By now you are probably all aware that the Highlanders V Crusaders match set for Forsyth Barr Stadium was cancelled following the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. If not, then you can read about NZ Rugby’s decision on Rugby Pass here.
This obviously has an effect on our Draft Rugby match-ups as 26 players did not take the field this weekend. This articles goal is to outline how we have dealt with this issue in the OG League. As well as offering a few alternatives you may wish to follow in your leagues.
Most importantly, our thoughts and well wishes are with all the victims and their families of this atrocious terrorist attack. Rugby is just a game, and the decision to cancel the game as a show of respect to the victims was all class. Well done NZ Rugby, the Highlanders and the Crusaders.
The Team Lineups:
The OG League’s Plan
First and foremost, there is no completely fair way to deal with this problem. We had a robust discussion in our group thread to say the least, in the end the only way we could reach a conclusion was by the league commissioner giving everyone 2 choices to vote on. The options were:
- Give all the players in these games 0
- Give all the starters their average and all the bench players 0.
Give all the players 0:
This is the most fair, as there is no predictions of scores what so ever. The players didn’t play, therefore they get zero. Just as players can be pulled pregame with injury, in effect these entire teams have been pulled pregame. Obviously the limitation is around the fact that different managers will have a different number of starting players from the two teams. If you choose this way, essentially you have to concede that this is the luck of the draw.
Starters get their average, bench gets 0:
This is the option that won in a landslide in the OG League. We decide on this option for a few reasons:
- The only fair way to score a starting player is by valuing him off his current form. Therefore all starting players were given their own personal average.
- If a player comes off the bench we do not know how many minutes they would play, also the majority of bench players do not score many points at all. Therefore giving them all 0 seems like the fairest way to deal with these players.
- We discussed using players points per minute and multiplying this by how many minutes we thought they would play, but this is too subjective, and creates more headaches than it solves.
The Sam Whitelock conundrum.
Sam was due to play for the first time this week, therefore he does not have an average. We decided to enter him as a DNP (Did not play) rather than a score of 0, which allows the reserve second rower to score points for his manager. Options include:
- We decided to enter him as a DNP (Did not play) rather than a score of 0, which allows the reserve second rower to score points for his manager.
- Give him his 2018 average of 30.5 points. We didn’t chose this because we believe 2018 form counts very little for 2019 form. It is a fair alternative though.
- Give him the average score of all the starting locks for the week. This seems unfair given that he was the 7th ranked lock overall in 2018. But it is an option none the less.
Other options for your league:
- Cancel the round all together – If you really can’t decide on what is fair, cancelling the round is an option that favours no one.
- Give each of the players the average of their position for the week – we weren’t a big fan of this one because it negates the value of each player.
- Give the substitutes half of their average score – makes sense on first look, but when you consider some of the bench players have started most games (e.g. Will Jordan) and others have always started off the bench (e.g. Marty Banks), it hardly seems fair to deal with them in the same way as their averages have come from playing completely different minutes.
- Just like the Sam Whitelock caveat other players have their average based off only 1 week (e.g. Codie Taylor 1 game for 69 points). This is arguably unfair, but for us we decided the line needs to be drawn somewhere, so his managers can high five.
In the end Draft Rugby is just a game and this has come about because of a truly horrible situation. Enjoy throwing some chat at your mates about how to deal with it, but don’t forget that it’s just a game. In the end, you may just need your Commissioner to pull rank.
Let us know how you decided to deal with this unique issue for draft rugby by commenting below.
Written by Harrison Dale.