Feature

Fantasy football managers encouraged to participate in mental health study

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University are investigating the impact of Fantasy Football on its most passionate fans – and they want your help.

They have applied a pre-existing, validated questionnaire pack to Fantasy Football in order to collect information on how Fantasy the game impacts those that play and, in turn, understand the wider implications of the growing phenomenon.

During this challenging year, mental health issues have been on the rise in almost all groups of people.

While there has been plenty of research on the subject over the past 12 months, very little has been conducted on what role Fantasy Football plays in our wellbeing.

“Fantasy Football has become a huge and global game and continues to grow each year,” says Dr. Luke Wilkins, lecturer in sports and exercise psychology at Nottingham Trent University.

“But one area we don’t know very much about is the mental health of individuals who play it.

“Millions of people play a Fantasy Football game for soccer of some description this season and it only takes a quick scroll through social media channels to see the highs and lows they experience on a regular basis.

“Despite this, there is little concrete information on the positive and negative mental effects Fantasy Football can have on one individual compared to another.

“We want to change that and, in order to do it, we need Fantasy managers to take part in our study.”

Participation in the study involves filling out a questionnaire pack that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Through a series of questions, it assesses your thoughts, behaviours, emotions and experiences around Fantasy Football.

Participants do not have to answer every question and are free to leave any blank should they not wish to respond.

All data will remain confidential and anonymous. You will not be asked for your name or any other identifying features at any point. 

Study data will only be accessible by the principal investigator and his research associate. Data collected in this study may be used in future reports such as academic journals and conference presentations. However, again, no individual will be identifiable through such publication of data.

Participants are free to withdraw at any point, either during the data collection stage or for up to three weeks following it by contacting the research team and providing the unique code they generated at the start of the questionnaire pack. In this eventuality, all of the withdrawing participant’s data will be destroyed immediately.

If you have any questions or thoughts about the questionnaire, or the topic in general, please feel free to contact Dr Luke Wilkins at luke.wilkins@ntu.ac.uk.

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521 Comments Post a Comment
  1. threeputt
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    well thats 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back

    Some of the questions are difficult to relate to, how much time do I spend thinking about fantasy football a week ? Well it depends on how many matches are on a week, if they're split across the weerk then I'm thinking about fantasy football for however long it takes to watch all of the matches available, 10 matches = 900 minutes a week ! If they're all on the Saturday/Sunday then it reduces down accordingly

    1. Here's Tom with the We…
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      But what would you be doing with those 15 minutes?

      1. threeputt
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        worrying about covid instead of fpl lol

        1. AC/DC AFC
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          V good!

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Yes, I thought it was very badly designed. How do you average it out over a day? In pre-season I can spend 6 hours a day for weeks on end chopping and changing my draft, and again when using a wildcard. Then during the season when there are no games on, especially at this time of the season, I might not look at my team or this site for 3 or 4 days, and hardly think about the game.

      I also think the survey is extremely imbalanced, assuming that if you attempt it you must be a total obsessive. Heck, I love the gamer, I play to win, but the many gameweeks when I get red arrows, I don't spend time weeping over it; I just brush myself off and go again. I can't be the only one - yet the survey doesn't seem to consider such a weird character as me.
      I wouldn't be surprised if plenty 'normal' people abandon the survey and don't complete it, leaving the most extreme obsessives to distort the numbers, thus becoming a self-fulfilled prophecy.
      Whenever you read about the results of surveys, you should always ask yourself, were the questions fairly worded, or were they loaded to produce a pre-planned outcome?

      1. Wilkins21
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Hi Andy,

          Thanks for your feedback. I completely understand your points here. Let me address the first comment: From our perspective, I think what is important to remember is that there is literally nothing out there at the moment on this topic. As such, it was felt that the best *initial* approach would be to use pre-existing questionnaires from other areas and adapt them to fantasy football. Such an approach is common in the early stages of exploration, as pre-existing questionnaires have a validity and reliability that are supported scientifically that a custom-made questionnaire does not. Thus, the questions you saw were taken from the mental health domain in general, and re-worded slightly to address fantasy football. This did mean, as you correctly pointed out, that not all were worded in the most ideal of manners.
          Re your second comment: this is something that we have very quickly learnt from feedback such as yours! We didn't complete ignore the many positives and benefits that FF brings (hence the initial section which included questions on positive emotions) but you are completely right that this, in hindsight, needed to be built on much more. This is now something we plan to do with our next study.
          Would you be interested in receiving information about this when the time comes? From what you have said, it sounds like you have a very useful perspective from which to drawn upon, and your thoughts would be valuable and contribute a lot. Please drop me an email at luke.wilkins@ntu.ac.uk if so.

          Thanks again,
          Luke

    3. A Kun & Mateta
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Happy to do the survey (on taxpayers time!). The analysis paralysis linked to a fun free game amuses me. I'd say our governments spend less time and though on policy.

    4. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Personally i find it a welcome distraction from work or lockdown stress.

      I do think some people overly worry about the bps and minute to minute.

      The only choice you have from red arrows is to accept it and learn what you can for next week.

      I think it's a great game but Twitter can be obsessive and vindictive and all the competing pods are vying for attention too.

      1. Original - Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        The way I look at it is that when the deadline passes you can't do anymore, your points have been decided but you don't know them yet. So why worry.

      2. Wilkins21
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Hi AC/DC AFC,

          Thank you for completing the questionnaire, and for your feedback here. Would you be interested in receiving information about our follow-up study when the time comes? We are going to take a qualitative (interview) approach to explore the topic in more detail. This will also allow us to explore further the many positives and benefits that FF brings that - as many people on here have rightly stated - were perhaps lacking in the current questionnaire. From what you have said, it sounds like you have a very useful perspective from which to drawn upon, and your thoughts would be valuable and contribute a lot. Please drop me an email at luke.wilkins@ntu.ac.uk if so.

          Thanks again,
          Luke

      3. jungle
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Bit late to the survey party but filled it in. Not sure of the time periods it used - really FF is more about the gameweek and a lot of these questions just asked about one day a week or more. Really they need to think in terms of a whole weekend or gameweek. Also the time periods a day (11-60 minutes a day...!) are contextual - during international week i barely think of it. During the off season ditto. During a double gameweek i think about it constantly.

        The survey is really interesting but i think the survey design be improved 🙂