Should I Tip My Fantasy Football League Commissioner?

Tip Jar
Image by torbakhopper

It seems like everyone has a tip jar out these days. Ice cream stands, coffee shops, wineries, even fast food chains commonly have a jar now. So it’s not surprising that fantasy players might wonder if they should tip their hard working league commissioner, especially after winning a league prize.

The short answer to this is “No”. Let’s talk about why not and what you can do instead to show appreciation for your league commissioner’s time and efforts.

Why You Shouldn’t Tip Your Commissioner

First off, tipping the commissioner is not expected. I don’t know of anyone that signs up for the job expecting to get tips from the league’s members. Commissioners have different reasons for doing it but getting a cash tip isn’t (and shouldn’t be) one of them. Reasons they take the job include a love of the game, nobody else stepped up, they enjoy running a league, or maybe they didn’t like the way a previous commissioner ran things.

The main reason tips from individual league members are a big no-no is because it creates the appearance of favoritism. Part of the commissioner’s job is to resolve disputes and enforce league rules. They need to be objective and impartial in those decisions. So you don’t want your commish thinking about the fat tip another player gave them at the end of last season when deciding a trade objection between you and that coach.

Think of it like this: you wouldn’t expect someone to tip the judge presiding over their trial or to tip their kid’s little league umpires. Tipping is clearly wrong in those cases. Well, it’s the same with tipping a fantasy league commissioner. Don’t do it. Likewise, if you’re the commissioner, politely decline any tips offered to you to avoid any appearance of favoritism.

How Can You Show Appreciation to the Commissioner?

Being a commissioner isn’t always as easy and glamorous as we make it look. It requires time and effort to prepare and manage a good league. So it’s natural to want to thank the person who does all that work, especially if it was their first time as commissioner or they did a great job handling issues during the season.

There are several ways to show appreciation for a job well done by your league’s commissioner. They’re also examples of good league etiquette.

1. Organize a Gift From the Entire League

Unlike an individual tip, a gift from the league where everyone contributed equally is totally fair and above board. Good gift ideas include things like a commish t-shirt, a reusable draft board or maybe treating him or her to a good dinner out.

2. Say Thanks

Publicly thanking the commissioner is always appreciated. Do this in front of the league (in person, group text, league email, etc) so that others can add their thanks as well. When applicable, highlight specifics of any tough situations that the commish dealt with or anything else they did that was awesome.

3. Volunteer

Pitch in to help with any of the commissioner responsibilities where appropriate. Hosting or organizing the league’s draft party; serving on a trade review board; or organizing an end of season party are all great ways to volunteer. These are a good way to show thanks because they can help the commish manage their time and tasks better.

As a side note, don’t be offended if the commissioner declines your offer to help with something. Running the draft party, for example, could be one of the things they most enjoy about being commissioner and like doing it themselves.

4. Be a Good League Member

The best tip or commissioner gift of all is league members that make the commish’s job easy. Simple things like responding quickly to league invites, paying the entry fee on time and not making extra work for the commissioner are hugely appreciated.

My least favorite part of being a commissioner is hounding people for their entry fee and league registration. When my league members do those things on time then I’m a happy commish. No tip needed.

Final Thoughts

In summary, avoid giving your commissioner a tip as an individual. Instead, look for ways that your whole league can say thanks as a group.

Have you ever tipped your commissioner or received a tip?

Image credit: torbakhopper used under Creative Commons.

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