USFBL CONSTITUTION

(text in this colour indicate changes that were made in Year 12)

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#1 - HISTORY:
The Ultimate Strat Fan Baseball League was created in 1997.  The 2016 Season will be our 20th exciting year of Strat-O-Matic Baseball.

#2 - VALUES:
The USFBL core leadership values are:  1) Honesty, 2) Communication and 3) Fairness.  Each member is a leader in the league.  We all lead by example and by our behaviors and actions while playing our league games or while communicating amongst members.  Each member is expected to field its best team for each and every game in order to win as many games as possible.

#3 - MISSION:
The USFBL strives to be the most enjoyable and challenging SOMBB experience over the internet.  We are a league that prides itself on getting things done on time and consistent as per the written league rules.  We are a league that realizes there is no "i" in team but there is an "i" in win.  On that note, we expect each member to field its best team for each and every game in order to win as many games as possible.  We are firm yet fair.  We are a league that appreciates the importance of the quality and commitment of our league members in order to have fun experience.  We are a league that continues to strive for baseball statistical realism each and every year.


#4 - FORMAT:
The USFBL is a
24 team modern day, draft, continuous ownership internet baseball league.  

For Year #20, the USFBL will use the Strat-o-matic CDROM 2017f game and the 2016 Season Disk.  

Listed below are the SOMBB 2017f game options that will be used for Year #20:


#5 - TEAM ROSTERS:
Each owner will start the season with a team consisting of a 40 man roster.  The maximum amount of pitchers on a team is 25 as limited by the SOMBB game. 
Expansion teams are allowed to carry 45 man rosters in Year #13.

*  An owner will designate their 25 man eligible and 15 man minors roster for each block
*  An owner may expand their roster to 40 starting at the beginning of Block 9
*  An expansion owner may expand their roster to 45 starting at the beginning of Block 9
*  An owner is allowed to make roster moves while playing their road games within any 3 game series
*  An owner must have at least one back-up at each fielding position active at all times 
*  A player that is eligible to field several positions can be used as the back-up for all their eligible positions
SP are allowed to be kept inactive (20 man active rosters with 5 inactive SP).  HAL will activate correct SP prior to each game for his scheduled start.  HAL will not be able to use any SP in relief on ANY occasion.  During roster expansion it allows you to bring up extra RP over the 15 pitcher limit.  You can schedule your entire seasons rotation based on 162 game schedule ensuring the SP is used for correct amount of Game Starts (Helps with overall team/player usage) and allows for some flexibility allowing you to schedule your rotation and not have to look at block breaks.


#6 - MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATION:
In order to manage the day to day operations of the league the USFBL has a Commissioner and a Co-Commissioner.

Commissioner:  Jason Goldberg - handles the day to day operations of the league including; annual draft, league updates and play ball backup files, importing/receiving of game results, website hosting/updating. creating league reports/statistics, player usage monitoring and enforcing league rules.

Co-Commissioner:  Barry Cohen - is the moderator of our VBulletin Board & creates team logos and league graphics.

#7 - CONSTITUTION CHANGES:
After the USFBL World Series is over, each owner will be given an opportunity to express their suggestions in order to improve the league.  The commissioner will review the proposals and decide which ones will be submitted for league wide vote.

Existing rule changes are passed with a 75% minimum approval vote.  The Commissioner may decide to use any non-votes either for or against a league proposal.

New rule changes are passed with a 51% minimum approval vote.  The Commissioner may decide to use any non-votes for or against the proposal. 

A Commissioner may change or implement a rule whenever he feels it is in the best interest of the league and/or based on his ability to operate the league in a more efficient manner.  When the commissioner elects to use this power he will at a minimum advise the entire league of his decision and the reasons for making it.

#8 - MAINTAINING YOUR MEMBERSHIP & TEAM INCENTIVES:
In order to maintain your membership in the USFBL, each owner must meet the values of the league and be able to submit their required information on time unless other arrangements have been discussed with the commissioner ahead of time.  The USFBL will utilize a 3 strikes you are out policy.  After your 3rd strike you will be removed from the league.  An owner will be notified by the commissioner when they have received a strike against them.

Incentive System:

*  Teams that meet all deadlines (MGR & Results files) will receive one additional player protection in the following year.

#9 - TEAM SCHEDULES:
Each team will play:
*  Divisional opponents 18 times (9 Home & 9 Away) = 5 x 18 = 90 games
*  Non-Division opponents within the same league 12 times (6 Home & 6 Away) = 6 x 12 = 72 games
*  Total games = 90+72 = 162

#10 - GENERAL MANAGER TASKS & GAME PLAY INSTRUCTIONS:
Please refer to the "Game Play Instructions Link" at our USFBL website for more information.

