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BRASSball League Constitution
2012 Edition

Download: MS Word Version

I. LEAGUE ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM 5
II. DRAFT 7
III. CONTRACTS 9
IV. FREE AGENCY 13
V. FREE AGENT CONTRACT BID SUPERIORITY 14
VI. CLUSTERING FREE AGENT CONTRACT BIDS 16
VII. SECONDARY FREE AGENCY PROCESS 17
VIII. SEPTEMBER FREE AGENT CONTRACT PROCESS 17
IX. ROSTER 18
X. RULES OF PLAY 19
XI. PLAYER USAGE 19
XII. TRADING 20
XIII. MONTHLY IN-SEASON MAILINGS 21
XIV. COMPOSITION OF ROAD INSTRUCTIONS 22
XV. HOME MANAGER'S OBLIGATION TO OPPONENT 22
XVI. ON-TIME MAILING RECORDS 23
XVII. HOME / ROAD DISCREPANCY PROGRAM 24
XVIII. NEWSLETTER ARTICLE INCENTIVE PROGRAM 24
XIX. IN-SEASON STANDINGS INCENTIVE PROGRAM 25
XX. COMPETITIVE BALANCE INCENTIVE PROGRAM 25
XXI. PLAYOFFS 26
XXII. LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY 28
XXIII. RULE CHANGES 28
XXIV. BALLPARKS 28
XXV. OFFICIAL STATISTICS AND SCORING 29
XXVI. DUES 29
XXVII. PLAYER AWARDS 30
XXVIII. LEAGUE CORRESPONDENCE RESPONSIBILITIES 30
XXIX. BACKUP / REPLACEMENT / EXPANSION / ASSOCIATE MANAGERS 30
XXX. IN-SEASON MAILING DEADLINES 31
XXXI. OFF-SEASON MAILING DEADLINES 32
XXXII. LEAGUE PENALTIES 33
XXXIII. PLAYER OVERUSE PENALTY SYSTEM (POPS) 34
XXXIV. EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS 37
XXXV. BRASSBALL GAME PLAYING AND STATISTICS SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS 37

League History, Philosophy, Setup, General Information

The Bloomington Rotisserie and Strat-O-Matic Society (or BRASS) began its first Strat-O-Matic league in 1987 on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. BRASSball League members Kevin Kolb and Jim Liesenfelt were among these early BRASS members and "founding fathers." The first league was a face-to-face league with a forty-game season. In the following five-year period, they played a total of 13 league seasons ranging in length from 40 games to 162 games. They often played 4 leagues, and over 400 games, in the year during which a given set of cards was used.

BRASS' face-to-face league play ultimately ended in the spring of 1992, after most of the original BRASS members had finished their college careers and spread out across the country. PBM League play was then the only way to continue to pursue the Strat-O-Matic hobby together.

Some original BRASS members had already branched into the PBM world in 1990, when BRASS brought its unique style to PBM play and began operating a Winter PBM League. The Winter League has been going strong for years and continues as the flagship PBM BRASS League. After years of successful face-to-face league play the Winter League has served as the successful PBM proving ground for "BRASSball" which was established in 1995.

The term BRASSball refers to the type of extraordinarily realistic PBM experience that the "founding fathers" crafted and enjoyed while the approach flourished for years in practice. The leagues were constructed and designed to simulate almost every single aspect of owning a major league baseball franchise. The leagues offer a participant more than just drafting, trading, managing and dice rolling. They are also given the opportunity to act as General Manager and to make the same financial decisions that his MLB counterpart makes.

BRASSball also represents a way of doing business in a PBM League. In addition to simulating Major League Baseball franchise ownership, BRASSball is also a philosophy designed to make the league a pleasant and rewarding pastime for its members.

As the league is a leisure activity, only friendly correspondence is tolerated among league colleagues. The League Administration assures that all mailings are made on time by employing a rigorous program of fines for late mailings and an incentive program for on-time mailings. The BRASSball League offers several rewards to league members who meet all of their mailing responsibilities.

The League Administration publishes very thorough and timely statistical reports during the season, relying on information provided from the League's membership. In addition to the required information League members provide, we offer the League's membership opportunities to contribute to the League's newsletters by offering monetary incentives for newsletter articles.

Our league does not have a Commissioner. Instead, there is a League Director. This individual is responsible for ensuring that the league runs smoothly. He authors a monthly newsletter, collects and analyzes all monthly pitching rotations, tracks rosters and bank accounts. Additionally, he maintains / reports a list of who owns which draft selections, handles all recruiting and other "mailings", organizes and oversees all league operations, and rules on all league matters and conflicts that may arise.

The BRASSball League is a 24-team League that plays a 162-game season over a 6-month period from April to September. The "computer carded" players from every major league team are used as our major and minor league talent pool. Each team is also allowed to develop a limited "amateur league system", containing players who have never had a card. Each team may carry seven such players, who are automatically signed to an amateur contract.

The League also features true inter-league play where every team plays every other team at least one home-and-home series per season. The League uses nearly all super-advanced rules of play, and a few time-tested rules and improvements of its own. The League has six divisions (three per league) and a ten-team post-season setup.

Each franchise received a $50,000,000 bank account to begin League play. They used this money to sign their original players and bankroll whatever they could for the future. After each season, every BRASSball franchise is awarded an additional $35,000,000 to pay for the rookies and amateurs they draft, for retaining or signing free agents, for ballpark changes, to purchase players, and to cover any fines they may incur.

Similar to MLB, League members are allowed three years of full player usage, at a cheap cost, for their newly designated "major league" players. The single year "Y" contract allows the manager time to evaluate a player's talent before signing them to a significant amount of money. In addition, it also allows them a cheap alternative for the extra plate appearances or innings pitched they might need.

After three years, the manager signs these players to a restricted or unrestricted major league contract. This is the last contract the player will sign that is not driven by free agency. Several factors will drive what type of contract each player signs. Bankroll, the player's talent, or lack thereof, and position depth, among others, are some of these.

The restricted contract gives a manager "matching" rights to their player during the free agency period. To retain this right, the manager signs the player to a higher priced contract. These rights gives the manager the ability to match the highest offer for the player or the possibility of receiving a draft pick in compensation for the loss of a high-caliber player.

The unrestricted contract gives a manager the flexibility, for whatever reason, to sign players to cheaper major league deal. The cheaper cost, though, comes with the loss of the before mentioned matching rights. All contract specifics can be found outlined in Contracts (III).

Young players with cards, but limited amount of PA/IP's, may be kept in the minor leagues for any number of seasons until they have reached the threshold that establishes them as "major league" players. Young players without cards may be kept in the amateur leagues until they receive their first card, after which they must be signed to a minor or major league deal.

League play takes place in ballparks using super-advanced weather effects and under a realistic schedule of games occurring on set days with set start times for day and night baseball. Off days are also figured into the realistic schedule. An owner may select an existing MLB park in which to play from season to season or he may build his own park to fit his style of baseball. A manager may change his park every three seasons. If he does, he must pay the construction costs. Active rosters can change from month to month and a manager may wish to call up young players from his minor leagues for the September playoff drive. Each season, an All-Star game is played in a different BRASSball park. A different BRASSball owner will be awarded this opportunity every year.

The contract system and realistic player movement that results from the free agency program, makes it exquisitely challenging to keep a dynasty in place for very long -- much as it is in the MLB world. It can be done, but only through prudent drafting, trading and money management. The league setup makes it possible for many teams to be competing for the playoff spots each year and offers the possibility of a championship to a larger percentage of the league each year than those leagues with simple, continuous ownership of players.

The League's tabulation of on-time e-mailing records, our system of fines for late e-mailings, and our incentive program for on-time e-mailings has proven, in practice, to keep league information flowing in a timely fashion to everyone. Since one's on-time e-mailing record can impact your franchise in free agency, in the Draft and in your bank account, late mailings tend to be very rare in BRASS Leagues.

The rules and regulations contained in the Constitution ensure a fair, enjoyable, respectful PBM experience for each owner. If rules are not followed, there are swift, stiff, objective penalties imposed. The penalties are designed to serve as a deterrent to some of the activities that drag down PBM leagues. They also serve to help weed out those who do not have the commitment to participate in what we hope is one of the premier leagues in the whole of North America.

Being a member of the BRASSball League also means your opinion will be required in periodic voting processes during the season. From All-Star balloting to post-season awards voting, it is necessary to gather the collective League opinion on occasion. Voting is not considered optional in the BRASSball League.

The league will succeed as long as everyone remembers that the primary reason we are playing Strat-O-Matic, and have decided to enter into a league together with a group of others who enjoy our hobby, is to have fun. The quickest way to stop having fun, or worse yet, ruin someone else's fun, is to start taking it all too seriously. This is also the quickest way to join the ranks of the former BRASS League members.


I. League Administrative Team

Several BRASSball League members make up the Administrative Team on a year-to-year basis. In exchange for the significant extra work these folks are contributing to the League, they draw a BRASSball League salary, in League dollars, credited to their team's bank accounts.

Unless no other League members are interested in an Administrative Team position, the same person should not hold the same position for more than three consecutive years. Except for the League Director (LD) position, which is an appointment for life, or as long as the Director wants the job, whichever comes first.

The LD alone decides who fills the positions on the League's Administrative Team and they alone appoint their successor if necessary. The members of this team, along with a brief description of their jobs and their salaries appear below.

THE LEAGUE DIRECTOR
SALARY: $4,500,000 per year
The League Director has the final word, and has the authority to rule on all aspects of league operation. They have the final say on who joins the league and stays in the league, and they rule on any disputes that may occur.

The Director has the hardest job in a league, as ambitious as ours, that attempts to simulate everything about owning a MLB franchise. That job is the assessment of how the league is working and deciding whether a given rule or program needs to be changed, and if so, how to change it. With their authority to make changes comes the responsibility to make the best decisions possible. Given this, they should not make significant decisions without giving the League's membership a chance to offer some input on a given issue.

In addition to the above duties, the Director will be the person to whom all trades are reported. Owners will report their trades to the LD. The Director will keep an up-to-date listing of all the League's player rosters, player contract status and team bank accounts. He will provide periodic roster and bank account updates to the League, and will provide a monthly trade listing report (if necessary).

The LD will also be the clearing-house for all trade wire listings for any League members who wish to advertise the players they may want to trade (if necessary). He will also maintain the address list, the backup owner list and will publish a monthly newsletter, year-round.

Lastly, the LD is also responsible for the more serious matters, including, but not limited to, manager integrity, disputes, trade reviews and manager removal.

LEAGUE STATISTICIAN
SALARY: $3,750,000 per year

The League will have a Statistician who tabulates all league statistics upon receipt of monthly "game files" containing game-by-game results for each team. The Statistician is responsible for creating and updating roster files, including making all roster changes that result due to in-season trades. Each month the Statistician will distribute updated roster files that contain up-to-date stats, rosters, league leaders, and standings. These files will be downloaded directly to each manager's game prior to the next month's play. Specific details regarding the stat reporting process can be found in the game playing instructions referenced at the tail end of this document.

LEAGUE REPORTER
SALARY: $3,750,000 per year

Each league, AL and NL, will have a reporter who authors articles to be included in the monthly newsletter. As part of the position, the League Reporter will author nine articles throughout the year about their league. The off-season duties include writing articles regarding free agency (recap), the draft / hot-stove heater (summary which includes a draft review and outlook) and the playoffs (recap of the series) for the teams in their assigned league. During the season, the League Reporter will author a report on the teams in their league. This article will summarize the events, statistics, outlook, etc. for each team from a monthly (and/or yearly) perspective.

WEB SITE COORDINATOR
SALARY: $3,000,000 per year
This individual will be responsible for designing, updating, and generally maintaining the league web site. The Webmaster will provide the league with features such as up-to-date standings, trade wires, historical records, and many other features intended to enhance the enjoyment of BRASSball for everyone.

DRAFT CONDUCTOR
SALARY: $2,000,000 per year

This is the person who conducts the Draft on draft day (either from a chat room, over email, an Internet blog, an Internet bulletin board, or other electronic method in which participants can post their selection publicly). The Draft Conductor ensures that draft selections are completed in a timely manner so as to complete the Draft in a reasonable amount of time. The Draft Conductor provides a draft grid of all selections prior to the draft. In addition, each team's protected (and unprotected) list is sent to the Draft Conductor to allow him to complete his responsibility of providing all protected lists to the league membership. The Draft Conductor will also provide a draft report shortly after the completion of the Draft. Written instructions are to be sent to the Draft Conductor for those who cannot participate in person on draft day.

FREE AGENCY CONDUCTOR
SALARY: $2,000,000 per year
This is the person who handles every aspect of the free agency process. He collects the sealed bids, and does all the calculations necessary to determine the winning bids for given players and to determine Type A and B free agents. The Free Agency Conductor is responsible for keeping the process moving. Additionally, he provides a daily signings report to the league membership to help facilitate decisions in the process. He creates a full report of the winning bids, losing bids, and Type A and B free agents to the LD for inclusion in the newsletter.

LEAGUE DIRECTORY PUBLISHER
SALARY: $2,000,000 per publication
This is the person who collects, constructs, updates and publishes the League Directory. The Directory is a booklet featuring the League's members and allows everyone to get to know each other a little better. It will have about one page per person worth of biographical or league information and will have a photograph too so that we can all put a face with that voice on the other end of the phone line. The League Directory Publisher will issue update pages for everyone's directory booklets every time the league's manager lineup changes.

II. Draft

A. The Draft is held on the FIRST Saturday in March at 8AM, Pacific Time, if conducted in an Internet chat room format.

B. The Draft will last for a number of rounds sufficient to satisfy all owners OR until each owner has 40 carded players and 8 amateurs in his organization, whichever occurs first. With regards to amateur status, a player is considered carded, and relinquishes amateur status, if they have entered a major league game during their career.

