aqualizard

Random Ideas for Stopping Slackers

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Here are a bunch of different ideas (most proposed by others) for lessening the impact that slackers have on a season. Feel free to add your own ideas, even ones that are contradictory.

BAN SLACKERS

If you get deemed a slacker, you don't play in future leagues (or do so under probation)

NEVER EXTEND SEASONS

No extensions. Ever.

ENFORCE CHECKPOINTS (NOT JUST FINAL DEADLINES)

Take a tough stance on meeting checkpoints THE WHOLE TIME. For instance, if "7 games" milestones are required per week, if someone EVER gets a full week behind (without an exemption due to a vacation or illness, that they have communicated to the Commish), they get replaced. Period.

HAVE LOTS OF WAYS TO REPLACE GUYS
This ties in with getting tough on checkpoints. To do so, you have to have easy means of replacing duds. There is the traditional waiting lists. But there is also having guys already playing step in, so they control two teams, with the understanding that they will be disqualified for the playoffs with new teams. (Guys like me just like playing games, so I wouldn't mind just getting the games in without the lure of playoffs.)

HAVE SMALLER LEAGUES
Cut the slackers out and focus on the smaller, but more dedicated guys.

HAVE LESS SIMULTANEOUS LEAGUES

As has been noted, there are currently 3 big leagues happening (Classic, GDL and VHL.) At a minimum, the newcomer VHL should be placed at some "down time" between the other two. There should be some communication between Commissioners of different leagues regarding start and end times, to mitigate overlap. (Again, I am looking more towards VHL here. But possibly Classic and GDL could be staggered or arranged better, too?)

MAKE SEASONS SHORTER

Shorter seasons could force the high participation we see at start and end of seasons by compressing everything together. (There would be no time to slack.) (Note: I personally would like longer seasons *if milestones were enforced* but I have seen shorter seasons mentioned, so wanted to include it.)

...

I don't have all the answers, and I 100% appreciate what the organizers do for us! I don't blame them. Just trying to get some different ideas on the matter...

Edited by aqualizard

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Maybe get points deducted from final standing for each check point missed. A higher deduction for missing first 3 or 4 check points since those are the easiest to hit. This would be on top of dnp's

Also, dividing gdl into 2 leagues(12 in A and 12 in B) would make it easier. Hard to find 23 guys for games.

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If we had a schedule of play, IE dates / times for each game, then if you miss a checkpoint, you automatically forfeit those games to the other team.

I realize a schedule would introduce it's own problems, including the amount of time to set it up, calendars, timezones etc, but throwing it out there.

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flogging_a_dead_horse.jpg

Good luck man! Slacker probation does sound pretty cool. Someone needs to make 94 ankle bracelets.

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Make an Invitational Classic for guys who complete seasons.

I also question the need to play 4 game series, 2 gamer is probably enough. Doubt it would effect reg season standings much - and really it's all about play-offs anyway.

DNPs aren't effective IMO, at best good players still make the play-offs without completing their schedule - at worst the guys with 5 wins really don't care and just phone it in at the end.

Maybe NHL94online could track "season completion stats" and reward good soldiers with pre-registration to leagues, or bonus draft-picks in draft leagues

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I think everyone misses the main ingredient in this recipe.

There were 10 coaches signed up for Classic A. 1 one them was almost a complete no show.

2 of them chose to not be very active in VC & Zep.

It's a dead league from jump at this point.

Minus Carse, all guys had finished their previous seasons, and would be expected to fully participate.

Now, goto, B. Most of the DNP's came from guys strong track records (Pearate, J&J, etownboy).

Orangeblack was the only serial repeat offender to the whole dropping out, and J&J got hit with 3 leagues at one time running when he didn't expect.

To date, I'd say Sicarius & J&J seemed to be the two effected by too many games without enough time to play. The rest of it is just DNP/flaking out.

How do you stop previously STRONG finisher's from being your drop outs?!?!? There just isn't enough of a pool of players to draw from to prevent/replace permanently.

I'm just glad we FIND enough guys to fill in as needed.

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Not sure why I'm being singled out. When I voluntarily dropped classic I was only 4 games off pace despite playing in 3 leagues and working 80 hours a week. In gdl 10 of my remaining 12 games are against super slackers probob, labs and sicarius. Enough said there. In vhl I played everyone except super slacker sicarius.