#11 - ROSTER PROTECTIONS:
An owner may protect a maximum of 26 players off their roster prior to the Annual Draft.  

An owner may protect any player that does not appear in the up-coming SOMBB computer game season disk as "un-carded".  These un-carded players will be created by the Commissioner as a fringe player and they will be added to the league files.  These players will be given a "#" symbol next to their last name.

Free agents that are claimed are not eligible for roster protection unless the player was waived and was not released because of a usage rule.

#12 - THE ANNUAL DRAFT:
The USFBL will hold the online Annual Draft live on the
VBulletin board using a chat room.

The Annual Draft will consist of the following players:
A.  Roster Cuts from each owner
B.  Free Agents from the previous USFBL year that appeared again in MLB
C.  Rookies appearing on the new SOMBB season disk
D.  Non-Rookie players that did not appear in the previous USFBL year but, re-appeared in MLB

Format in Year #18:
All 15 rounds will be single pick selections. 
Round 16 is the final round of the draft whereby each remaining team that has not reached 40 will draft until they reach 40.

An owner will finish their draft once they have acquired 40 players.  An expansion owner will finish their draft once they have acquired 45 players.  Any remaining draft choices for this team can be traded before the teams last selection is made or these picks will be forfeited.  

Draft Order Determination:

The non-playoff teams ranked from 19th to 24th overall will enter a lottery pool.  
*  The 24th overall team - receives 6 tickets
*  The 23th overall team - receives 5 tickets
*  The 22nd overall team - receives 4 tickets
*  The 21st overall team - receives 3 tickets
*  The 20th overall team - receives 2 tickets
*  The 19th overall team - receives 1 ticket 

A lottery draw will conducted by the Commissioner to determine the draft order of the top 6 teams in Round 1.  

No team in this lottery can drop more than 3 spots.  

Round 2 through to Round 16 will use a traditional draft order based on the actual team Won/Loss record and how far a team had reached in the playoffs in the previous season.  

In the event of a tie, the following tie breakers will be used in order:  1) Head to Head (Better Head to Head record receives better draft position), 2) Home Record & 3) Runs Differential  

#13 - PLAYER WAIVERS:
An owner will use the waiver system when their team has exceeded the maximum 40 man roster limit
or 45 man roster for expansion teams. 

#14 - FREE AGENCY:
A GM will use free agency when their team has not met the minimum 40 man roster limit or 45 man roster limit for expansion teams.  

If more than one owner claims the same player, then the team with the worst winning percentage at the conclusion of the block receives that player's rights.  In case of a tie, the following tie breakers will be used in order:  1) Head to Head, 2) Home Record & 3) Runs Differential 

Penalties:
The penalties listed below apply to each team whenever they must claim a player to get back to their roster limit.  This penalty applies even if a player is waived and not overused.  This penalty doesn't apply to teams having to claim a player because of an unbalanced trade.

Claim 1 Free Agent: Lose 1 player protection spot next year
Claim 2 Free Agents: Lose 2 player protections spots next year
Claim 3 Free Agents: Lose 3 player protections spots next year
Claim 4 Free Agents: Lose 4 player protections spots next year
Claim 5 Free Agents or more: Lose 5 player protection spots next year

New owners taking over for an open and existing team(s) will have all penalties over-tuned.

#15 - TRADING:
The trade deadline occurs at the end of Block 6.  Trading is not permitted after this block and until the World Series Champion is determined.

Trade Approval Procedure:
*  Both owners must confirm their trade to the Commissioner via email.
*  The Commissioner will verify the players and/or draft picks involved are accurate & will then approve the trade.
*  The Commissioner will announce the trade to the league.

Approved trades that occur during a block will become effective for the next block.

Trades that are not Permitted:
*  Trading draft picks further than the next USFBL season.
*  Trading of "future considerations".

Trade Petitions:
*  Any owner may petition a trade that they feel is unfair.
*  These owners should email the Commissioner within 72 hours of the league wide announcement indicating their notion to petition a trade.
*  The Commissioner will set-up a Poll at the USFBL VBulletin Board Forum for league wide vote.
*  In order to revoke the trade, a minimum 75% rejection vote is needed.
The Commissioner may decide to use any non-votes for or against the trade.
*  If the vote fails to revoke the trade, then the petitioning owners will shift their R5 Draft Pick to the end of R6 in next seasons Annual Draft.
*  If the owner does not have a R5 Draft Pick to shift, the penalty will revert to the next lowest available pick for that season.
*  During the petition the traded players will be placed on their new teams and are eligible to participate in that teams block of games.
*  If the petition is successful, the traded players will immediately return to the original teams for the next block.
*  If the petition is successful, the owners involved in the trade are free to re-negotiate the trade for approval.