C. Any carded player not on the 30-man protected list of one of the 24 teams at draft time is eligible to be selected. A player is considered carded if he received a regular, additional or computer card in any previously completed MLB season. More specifically, any player that has, in any MLB season, appeared in a MLB game shall be considered carded, and can be drafted if they are not on the protected list of one of the 24 teams.

D. At the end of the draft, teams are limited to owning 8 players who have never been carded by the game company. In other words, if a player has never appeared in a MLB game, in any season, they are considered an amateur. (These 8 amateurs do NOT count against a team's 40 man roster.) That number can increase through trades made after the draft.

E. The Draft is conducted via the Internet (normally in a chat room, over email, an Internet blog, an Internet bulletin board, or other electronic method in which participants can post their selection publicly), unless otherwise designated by the LD.

F. You should be prepared to make your selection when your turn comes. The Draft will move slowly for everyone if you are not prepared.

G. Beginning with the 2010 Annual Draft, the draft shall be conducted using the automated draft web site www.stratdraft.com. All subsequent draft procedures are no longer active. The procedure used by the stratdraft automated web site is quite similar to the process described in the "Time-Slotted Draft" method.

H. Beginning with the 2008 Annual Draft, the draft shall be conducted using a Time-Slotted Draft method during the week centered around the scheduled Annual Draft day (the first Saturday in March). The actual implementation of the Time-Slotted Draft shall be agreed upon by the League Director and the Draft Conductor. The Draft Conductor shall communicate this process to the league members in a timely manner prior to the Draft.

1. A 10-minute timeslot shall be allocated for each of the draft selections.
2. The 10-minute timeslots shall be scheduled according to a pre-determined matrix, similar to the example in Table 1 Draft Schedule Template. The draft matrix was designed to [a] kick-off the draft on the first Saturday of March (or earlier if teams are ready to select), [b] maximize the number of picks on weekends, [c] end early on Sunday night, [d] start at 5PM on week days, and [e] extend later on Friday evenings.
3. Each participant shall have a 10-minute time window to make their selection. If a league member is unable to participate at the pre-scheduled time, he may provide a draft list to the Draft Conductor to make the selection on his behalf.
4. Participants who do not make their selection in the allotted time may make-up their selection at any time during the subsequent selections.
5. If the 10-minute time window has expired without the participant making a selection, the next participant may make their selection immediately.
6. A participant may only make their selection earlier than the allotted time if ALL prior selections have been made.
7. If ALL prior selections have been made earlier than the allotted times, the team "on-the-clock" may select at any time thereafter, but is not required to select until the end of their pre-defined time slot.
8. If any prior selection has not been made, the team "on-the-clock" shall NOT be allowed to make their selection earlier than the beginning of their time slot (plus the 5-minute grace period). This allows teams that have missed their time slot earlier in the day to make-up their selection and not slip too far down the draft board. Example: Team-A misses it's pick at 5PM; Team-B waits until 5:25PM (5:20 + 0:05) to make it's selection; and although Team-C is prepared to make it's selection at 5:26PM, it must wait for 5:45PM (5:40 + 0:05) to allow Team-A the opportunity to make-up its selection before Team-C is allowed to select.


Table 1 Draft Schedule Template

I. (Ignore if the draft is held via the Internet.) If the draft is conducted by telephone as it was in the past, the Draft Conductor will phone you when it is your pick. He will let the phone ring once and hang up. He will then await your return call. You will be telephoned once, if you do not respond you will be telephoned again to be sure that he dialed correctly. If you again do not respond you will lose the pick. You can select that pick after the entire Draft has been completed.

J. (Ignore if the draft is held via the Internet.) Be prepared to make a call to update another league member if asked. Update calls by the league members significantly hasten The Draft's conclusion by ensuring that there are fewer names to be read off during each call by the Draft Conductor. Update calls should include not only the names of the players who were drafted, but their new BRASSball teams as well.

K. Draft order for the first 14 picks in each round will be in inverse order of the regular season winning percentages of the non-Playoff teams. The bottom ten picks in each round will belong to the ten teams who qualified for post season play, regardless of their winning percentages as compared to the non-qualifiers. The 24th pick will belong to the World Series champ, the 23rd pick to the World Series runner-up, the 22nd pick to the League Championship Series runner-up with the better record, the 21st pick to the League Championship Series runner-up with the worst record. Picks #15-20 go to the teams who were eliminated in the first round of the Playoffs. Picks #15 and #16 go to the first round wildcard losers, in inverse relation to their regular season winning percentage. After that Picks #17-20 are ordered in inverse order of these playoff team's regular season winning percentages.

L. Draft Lottery (beginning in 2012):

Draft Picks 1 through 6 will belong to the teams with the six poorest regular season winning percentages. The order of these selections will be determined by a random, public selection process where each of the six teams has an equal chance at landing any of the six "lottery" picks.

The Lottery is based upon a process used by a similar league to ours, the BRASS League Of Champions (BLOC).

We will be using the sums of random numbers generated by public events over which we have no control. In this case, National Football League games.

If you click on the link below, you will go to the Week 14 NFL scoreboard.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/scoreboard

There, you will see capsule reports of the games of this week with key summary information about the games, among which were the statistical leaders in the game for passing yards, rushing yards and receiving yards.

Looking at the first result shown there, you will see that the leaders in these categories for this game were:

PASS: McCoy 18-35, 209 yds, 0 tds
RUSH: Ogbonnaya 2 car, 31 yds, 0 tds
REC: Moore 4 rec, 55 yds, 0 tds
PASS: Roethlisberger 16-21, 280 yds, 2 tds
RUSH: Mendenhall 18 car, 76 yds, 0 tds
REC: Brown 5 rec, 151 yds, 1 td

Our draft lottery set up will use these digits, not the quantities but the digits, to assign each of our teams a random set of integers for the game that we will add up to arrive at a total for the game.

For instance, if we were to have used this game for that process, we would have a game total of:

2 + 8 + 0 + 7 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 30

(note that we will be using the highest of each category for the game, not for each team even though in this example it was all Pittsburgh).

By comparing accumulated game totals for NFL games yet to be played, we'll determine our draft order for the first 6 picks of the BRASSball Draft. Each team will be assigned two games each from the week 14 schedule and two games each from the week 15 schedule, adding up to four games for each team.

The draft lottery order will be determined then, by listing the sum of our six teams' four game totals in descending order. The highest sum gets the #1 pick, on down to the lowest sum earning that team the #6 pick.

M. Tie breakers for all selections will be best on-time mailing record first, regular season series second, division record third (if in same division), record within the teams league fourth (if in same league), and a coin flip fifth. The intent of the draft is to place non-playoff teams in inverse order of their record. Thus, a team that ties another team and won the regular season series 5-2, does not "win" the tie breaker as the team that only won twice is judged to be the worst of the two teams, and therefore will be awarded the higher draft pick.

N. The Draft contains a Bonus Round after Round Three for teams whose owners maintained perfect on-time mailing records throughout the previous league year. Picks in this round are in the inverse order of the previous seasons winning percentage. New league members must demonstrate a full season of perfect on-time mailings to be eligible.

O. Each team may protect up to 30-carded players in their organization during the Draft.

P. Players who still have amateur status do not have to be protected. HOWEVER, amateurs may not be released DURING the draft. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the exact date. Any BRASSball team that fails to cut their amateurs by this date will be forced to retain them through the draft.

Q. A list of your 30 protected players is due to the League Director and the Draft Conductor by midnight of the deadline date. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the exact date. A fine will be assessed for being late. Refer to the League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount.

R. You may draft an unprotected player from another team during The Draft. If you do, you must pay his owner $50,000 and reimburse him for the money remaining on his contract.

S. You may "re-claim" an unprotected player from your team during The Draft. This can be done without incurring any additional cost.

T. Any unprotected player that is NOT drafted or "re-claimed" is no longer owned. However, the player's previous owner is still obligated to pay their contract.

U. Owners must make their draft day selections with complete independence. They may not collaborate with other managers in an attempt to prearrange, or arrange during the draft, a "draft then trade" or "draft then acquire" transaction for any player(s) that would take effect at the conclusion of the draft. As an example, the following would not be allowed. Team A agrees to trade the player it selects with its 5th round draft selection to Team B in exchange for Player C. At Team A's 5th round draft slot, Team B informs Team A of whom to select. A fine will be assessed on both teams that violate this rule. Refer to the League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount.

III. Contracts

A. Each year, each team will receive $35 million. The money is credited to each team's bank account on the first day after the end of each regular season. This is BRASSball's version of revenue sharing. BRASSball owners equally divide up the equivalent of MLB's gate receipts, merchandising profits, TV contract money, parking and concession revenues, etc. to allow everyone to compete on equal ground.

B. When a player is signed to a contract, the yearly average of the contract is deducted from the signing team's bankroll.

C. There is no limit (minimum or maximum) to the amount of money a manager can spend in any given season. However, a manager cannot have a negative bank account at any time. Any excess (unspent) money will be carried over the next BRASSball season. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of seasons a team may carry over excess money.

D. A player's current contract status is found in the string of numbers and letters, inside the parentheses, after his name on the team roster sheets.

E. The following outlines the contracts available. Each contract is signed at a specific stage in a player's career. Unless the player is an amateur, free agent or had limited PA/IP, the next contract signed must be at a higher level. NOTE: Any drafted, carded player, not selected or reclaimed from the unprotected list, OR restricted free agent, that is not offered a free agent contract by another team, starts the contract process over (signing a MO or Y1 contract).

Level 1 – Amateur (AM) contract

1. A player who has never been carded is signed to amateur contract.
2. A player can be re-signed, any number of times, to an amateur contract given that he does not qualify as a carded player.
3. The cost of the contract is $50,000.

Level 2 – MO (minor league) contract

1. Any carded player that hasn't reached 130 PA's or 40 innings in a MLB season, since they were selected in the Draft (or signed in Secondary Free Agency), can be signed to a MO contract.
2. A player can be re-signed, any number of times, to a MO contract given that he still meets the qualifications and is currently signed to a MO contract.
3. If a player, whose next contract is determined to be MO, is not re-signed, that player will re-enter the draft and start the process over.
4. The cost of the contract is $100,000.
5. The player's contract status will be expressed as MO.

Level 3 – Y1 (major league) contract

1. Any carded player that reaches 130 PA's or 40 innings in a MLB season for the first time since they were selected in the Draft (or signed in Secondary Free Agency) can only be signed to a Y1 contract.
2. Any carded player, currently signed to a MO contract, that reached 75-129 PA's or 30-39.2 innings in the previous MLB season, can be signed to a Y1 contract prior to August of the BRASSball season.
3. If a player, whose next contract is determined to be Y1, is not re-signed, that player will re-enter the draft and start the process over.
4. The cost of the contract is $200,000.
5. The player's contract status will be expressed as Y1.

Level 4 – Y2 (major league) contract

1. Depending on of the amount of PA/IP achieved, a player that was signed to a Y1 contract during the previous BRASSball season can only be signed to a Y1 or Y2 contract. The player will need to be signed to a Y2 contact if they reached 130 PA's or 40 IP during the previous MLB season. If they did not reach 130 PA or 40 IP, they will need to be signed to a Y1 contract. Players that remain under the Y1 contract will be eligible for the playoffs if they reached 75 PA or 30 IP.
2. If a player, whose next contract is determined to be Y2, is not re-signed, that player will re-enter the draft and start the process over.
3. The cost of the contract is $200,000.
4. The player's contract status will be expressed as Y2.

Level 5 – Y3 (major league) contract

1. Depending on of the amount of PA/IP achieved, a player that was signed to a Y2 contract during the previous BRASSball season can only be signed to a Y2 or Y3 contract. The player will need to be signed to a Y3 contact if they reached 130 PA's or 40 IP during the previous MLB season. If they did not reach 130 PA or 40 IP, they will need to be signed to a Y2 contract. Players that remain under the Y2 contract will be eligible for the playoffs if they reached 75 PA or 30 IP.
2. If a player, whose next contract is determined to be Y3, is not re-signed, that player will re-enter the draft and start the process over.
3. The cost of the contract is $200,000.
4. The player's contract status will be expressed as Y3.

Level 6 – A and U (major league) contracts

1. Depending on of the amount of PA/IP achieved, a player that was signed to a Y3 contract during the previous BRASSball season must be signed to a Y3, A or U contract. The player will need to be signed to an A or U contact if they reached 130 PA's or 40 IP during the previous MLB season. If they did not reach 130 PA or 40 IP, they will need to be signed to a Y3 contract. Players that remain under the Y3 contract will only be eligible for the playoffs if they reached 75 PA or 30 IP
2. If a player, whose next contract is determined to be A or U, is not re-signed, that player will be released into the free agency pool.
3. The cost of a basic, non-free agent contract depends on the type and length you choose. The table below provides the possible A and U contracts and their associated costs.

U Type Contract A Type Contract
Length Yearly Payment Total Cost Yearly Payment Total Cost
1 yr $400,000 $400,000 N/A N/A
2 yr $500,000 $1,000,000 N/A N/A
3 yr $666,667 $2,000,000 $2,000,000 $6,000,000
4 yr N/A N/A $2,500,000 $10,000,000
5 yr N/A N/A $3,000,000 $15,000,000
6 yr N/A N/A $4,000,000 $24,000,000
7 yr N/A N/A $5,000,000 $35,000,000

N/A indicates that a contract is not available for that type and length.