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A recently deemed slacker will give his 2 cents for whatever its worth. I haven't kept up at times and I have apologized so whatever

thats worth also. Anyway I personally feel WEEKLY checkpoints are stupid. Why not just have half season and an end of season checkpoints...as long as the games get played is all that matters in the end. Halfway get a warning, and at the end if you don't get them all in, then admin can decide your fate. They can also investigate who cause the nonplays and deal with them. Weekly points make it more like work than playing a video game for fun. Some of you forget that it is just a video game, not life or death. Again I reiterate, as long as the games get played is all that matters.

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It seems we have a few different threads attacking the same subject from different angels and through it all I side very much so with Brutus in terms of opinion.

We are lucky to have enough guys to fill out leagues at the moment. In the case of snes anyone who did sign up was admitted into the league. There was and is no wait list in the event that random people didn't play. If people don't take personal responsibility then there isn't a whole lot that can be done.

Shorter and faster leagues help but aren't an answer all in themselves. The last 92 league that coach ran didn't have the usual completion rate. Why? Because guys didn't take personal responsibility nor was there enough time to make up for a lost time slot.

There is a happy medium somewhere but we aren't gonna get it by brow beating slackers and making every league a 20 game sprint with 6 managers. In those leagues any amount of slackers more than 0 kills the league.

Again, it comes to personal responsibility. Brutus laid it out in another post where he squeezes game in despite a busy schedule. Without diving into detail, I'm also super busy AND I have to travel across town from where I live to get a connection I can play with. I live in a metro with well over 1 million people and it isn't a short drive. But I've made the time and played 74 out of 80 classic games before the original deadline. The games I missed were with carse who was hardly around and fenty who I have an 8 hour time difference with. I don't expect him to be up at 2-6 AM during the time I'm frequently on so it's no one's fault really.

If you want to play games you get them In regardless. If you don't, well the games sure as hell don't play themselves.

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I mean I get all the business about the inevitability of the slacking situation but I still feel we shouldn't reward it.

Main issue I think is that people who do play consistently are taken for granted. At least in GDL we get rewarded with less balls and see slackers drowned in balls.

But the biggest thing is just getting tired of all the dumb sob stories for not completing games. We all got our s**t, some of us decide to make time for 94 anyway. If you REALLY REALLY can't you should be fixing your life and not even try with this s**t. At the very least in 2016 can you just inform other players you can't finish this season in particular? Nobody's gonna be sour but having to wait on people who will never come in the end is really garbage.

Every season just feels like we're taken hostage to bend to the schedule of inflexible individuals or get the same exact penalty they get (DNPs). FFS AJ goes cross town to play his games, I've played games on friends laptops in the middle of a social event because that was my only solution etc.

Either you care enough or you don't, but in the advent that you don't let people know and don't give us a sobstory. Unless you've had mortality or injuries, or mental issues you can f**k off. Stop acting like you're a precious little special snowflake who's the only one to have a busy life.

Edited by The Russian Rocket

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Agree with Brutus.

Smaller leagues, 2 guys slack, it's magnified.

Enforce checkpoints stronger, when you don't have a Wait List, it's hard to do. Usually we take guys from the other leagues in this case, and ask them to take over a team in A, A coach take over a team in B. SNES didn't have that luxury this season.

We capped the leagues this season, didn't make a difference. SNES didn't even come close to meeting that cap.

We've made the seasons shorter (20 games a few Springs ago), didn't make a difference.

Spring turnout has always sucked.

I'm fine with not doing extensions. Raph and Hali were against it, I wanted to do it so the guys who were close to finishing their season and have played and met checkpoints throughout had a chance to complete it and not get hurt in playoff seeding. I'm not trying to reward the slackers in anyway. Didn't think there would be so much backlash.

We'll try something different next season.

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Not sure why I'm being singled out. When I voluntarily dropped classic I was only 4 games off pace despite playing in 3 leagues and working 80 hours a week. In gdl 10 of my remaining 12 games are against super slackers probob, labs and sicarius. Enough said there. In vhl I played everyone except super slacker sicarius.

I'll follow up on this only because J&J is a very solid bud of mine, as it's becoming a beaten dead horse here.

You are not being singled out in a bad way. Perhaps it read wrong. Perhaps I worded it wrong.

If you take the combined games of any 3 leagues you were in, or that matter Sicarius, you guys are WAY above the total needed for 100% completion for 2 leagues.

It's not liked you guys signed up for 3 leagues at the same time. You renewed in 2 leagues, and then signed up for Classic. Shortly after, all three started at the same time.

So, to me, you recognized it was too much, and properly dropped one, in this case Classic. Sicarius probably should have dropped one or maybe even two!!! (who would have ever THUNK the Blues could get out of the first round!?!?)

