There are some oddball fantasy sports out there. Americans likely find fantasy cricket and fantasy rugby rather quaint but understand their popularity. It makes sense that English and Australian sports fans would want to engage with their favorite sports! Even golf enthusiasts enjoy fantasy golf leagues that might seem odd on the surface but make sense after you see them in action.
The oddest fantasy sport out there, though, isn’t really a sport at all: it’s political. Fantasy Congress is an online fantasy league where participants, called “citizens” draft politicians to their team and see how they match up with other citizens.
How Does it Work?
The game is played online, as you might expect for a fantasy “sport.” The main action in the game is drafting, trading and managing a team of politicians. Much like in traditional fantasy sports, you’re able to pick up waivers, un-drafted politicians, in the middle of the Congressional session, or season.
You’re also able to trade amongst other citizens in the league, vying to make sure you have the most effective political team.
Types of Leagues
Different Congress leagues award points differently, of course, but generally they’re broken into two distinct league types. The first league type we’ll call a “legislative” style, as it awards points based on how politicians perform in the legislative field. Points are awarded for things like passing laws, having bills brought to the floor, etc.
These types of league are often run for educational purposes, helping to introduce students to the legislative branch. Many students are already familiar with the concept of a fantasy sports league, so swapping the athletes for politicians helps introduce it to them organically.
The other League type is an “election” league. This one is a bit different, as it awards points based on whether the politicians on your roster get elected. As such, its scope is a bit narrower, but it requires less rules and less bookkeeping.
As such, election-style leagues are often a better fit for those looking to engage with fantasy congress over a short period of time. This also means these kinds of leagues lend themselves better to betting. As they take place over shorter timespans and have more well-defined wins and losses, they’re easier to break into.
Fantasy Congress: Proof of Fantasy Concept
The biggest thing the existence of fantasy congress does is prove how malleable the fantasy template is. The base concept, speculative team-building, can be applied to nearly all types of human activity. The existence of things like celebrity and fictional dead pools is further evidence of this.
Truly, humans are infatuated with studying patterns. Making predictions based on those patterns has been boiled down to a science, or, in this case, many sciences. Political science, sports science, meteorology and more are all based on making predictions from prior evidence.
If fantasy congress sounds like your kind of fantasy sport, more power to you! There are a few websites that run leagues, and election season is coming up. As such, this wouldn’t be a bad time to hop in! You might even find yourself more involved in your local politics!