Draft League Europe
A tribute to the FUMBBL custom league
This article decribes the short but blazing history of Draft league Europe (DLE) and explains it's unique features. Some aspects may be interesting to [L]eague comissioners, as I believe the DLE receipe has helped the league's success. Before we start, let me credit the people who have contributed significantly: b4nshee (league page and badges), Ryanfitz (who drew inspiration from the FDL), mister__joshua (for manually adjusting player skills, which is imperative for the league to function), Arcayn (managing the league), Valen and Matthueycamo (co-comissioners) and The_Murker (graphics). I also credit hereby all the people that I have unforgivably forgotten to mention. Thank you, too!
What is DLE?
DLE is a franchise based league based in the Old World ranging from Reikland, to Bretonnia, to Estalia, to Tilea and all the way up to Kislev.
In Season 1, the league started out with 18 franchises. All cities from accross the Warhammer world submitted applications to host a franchise.
One by one, the 18 founding owners selected their home base and the DLE was born. Each team was named after the city or province where they settled and given a nickname.
The league gained popularity quickly and the league management decided it was time to grow. There was a long term target to get up to 32 teams (to match the NFL regular season and playoff structure), but that seemed to be a distant possibility until potential expansion owners lined up at the gates. Those great folks made it possible that the long term target was reached as early as Season 2!
As the name suggests, the DLE is a draft league. The main talent comes via a draft. According to Wreckage this is a 'communist' system, as it favours the weak! During every draft, the worst team selects first, and the previous champion last. There are no Inducements in DLE whatsoever, so people are not punished, but are encouraged to select players with unique skill combinations, giving greatly increased strategic variety. The second aspect of the league allowing no inducements is that all teams can run 16-man rosters all of the time. Fully stacked rosters means coaches can carry specialist players for specific roles, plus it makes sure that the second half of the games are always relevant and interesting. Rarely is a team forced to put less than 11 players on the pitch.
As a sidenote, I would recommend league comissioners consider the promotion of 16 man rosters, as this became one of the main positive features of the DLE, keeping most games interesting throughout.
All of the games have a friendly atmosphere; I can't remember any timeouts, concessions or forfeits. I think this speaks volumes for the DLE community, and is a big achievement.
Transition to 32
Rather than describing the Season 1, I'll jump straight into Season 2, which is already underway. Many features will be very familiar to people that follow the NFL.
There are two conferences, comprisng 16 teams. In each conference, there are four divisions of 4 teams. A regular season schedule is 14 games. Each team plays twice against their division rivals, four games against a division from it's own conference, and four games against a division from the other conference. The matching of divisions is rotated on a seasonal basis, so 3 by 4 will result in a twelve season rotational structure. e.g. It will take twelve seasons before a team once again plays against teams from the same 'other' division.
The playoffs comprise twelve teams, 6 from each conference. The 4 divisional winners advance to the playoffs, as well as the two non division winners with the best regular season record from each conference. The tie breakers are:
1 - Points
2 - Head to head result
3 - Points against divisional rivals
4 - Points against conference rivals
5 - Opponent's points
6 - Net TDs + Net CAS in all games
7- Net TDs + Net CAS in conference games
8 - Coin toss
Teams are assigned a rank from 1-6 (best to worst qualifiers) in each conference, according to record. If a team plays against a team with lower rank in the playoffs, then the team has 'home field advantage'.
Home field advantage means that the 'home team' is allowed to determine all coin-toss related choices, so can decide when to receive and when to kick. This could be very helpful in an overtime situation!
Like in the NFL, the first round is 'Wild Card' round, where the No. 3 ranked team plays against the No. 6 ranked team and the No.4 ranked team plays against the No.5 ranked team in each conference. So the 2 best division winners get a bye, while the rest battle.
In the second round, the remaining four teams play in each conference. As in the NFL, the team with the best rank is scheduled against the team with the worst rank in this round.
The third round is the 'Conference Championship' round where the remaining two teams in each conference play-off.
The fourth round is the grand final, which is also called the 'SuperBowl'. The SuperBowl is the final game of the season, and the winner is the winner of the league.
I hope that this was an interesting read, and that you may all find your own league with which you can be obsessed. I have found mine! If you are interested in Joining the DLE, then please PM Meanandugl, and you can join the waiting list. There is a decent chance that you can join us in Season 3 by taking over a team after Season 2 has ended.