But, I don't consider either of you guys "slackers", and you especially respond if you can't play, and log in enough times to see if someone was looking for you.

Sicarius does not always do this, so in some respects, your labeling him of a super slacker could be legitimized. I still point to his previous solid record and don't highlight him as a guy I'd hesitate to put in a league.

To be clear, my intent was to not name Sicarius or J&J as slackers, but the only 2 I found to be "hurt" by 3 leagues running at the same time, which was one of the counter points arguing why we should limit leagues.

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I appreciate the work chaos, raph, and Hali did in this season and all other seasons before hand.

I understand your dilemma because Id be pissed to lose a division because I didn't play a guy who played 9 games in 5 weeks and couldn't sync up with the replacement on short notice. I appreciate the fact I got a couple extra days and will keep in mind that future seasons will be handled different.

These guys communicate with us, are transparent, and do their best to help everyone.

Thank you good buds!

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This discussion is going better than I thought it would. I think Jer has some great points and Brutus pretty much nailed it. I don't play anymore but for a while I was slacker numero uno. I also agree with Labs. Mainly towards the end of my playing time.....just my opinion, but right around the doc and the tourney, it did seem like there was a push to "get those numbers up" so to speak. Which does make sense because it did increase interest for vets and newcomers, but damn, things were flying. You guys were going through GDL seasons like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. Then things just fell off......HARD. I usually still lurk on the site about 2-3 times a week. You can tell things are kind of stagnant right now when you check the site on a Monday and then check it again on Friday and maybe 3-4 threads have new content, that and aim seems pretty dead now.

I can't speak for any new guys but I think some of the vets, at least the "B league lifers" just like me, for a while were pretty much all the same people. We kind of all built up a sense of camaraderie because the same guys played eachother all the time, so if it were me or buds like probob,witt,jaylighter,or eggink that slacked, we were all cool about it because we were cool with eachother and knew that we'd meet up eventually. Then new guys would eventually come in, and old habits die hard and some of the slack would continue, so I can see why that would be a problem.

I'm not sure how much of a waiting list there is nowadays, but if it's slim than those "slack ass bums" (to quote Hokkee) are better than nobody.

My last thought: Some guys here are video game guys first, Some guys are hockey guys first, maybe once the Sharks and Pens finals are over that things will pick up.

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I appreciate the work chaos, raph, and Hali did in this season and all other seasons before hand.

I understand your dilemma because Id be pissed to lose a division because I didn't play a guy who played 9 games in 5 weeks and couldn't sync up with the replacement on short notice. I appreciate the fact I got a couple extra days and will keep in mind that future seasons will be handled different.

These guys communicate with us, are transparent, and do their best to help everyone.

Thank you good buds!

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A recently deemed slacker will give his 2 cents for whatever its worth. I haven't kept up at times and I have apologized so whatever

thats worth also. Anyway I personally feel WEEKLY checkpoints are stupid. Why not just have half season and an end of season checkpoints...as long as the games get played is all that matters in the end. Halfway get a warning, and at the end if you don't get them all in, then admin can decide your fate. They can also investigate who cause the nonplays and deal with them. Weekly points make it more like work than playing a video game for fun. Some of you forget that it is just a video game, not life or death. Again I reiterate, as long as the games get played is all that matters.

I'll answer this for how I view/handle GDL & checkpoints.

I put value on the early games. I use the first 4 weeks this season (3 weeks the previous) as a reward period. It helps push the league to higher completion percentage, as draft order is directly effected by this. It's something I got resistance on, but resistance became futile!!

Now, after having 40 plus games in 3 days complete, some guys get bored!! I completely understand, but in a NOW NOW NOW moment, guys like Labs do give us something to talk about :)

And, as I've told him numerous times in our texts/aims when the heat was on, F** off to anyone. I'm commish and if you finish your games, you are in again. Love the guy and it is a game, not real life.

THAT HAVING BEEN SAID PREVIOUSLY, GDL has a long standing of being an "elite" league. After this season ends, I will roll call for GDL XVI. Priority will be given to TALENT and ability to play your games.

I will discuss with those "elite" players if they want me to split an A & a B type league as well.

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There was a great post by a guy named lakingscuprun or something (I think) during the GDL 4 playoffs that explains the issue perfectly. It's the system that is used.

I'll say this everytime until people listen:

Tecmo Bowl has 28-man leagues and they achieve 100% completion.

Those guys play their games knowing they'll get punished if they don't. The reason games aren't played here is because there is no incentive for playing.