4. A manager DOES retain matching rights to a player who has finished an A contract. The player becomes a restricted free agent (RFA).
5. A manager does NOT retain matching rights to a player who has finished a U contract. The player becomes unrestricted (UFA).
6. The player's contract status will be expressed in a contract string taking on the following form: (x,Ay) or (x,Uy), where x is a number representing the current year of the contract, and y represents the length of the contract.
Examples: (1,U2) – Player is in the 1st year of a 2-year $1 Million unrestricted contract.
(3,A4) – Player is in the 3rd year of a 4-year $10 Million restricted contract.
7. A player who receives no offers as a restricted free agent (RFA) may be signed to a new contract, either a MO or Y1 contract depending on the amount of PA/IP he achieved in the MLB season, by his team.

Level 7 – Free Agent (major league) contract

1. The cost of a free agent contract depends on the type and length you choose (via the free agency bid process) provided that the contract meets or exceeds the minimum Total Cost amount for the length of years offered. The table below lists the minimum contracts.

Length Yearly Payment Total Cost
1 yr $200,000 $200,000
2 yr $250,000 $500,000
3 yr $666,666 $2,000,000
4 yr $1,000,000 $4,000,000
5 yr $1,600,000 $8,000,000
6 yr $2,000,000 $12,000,000
7 yr $2,285,714 $16,000,000

2. The maximum length of a free agency contract is 7 years.
3. The maximum length of a contract extension is 7 years.
4. The player's contract status will be expressed in a contract string taking on the following form:
(x, [F] y – $z[M/k]), where the x is a number representing the current year of the contract, the F represents that the contract is a free agent contract, the y represents the length of the contract, the z represents a number equal to the total value of the contract signed, the capital M is an abbreviation for million, the lowercase k is an abbreviation for thousand.
Examples: (1F4-$12M) – Player is in the 1st year of a 4-year $12 Million contract.
(3F3-$4.2M) – Player is in the 3rd year of a 3-year $4.2 Million contract.
(1F1-$255k) – Player is in the 1st year of a 1-year $255 Thousand contract.

Level 8 – Extended Free Agent (major league) contract (a.k.a. Contract Extension)

1. A manager may extend a player's contract provided the player's current contract was generated in free agency.
2. The cost of a contract extension depends on the yearly amount of the player's previous contract. The following structure details the cost for a contract extension.

1-3 Years: $5,000,000 per year or current player contract times 1.1 annually
4 Years: $6,000,000 per year or current player contract times 1.15 annually
5 Years: $7,000,000 per year or current player contract times 1.2 annually
6 Years: $8,000,000 per year or current player contract times 1.25 annually
7 Years: $9,000,000 per year or current player contract times 1.3 annually

***Note: For each calculation above use the quantity that is GREATER.

3. The maximum length of a contract extension is 7 years.
4. This contract extension option may be exercised anytime between the original signing of the free agent contract and September 25 during the final season of the contract.
5. A player that has been signed to an extended contract cannot be traded until July of the final year of the extended contract. This is intended to emulate a player agreeing to a contract extension in return for a no-trade clause.
6. The player's contract status will be expressed in a contract string taking on the following form: (x, [X] y – $z[M]), where the x is a number representing the current year of the contract, X represents that the contract is an extended contract, the y represents the length of the contract, the z represents a number equal to the total value of the contract signed, the capital M is an abbreviation for million.
Examples: (1X3-15M) – Player is in the 1st year of a 3-year $15 Million extended contract.

Level 9 – September Free Agenct (major league) contract

1. Any carded player that is not on a BRASSball team roster can be signed to a Z contract during the final month of the regular season (September).
2. At the completion of the month of usage, that player will re-enter the Annual Draft pool.
3. The team that signed the player for September has no contract rights to the player after September usage.
4. Players on 1Z1 contracts cannot be traded.
5. The cost of the contract is $200,000 for one month of usage.
6. The player's contract status will be expressed as 1Z1-$200k.

F. Players drafted who have never been carded are automatically signed to amateur contracts.

G. Any drafted, carded player, not selected from the unprotected list, will automatically be signed to a MO or Y1 contract, depending on the amount of PA or IP they reached in the previous season. Unless, the drafting owner sends a notice, no later than five days after the completion of the Draft, stating that they do not wish to sign the player.

H. All contracts are considered guaranteed. If a player is released before the termination of his contract, the team who releases him is not entitled to reimbursement for the remaining value of the deal. This value is considered to be the severance pay for that player and the contract is considered to be void upon the player's release.

I. A released player, acquired by another team, must be signed to a new contract, regardless of the length of his previous contract.

J. If a player's career ends because of a non-baseball injury or illness, or if the player dies, his team is reimbursed 95% of the remaining value of the contract. This simulates the insurance protection MLB teams have for cases where player's careers are ended by off-field activities. The 5% loss is considered to represent the sum of the premiums paid on the policy.

K. You must notify your LD no later than midnight of the deadline date which of your players you intend to sign to MO, Y1, Y2, A or U contracts. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the exact date. A fine will be assessed for being late. Refer to the League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount. The sections above can be used to determine the player's "next" contract. In addition, this notification should include those players whom you intend to release from your organization.

L. Veteran Players Drafted

Beginning in 2012, veteran players that are selected in the Annual Draft may be subject to receiving an "A" or "U" type contract.

In the past, veteran players that (for whatever reason, but often due to injury) ended up in the draft would go through the standard Y1, Y2, Y3 contract progression that Brassball rookies go through. Some players that have gone through this process include Chris Carpenter, John Smoltz and Trevor Hoffman. This was unrealistic, as a veteran player would not sign a contract that gave the team control for so many years (Y1, Y2, Y3, U1, U2, U3) at so little a cost.

To address this unrealistic occurrence, we passed a rule change last fall. This rule will be instituted for the 2012 Brassball season and means that any player taken in the draft that had previously been signed to a Y1, Y2 or Y3 contract will not restart back at Y1. After being drafted, those players will need to be signed to either an MO contract (if they did not total 130 ABs or 40 IPs in the 2011 MLB season) or the next contract in the progression.

A couple of examples may help:

1. Ryan Vogelsong was a Y2 in 2007. He had 180 IP in 2011. If drafted, he will be a Y3 in Brassball 2012.
2. Jerome Williams was a Y3 in 2007. He had 40 IP in 2011. If drafted, he must be signed to an A or U contract in 2012.
3. Manny Ramirez long ago exhausted his Y3 status. He had 18 PAs in 2011. If drafted, he will be signed to an MO contract in 2012. If he exceeds 130 ABs in the coming season, Manny will need to be signed to an A or U contract in 2013.

One important note is this does not affect any players currently on an MO, Y1, Y2 or Y3 contract unless those players someday end up back in the draft pool. Aaron Miles and Kyle Lohse are two examples of players that had exhausted their Y3 status in years past but were taken in the 2011 Brassball draft. They continue on the contract progression from their current Y2 status.

In the coming days, we will distribute a list of MLB players that are in the draft pool and have exhausted their Y1, Y2 or Y3 status.

IV. Free Agency

A. After a player's A, U or free agent contract expires (or the player is not re-signed after completing his Y3 contract), he may obtain an offer sheet from any league owner. The offer sheets are obtained in the form of sealed bids mailed to the Free Agency Conductor.

B. The bid can be for any number of years for any amount of money as long as they fall within the free agent contract minimum and maximum limits (as described in III Contracts, Section E).

C. Restricted Free Agents (RFA)

1. Players that had their A contract expire are considered restricted free agents (RFA).

2. A restricted free agent's (RFA) owner does not submit a bid on him, but waits until all the bids are in and will have the opportunity to retain his player.

3. To retain the player, he must match the best offer sheet a player is presented. [This is the contract formally offered by another team with the intent to sign the player, not necessarily the top bid itself.] He must match the length of the contract offered and the dollar value. He may top the best offer in any way, if he wishes, and is entitled to know which team signed the player to the offer sheet.

4. Individual owners retain the rights to their restricted free agents (RFA) not signed in the free agent process. A player who receives no offers as a restricted free agent (RFA) may be signed to a new contract, either a MO or Y1 contract depending on the amount of PA/IP he achieved in the MLB season, by his team. Or, the owner may release the player to the Draft.

5. Compensatory draft selections for the loss of restricted free agents

a) If an owner loses a restricted free agent (RFA), he may receive a compensatory draft selection in the next draft. The awarding of a draft pick depends on whether his free agent is classified as a Type A or Type B free agent. There will be up to 12 free agents classified as Type A and up to 12 more classified as Type B free agents each year.

b) A Type A free agent is any one of the restricted free agents who receives one of the 12 best offers in the given year's free agency process. A Type B free agent is any one of the restricted free agents who receives offers ranked from 13-24 in the given year's free agency process. Rankings are determined averaging the contract bids submitted for all free agents, and ordering them from the best to the worst in a given year's class.

c) If a given year's free agency process does not yield 24 quality offers, Type A and B free agents will be determined by dividing the number of restricted free agents who received quality offers in half. The top half would be Type A's and the bottom half Type B's. If there are an odd number of restricted free agents who receive quality offers under this scenario, the Type B's are to number one more than the Type A's free agents.

d) The following test is applied to all of a given year's restricted free agent offers, ranked 13-24, to verify that each is a quality offer. Beginning with the offer ranked number 14, compare it to the one just above it on the rankings list. If the offer's value (as determined by the Bid Superiority Chart) is 25% (or higher) less valuable than the one above it, this offer, and all the subsequent offers, is considered to be of too low quality to deserve Type B status. As a result, the associated draft pick compensation is not awarded.

e) Example: If the offer ranked number 16 is 25% (or higher) less valuable than the offer ranked number 15, Type A and Type B free agents will be designated from only the top 15 offers that year. The top seven restricted free agent offers would be designated as Type A free agents and the next 8 would be Type B free agents and compensatory draft picks would be awarded to the teams who owned these players if they could not match the offer.

f) If there is more than one compensatory pick awarded between any two rounds, the picks are ordered by the quality of the free agent as determined by the average bid for his services. For example, if one team loses the three best free agents in the class, it would pick first through third in the compensatory pick round immediately after Round 1.

D. Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)

1. Players that had their U or free agent contract expire are considered unrestricted free agents (UFA). In addition, players that are not resigned after completing their Y3 contract are considered unrestricted free agents (UFA).

2. Unrestricted free agents sign a contract with the team that presents the best offer sheet. [This is the contract formally offered by another team with the intent to sign the player, not necessarily the top bid itself.]

3. An unrestricted free agent's (UFA) former owner may submit a bid on his former player with the intent to sign. The former owner does not hold any advantage or matching rights when bidding for his former players. There is no compensation awarded to an owner who loses an unrestricted free agent.

4. Individual owners retain no rights to an unrestricted free agent (UFA) who receives no offers. These players go back into the Draft.

E. The Free Agency Conductor will provide a list of available restricted (RFA) and unrestricted (UFA) free agents. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the deadline for the completion of this activity.

F. All sealed bids for these players are to be sent to the Free Agency Conductor. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the submission deadline of free agent bids. Any bids sent after this deadline will be disregarded. You must clearly label your sealed bids so they are not opened by mistake.

G. The Free Agency Conductor will present a report on the status of each free agent player to all owners. The League Director will place all signed free agents with their teams and present an updated roster sheet to all owners. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the deadline of these responsibilities.

H. To determine which free agent bids are superior to the others; use the information in Free Agent Contract Bid Superiority (V) section. Free Agent Contract Bid Superiority and the Bid Superiority Chart that is contained therein. The processes described in that section will be used as the sole determinant in finding the top free agent contract offer for a given free agent.

I. If two free agent offers are identical, the tie-breaker is: 1) best on-time mailing record, 2) lower regular season winning percentage from the past season, and 3) coin flip.

J. Owners must submit bids with complete independence. They may not collaborate to influence the designed secret, sealed bids in any way. They may especially not collaborate on bids designed to artificially set the market value on a given player or on a given team's crop of free agents in a given year. This constitutes collusion, and like MLB, carries a heavy penalty. Any BRASSball member engaging in collusion-like practices against another owner can be expelled from the league or be penalized at the sole discretion of the League Director.

V. Free Agent Contract Bid Superiority

In developing and using a system that attempts to simulate the decision making of the average MLB free agent, the league makes some basic assumptions:

We assume that the average free agent will be concerned about three main characteristics of any contract offer: 1) length, 2) total value, 3) guarantee status. When comparing contract offers a free agent will use the first two characteristics listed above to determine his average salary per season. We assume that the average salary per season is the determining factor in contract offers whose lengths are identical and is extremely important in contract offers whose lengths are similar. We also assume that to eliminate an extra bookkeeping task and to keep the comparisons relatively simple, we ignore guaranteed, non-guaranteed, bonus clauses, option years, incentives, buyouts and other MLB contract elements that would serve to make our job more difficult and muddy up the comparison process. So, all deals are said to be guaranteed--if you make the bid, you pay the price--no escape hatches.

Beginning this process by making the basic, logical assumptions listed above, we simplify the process a great deal. We boil the contract offer comparison process down to just one number, the average salary per year. We realize that any system we create in our PBM world to judge contract offer superiority is missing the key element in the MLB process of determining bid superiority--the living, breathing, thinking, deciding player. The only way to simulate the player's decision making is to employ a device that places value on the same things a real player does, and will make a judgment that is similar to a player's judgment. This "judge" is found in our employment of the Bid Superiority Chart.

