These instructions demonstrate how to play Fantasy Congress with data we make publicly available. The website provides information on all members of congress as well as the points they’ve earned each week (click here to see Congress). This page will walk you through using our data to manually manage leagues and teams offline. We also offer an online platform that fully automates this process, which you can learn more about here.
Now, let’s get started!
First let’s go over some terms.
Legislator or Member of Congress - An elected official currently serving in the U.S. House or Senate. (“Member of Congress” may be shortened to “Member”)
Player - Someone who plays Fantasy Congress.
League - Fantasy Congress is played in small groups called leagues. A league consists of 3 to 15 teams.
Team - The legislators attributed to a player or group of players. A team consists of 4 Senators and 6 Representatives. Members of Congress can only belong to one team per league.
Season - The time period in which you play Fantasy Congress. A season can consist of any number of full weeks. The suggested number of weeks for a full season is 8 or 10.
Commissioner - The individual in charge of the league. This person determines who can play in the league, how long the season lasts, keeps track of points, and sets other miscellaneous rules for the league.
Drafting - The process of choosing legislators for your team. This occurs during a single event, often referred to as “the draft.”
Players select members of Congress for their team and acquire points based on data collected about the U.S. House and Senate. The player(s) whose team has the most points at the end of the season wins.
Below explains how legislators acquire points in Fantasy Congress:
Gather the players for your league and separate into teams. Determine the length of your season and set a date for your draft.
On draft day, teams will take turns choosing members of Congress until each team has 4 Senators and 6 Representatives. A team can only pick one member of Congress per turn. Be sure to record which legislators your team picks and give a copy to your commissioner.
The first full week immediately following the draft is the first week of the league’s “season”. Each week of the season, players earn points based on what their legislators accomplished during that week. Be sure to calculate and record the points your team earns each week and report them to the commissioner. Points for each legislator are calculated automatically on the Fantasy Congress website here.
For example: If Legislator A voted 10 times during Week 1 of the season, they would receive 30 points. (3pts for every vote x 10 = 30). Now, let’s say Legislator B got a total of 40 points during Week 1, and Legislator C received 20 points during Week 1. A team that consists of only these legislators would get a total of 90 points for Week 1 of the season.
To maximize points, players can swap legislators on their team for better ones. This is done by “dropping” a legislator from their team and “picking up” a member of congress that has not been claimed, or attempting to trade with another team. New team line ups do not take effect until the week following the swap.
For example: Perhaps Legislator A is not performing well. During Week 3 of the season, you inform the commissioner you would like to drop Legislator A and replace them with Legislator D (who does not belong to a team currently). The commissioner records the change in your team line up. When points are calculated for Week 3, your team will receive points for Legislator A but not for Legislator D (since this was the week the swap was made). As of Week 4 and going forward, however, you will receive points for Legislator D and no longer receive points for Legislator A.
At the end of the season, the team with the most cumulative points wins!
Fantasy Congress is a work in progress and your feedback is more than welcome! Send in your thoughts and questions here.