Lottery Explained

Why is there a Lottery?

TCUL believes in preserving the 4-3 gender ratio for our co-ed leagues (we have gotten requests to go 5-2, but feel this marginalizes women both in spirit and on the field).  For our traditional co-ed leagues we have roster sizes of 9 men and 6 women, and for our masters league we have a roster size of 10 men and 7 women.  Due to the popoularity of our leagues with men, it has historically been the number of women registrations that dictate the size of our leagues.  In every year to date, more men have signed up than we have room for.  We used to award spots on a first come first serve basis, but in the last year that was the case, the leagues filled up for men in less than 15 minutes.  This makes it so that anyone that can't be at a computer right when registration opens had no chance of playing summer league.  That system also had people playing in multiple leagues when there were a lot of people completely left out.  For those reasons we developed the Lottery.

How does the Lottery work?

When men register for our co-ed summer leagues we have them specify the number of leagues they would like to play in (you pay for each of these) and the priority in which they would liked to be placed into their leagues.  When we run the lottery, every person gets 1 lottery ticket (regardless of the number of leagues or priorities they selected) in the first lottery group.  Then we randomly start drawing tickets.  Here is how it works (this example is for a 3-priority lottery Co-Ed Rec, Co-Ed Advanced, and Masters for example).

Abridged Version -

  1. Player's ticket is drawn.
  2. Player is placed in their primary league choice.
  3. If #2 cannot be done, they are placed in secondary league choice.
  4. If #3 cannot be done, then they are placed in their third league choice.
  5. If #4 cannot be done, then they are placed on the waitlist of their primary league.
  6. When every player ticket has been drawn once, repeat the process for players that want to play in multiple leagues.

Complete Version -

  1. Draw a name from the current lottery group.
  2. Check if there is space in their priority 1 league.
    1. If there is space, place the player in that league. Go to step 5.
    2. If there isn't space, and they have an additional league priority, go to step 3.
    3. If there isn't space, and they don't have an additonal league priorty, place them on the waitlist for this league. Go to step 5.
  3. Check if there is space in their priority 2 league.
    1. If there is space, place the player in that league. Go to step 5.
    2. If there isn't space, and they have an additional league priority, go to step 4.
    3. If there isn't space, and they don't have an addiitonal league priorty, place them on the waitlist for their priority 1 league. Go to step 5.
  4. Check if there is space in their priority 3 league.
    1. If there is space, place the player in that league. Go to step 5.
    2. If there isn't space, place them on the waitlist for the league with the waitlist for their priority 1 league. Go to step 5.
  5. Check to see if the player has specified (and paid for) an additional league.
    1. If they do, place their name in the next lottery group.  Go to step 6.
    2. If they don't, go to step 6.
  6. Has the entire population of the current lottery group been drawn?
    1. If no, go back to step 1 with the current lottery group.
    2. If yes, check if the next lottery group has any players in it.
      1. If there are, go to step 1 with the next lottery group.
      2. If there are not, go to step 7.
  7. Lottery is over.

The lottery will create individual league registrations when you are placed into a league or onto the waitlist for a league.  You will only get the number of league registrations equal to the number of leagues you paid for.

FAQ

Why are there multiple lottery groups in during the lottery process?

This ensures that every player is drawn once before any player is drawn a second time, and that every player (that has 2 leagues paid for) is drawn twice before any player is drawn a third time.  We do this to make sure that everyone is gets into (or is placed on the waitlist) at least once before we start assigning additional spots.  Our goal is to get as many individual players into a league as we can.

How do I check my lottery status?

Lottery status is listed in your league registrations.  To check this log into your account, click the My Account button on the top task bar (below Home), and select the Registrations tab.  Under the current year you will see league registrations (in addition to the lottery registration you already created).  Press the View link on each of these league registrations.  The 3rd item in your registration will be Lottery with will show your status.

What do these statuses mean?

The lottery statuses are determined by our estimates for the league sizes based on last year's numbers.  The statuses are...

  • Selected ... you are in the league unless we shrink the league by more than 2 teams
  • Standby ... you might be in the league depending on our final numbers
  • Not Selected ... you most likely will not be in the league barring an expansion of more than 2 teams or a lot of cancellation

As you can tell from above, we are actually under-reporting the number of people in the league and using Standby instead.  We do this because we have no way of knowing the actual size of the league because we need to wait and see the number of women that register.  We choose to under-report to make sure we don't tell people they are Selected when it turns out they won't be.  If you are Standby, have patience.  With cancellations and league size estimates, there is a good chance you will make it into the league, but it's not guaranteed.

After the lottery, I have a league registration for my second choice league, but not my first.  Why is that?

This means you only paid for 1 league.  When your name was drawn, your first priority league was full and you were placed in your second priority league.  The registration is then created for your second priority league.  Since you only paid for 1 league, your name is then removed from the lottery.  The lottery assumes that you would rather be guaranteed a spot in your secondary league than be placed on the wait list for your primary league.  If you want both, then you would need to register for 2 leagues when creating your lottery registration.

I'm a man carpooling with a woman.  If I don't get in the league, my female carpool will not play.  Shouldn't I be guaranteed a spot in the league? 

This is a common misconception that we hear.  We do not offer lottery exemptions if you are carpooling for the following reasons.

  • We do not want to see women treated as simply a gateway into league. If having a woman carpool partner would guarantee a spot in the league, you can only imagine the accosting of women to get them to carpool with men so that the men can play in league. It commoditizes women instead of valuing them as players in and of themselves. 
  • Male/male carpools and single men would see less and less opportunity to get into league as carpools of convenience (the carpools mentioned above) would likely proliferate. This could cause even more focus on trying to drag women into league or convince women to carpool with men instead of signing up on their own or as woman/woman carpools.
  • Singling out exception cases where we should let certain male/female carpools into league due to (perceived) legitimate circumstances opens up too much potential for abuse and preferential treatment. Do we draw the line at married couples? Those who are dating? Siblings? Roommates? How do we verify these things? 

We are firmly opposed to taking any stance or action that would marginalize the value of women in our leagues, either in practice or perception. It has been noted to our board that giving male/female carpools preferential treatment would have the perception of marginalizing women (as noted above).