Modify auction draft time limits

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.

I do not think an initial 5 extra seconds would solve the issue of ‘scrambling’, because no amount of extra time at the top would fully solve that issue and there are many ways to make 15s more than enough time if you plan ahead.

I do not agree that subsequent bids deserve less time, because ultimately live bidding is about much more than scanning a name in a spreadsheet and entering a price, and ‘research’ is on-going throughout the auction process.

I’m also very opposed to having an inconsistent timer instead of being able to be certain about 15 seconds.

For all these reasons I’m not really interested in this change upon first review.

On the podcast we all agree that the draft is a hectic and fun experience and requires planning ahead to minimize as much scrambling as possible. Building out your watchlist so you get the special sound when someone on your watchlist is nominated, having everything in front of you so you don’t need to flip through browser tabs or a notebook every time someone is nominated, etc. Ultimately if you and your league find the auction draft to be too hectic, the two-way integration with Couchmanagers is probably the right way to proceed, rather than adding 5 seconds to every nomination.