Niv, the recent discussion of auction draft preparation on the Ottobot Podcast helped crystalize something that has been gnawing at me for a while.
In an auction draft, there is a flurry of activity necessary every time a new player is nominated. Managers must search their notes/spreadsheets, check their roster, maybe check FanGraphs or another news site, and perhaps form or update their idea of their max bid for that player. As you said on the pod, that’s a lot to do in 15 seconds, and the scramble to do all of it and then enter a bid can be panic-inducing.
Conversely, once that initial overhead process is complete, it’s done. None of the subsequent bids for that player require any significant amount of time because no more research is necessary. I would submit that 15 seconds is a bit too long for intervals after the first, and the cumulative effect of this excess over many bids and many nominations makes the whole auction draft longer than it needs to be.
If you agree with those two points, would you consider extending the timer for the first interval (to maybe 20 seconds), but then shortening it for the subsequent intervals (8-10 seconds seems about right)?
There would need to be some additional thought given to the details of implementation. For example, it’s probably best if there is a minimum duration for each auction of 15 or 20 seconds. This would come up if someone bid very quickly after the nomination. That shouldn’t deprive the other managers of the typical time for research.
This change would improve the overall auction draft experience by mitigating what I believe are the two worst parts about it: the stress of the time pressure; and the practical difficulty of giving it our undivided attention for several hours.