BID SUPERIORITY CHART

Use this side for the LONGER of the two offers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Use this 1 -- 1.5 1.75 2.0 2.25 2.5 2.75
side 2 -- -- 1.25 1.5 1.75 2.0 2.25
for the 3 -- -- -- 1.125 1.25 1.375 1.5
SHORTER 4 -- -- -- -- 1.105 1.165 1.225
of the two 5 -- -- -- -- -- 1.085 1.145
offers. 6 -- -- -- -- -- -- 1.063

 

In setting up the Bid Superiority Chart, the League again makes a couple basic assumptions.

We assume that a longer deal, for the same average salary per season, would be judged superior by any free agent. For instance, a 3 yr, $12 M offer would be better than a 2 yr, $8 M offer. We further assume that average salary per season was less of a determinant in comparing relatively long-term offers than relatively short term offers.

The Bid Superiority Chart compares two contract offers, using the assumptions outlined above as the driver for the process we have already established, and determines which offer is better. It allows us to compare contracts of any length and any total value. It does this by using multipliers designed to "judge" (in place of the live free agent) a shorter-term contract, of higher average salary per season, against a longer-term deal, of less average salary per season.

The Chart makes the assumption that if you have two offers of say, 5 yr, $15 M and 6 yr, $17 M (which translates to $3.0 M per year for 5 years and $2.8 M per year for 6 years), the player would likely take the long-term security. But on competing offers of say, 5 yr, $15 M and 6 yr, $16 M the choice is not so clear. The extra year of the second contract at only $1 M, as compared to his average of $3 M per year under the other deal probably would not be palatable. A few examples of competing offers, and the likely choice of a free agent presented with these offers, shaped the chart:

Offer #1 Offer #2 Likely Choice
5 yr, $15 M 6 yr, $17 M the 6 yr. deal
5 yr, $15 M 6 yr, $16 M the 5 yr. deal
3 yr, $12 M 4 yr, $15 M the 4 yr. deal
3 yr, $12 M 4 yr, $14 M the 3 yr. deal

In each set of examples above, the chart assumes there will be a "break even" point, somewhere in between the offers listed under "Offer #2," where the difference is too close to call, or where the offers are basically equal. The Chart assumes that the tiebreaker for all "equal" offers goes to the deal in which the most money was offered.

The Chart treats longer-term contracts with higher value because a free agent will usually opt for the deal that guarantees him significant long-term security, over a short-term windfall; additionally, because long-term contracts risk greater sums of money than short-term contracts. In each case however, the chart builds in the possibility that a player could select a huge single-year or two-year payday over a long-term deal, electing to take his chances on attracting interest in the free agent market after the year is over. This is similar to how Wally Joyner handled his off-season after the 1991 MLB season. Of course, as in MLB, a team takes a significant risk by bidding this way. They might get a good player, but at an extremely high price for a short period of time, and do not even retain matching rights in the next free agent cycle over this player. Now, let's go through Chart usage.

Let's use one of the above examples of competing contract offers. Let's say we want to use the Chart to compare offers made by Team A and Team B for Ken Griffey Jr. when he becomes a free agent. Let's say Team A offers Junior a 5 yr, $15 M deal and Team B offers a 6 yr, $17 M deal. Who will Junior choose? To find out, we first determine the average salary per season of the two offers. The Team A offer averages out to $3 M per season (over 5) and the Team B offer averages out to $2.833 M per season (over 6).

We are comparing a five-year deal to a six-year deal, so the chart will be necessary to tell us the "multiplier" we must use to find out if the smaller deal (the $15 M deal) is superior to the larger one. Use chart's "5" row and sight over until the "5" row intersects with the "6" column. This is the multiplier. Multiply this quantity (1.085) by the average contract of the LONGER deal. If the average salary of the shorter deal is higher than this quotient, then the shorter deal is superior. If it is not, the longer deal is superior. The multipliers allow us to compare a shorter length deal, with a little higher average contract per season with longer-term deals to determine bid superiority. Let's work through the results.

The average salary of the Team B offer is $2.833 M per season X the 1.085 multiplier = $3.074 M per season. Since this number is larger than the average salary of the Team A offer ($3 M), the Team B 6-year deal wins out.

This process simulates what a free agent is "likely" to do. We cannot account for individual choices, or what we might do in their position. All we can really employ is a fair system which simulates the decision making of the "average" free agent, who is motivated by just about all the same factors as the next guy, or even us, if we were in their shoes.

VI. Clustering Free Agent Contract Bids

A team may bid on as many free agents as it wishes, by "clustering" the bids according to the procedure outlined in the following paragraphs.

If a team wants to bid on just a couple guys and take their chances on landing them, fine. They may not be satisfied with less than the top guy available at a given position and might prefer to draft a young player in the next draft, instead of pursuing the rest. But if a team decides it wants one of a given year's crop of second basemen, or starting pitchers, etc. it can "cluster" its bids to define a group of players with something in common in which they have interest. Even if in total the bids exceed the team's bank account.

The clusters could be constructed by position, by age or by "desirability." The bidding franchise can use whatever criterion it wishes in which to cluster the players. The clusters would simulate the process a MLB team goes through in "pursuing" players to fill a certain need or desire. Perhaps a MLB or BRASSball team wants a "franchise player" and doesn't care what position he plays. They might "pursue" several players in one of their "franchise player clusters". Or perhaps if they want a #1 left-handed starter, they might well pursue a group of lefties that they have on their "short list."

Let's say for example a BRASSball team decides it has to have one of the current crop of free agent shortstops and one of the current crop of free agent relievers. Let's also say that their current bank account holds $20 M. They could cluster their bids in the following way to give them a greater chance at landing one of the players they want.

They list the clusters they have created and also list their bids, in descending order of total value. In our example, the team wanted a shortstop or a reliever, so they might rank their shortstop and reliever bids in the following way:

Shortstop Cluster Reliever Cluster

Player A $10 M for 3 yrs. Player A $8 M for 3 yrs.
Player B $8 M for 3 yrs. Player B $7 M for 3 yrs.
Player C $4 M for 2 yrs. Player C $5 M for 3 yrs.
Player D $2 M for 2 yrs. Player D $3 M for 2 yrs.
Player E $1 M for 1 yr.

They might also choose to bid on a couple backup middle infielders in the following way:

Middle Infielder Cluster

Player A $500,000 for 1 yr.
Player B $400,000 for 1 yr.

When clustering bids, a team need only ensure that the combined totals of the annual salaries of the top offers in all their clusters do not exceed their bank account. In the case of our example, the total annual salary, or the top salary in each of their clusters combined, is $6.5 M, well under their $20 M budget.

If their offer for any individual player within any cluster is the top offer (using the Bid Superiority Chart), then their offer is considered to be the superior bid. If the player's current team owns matching rights to the player, the superior bid could be matched, and the team in the market for a shortstop, or whatever, would still have a crack at another shortstop. Conversely, if the player is an unrestricted free agent (UFA), the team simply has to notify the Free Agency Conductor informing him that they wish to sign that player.

If a team submitted the superior bid on two (or more) players from the same cluster, that team has the opportunity to land one or two (or more) players. The team with the high bid must choose to "pursue" the player considered their "top" priority within the cluster. If that bid is matched, they may then "pursue" the second player that they had the top bid on. This practice will also prevent the team from getting "stuck" with two starting shortstops (unless the team WANTS both shortstops).

VII. Secondary Free Agency Process

A. As a way for teams to acquire additional PA's and IP's after The Draft, BRASSball employs a secondary free agency process.

B. The LD will publish a list of undrafted, carded players in the post-draft mailing.

C. Any team who wishes to offer a contract to an undrafted, carded player may do so in a mailing to the person conducting the process, normally the LD, by the deadline. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the exact date.

D. The contracts available are consistent with the contract options of those players selected in that year's draft.

E. Contract offers can be for a major league (Y1) or minor league (MO) contract, depending on the amount of PA/IP he achieved in the MLB season.

F. Contract offers must equal or exceed the proscribed minimums of the Y1 or MO contract.

VIII. September Free Agent Contract Process

A. As a way for teams to acquire additional PA's and IP's during the final month (September) of the regular season, BRASSball employs a September free agenct contract process.
B. Any team who wishes to offer a 1 year contract to an undrafted, carded player may do so in a mailing to the person conducting the process, normally the LD, by the deadline. Refer to the Off-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXIX) section for the exact date.
C. Contract offers can only be for a major league (1Z1-$200k) contract. The full value of the contract is due to the player during the month of usage.
D. The player re-enters the Annual Draft immediately fowlling the completion of his September usage (1Z1-$200k) contract.
E. There is no limit to the number of players that can be signed for the month of September.
F. Maximum roster size requirements are in effect. If a team signs a player to a September Free Agent Contract and exceeds the maximum numberof players allowed on a roster, a player must be cut to make room on the roster.
G. Player priority is assigned to the team with the lower winning percentage at the end of August.
H. This process is intended to assist teams with filling PA's and IP's in order to avoid player over usage penalties. This process is not intended to assist playoff bound teams with the "best available carded player". Therefore, it is up to the League Director's discretion if a team is permitted to sign a player(s) for September.

IX. Roster

A. A team may not have more than 40 major league (carded or once carded) players on their roster at the completion of the Draft. They may exceed 40 at any other time.

B. A team may not have more than 55 players (carded, once carded, or amateur) on their roster at any given time. In other words, all players on your roster count towards the 55-man roster limit.

C. Active rosters are limited to 25 during the first 5 months of the season.

D. Active rosters may expand to 35 during the final month of the season.

E. A team may carry up to seven amateurs, players who never been "carded", at the completion of the Draft. (A team MAY exceed 7 after the completion of the draft) These players do not count against the 40-man roster limit.

F. A team will need to utilize a spot on their 40-man roster to retain the rights to a player who has been carded in the past, but is no longer carded (perhaps due to injury, playing in Japan this year, etc.). Additionally, this player would NOT be classified as an amateur non-carded player.

G. Teams may only make changes in their active rosters prior to a given month's play. That same roster needs to be used for all home and away games for that team in that month's play. To avoid over-usage fines, teams are allowed to make changes to their active roster during the month of September only. This will allow a team to use all available player usage for those players nearing their usage limits. Specifically, teams can create unique MGR manager files for each September road opponent with different active/inactive rosters (a player can be INACTIVE for its September road games which are out of the owner's direct control, but ACTIVE for its September home games which are in the owner's direct control.

H. Each roster must have at least 8 pitchers.

I. Teams no longer need to have one backup for each infield position due to the removal of injuries.

J. A fine is incurred if a team uses more than the allowable number of active players during a given month's play. Refer to the League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount.

K. The maximum amount of players the SOM game can handle is capped at 35 hitters and/or 25 pitchers. If your roster exceeds either of these maximums then you must notify the League Statistician by 10PM EST of the 17th of the month of your roster for the upcoming month. If a manager fails to properly notify the statistician then the roster used for the previous month's games will remain in effect.

L. In the months of April through August, only players on major league contracts are allowed to be on an active roster.

M. In the month of September, players on minor league (MO) contracts, in addition to the players on major league contracts, are allowed to play.

N. There is one exception to the active roster size limits. For a player that has a hitting card and a pitching card, i.e. 2003 Brooks Kieschnick, their owning manager, in games they (not HAL) are managing their team, can have both cards active, resulting in 26 or 36 active cards. The manager can only use one of the two cards during any single game.

X. Rules of Play

A. We use all SOM game company super advanced rules except for the following exceptions:

1. Ignore injury readings, batters and pitchers cannot be injured.
2. We do use the game company's super-advanced relief pitcher rest guidelines. However, each reliever is considered rested at the beginning of each series.
3. We do not use the Closer rule.

B. The DH rule is used. The DH may only bat for the pitcher.

C. You may only pinch hit for the last player you have at a given position if you are losing in the 9th or later.

D. A player can only play a position they are eligible to play. Unless, they are replacing a player pinch-hit for when losing in the 9th or later. Use the game company's guidelines when playing infielders and catchers out of position.

E. An outfielder may play another outfield position not listed on his card, according to the game company's guidelines for such play.

F. All pitchers involved in trades are considered rested.

G. A pitcher can only start or relieve if they are eligible for each role.

H. A position player may not pitch.

I. A pitcher cannot be used as a starting designated hitter and cannot be used as a pinch hitter (or pinch runner). A pitcher cannot bat unless the DH was needed for a defensive replacement in the late innings (7th or later). A pitcher can be inserted as a position player, and take an at bat, if the last player at a given position was pinch hit for. But the pitcher may be inserted only if there are no other position players available. Both NL and AL pitchers use the pitcher's hitting cards they earned during the previous MLB season.

XI. Player Usage

A. To determine the plate appearance limit on any position player, add the player's at bats and walks, from the previous MLB season, together and multiply the total by 105%. The resulting total is his plate appearance usage limit for the season.

B. To determine the innings pitched limit on any pitcher, multiple the player's innings pitched, from the previous MLB season, by 105%. The resulting total is his innings pitched usage limit for the season.

C. The BRASSball league game structure file, sent out by the League Statistician, will not adjust the statistics. As such, each BRASSball owner knows confidently that each position player is allowed 105% of the at-bats plus walks, and that each pitcher is allowed 105% of the innings pitched, from the previous MLB season. The only exception to this rule is when the most recent MLB season played less than a full schedule of games (currently 162 per team) due to a player strike, owner lock-out, act of God, or any other reason. In such a case, the League Statistician may choose to multiply the partial season's statistics to a full 162-game BRASSball equivalent. It is each BRASSball owner's responsibility to know the plate appearance limit and the innings pitched limit for each player on their squad.

D. A pitcher may not start more than 35 games, unless he started more than that during the MLB season. Pitchers, who started more than 35 during the MLB season, are limited to 39 starts or their actual MLB starts number, whichever is larger.

E. Managers must adhere strictly to each and every player usage limit. Refer to the Player Overuse Penalty System (XXXI) section for the exact fine for each PA or IP that exceeds the usage limit.

