We should adjust our expectations and adjust the league based off that. We made the online portion of the league very intense last year. Reviewing a submission required 3 moderators. At the beginning of the year we gave out points for modifications and repairs, but by the end of the year we stopped doing this. We had a long set of rules for points based off of size of the report, grammar, content, etc. Sometimes this discouraged people from posting in the submissions forum because what they had to say was less a war story than it was just some comments on what happened.
I think all of this reflects the big difference between what sounds good in theory and what is actual practical. It is great to encourage rich content, eg pictures, enthralling narrative, etc. but ultimately it's more important to just talk watergun fights. I envision the league submissions as the "What happened" forum and the games and events section as the "what could happen" section. This differentiation should be made known. Announce your events in the games and events forum. Plan them there. Once the event has taken place lock the planning topic and place a link in the thread to the new topic you create in the battle reports forum. War stories are a more specific type of battle report. Battle reports are more inclusive as I see it. Use the forum to talk about what happened, what you liked, what you didn't like, share photos, share movies, and give your war story. Anyone who attended the event can start the battle report topic. Anyone who is verified as being present gets credit. Note, the emphasis here is on the actual event and less on a particular submission.
I understand that you all may be concerned that this may discourage people away from taking the time to increase the quality of their write ups. Unfortunately I did not see where the intensive system (points) had any effect on the quality of submissions. Some people are good writers, some people are still learning. Awarding points for grammar, etc. does not change this fact. I would like to maintain the league but nix the points system. Instead, track the number of events attended and the average number of participants for those events for each person. Do this on the wiki using a table, with columns for #of battles attended, average # of participants, largest battle, #of community wars attended, things like that.
I want to keep the end of season awards but change how we award them. SEAL and the Oncoming Storm were very competitive going for the grand prize. Both battled a lot this year and both gave us a lot of write ups but SEAL ended up winning a CPS 2500 and a Colossus where as the Oncoming Storm didn't get a thing just due to the way our system worked. SEAL definitely earned his prizes, hosting downpour, submitting over 50 photos, submitting several videos. Those are very valuable contributions. However, the Oncoming Storm fought more than anyone else this year and ended the season empty handed. That shouldn't be. In fact, he fought several times late in the fall but did not post submissions due to the fact that he knew SEAL was going to win grand prize due to points awarded for community wars/photos/etc. So in this case our system worked against us, it prevented content from being posted. I would like to see awards given out for greatest participation and for a photo contest. Get the whole community involved in the photo contest. The photos don't have to be live action, they can be staged. It will be fun. We can come up with other categories to award prizes in. With a community of our nature we need to be more flexible.
Lastly I encourage all moderators and admins to look upon yourselves as leaders. We have come a long way over the past 12... 14 years for some of you. Let's use our experience to encourage new and or younger members. When you read a battle report that is confusing or difficult to read don't just ignore the submission. Take the time to be analytical. Ask questions that will help clarify what happened. Ask what were good things about the fight. Ask what were bad things about the fight. Encourage participation above all.