of the real season can prove disappointing, because real teams who have already qualified for the finals tend to turn off and rest their best players - thus frustrating those coaches who have relied on those players throughout their fantasy season - while those real teams who have no chance of qualifying at all often give up altogether, or produce bizarrely good performances out of nowhere. AFL Round 22 is not recommended as the time to hold your FanFooty league's grand final, as it is too unpredictable - Round 21 is usually far more competitive on the field and thus much more suitable to decide your league's premiership.

The League Ladder
So you know how many teams are going to qualify for your end-of-season finals, but how do you know who is going to qualify? That is where the league ladder comes in. Each team in your league is listed in order of their performance in the games of their regular season. The listing order is determined automatically by FanFooty on the following criteria:
  • Premiership points (4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, nothing for a loss)
  • Points for (meaning the total fantasy points that the starting players in your team have scored for you in all regular season games)
In private leagues, your commissioner is allowed to modify the premiership points total, so he or she may tell you about other criteria for earning them - maybe your players get premiership points for appearing on the Footy Show, or maybe it will be something that you as a coach do during the week... whatever your commissioner can think up! Your commissioner may also deduct points, although commissioners are advised not to do so without good reason.