F. If the game (or games) in which the overuse occurred affects the standings and/or draft order, the game (or games) may be replayed. The LD will make the final decision on whether the games will be replayed along with which games should be replayed.

G. If a manager systematically overuses his players, managing several of their PA's and IP's into the buffer zone, he may be penalized at the sole discretion of the LD.

H. A pitcher can move from starter to reliever but may not violate the super-advanced starter/reliever rest rules and must be eligible to start and relieve.

I. Only pitchers, who have an asterisk next to their name (asterisked starters) as defined by the game company, may start a game on three-day's rest. Pitchers who are not asterisked starters must rest four days between starts. The three-day rest rule also applies from the end of one month to the beginning of the next, and from the end of the regular season to the beginning of the post-season.

J. There is assumed to be no rest days between months of the regular season.

K. Players with 2 cards will be represented in BRASSball with the "combined" computer card issued by the game company.

XII. Trading

A. Both owners must report trades in writing to the LD. From the end of the season through DRAFT DAY, all trades involving draft picks must also be declared to the DRAFT CONDUCTOR.

B. In-season trades must be reported by midnight of the Trading deadline in order to have the trade effective for the following month. Refer to the In-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXVIII) section for the exact dates. The deadline is critical to the League Statistician, who has a limited amount of time to distribute the rosters.

C. Out-of-season trades must be reported as soon as they are made.

D. An owner may trade money and draft picks, but cannot trade next year's money.

E. A traded player's new team takes on responsibility for all remaining months and years of his contract.

1. Use the information below to determine what percentage of the current year's contract you would be liable for if you acquired a player during given points in the league's accounting year.

➢ In ALL off-season deals (September 16-March 15) teams pay 100% of current year's salary
➢ If a trade takes effect for May's games, teams pay 83.33% (5 months out of 6) of the current year's contract
➢ If a trade takes effect for June's games, teams pay 66.67% (4 months out of 6) of the current year's contract
➢ If a trade takes effect for July's games, teams pay 50.00% (3 months out of 6) of the current year's contract
➢ If a trade takes effect for August's games, teams pay 33.33% (2 months out of 6) of the current year's contract
➢ If a trade takes effect for September's games, teams pay 16.67% (1 month out of 6) of the current year's contract

2. These are the default contract liabilities. Trading teams may negotiate any different contract payment arrangements they wish as part of a trade.

F. No trade can be made involving any players to be named later, whether the deal is announced as such or arranged as part of a future trade.

G. You may sell a player, but you may not loan a player.

H. An appeal may be made to the League Director if any owner thinks a trade should be nullified because it is unfair.

I. The LD will only nullify or negotiate an altered trade if it absolutely will not benefit one of the owners at present or in the future, or because something dishonest has occurred during a trade. The LD may also look critically at "lopsided" trades designed to aid a team for the current year only if a given manager's long-term league membership is in doubt.

J. A team may also trade its draft choices. However, there are the following restrictions:

1. A team must, at all times, RETAIN a total of FOUR draft choices in the first five rounds between the current year's Draft and the next year's Draft.
2. A team may not trade draft selections for any Drafts other than the upcoming Draft and the one after it.
3. A team may NOT benefit from trading a draft pick that occurs after their last pick in a given Draft.
Example: A team is not entitled to trade a sixth round draft pick if it stopped drafting in the fifth round. A team is not permitted to trade something it does not own, even if it expected to be drafting past the sixth round at the time of the trade. If a team finds itself in this position, it must either:
a) Trade places with the team who owns their sixth pick
b) Pass on the fifth round selection and make their final pick in the seventh
c) Use the fifth round pick but release a player and select another one sometime after the sixth round pick they traded.

K. New league members may not trade until they are announced as a new league member.

L. The LD may not make a trade based on information they obtained from someone's trade wire listing prior to making the entry public. They must wait to discuss trade specifics until they could reasonably expect others to have received the trade wire listing.

M. Trading is frozen from midnight of the date free agent bids are due to the Free Agency Conductor until midnight of the second day following the completion of free agency.

N. Trading is frozen from midnight of the date 30-man protected rosters are due to the Draft Conductor until midnight of the first day following the draft.

XIII. Monthly In-Season Mailings

A. Home Series Results to Opponent(s) and League Statistician(s)

1. You must send the resulting "export" game files, for the home and away team, of each game, to each of your home opponents, as well as the statistician and backup statistician. You can locate these files under the /cdrombb/export directory.
2. You must send complete statistical reports, box score as well as batter-by-batter (or play-by-play) account of each game, to each of your home opponents.
3. Refer to the In-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXVIII) section for the Home Series Results deadline. Each of the above activities must be completed by this date.
4. Failure to send (or for being late) home series results to any opponent or the statistician will result in a fine. Refer to the League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount(s). Additionally, if the game files are not received by the League Statistician by the deadline, the LD will play the games using each team's HAL file to prevent any delay in the monthly SOM league file distribution. There is no guarantee that usage will be monitored during these games. It is highly recommended that you submit your results well in advance of the deadline.
5. If you have completed the games early, do not wait until the deadline to report these. Early mailings help your opponent have more time to review their stats, construct next month's road instructions, and figure his pitching rotation. It will also help the statistician sort through the "tons" of files he has to sort through on a monthly basis.
6. The Statistician will tabulate stats for all teams, and then send out an updated roster file to be directly imported to your game. This update will include all games to that point in the BRASSball season, as well as any trades that transpired the previous month. If the Statistician has received results from everyone in the League by the Home Series Results deadline, he should be able to distribute the updated roster file within 1-3 days, leaving each manager time to construct their HAL by the Road Instructions deadline.

B. Rotation to the League Director

1. You must submit your starting pitcher rotation to your LD prior to each month's play. After this rotation is submitted, you may not change a starting pitcher for any game that month. The rotations must be submitted by the Rotation deadline.
2. Refer to the In-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXVIII) section for the Rotation deadline.
3. You can submit your starting pitcher for any amount of months, or the entire season if you so desire. You may also submit your HAL, along with password, that contains your rotation to the LD to satisfy this obligation. Just state your intentions to the LD. If the rotation changes, you must notify the LD prior to the month's play that the rotation change has occurred.
4. Failure to send (or for being late) your rotation to the LD will result in a fine. Refer to League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount.

C. Road Instructions to League Statistician(s)

1. You must provide your HAL file that contains your active roster, rotation, lineups, etc. to the League Statistician and Backup Statistician.
2. Refer to the In-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXVIII) section for the Road Instructions deadline.
3. Failure to send (or for being late) road instructions to the League Statistician or Backup Statistician will result in a fine. Refer to the League Penalties (XXX) section for the exact amount(s). In addition to the fine, the LD will create a HAL for your team for the given month to be used in the league file.

D. SOM League File Distributed by the League Statistician

1. The SOM league file will be distributed by the League Statistician to the entire league twice each month.
2. Once all export files have been imported for the previous month and all trades applied, the League Statistician will provide the entire league the "starter" SOM league file for the next month. This file will be provided as soon as possible after the completion of the previous month. Each team will define their HAL from this league file and submit their HAL to the League Statistician and Backup Statistician. No games should be played against this file.
3. Once all HAL files have been imported, the League Statistician will provide the entire league the "official" SOM league file for the next month. This file will be provided as soon as possible after the Road Instructions deadline. Once received, teams can begin playing their games for the given month.

XIV. Composition of Road Instructions

A. The use of HAL or Super HAL for your road instructions is required. You will need to prepare your .mgr file to send to the League Statistician for inclusion in the SOM League file for the given month. HAL is in charge of all in-game decisions for your team. All in-game situations will be dependent on how much programming of the HAL interface you wish to do for your team.

B. As part of your HAL file, you also need to program your active roster, pitching rotation and starting lineups for the month in HAL.

C. There are two allowed exceptions to the above.

1. The visiting manager can send lineup instructions for their team to each road manager for a given month. This provides the visiting manager the ability to create a lineup based on the opposition's pitchers; otherwise, each team is limited to the number of lineups defined in the SOM game.
2. In September, extremely specific instructions would be allowed to help avoid any over usage scenario. The instructions need to clearly state the proscribed limit for the player(s) and a LIST of players who are to step in IMMEDIATELY when that limit is reached for the game and/or series. These special instructions are sent directly to your opponents for September games.

XV. Home Manager's Obligation to Opponent

A. You must send the resulting "export" game files, for the home and away team, of each game, to each of your home opponents. You can locate these files under the /cdrombb/export directory.

B. You must send complete statistical reports, box score as well as batter-by-batter (or play-by-play) account of each game, to each of your home opponents.

C. For each game, the two game files should be retained until after the League Statistician delivers the updated league files, this includes the updated statistic files and the next month's rosters. This is necessary in case of a replay or the mailing doesn't reach its intended party.

D. The home manager should take every precaution to ensure that each game is played with the correct SOM league file (distributed by the League Statistician). Failure to take this precaution could result in a replay of the game (or entire series).

E. If you are late with a mailing to an opponent, you incur a late-mailing fine. The person who makes the late mailing is the one obligated to report this late mailing to their LD rather than his opponent. League on-time record is the primary tiebreaker for many league ties, and accurate reporting of on-time records is essential to employ this tiebreaker fairly.

F. If a league member does not report his late mailing to another league member, his inaction has biased the on time mailing record tabulation for his own benefit while forcing the other league member to report his lateness. The LD may double or triple the fines for a late mailing to another league member at their discretion if the league member fails to report his own lateness.

G. Replay requests should be made in a polite manner and should be received by the home manager with respect. Each replay request and resolution should be handled entirely between the two managers involved, though a manager may wish to contact their LD to get his opinion of the validity of his request.

H. The LD should become involved in a replay resolution only if the two managers involved cannot reach a replay agreement. If necessary, the LD will rule on the replay.

I. Frivolous replay requests risk the good will of others and your position in the League. Please be sure of your request before making it.

XVI. On-Time Mailing Records

A. Sending mailings on time is a fundamental obligation of a BRASSball league manager. Late mailings slow league progress, inconvenience our fellow league members and show a general lack of interest in retaining your BRASSball franchise. The league offers an incentive / reward for fulfilling all of one's mailing responsibilities each year by tabulating on-time mailing records for each BRASSball owner.

1. The on-time record is used as the primary tiebreaker in the regular draft selection order.
2. The on-time record is used as the primary tiebreaker in the compensatory draft selection order.
3. The on-time record is also a qualifier for participation in the bonus round of the draft. To qualify for this draft choice, the BRASSball owner must have recorded a perfect on-time record during the past year.
➢ The bonus round is positioned after the third round and before the fourth round.

B. Any member of the League Administrative Team who receives mailings will tabulate the on-time records for the league members.

C. The LD will compile the league membership's on-time records at the end of the season.

D. The LD will record each late mailing as a strike against the on-time record of the league member who made the mailing later than required.

E. A mailing is considered to be late, and recorded as such, when it is sent after 9 PM Pacific / midnight Eastern of the deadline (or post-marked a single day later than required).

F. Accurate tabulation of on-time records is essential to using the information fairly and for the purpose it was intended. The LD can only compile an accurate record if every league member understands his obligation to report his late mailings and without forcing this responsibility onto the mailing recipient. Obviously, failure to report lateness to the LD could appear as if you are attempting to avoid the penalty.

XVII. Home / Road Discrepancy Program

In the BRASSball League, we hold maximum effort for our home opponents as a high BRASSball League ideal. If everyone gives consistent effort in this regard, a team should perform to approximately the same degree above or below average at home as they do on the road. Knowing that the dissatisfaction with the lack of reliable road results along with the lack of honest effort on the part of opponents are two problems that can fell any League. The BRASSball League uses the program detailed below to encourage and reward the honest effort at home that leads to small home/road discrepancies.

At the end of each season, the LD will determine the BRASSball League average of the discrepancy between home and road records and express it in terms of the home/away games differential.

Example: Suppose that the average BRASSball team won 8.3 more games at home than on the road in a given season. After determining the BRASSball League average, the LD will list those teams whose home/road discrepancy was lower than this average. From this, they will establish the range of discrepancy over which awards will be given by using the BRASSball League average as one end of the scale while using the home/away games differential for the team with the least discrepancy as the other end. After which, they will divide the range into fifths issuing the appropriate cash awards for the range into which a team falls.

The following example illustrates this method.

Here are the teams who had smaller discrepancies than the League average of 8.3 and the method used to determine the award ranges.
Team 12: +7 games
Team 20: +4 games The League Average = +8.3
Team 4: +4 games The smallest discrepancy = -5
Team 17: +2 games
Team 10: even The range over which awards are given = 13.3
Team 8: -1 games Dividing the award range into fifths = 2.66 per range
Team 23: -5 games

The award ranges are therefore: The teams who fall in the award ranges are therefore:

Award Range #1: -5.00 to -2.34 games: Team 23 (-5 games)
Award Range #2: -2.33 to +0.32 games: Team 10 (even), Team 8 (-1 games)
Award Range #3: +0.33 to +2.98 games: Team 17 (+2 games)
Award Range #4: +2.99 to +5.64 games: Team 20 (+4 games), Team 4 (+ 4games)
Award Range #5: +5.65 to +8.30 games: Team 12 (+7 games)

The cash awards per range are as follows, each year:

Award Range #1: $3,000,000
Award Range #2: $2,500,000
Award Range #3: $2,000,000
Award Range #4: $1,500,000
Award Range #5: $1,000,000

XVIII. Newsletter Article Incentive Program

The LD will publish a monthly newsletter with their own text on League news, statistics, standings, trades, trade wires, league leaders, league history, bank accounts, updated rosters, and many other elements. But, the BRASSball League encourages everyone to participate in the construction of this league digest and journal by reserving a portion of the newsletter and website for your articles. In fact, the League pays you for the articles.

