Heavy is the head that wears the crown. When you are the commissioner of your fantasy football league, you take on the responsibility of governing the league that your friends turn to for enjoyable Sundays. The very league that, occasionally, might make your friends mad. 

When the team owners are angry over results or arguing over trades, you are the person who must keep the peace and make sure that everyone follows the rules. It’s lonely at the top, but running your league doesn’t have to be a source of endless stress, and it definitely doesn’t have to make all your friends hate you, either. If you follow the tips below, you’ll enjoy a high approval rating and a smooth-running fantasy football league.

Keep rules and deadlines simple

The most important components in your fantasy football league are the rules. They provide the framework for everything else, from the structure of the competition to the scores earned to the trades that are made between players. And, thanks to apps that make fantasy football easier than ever, the rules don’t necessarily have to be simply.

There are many ways that you can tweak the rules, but here’s a tip: Don’t. Keep your rules and deadlines fairly standard. More advanced players may like tricky rule sets, but most are going to want to read fantasy football magazines and listen to fantasy football podcasts, knowing that the insights and tips they find are going to apply to their teams — something that won’t always be true if you have a strange scoring system in place. And some team owners play in multiple leagues — they won’t want one of their leagues to have a totally different rule set.

Listen to your team owners

Thinking about changing the rules or adding a new team to the league? You had better ask your team owners what they think. Everyone is in this together, and you shouldn’t be so high on your lofty commissioner’s perch that you forget to poll the owners about important changes or listen to them when they provide feedback.

You don’t have to take every bit of advice from everyone, but when a clear majority of owners want things one way, you’ll want to listen and, in most cases, take their side. You may also want to set up a trade veto system that allows the owners to make the call on questionable trades, rather than leaving that up to you.

But remember that you’re in charge

Fantasy football isn’t a democracy. You should listen to your team owners because these leagues are supposed to be fun and because they aren’t mandatory — annoyed team owners can ditch the league if they want to. But don’t get so caught up in trying to please everyone that you forget the fact that you’re the commissioner. You’re the one in charge here, and sometimes, the best thing for everyone is for you to assert your authority.

On minor issues, just make a call. On major issues, take advice — but don’t let the argument go on after everything has already been said. That will change nothing about the facts or opinions, and it will change the tone of the discussion in a negative way. Once you’ve heard everyone out, make a call and encourage everyone to move on.

Bring everyone together for an in-person draft

The success of your league will rely to a large degree on the relationships that your team owners develop with each other. If people get along, the league will work and be fun to run. If people end up at each other’s throats, you’re going to be stressed and upset.

A great way to get everyone on friendly terms is to host an in-person draft. Grab a fantasy football draft kit and some refreshments and invite everyone over to your place. Or, if you prefer a third-party location, head to a bar that is willing to play host. Meeting in person or even just video or voice-chatting into the draft will allow people to get to know one another before they go at it on the imaginary gridiron weekend after weekend.