Fantasy Hockey Etiquette

Fantasy Hockey Manners & Behavior

By Chris Perrin

Fantasy hockey is a great game and a fun way to experience hockey like never before. Instead of rooting for one team, you are cheering for players from all over the league and games you might never have watched are suddenly really important.

However, just like going to the ice and seeing a game live, there are certain rules of good manners of fantasy hockey etiquette you should follow when you play the game. At best, not following good fantasy hockey etiquette will get your branded a jerk. At worst, you could actually violate league rules or the rules of the software that runs your league and you could find yourself tossed out of the league. All for a little bad sportsmanship.

Here are some rules of fantasy hockey etiquette you can follow to avoid that for happening.

The Golden Rule of Fantasy Hockey Etiquette: Donít be a jerk.

Actually, thatís the golden rule of any etiquette. Remember, above all else, fantasy hockey is a game. Thereís no reason to be offensive, be very insulting, use bad language, make fun of someoneís race, ethnicity, parenting, or use fantasy hockey as a way of getting back at someone for things that happened outside of the game.

You would think that thereís no reason to say this, but every year, people decide that they are going be trolls and they end up getting kicked out of their league, losing friends, and generally making fools of themselves.

What does avoid being a jerk mean?

Rule #1: If you wouldnít say it to your mother or your boss, donít say it to other owners.

Fantasy Hockey EtiquetteMany fantasy services give owners their own chatrooms or forums in which to talk about the league. In other leagues, owners communicate via email. Whichever medium is used, keep in mind that whatever is said is written down for others to read. Therefore, just donít make off color jokes, use racial epithets, engage in sexual harassment, etc. It will come back to bite you eventually.

Also, donít use profanity, especially if you are playing against owners you donít know personally. Yes, sometimes a few curse words gets your point across better than a few ďfiddle-de-dees,Ē but sometimes excess swearing can get you kicked out of a league. All it takes is one report from another owner.

Rule #2: Donít try to offer bad trades.

ďNo, I will not trade you Sydney Crosby and Martin Brodeur for the guy you picked up in the fiftieth round. Yes, I am sure. Donít tell me I am going to regret it.Ē

It seems like every year, one owner tries to push his bad players off on to other teams in exchange for good players. Normally this involves the owner trying to trade away an injured skater for a healthy one or constantly offering unsolicited trades to the owner with the least hockey experience. No one appreciates these attempts. Not the person who the owner is trying to swindle (who will either realize later they were cheated or they have to deal with researching/denying the constant trade offers) or the rest of the league who may suddenly find the jerk owner has a better team because he picked on a less knowledgeable owner.

Oh, and Rule #2A: Donít insult someone who turns down your trade. They didnít think the trade was in their best interest and chose against it. Itís no reason to insult their parentage or their intelligence.

Rule #3: Donít bragÖincessantly.

Listen, itís fantasy hockey. We know there is going to be trash talking. If you have a good week and get a huge pool of points, thereís a certain level of expectation that you are going to say something about it. But at some point, feel free to give it a rest. No one wants to hear about something that happened two months ago so donít keep bragging about it.

In conclusion on the topic of not being a jerk:

DO be competitive. Fantasy hockey etiquette says itís okay to do everything you can in the rules to win the game.

DONíT be a boy scout. Itís unreasonable to think youíre going to be angel just because of fantasy hockey. However,

DO be considerate of your other owners. Play with in the spirit of the game.

DONíT be a jerk. Keep your language PG.

There are two other rules of fantasy hockey etiquette that you should observe which are specific to the game.

Rule #4: Make the necessary roster moves.

Fantasy hockey is a time commitment. You may have to log in every day to set your line ups, so realize that before you join a league and be prepared to spend the time necessary to be competitive. Itís not fun for other owners if you stop updating your team. It makes you an easy win for whoever you are playing against (which isnít fair to the other owners who are competing against owners who care) and you are keeping players on your roster that other owners would have like to have had.

Things do come up and most owners are going to understand if you cannot log in every day to make sure your rosters are up to date. However, if you constantly miss week-after-week, you are cheating your leaguemates out of the optimum fantasy hockey experience.

Rule #5: Donít jettison your team if you are losing.

Every now and then, a fantasy owner who realizes he cannot win will trade away all of his best players to another team. There have been cases where real world money has been part of the trade.

This practice is totally unfair as it leaves one team completely uncompetitive (and as noted above, that gives one team an easy win which can throw off the game) and it means that one team will have more talent than any other. The league becomes no fun for the other owners who followed the rules.

Okay, fantasy hockey season is here! Sign up, follow these rules, and everyone will have fun!

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