BRASSball members can submit up to TWELVE articles per year limited to two sides of a newsletter page. Topics can range from your team's in-season play, off-season plans, unusual series or events that occurred in League play, team history, BRASSball League events, anything concerning MLB and the baseball news of the day. You'll receive $300,000 for each article.

League Administrators are limited to following compensation for additional articles:

➢ The LD cannot receive compensation for additional articles.
➢ The League Statistician can be compensated for one additional article.
➢ The League Reporters can be compensated for one additional article.
➢ The Website Coordinator can be compensated for three additional articles.
➢ The Draft Conductor can be compensated for six additional articles.
➢ The Free Agency Conductor can be compensated for six additional articles.
➢ The League Directory Publisher can be compensated for six additional articles.

This will afford the rest of the league's membership an opportunity to earn close to what the Administrative Team members earn.

For articles about the BRASSball League, you ARE OBLIGATED to not injure the reputation of another League member(s) or influence others' opinions about them in a negative way. Each BRASSball League member is entitled to building their own reputation through their own contact with other BRASSball League members. Be careful to consider the impact of what you write and how you write it. The LD may opt not to publish anything they consider libelous or mean-spirited.

XIX. In-Season Standings Incentive Program

In order for the league to have up-to-the-moment standings on the league website, the following incentive program is in place.

When a manager completes a HOME series he sends a message to the LD that states in the Subject line the results of the series. Example: NEW YORK (2) @ BOSTON (2). This is all that is needed. Please follow that format.

A manager will receive $10,000 for each series reported in such manner. If a manager reports all 23 of the series that he is responsible for, he receives a $70,000 bonus, which results in the equivalent of one newsletter article.

As this is meant to reflect the contribution equivalent of a newsletter article, the same rules apply as outlined in the "Article Incentive Program," i.e., the maximum allowed articles is twelve, the LD doesn't receive credit for articles and so forth.

XX. Competitive Balance Incentive Program

A. Beginning with the 2011 season, BRASSball has adopted the competive balance incentive from the BRASS Winter League, with a slight modification for the BRASSball salary structure.

B. Teams finishing with the 11th best record through the 18th best winning record shall receive cash incentive for putting a winning team on the field.

C. Draft Picks 1 through 6 will belong to the teams with the six poorest regular season winning percentages. The order of these selections will be determined by a random, public selection process where each of the six teams has an equal chance at landing any of the six "lottery" picks.

D. All subsequent rounds after the First Round shall return to the inverse order of winning percentage for the six lottery teams.

E. One key way that many Strat Leagues do not simulate big league baseball is in the greatly reduced number of teams that tend to try to win as many games as possible in Strat vs. MLB. Often one sees 8-10 teams who have decided to compete for the post-season in a Strat League in a given year and just as many or more who are racing each other to be an intentionally terrible team to improve next year's draft position.

The widespread practice of intentionally fielding a bad team is understandable in a typical Strat League. There are no paying customers and their outrage to worry about, after all. In a Strat League, the media are not making life miserable for you by blasting you for tanking the season. And there is of course no bottom line reward in most Strat Leagues that simulates the attendance/advertising bounce that comes with an MLB at least putting a quality product on the field, for being as competitive as possible. In a typical Strat League, the poor season itself is the reward as you then get a better draft pick and have likely saved money for the future on player salaries.

BRASSball seeks to be an atypical Strat League by employing a Competitive Balance Incentive Program that rewards teams who try for the playoffs and fall short, or try to be as good a team as possible. The program simulates the financial payoff that MLB teams get by doing the same: winning more games, truly trying for the playoffs each year and creating more excitement around their team. The program also discourages a race for the cellar by only giving the six poorest teams an admission to a lottery for the annual #1 draft selection and no financial reward at the turnstyle.

With a 10-team post-season and fewer guarantees that intentionally fielding a poor team is the best way to advance your future goals, we hope our rules encourage more teams to "go for it" each year, whatever "it" happens to be. If more teams try to put the best team on the field possible each year, we will more closely simulate what happens in MLB and also make the league season as much fun as possible for all.

F. The chart below will be used to simulate the financial reward teams get through increased revenues from tickets sold by going all out for the playoffs, but falling short. The chart provides for a descending scale of increased gate receipts for teams that missed the playoffs. The reward for the poorest teams in the league is still a good pick and no increase in gate receipts.

TURNSTYLE CHART
League Finish Gate Receipt Increase Received
11th best record: $4,000,000
12th best record: $3,500,000
13th best record: $3,000,000
14th best record: $2,500,000
15th best record: $2,000,000
16th best record: $1,500,000
17th best record: $1,000,000
18th best record: $500,000
19th best record: draft lottery (no cash)
20th best record: draft lottery (no cash)
21st best record: draft lottery (no cash)
22nd best record: draft lottery (no cash)
23rd best record: draft lottery (no cash)
24th best record: draft lottery (no cash)

G. The amount earned by trying to make the playoffs, but missing, is credited to the following year's influx of revenue share dollars. It will be added to the $35,000,000 that each team receives.

XXI. Playoffs

A. The three division winners in each league qualify for the Playoffs, as do the two teams with the best records among non-division winners in each league. These are the two wild card entrants to the playoffs.

B. If two teams finish tied for the division lead, the division winner shall be determined by the Tiebreaker rule stated in Chapter XIX Playoffs – Section E. The winner shall win the division crown, whereas the loser will need to qualify for the postseason as a wildcard.

C. If two teams finish the regular season in a tie, and only one can enter the playoffs, the winner shall be determined by the Tiebreaker rule stated in Chapter XIX Playoffs – Section E. The winner shall qualify for the playoffs, whereas the loser will be eliminated.

D. In any single game tiebreaker situation, the resulting PA and IP do not count against your season totals. However, you do need to follow normal rest guidelines for starting pitchers. September call-ups are not eligible for play. The 25-man roster for this game will be the same 25-man roster for the rest of the playoffs, if the team moves on.

E. Tiebreakers for the playoff seeds will be regular season head-to-head series first, division record second (if in the same division), record within the same league third, and a coin-flip fourth. In each tie case, the winner of the tiebreaker receives the higher seed in the playoffs.

F. The Playoffs begin as soon as possible after the regular season ends.

G. The division winners have a bye during the Wildcard round and as such, will be completely rested for their initial series.

H. BRASSball employs a realistic playoff schedule for determining playoff dates, times and rest for pitchers. This document is cumbersome for placement within the constitution. It will be distributed prior to the beginning of the season with the regular season schedule and again at season's end for the playoff teams. The schedule will always be passed along to a manager who asks to see a copy.

I. To be eligible for post-season play, a player must be on a major league contract.

J. Only starting pitchers who started 20 or more games during the BRASSball regular season may start regularly in the post-season. Starting pitchers making 15 to 19 BRASSball starts may start 1 BRASSball playoff game per series. Starting Pitchers with fewer then 15 BRASSball starts cannot be started in BRASSball playoff games.

K. Only relievers who pitched 45 innings or more during the BRASSball regular season may be used regularly in the post-season. Those who pitched less than 45 innings are limited to one inning per appearance.

L. Starters may be used as relievers in the post-season. Unless indicated otherwise on their cards, starters will have the following restrictions:

1. A relief endurance of (1).
2. Cannot pitch more than three innings per game.
3. Cannot enter a game before the completion of the fifth inning. Exception, they may enter the game prior to the completion of the fifth inning, if the opposing team puts the potential fifth run on base.

M. The restrictions for hitters, based on the player's BRASSball regular season usage, are as follows:

1. Hitters with 300 or more plate appearances, 200 or more for catchers, may play regularly.
2. Hitters with less than 300 plate appearances, less than 200 for catchers, have the following restrictions:
a) They may start one game.
b) They may pinch hit once in the other games.
c) They may enter any game for good from the sixth inning on.
d) EXCEPTION: They may start more than one game if:
1) They were a platoon player whose primary role was to play against left-handed pitchers.
2) They fill the same role as they did during the BRASSball regular season.
3) NOTE: The LD will settle any dispute about what constitutes "primary role" or "the same role" in the post-season.

N. After the completion of the Wildcard round, the Second Round Playoff Series match ups in each league are as follows:

1. Remaining playoff team with worst winning % @ Division Winner with best winning %.
2. Remaining playoff team with 3rd best winning % @ Division Winner with 2nd best winning %.
3. Wildcard team cannot host a 2nd round series.

O. The League Championship and World Series match ups are as follows:

1. Remaining playoff team with worst winning % @ Remaining playoff team with best winning %.
2. Wildcard team cannot host the League Championship series.
3. Wildcard team can only host World Series if each league's World Series representative is a wildcard team.

P. All series are 7-game series and are conducted using the 2-3-2 format.

Q. The playoff series should be played face-to-face (or use NetPlay, or the phone) whenever possible to provide greater fun and to eliminate the possibility of unsatisfactory interpretation of road instructions / HAL.

R. If two opponents cannot agree on whether a series is to be played face-to-face, by phone, through the mail, etc. they should consider a mutually agreeable third party to play the series.

S. A copy of the game's box scores must be sent to your LD to keep as a league record.

XXII. League Championship Trophy

The team who wins the BRASSball League Championship also wins a League Championship trophy. The trophy will be his to keep as a memento of his championship season.

XXIII. Rule Changes

A. The LD will seek the league's input when rules or programs need to be changed. After considering everything, their decision will be final.

B. The LD may wish to share with the League any respectfully submitted opinions or ideas about the league that they encounter. When this information is contained in newsletters, it can help keep people informed of what others are thinking about the league, its programs and prospects for change. It can also lead to discussions and commentary on future league operations and potential changes or improvements.

XXIV. Ballparks

A. Owners design their own ballparks or select an existing MLB park in which to play.

B. You may include weather effects covering good, average and bad weather and they may change according to the month in which the games are taking place and whether it is night or day.

C. The months of play in the BRASSball season coincide with those in the MLB season, so existing MLB parks and their super-advanced weather effects by month, day and night will work well if you want to use them.

D. Day games and night games are designated on the league schedule.

E. If you select a MLB park, you always play with the current season's ballpark dimensions. These often change slightly from year to year.

F. Any ballpark can be changed in any manner after it has been used in its current configuration for three complete seasons. The cost to change is $500,000.

G. Replacement managers, upon entry into the League, may change their parks at no cost.

XXV. Official Statistics and Scoring

A. Official statistics are determined / handled by the Strat-O-Matic game. The following are for informational purposes only.

1. Hit batters and sacrifices are recorded, but do not count against plate appearance totals. Sacrifice flies also do not count against plate appearance limits.
2. The following is counted as an at bat for a hitter: single, double, triple, homer, an out of any kind, reached on error, reached on fielder's choice.
3. The following does not count as an at bat, but counts as a plate appearance: walk, reached on catcher's interference. NOTE: On catcher's interference, the catcher is given an error.
4. Earned runs should be figured using the following guidelines: In order for a run to be earned, it must be scored without the aid of errors or passed balls. To determine whether runs are earned, reconstruct the inning without the errors or passed balls. If there is doubt as to whether a run is earned, the pitcher shall be given the benefit. A relief pitcher is not credited with an earned run if any runner scores who was on base when he entered. If a relief pitcher induces a force play, he is also not responsible for the resultant base runner. For instance, a relief pitcher enters the game with a man on first. He retires the first batter on a short-to-second fielder's choice. The runner is still not considered his responsibility since he induced the ground out, effectively "retiring" the batter. If the runner scores, the run is charged to the pitcher who initially put him there.
5. A save is credited when:
a) A relief pitcher enters the game in a situation where the tying run is at least in the on-deck circle and finishes the game without relinquishing the lead.
b) A relief pitcher pitches the final three innings of a game without relinquishing the lead.
c) A relief pitcher pitches from the beginning of the last inning and protects a three-run lead (or closer).

XXVI. Dues

A. League dues are $15.00 each year and are to be postmarked no later than midnight on September 25. (Dues may be waived, reduced, or increased at the discretion of the LD. For the past seasons, dues submission has only been necessary on an every-other-year basis.)

B. The league dues are to be paid to the LD. It is not advisable to send cash through the mail. Make out the check or money order payable to the LD, not the League.

C. If a league member drops out of or is expelled from the league at any time after he has paid his dues, he is not entitled to a refund of any amount.

D. New league members pay a pro-rated amount of the dues fee, rounded off to the nearest month. If they have already paid a fee to be an associate manager, that fee is deducted from their total.

E. The league accounting year runs from October 1 to September 30.

F. The dues will be spent on the website, stamps, envelopes, printer paper, computer disks, printer ribbons, photocopies, the ledger, website space, league championship trophy and any other essential supplies needed for the LD to meet their obligation to the League.

G. The dues will also be used to pay for long distance phone calls that are absolutely necessary to conduct league business. The LD will keep these to a minimum. If he needs to call a league member for several items, he will cover the league business items first, then hang up and call back later on their own time for any personal business.

H. The LD will keep a supplies and expenses ledger for the given year. It should reflect all deposits and expenditures for the given year. A League member may ask to see a copy of the ledger at any time.

I. The LD will be responsible for informing League members if the League Treasury is running so low that league business cannot be conducted. They must then mail everyone a copy of the ledger and ask for a smaller secondary dues payment that they think will get the League through the year.

J. If the League Treasury is ever at a surplus of more than $100, the LD will inform the League members of the amount prior to the deadline for next year's dues. Each member's dues payment will be reduced by the amount over $100 in the Treasury, divided by the number of League Members.