There you get a punishment for each checkpoint you miss. It's a four strikes and you're out system, with each strike having a worse penalty with the fourth being an automatic boot. There is a vacation/exemption thread where players can apply for exemption of a checkpoint due to a situation, so guys aren't punished in the most extreme of times.

Players are REWARDED for having a certain amount of games played at each checkpoint with a gold star. For example, anyone who has 10 games at the 6-game checkpoint will get a gold star. Two gold stars can be turned in to remove any strikes. Strikes carry over to the next season.

Believe it or not, there are 28 coaches in the league and these guys play for gold stars and brag about them.

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On a side note, I think to pass time between some of the slackers and the early birds, an occasional tournament would help things out.

I'm working on a few ideas and once we've got these seasons finalized, and Round 1's in the books, I will be posting them and hoping to get a monthly tourney going online.

Main one is going to be a GDL based draft tourney, where you fill in your team based on a pre-chosen draft position and pick from a list based on ADP of the past 3 seasons.

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Ok, sorry Brutus. Thanks for clarifying! I see what you're saying. I should have known you weren't taking a swipe at me, but had a larger point. I definitely recognized I was in over my head. Following behind was seriously stressing me out lol. Don't know how the serial slackers do it.

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I prefer the dictator nature Brutus brings, their are slackers, but if you try hard enough you can find a way to meet up with the slackers, I've played 4 GDL seasons now, and completed all 56 games every year including this year when I was having a new baby. Maybe it isn't fair to be the guy who has to make the extra effort to get the slackers to play, but me, and a few others usually find a way to play everyone.

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On a side note, I think to pass time between some of the slackers and the early birds, an occasional tournament would help things out.

I'm working on a few ideas and once we've got these seasons finalized, and Round 1's in the books, I will be posting them and hoping to get a monthly tourney going online.

That sounds like a good idea. I know I love when a season starts and there are tons of games, and am always bummed when it wanes.

I appreciate the work chaos, raph, and Hali did in this season and all other seasons before hand...

Thank you good buds!

Yes, Brutus, Halifax, Chaos and Raph keep it together. Even though this thread might give a different impression, their effort is appreciated. Without them we have nothing.

And while I agree with you that it is up to people to take personal responsibility, and I know you in particular make a special effort playing at a friend's place to get games in, I still think we can try new things to "grease the wheels" or use a carrot (or stick!) approach to improve things. That's what I am hoping in this thread, just to toss ideas around for the Commish's. Maybe some stick, some don't, or none do? Doesn't hurt to have a dialogue.

Agree with Brutus.

Spring turnout has always sucked....

We'll try something different next season.

That is all I am asking. Let's try some new and different tweaks? Nothing wrong with trying something new? Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but anything is worth a shot.

Note: I finally figured out multi-quote!!!! Woohoo!

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I'm all for the merit/demerit system. I think it's a great idea. Classic is different than GDL though, since there is no draft of players, I don't know what we could do to give a bonus for the next season. Better position in team draft? Maybe, I just don't want to be unfair to new players since they would be at a disadvantage with no merits carrying over from the previous season.

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I'm all for the merit/demerit system. I think it's a great idea. Classic is different than GDL though, since there is no draft of players, I don't know what we could do to give a bonus for the next season. Better position in team draft? Maybe, I just don't want to be unfair to new players since they would be at a disadvantage with no merits carrying over from the previous season.

Having no demerit would probably put them a good margin ahead of others.

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do what?

There was a great post by a guy named lakingscuprun or something (I think) during the GDL 4 playoffs that explains the issue perfectly. It's the system that is used.

I'll say this everytime until people listen:

Tecmo Bowl has 28-man leagues and they achieve 100% completion.

Those guys play their games knowing they'll get punished if they don't. The reason games aren't played here is because there is no incentive for playing.

There you get a punishment for each checkpoint you miss. It's a four strikes and you're out system, with each strike having a worse penalty with the fourth being an automatic boot. There is a vacation/exemption thread where players can apply for exemption of a checkpoint due to a situation, so guys aren't punished in the most extreme of times.

Players are REWARDED for having a certain amount of games played at each checkpoint with a gold star. For example, anyone who has 10 games at the 6-game checkpoint will get a gold star. Two gold stars can be turned in to remove any strikes. Strikes carry over to the next season.

Believe it or not, there are 28 coaches in the league and these guys play for gold stars and brag about them.

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At the very least in 2016 can you just inform other players you can't finish this season in particular? Nobody's gonna be sour but having to wait on people who will never come in the end is really garbage.

You know, this thread does have a lot of great points and ideas, but this point in particular should be highlighted.

