After a structure is built for the team - the house, if you will - it's time for people to move in. Those people are PLAYERS! The trouble is, they need to be under contract.
Of all the things I do at my real job at Purvis the thing I hate most is contract review. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most important things I can do. I've learned, in some cases the hard way, to be thorough and examine these things closely.
But what do you do when you have to build a contract from scratch? The league provided some ideas, but left it to the teams to determine what worked for them. In some ways, that was frustrating, but in many more ways, it was really liberating! What was important to me? What would I want our players to know and be protected from? What did I need to be protected from?
Some of the boilerplate was easy to bring in from many of the contracts I've worked with throughout my career.
But then comes the hard part...
Pay? How do you know what we can pay or even cover for expenses when it's a brand new league?
Insurance? We're not yet 100% sure what we can cover beyond the mandatory general liability for the team, or what will be legally required.
Travel? Since we don't have the other teams yet, I don't know what the locations are that we might have to travel to.
Still, there are plenty of things that we can say that we want to do in principle. I want to be able to provide supplemental medical insurance in case someone gets hurt. I want to at least feed the team when we go on the road, or maybe even offer a bus to an away venue if it's close enough. That would actually be pretty cool, rolling into town as a team.
It's hard to say what's involved. There has to obviously be waivers in there to protect the team, and there needs to be language in there to protect the players from another's actions. It's demanding, but it's gratifying to know that if we do it right, we're laying the groundwork for the other teams in the league as a model to copy from us! That means it's just one more step on the road to a stable, professional NAFL, and that we need to take that step for everyone.