K. If it is obvious that the dues payments are always yielding too much or too little money for the year, yearly dues fees will be adjusted accordingly.

L. Occasional extra remittances for the process involved in recruiting and appointing expansion and replacement owners may be required.

XXVII. Player Awards

A. In October, each league will vote for an MVP (or Player of the Year), Cy Young and Rookies of the Year for their respective league.

B. All-Star ballots will be sent with the June newsletter. Refer to the In-Season Mailing Deadlines (XXVIII) section for the deadline that the completed ballot must be submitted to the LD.

C. The All-Star Game will be played at a different owner's ballpark each year. If possible, the game will be played by the owner whose park is hosting the game.

D. The All-Star team rosters will be published in the July newsletter.

E. The All-Star Game will be played in advance of the August newsletter. The box score will be reported in the August newsletter.

XXVIII. League Correspondence Responsibilities

A. The BRASSball PBM League places a very high degree of importance on prompt league correspondence. Whether it is a trade inquiry through the mail (electronic or snail), a telephone call or a request for some information about a series being played, it is not acceptable to ignore or unnecessarily delay your obligation to respond.

B. Maintaining prompt and respectful correspondence practices is vital to an individual owner maintaining his position in the league in good standing.

C. It is the responsibility of the league members to resolve correspondence problems and include the LD unless you've reached an impasse.

D. Your LD will use his judgment to penalize those who clearly shirk their responsibilities for prompt, respectful correspondence. He will penalize as he sees fit after reviewing a given complaint and finding out the facts.

XXIX. Backup / Replacement / Expansion / Associate Managers

A. If possible, the league should maintain a list of backup managers. In the event of manager turnover, the replacement manager could step in immediately.

B. The LD will be responsible for organizing and conducting the activities related to securing candidates for backup, replacement or expansion managers.

C. Each applicant will be required to submit a BRASSball League Application Form in order to be considered for admission. The applicant may also wish to include facts or other information that is relevant to his candidacy.

D. The LD will speak to the applicant if he thinks he is a prospective BRASSball member and may contact a former Commissioner for the applicant or a current BRASSball League member who has played in a league with him.

E. The backup owner list will be maintained, and franchises awarded, based on the submission date of the applicant's BRASSball League Application Form.

F. The current league members should always be aware of people they know whom they are sure would be good BRASSball League members and recommend them for the application process.

G. Once awarded backup manager status, a new manager can also become a BRASSball Associate Member. An associate manager receives all in-season, monthly mailings and can "stay on top of the league."

H. If the league decides to expand, it will offer expansion franchises in order of backup owner priority number.

XXX. In-Season Mailing Deadlines

During the season, the key dates to remember are the 15th and the 25th. Each of these dates is the last possible date by which you must have sent your files to avoid fines. Avoid using these dates as the target dates for your mailings. It's too risky. The time deadline on the due date is 9 PM Pacific / midnight Eastern.

If you finish playing the games or have all the information ready to mail to the LD or other League Administrator in a given month, SEND IT OUT BEFORE THESE DEADLINES. There is no reason to delay a mailing that another person is waiting to receive. A brief description of your mailing responsibilities and deadline dates follow:

APRIL

March 15 – April Trade deadline. Trades must be reported to the LD by this date to be effective for April.

March 25 – April Rotation deadline. Starting pitcher rotations for April games are due to the LD.

March 25 – April Road Instructions deadline. April HAL instructions are due to the League Statistician and LD.

April 15 – April Home Series Results deadline. Series results for April are due to home opponents, League Statistician and League Director.

MAY

April 15 – May Trade deadline. Trades must be reported to the LD by this date to be effective for May.

April 25 – May Rotation deadline. Starting pitcher rotations for May games are due to the LD.

April 25 – May Road Instructions deadline. May HAL instructions are due to the League Statistician and LD.

May 15 – May Home Series Results deadline. Series results for May are due to home opponents, League Statistician and League Director.

JUNE

May 15 – June Trade deadline. Trades must be reported to the LD by this date to be effective for June.

May 25 – June Rotation deadline. Starting pitcher rotations for June games are due to the LD.

May 25 – June Road Instructions deadline. June HAL instructions are due to the League Statistician and LD.

June 15 – June Home Series Results deadline. Series results for June are due to home opponents, League Statistician and League Director.

JULY

June 15 – July Trade deadline. Trades must be reported to the LD by this date to be effective for July.

June 25 – July Rotation deadline. Starting pitcher rotations for July games are due to the LD.

June 25 – July Road Instructions deadline. July HAL instructions are due to the League Statistician and LD.

June 25 – All Star Ballots are to be distributed to all league members by the LD.

July 15 – July Home Series Results deadline. Series results for July are due to home opponents, League Statistician and League Director.

AUGUST

July 15 – All-Star Ballot deadline. All-Star ballots due to the LD without exception.

July 15 – August Trade deadline. Trades must be reported to the LD by this date to be effective for August. This is also the deadline for all in-season trades between the AL and NL.

July 25 – August Rotation deadline. Starting pitcher rotations for August games are due to the LD.

July 25 – August Road Instructions deadline. August HAL instructions are due to the League Statistician and LD.

August 15 – August Home Series Results deadline. Series results for August are due to home opponents, League Statistician and League Director.

August 15 – September Free Agent Contract deadline. Player contract requests must be submitted to the process coordinator (usually the League Director).

SEPTEMBER

August 15 – September Trade deadline. Trades must be reported to the LD by this date to be effective for September. This is also the trade deadline for all in-season trades within your own league.

August 25 – September Rotation deadline. Starting pitcher rotations for September games are due to the LD.

August 25 – September Road Instructions deadline. September HAL instructions are due to the League Statistician and LD.

September 15 – September Home Series Results deadline. Series results for September are due to home opponents, League Statistician and League Director.

XXXI. Off-Season Mailing Deadlines

After the season, league business does not stop. The mailings are less frequent, but the business conducted is very important. From new contract signings to post-season awards to the free agency process through the Draft, a lot of franchise business goes on during the off-season. Listed below is the off-season mailing deadlines along with a brief description of each. The time deadline on the due date is 9 PM Pacific / midnight Eastern.

September 25 – Dues payment for the next season, if any, are due to the LD.

September 25 – Contract Extension deadline. Free agent contract extensions are due to the LD.

October 15 – Rule Change Proposals deadline. Proposals for change are due to the LD.

October 25 – Contract Signings deadline. MO, Y1, Y2, Y3, A, and U contract signings due to the LD. "AM" contracts are not due until January 15 of the next year.

October 25 – Roster Cuts deadline. Any roster cuts are due to the LD.

October 25 – League Awards Ballot deadline. League Awards ballots are due to the LD without exception.

October 25 – Rule Changes Ballot deadline. Rule Changes ballots are due to the LD without exception.

November 1 – List of restricted and unrestricted free agents distributed by Free Agency Conductor.

November 10 – Rosters, including signings and cuts, are distributed by the LD.

November "the Saturday before Thanksgiving" – Free Agent Bids deadline. Sealed bids are due to the Free Agency Conductor. The first off-season trading freeze begins at midnight.

November "Thanksgiving Day" – Free Agency begins.

December 1 – Free agent signing report distributed by Free Agency Conductor. The first off-season trading freeze ends at midnight of the second day following the completion of free agency.

January 15 – Amateur Sign or Cut deadline. Any amateur cuts are due to the LD. All other amateurs shall be signed to an –AM- contract type. Any amateurs not released must be kept through the completion of the Draft.

February 25 – Protected Roster deadline. 30-man protected lists due to the Draft Conductor. The second off-season trading freeze begins at midnight.

March 1 – 30-man protected lists, for all teams, distributed by the Draft Conductor.

March "the first Saturday in March" – The Annual Draft is always the first Saturday in March and begins at 11AM EST, if conducted in an Internet chat room. The second off-season trading freeze ends at midnight of the first day following the completion of the Draft.

March ?? – Draft Cuts deadline. Due 5 days after the completion of the Draft. Any drafted player(s) that a team does not wish to sign due to the LD. See Contracts (III, Section G) for more details.

March ?? – Free agents that are available in Secondary Free Agency distributed by the LD. These will be distributed as soon as possible, after the Draft, so as to not impact the regular season.

March ?? – Secondary Free Agent Bids deadline. Due 5 days after the available Free agents are distributed by the LD. This date may be pushed forward, at the LD's discretion, so as to meet in-season deadlines.

March 15 – Rosters, including signings, from draft and Secondary Free Agency, and cuts, distributed by the LD.

XXXII. League Penalties

A. League Penalties (XXX) is clearly the most unpleasant part of the constitution. Its existence is very important but hopefully, its invocation will not be necessary. Everyone who has been in a PBM league knows that late mailings can really hamper a league, and kill the fun for reliable owners. That will not happen in this league

B. The mere existence of these penalties, and the fact that they eliminate the subjectivity of a LD decision, makes for equal ground and expectations for everyone. Everyone knows the rules upfront. Here's hoping these last few paragraphs will remain an inactive part of the Constitution.

C. The LD will invoke the following penalties (fines) for late mailings.

1. Late Mailings to Opponent(s). This includes Home Series Results.
a) First occurrence will result in a $250,000 fine.
b) Second occurrence will result in a $500,000 fine.
c) Third, and subsequent, occurrence(s) will result in a $1,000,000 fine.
d) Fifth, and subsequent, occurrence(s) can result in a League Expulsion, at LD discretion.
e) Tenth occurrence will result in an AUTOMATIC League Expulsion.

2. Late Mailings to the LD or other League Administrators. This includes the following: Road Instructions, Rotation, Home Series Results, All-Star Ballot, Contract Signings/ Roster Cuts, League Awards Ballot, Rule Changes Ballot and Protected Roster (for the Draft). If a correction is not made prior to the email deadline, the following events shall also reflect a late mailing: (i) MGR HAL instructions that are insufficient or do not import into the League LZP file, (ii) Game Results that do not comply with the opponents pre-defined lineups, or (iii) Game Results that were played with the improper LZP file for the month or do not import into the League LZP file.
a) First occurrence will result in a $1,000,000 fine.
b) Second occurrence will result in a:
1) $2,000,000 fine, plus the loss of the team's highest 1st round draft choice.
2) $2,667,000 fine, plus the loss of the team's highest draft choice, if team does not have a 1st round draft choice.
c) Third occurrence will result in a $3,500,000 fine, plus the loss of the team's TWO highest remaining draft choices.
d) Third occurrence can result in a League Expulsion, at LD discretion.
e) Fourth occurrence will result in an AUTOMATIC League Expulsion.
f) On each occurrence, an additional $250,000 fine will be assessed for each additional day the mailing is late past the deadline.

3. Late Mailing of Dues Payment to the LD.
a) A $1,000,000 fine will be assessed.

D. The LD will invoke the following penalties (fines) for not following any of the league rules listed below.

1. Exceeding 25-man player limit in a month.
a) A $1,000,000 fine will be assessed.

2. Exceeding player usage limit in a season.
a) Each plate appearance over the limit will be penalized according to the Player Overuse Penalty System table.
b) Each inning pitched over the limit will be penalized according to the Player Overuse Penalty System table.

3. Starting an un-rested pitcher within a given month or from the end of one month to the beginning of the next month.
a) A $250,000 fine will be assessed.

4. Collaborating during the Draft or Free Agency on a "draft/sign then trade" or "draft/sign then acquire" transaction for any player.
a) Each involved team is fined $2,000,000 and must forfeit two amateur slots for each of the next two seasons.

E. An occurrence is defined as a single late mailing to another league member or League Administrator.

F. Replacement owners will have all fines rescinded that the previous owner incurred over the past two league seasons.

XXXIII. Player Overuse Penalty System (POPS)

Every player overuse event is not equal, but the League Constitution's player over usage penalty system enforced between 1995 and 2007 treated them as such. If a team overused a star player by 20 PA and made the playoffs by one game, there is a much different impact than the case where a team overused a utility guy by 20 PA in a 100-loss season.

A new Player Overuse Penalty System (POPS) shall be incorporated beginning with the 2008 regular season to ensure that the penalty for player overuse better fits the weight of the specific overuse event. An all-star player overused by 20 PA and assisted a team to make the playoffs by one game shall have a much different penalty impact than the case where a team overused a utility player by 20 PA in a 100-loss season.

The Player Overuse Penalty System (POPS) table provides appropriate fines for going small amounts over with average or poor player cards and is calibrated on a graduated scale that increases the fine for each Plate Appearance / Inning Pitched over the limit, plus accelerates it further for better player cards. The POPS table shall be enforced when a team goes one Plate Appearance or one Inning Pitched past the 105% mark. Furthermore, the fines indicated within the POPS table shall be doubled for playoff teams in order to discourage teams from overusing good player cards to get to the playoffs.

A system like this requires some method to measure the value of a player card. There is no perfect measure of course. The scale used has been implemented in other Strat-O-Matic baseball leagues and has proven to be a solid one. The scale uses On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) for hitter cards and Component ERA (ERC) for pitcher cards. ERC is defined by Wikipedia as (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_ERA):

Component ERA (ERC) is a baseball statistic invented by Bill James. It attempts to forecast a pitcher's Earned Run Average or ERA from the number of hits and walks allowed rather than the standard formula of average number of earned runs per nine innings. ERC allows one to take a fresh look at a pitcher's performance and gauge if his results are more or less than the sum of its parts.