Nobody has a problem with guys dropping out, like J&J, who got replaced with someone in a timeley fashion. The problem is with the guys that *don't* drop out, and wait til the end to do > 50% of their games. These are the Slackers.

When these Slackers fail to complete their games too, so they have effectively dropped out AND slacked, and not allowed time to be replaced (like J&J did), that is a really selfish act. It leaves the guys that get their games in shaking their heads? Why? Those guys should NOT be invited back.

But the Slackers that DO get their games in, or most of them in, in the last week, they seem to feel like they honored their agreement. And don't seem to appreciate how frustrated everyone is all around them? These are the guys that should be on probation, and have weekly checkpoints enforced next league, IMO. Yes, they got the games in, in the end, but they did so on their schedule, showing zero flexibility and consideration for others. That is being a me player, not a team player.

In short:

1. Slackers that slack and do not even finish a bunch of games should be banned

2. Slackers that slack and finish most of their games at the last minute should be on probation

3. Dudes that quit, but do so well before season ends, and let the Commish know, are a-ok

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But the Slackers that DO get their games in, or most of them in, in the last week, they seem to feel like they honored their agreement. And don't seem to appreciate how frustrated everyone is all around them? These are the guys that should be on probation, and have weekly checkpoints enforced next league, IMO. Yes, they got the games in, in the end, but they did so on their schedule, showing zero flexibility and consideration for others. That is being a me player, not a team player.

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But the Slackers that DO get their games in, or most of them in, in the last week, they seem to feel like they honored their agreement. And don't seem to appreciate how frustrated everyone is all around them? These are the guys that should be on probation, and have weekly checkpoints enforced next league, IMO. Yes, they got the games in, in the end, but they did so on their schedule, showing zero flexibility and consideration for others. That is being a me player, not a team player.

+2

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I feel I've been lucky in running VHL since the guys have been really good about letting me know when things are going on. In season 1, Wittgenstein and a couple of others needed to be replaced, and usually (2 of 3) they came to me about it. We finished almost all games.

This season was pretty solid, a couple guys aside Probob aside. But we only had 7 coaches finish all their games. I feel this is mainly on me, because the season length got extended and that doesn't help. I don't feel too badly, because that change was made for competitive balance as we have 14 B coaches and only 4 A coaches in an 18 team league.

I also didn't know the GDL draft was going to start right after we began the season, so that was a miscommunication between me and Brutus, but that can be fixed moving forward. All we need to do is have a better schedule of events/leagues. I have no problem starting the VHL draft in the 2nd to last week of GDL or something, so that we go right into VHL as the GDL playoffs get going. This should be easy enough, each league takes about 7-8 weeks for regular season so just need to space out more.

Slackers

Regarding handling slackers, I feel this is the toughest thing in NHL94 online. I've used a few tactics:

1.) Immediate Removal - if a guy is slacking so much, just remove him and let him know why (Dcicon in VHL1). I gave Dcicon some chances to catch up, but he didn't and I removed him early to avoid an issue all season.

2.) Draft Penalties for DNPs (Draft Leagues only) - This puts pressure on guys because if they have a bad season, they won't get a good pick because I add 2 pts for each game played. This is the opposite of playoff DNP penalty, as the more points you have, the later your pick will be.

3.) Playoff Penalties for DNPs - I do a minimum of games played, usually 75 or 80%. I also dock 2 pts for each DNP, which heavily affects playoff qualification. 2 guys made the VHL2 playoffs because they played all their games, while teams with better win % missed due to DNPs. I also support the idea that the commish should be subjective and look at each team's DNPs to determine if it is on one coach over the other. In that case, only one team gets the DNPs.

4.) Don't Invite Them Back!

Deadlines - Weekly

They've been sort of useless, I have to agree with that since it was said earlier. Maybe quarterly deadlines would make more sense. I don't love Labs idea of mid-way and then final, too much time wasted on one slacker with no rule to control it...but I do like the spirit of the idea. For example, if someone needs to hit their 16th game by end of week 2, then they could get docked or have one of the penalties mentioned earlier.

Too many deadlines = less importance to each individual deadline. If we have 4 deadlines, and you missed 2 or 3, you're a slacker and should be treated as such by being replaced or put on probation, I guess.

Question: What does "probation" even mean? We keep an eye on everyone already, so are players on probation penalized in some way?

Edited by skip

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I don't like that both players are punished for a game unplayed, what if you only punished the player with less games played at season's end?

Or the guys in another league keep track of attendance, and at every checkpoint unplayed games are awarded to the player with better attendance.

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