The formula for ERC as it appears in the 2004 edition of the Bill James Handbook:
ERC = [{(H+BB+HBP) * PTB} / (BFP*IP)] * 9 – 0.56
Where PTB is defined:
PTB = [0.89 * {1.255*(H–HR) + 4*HR}] + {0.56 * (BB+HBP–IBB)}
When intentional walk data is not available, use:
PTB = [0.89 * {1.255*(H–HR) + 4*HR}] + {0.475 * (BB+HBP)}
Where BFP is defined to be "total batters facing pitcher"
If ERC is less than 2.24, the formula is adjusted as follows:
ERC = [{(H+BB+HBP) * PTB} / (BFP*IP)] * 9 * 0.75

The following equations are used to generate the POPS lookup tables:
For batters: Penalty = $300,000 * (Plate Appearance Overuse) * (OPS – 0.600)
For pitchers: Penalty = $100,000 * (Innings Pitched Overuse) * (5.80 – ERC)

To be consistent with the penalty amount prior to the implementation of the POPS system, a minimum overuse penalty shall be assessed for those instances in which the POPS table generates a fine less than $250,000.


BATTERS: To find the exact amount of the penalty fine, use the equation:
Penalty (minimum $250k) = $300,000 * (Plate Appearance Overuse) * (OPS – 0.600)


PITCHERS: To find the exact amount of the penalty fine, use the equation:
Penalty (minimum $250k) = $100,000 * (Innings Pitched Overuse) * (5.80 – ERC)

XXXIV. Emergency Instructions

1) These instructions are to be used for any series where the opposing owner has not sent you his instructions by the 2nd of the month. These instructions do not favor the team who is being managed by them. It would be wise to avoid late road instruction mailings, since one's team might have a difficult time winning under these instructions.

2) You may choose to place a brief telephone call, before the 2nd has passed, to determine if your opponent is having special difficulties in sending his road instructions and to ask when you might expect the instructions. But this is not required.

3) Inquire with the LD and League Statistician about a HAL file for the opposing team. They may have a HAL file for this team, either for the current or a previous month.

4) If you are unable to obtain a HAL file for this team, setup the opposing team in the following manner:

1. The active roster will contain the 15 position players with the most plate appearances remaining. Ensure that each position is covered.
2. The starting infield will be comprised of the players with the most available plate appearances at each infield position.
3. The starting outfield will be comprised of the three outfielders with the most plate appearances. The outfielders may have to play out of position (in accordance with the game company's guidelines on this) to fulfill this requirement.
4. The remaining position player with the most plate appearances will be the DH.
5. The batting order is determined by ranking the starting lineup from the player with the most plate appearances batting first, to the player with the least plate appearances batting last.
6. Request the team's rotation from the LD.
7. The active roster will contain 10 pitchers. This will include the starting pitchers for the series, based on the rotation, with the remaining spots being filled by the pitchers with the most available innings.

5) As with the current rules, HAL will manage the opposition once the game begins. Do not make any changes for the opposing team during the game.

XXXV. BRASSball Game Playing and Statistics Submission Instructions

Beginning with the 2000 BRASSball season, the league employed a fully automated method of compiling and reporting player stats, standings and league leaders. The method takes advantage of the technology available to us and enables us to:

• have every BRASSball member's computer version display the complete player-by-player stats for all teams in scores of categories prior to the playing of each month's game
• have the up-to-date league standings prior to the playing of each month's games
• have the up-to-date league leaders in scores of categories prior to each month's games
• no longer burden the individual league members with the necessity of compiling and reporting their season stats, team leaders, team records or team stats during the season
• have centralized stats compilation and reporting that is free from the risks of the incomplete information and disruption that can accompany in-season resignations of league members

In order to accomplish these goals, we will need to keep each of our league files "in sync" with each other by using the same standardized roster and stats files, produced and distributed each month by a member of the league's administrative team. It will be mandatory for the league's membership to use the exact same roster files each month and to wait until they are received to begin play.

In order to make manageable the monthly process of handling the mass of files to be received, downloaded, imported, manipulated, compiled and reported, the league's membership must conform to certain logical and easy-to-follow game playing, file naming and series results submission conventions. This document lays out the program and provides all the step-by-step instructions needed to follow these mandatory conventions.

The league's membership must follow each of these instructions to the letter in order for the process to work smoothly for all. The whole of the season's stats could be jeopardized otherwise. But don't worry—they're easy, they are logical, and most of us have been doing much of this already.

Communication / Delivery Method

Electronic delivery is the standard and only acceptable delivery method for series results files, road instruction MGR files, trade reports, contract signings, etc. Series results and road instructions must be submitted as file attachments to e-mail messages. To ensure quicker down load times for all, all series result files must be sent as a ZIP file attachment. ZIP software is now mandatory for BRASSball League members. If you do not have zip software, you can download a free version from the web by visiting the following site: http://www.winzip.com/winzip/download.htm

The Monthly Playing Cycle

Refer to the BRASSball League Constitution for the instruction, series results, etc. deadlines.

MGR Road Instruction File

You are now mandated to use HAL for your road instructions and must prepare your .mgr file to send to the League Statistician each month. To do so, attach the .mgr file to your instruction email message.

To create your HAL settings:

1) Select your team in the "Manager" window.
2) Select the Team option and go to "Update Computer Manager".
3) On the "Update (Your team) Computer Manager" window, there is a drop-down menu listing the following three categories: Pitchers, Batters, and Manager Tendencies. Each of these options brings up a new screen of settings for you to personalize.
4) At the bottom, is a "Super Hal" button that brings up a very detailed list of settings for how each relief pitcher should be used. Update this if you wish to reflect the situational relief instructions you want HAL to follow.
5) When you finish with "Super Hal Bullpen Management", click OK, and then SAVE on the "Update XXX Computer Manager" window.
6) To create the .mgr file, go to the "Team" menu again and select "Export Computer Manager".
7) You will be prompted for a numeric key (to prevent your road opponents from viewing your settings). Once you have entered a key (or chosen not to), you will be presented with a dialog box that asks you to name your .mgr file.
8) Choose a name (Teamname_MonthYear.MGR is a standard method), the location or folder in which to save the file, and click Save. This is the file you email to the League Statistician.
9) The League Statistician will import your team's MGR file and provide all league members with the official monthly LZP file with all MGR files included. Once you restore this official LZP file, you may begin playing your monthly games.

Receipt of League LZP File

The initial league LZP file will be sent out after March 25. It will be complete through all off-season moves and pre-season trades. It will have the correct ballparks programmed for each team, as well as all the BRASSball league rules programmed for the given year's league play. League members must install the League LZP file into their Strat-O-Matic Game software and the BRASSball league will be there for them and ready to play. League members must not alter or edit the league roster files in any way. In order to preserve the compatibility across each of our workstations, we must all be working with the same files all season long. The accuracy of series stats importing and all league stats is compromised if the files become incompatible in even the slightest way, causing a very time-consuming problem of fixing the files and possibly replaying the games.

To restore the league LZP file, select the menu item "LEAGUE" → "RESTORE LEAGUE". Then browse for the proper LZP file you wish to restore. Pay particular attention to the file you restore.

Rules & Options

The rules specific to the BRASSball League are already programmed when you load your LZP file for the first time. Even so, please double-check to ensure that these setting are enabled so that we are playing under the same rules and league structure.

1) From the Manager's screen, select the BRASSball League.
2) Then click on the "Options" drop down menu and select "Rules…". This brings up the "Game Rules for the BRASSball League" window. Please make sure the following conditions have been selected in the various categories:

Main Rules: Super Advanced With BK/WP/PB
Stealing: Super Advanced
Miscellaneous: Use Miscellaneous Rules
Injuries: Do Not Use Injuries
Groundball A: Allow GBA on Pitcher Cards
BP/Weather/Clutch: select BP and Weather, but not Clutch
Strategy: Super Advanced Strategy Charts
Closer: Do Not Use Closer Rules
Pitcher Fatigue: Use SADV Fatigue Rules

3) Click OK to close the "Game Rules for the BRASSball League" window.
4) Now go back to the "Manager" window, click on the "Options" menu again and select "Lineups and Usage". This brings up the "Lineups and Usage Options for the BRASSball League" window. Please make sure the following conditions have been selected in the various categories:

Visiting Team Lineup: Draft League Mode No Rest
Scheduled Days Off: Give Scheduled Days Off
Minor Leaguers: Minor Leaguers – INELIGIBLE
Home Team Lineup: Draft League Mode No Rest
Auto Swap: No Auto Swap-O-Matic
Overusage: Ignore Overusage

Click on the boxes at the bottom of the screen that reads: Use "Super HAL" Bullpen and Use "Super HAL" Lineup Slots.

5) Double-check to see that your ballpark effects and weather effects (if applicable) have been entered correctly.

Using Game Files

In BRASSball, we employ Strat-O-Matic's game files for statistics reporting. Subsets are not an allowable stat submission format. After a series is done you will find the game files in the CDROMBB\EXPORTED directory. The easiest way to find the game files for the series you just played is look at the times of the files. Also note that there are TWO game files created for every ONE game played – one for the home team and one for the visitor. You must pass along both files to your opponents and statistician.
Always double check when starting a game that the game files box is checked on the lineup screen!

Giving Teams the Requisite Number of Days Off

Before you start play for a given series, please be sure to reset all the player rest requirements by giving each team 15 days off. To do this:

1) Go to "Team",
2) Then "Give a Team a Day Off"
3) Give the Visiting team 15 days off.
4) Repeat for the home team.

You can also accomplish this from the Lineup Screen – prior to the first game of the series.

Starting a Game or Series

At the beginning of each game:

1) From the Manager window, start a "New Scheduled Game" via the button or the "File' menu.
2) In the "Schedule" window, find the date of the game you wish to play. Select the game that involves your team. Then from the drop down menu at the top of the window choose MANUAL. Then click "Play Day." Then on the next window click "Manual" again. You will then arrive at the familiar lineup screen. Carefully set up the home and visiting teams' manager, starting pitcher, lineups, and eligible players.
3) Check "Export Game File Results".

Playing the Game

Not much to say here – you know how to do this. Just have a great time and please be conscientious in following your opponent's instructions and/or to make sure to set/import his HAL settings properly and play his team to win.

When the Game Is Complete

At the end of each game:

1) Click on "Get Box score."
2) After you save the results in subsets (optional since the league requires game files), you will be given a screen dominated by a box score of the just-completed game. A Box marked Report at the top probably says "Box score". Use the arrow drop-down menu at the right of that box to change it to "Box score, PAC and Score sheet". Then go up top and hit the Save button. You will then be prompted to name the box score and play-by-play report file. Please always name the file with the playing date first and the team names following, exactly like this:

Sept01CHI@STL

Please follow these naming conventions scrupulously. It is essential that the month is listed first so that all the files for a given month will list themselves in order next to each other when the opponent, statisticians or LD are making lists and working with files, reviewing replay requests, etc.

When the Series Is Complete

At the end of a series:

1) You will find that Strat-O-Matic saves the game files automatically to the EXPORTED folder. The easiest way to find the needed files is to reference the time column in Windows Explorer. Also remember that there are two game files for each game played. Put the game files for each team in the series as well as the box score / play-by-play files into a zip archive named in the following manner:

SeptCHI(#wins)@STL(#wins)

Playing dates are not necessary for the final series report as there is only one series fitting this description each month.
2) Send copies of the zip archive to both your opponent and the League Statistician and Backup.
3) Send the ZIP archive as an attachment to an email message. A series is not deemed completed until both your opponent and the league statistician(s) have received all necessary game files.
4) At the end of each month, please save all of your existing subsets onto a disk or into a separate directory and entitle it September Subsets or something. Please save the box score files, too. You are responsible for keeping a full set of your subsets and box scores until you learn that the league has everything it needs from you at the end of the month.

Importing Game Files From Series Results Mailings

Upon the completion of a series, a BRASSball League member submits his series results zip archive to his opponent and his league statistician. The statistician uses the series results, specifically the game files, to compile and eventually report the full player stats, league leaders, standings, etc. for every team in the league. The road opponent uses the series results to verify that his instructions were followed, looks over the series results, and then takes the game files and imports them into his stats directory. This way, the individual BRASSball League managers have their own stats fully imported and updated prior to the next month's games and prior to the date for submission of road instructions for the following month.

When you receive series results files from an opponent here is what you need to do:

• Download the zip file into your favorite download directory and unzip. Please be cautious about downloading directly from the e-mail attachment into a game directory. There are reports of problems caused by this action and it's safer to download somewhere else first, and then move the downloaded files into the appropriate sombb directory.
• Move the Boxscores/play by play (Print files) into the CDROMBB/Print folder. You can then view/print your boxscores.
• Move the game files from your opponent's attachment over to the CDROMBB/IMPORT/ folder.

After you have moved the game files to the CDROMBB/IMPORT/ folder, go into the game and go to the "Statistics" drop down menu. Click on the "Import Game Results or Subsets" option.

NOTE: When importing files, be sure that you are importing the correct files and the correct number of files. The game files you are importing should show a game date and team abbreviation for easy identification.

Your import folder window will then display on the screen. Double-click on your team's subset and another box should open listing all the game files in that folder (yours and your opponent's) and the word "Yes" should appear after the file name. If so then click the "Import" button and you should get the message "X files imported". Verify that the amount of files imported is correct.

Your stats have now been updated.

Schedule Batch changes – setting your Home games to "Manual"

Before playing your first home game of the month, it is advisable to configure the schedule to set each of your 14 monthly home games from "HOLD" to "MANUAL". The time to do so is when you play your first league game. Here is the basic method to do so:

1) Select the "File" option from the top menu
2) Select "New Scheduled"
3) Select the Day In Schedule for your home game(s) in the left column
4) Highlight your home game(s) within the right column
5) Use the upper left drop down menu to change from "HOLD" to "MANUAL"
6) Click "OK" when you are prompted to save your changes to the schedule.