#16 - STADIUMS:
Each team will play in a Major League Baseball Stadium as rated by SOMBB with no modifications.  

An owner is contractually obligated to a life-time lease of their stadium unless the following conditions occur: 

1.  The Stadium is demolished in order to build a new one in the city.  Under this condition, the owner may elect to transfer to this new stadium or move into any vacant stadium in the league.
2.  The Stadium is no longer available due to relocation.  Under this condition, the owner may elect to transfer into any vacant stadium in the league.

3.  Every 3 years via a draft process.  The draft order will be determined based on how long an owner has been part of the league.  The next stadium draft is schedule for the 2015 season disk. 


#17 - REGULAR SEASON PLAYER USAGE:
USFBL defines a MLB PA = (AB+BB).  HBP do not count.

Un-carded players cannot appear in any USFBL game.

Any abuse of player positioning or usage rules during a regular season game will result in this player becoming a free agent.

BATTERS:
650 MLB PA and over are unlimited
649 MLB PA and under are limited to 110% USFBL PA usage (rounded down)
75 MLB PA and under are eligible to be drafted but are ineligible for regular season play except for Catchers who will use 50 and more MLB PA.
Stolen Bases are unlimited
Players should only appear in positions that they are rated for except for Outfielders.

STARTING PITCHERS:
5+ MLB GS are limited to actual MLB GS & 110% of MLB IP (rounded down)
4 MLB GS and under are eligible to be drafted but are ineligible for regular season play unless they are split role pitchers and have enough MLB IP to be eligible as a RP only.
Only * rated SP may pitch on 3 days rest. 
All other rated SP require a minimum of 4 days off between starts.
Only Pitchers rated as a SP can be used as a starter.

SP may only be removed from a game if they meet one of these milestones:
3 IP minimum
5 Runs allowed minimum
*  50% of their Pitch Count minimum

SP may only appear in relief in an extra inning game under these conditions:
*  A team is down to their last Reliever & this pitcher has reached his pitch count limit
*  The game is in the 12th Inning
*  A team is trailing by a minimum of 10 runs
*  The SP is eligible to pitch based on the required minimum days of rest
*  If a SP is used in relief, he will require 3 days of rest before his next start.

RELIEF PITCHERS:
25+ MLB IP - RP are limited to 110% of MLB IP (rounded down).
0-24 MLB IP - RP are eligible to be drafted but are ineligible for regular season play.

SPLIT ROLE PITCHERS:
Split Role pitchers that appear only as a SP in the USFBL are limited to the SP usage rules.
Split Role pitchers that appear only as a RP in the USFBL are limited to the RP usage rules.
Split Role pitchers that appear as a SP and RP in the USFBL are limited to both the MLB GS rule & 110% of MLB IP rules.
Split Role pitchers must have 4 days rest after a relief appearance before they are eligible to make a Start.

NOTE:  In addition to the free agency penalty, any player that exceeds the usage rules will also be released to free agency in the next block or series.  One free agent penalty will apply to each player overused.  The Commissioner reserves the right to have any game replayed.

#18 - POST SEASON PLAYER USAGE:

USFBL defines a MLB PA = (AB+BB). HBP do not count.

Un-carded players cannot appear in any post season game.

BATTERS:
75 MLB PA and under are not eligible for post season play
500 MLB PA and over are unlimited
76 MLB PA and over and 499 MLB PA and under are limited to 10% of MLB PA rounded up per series except for Catchers.
Catchers:  50 MLB PA and over and 499 MLB PA and under are limited to 10% of MLB PA rounded up per series.

Stolen Bases are unlimited
Players should only appear in positions that they are rated for except for Outfielders.


STARTING PITCHERS:

5 MLB GS and under are not eligible for post season play.
6 to 14 MLB GS are limited to 1 GS per series.
15 to 29 MLB GS are limited to 2 GS per series.
Only * rated SP are eligible to start 3 games in a Post Season Series.  If that Pitcher starts 3 times in a series then in the following series he is limited to 2 starts.

SP may only be removed from a game if they meet one of these milestones:
3 IP minimum
*  4 Runs allowed minimum
*  50% of their Pitch Count minimum

SP may only appear in relief in an extra inning game under these conditions:
*  A team is down to their last Reliever & this pitcher has reached his pitch count limit
*  The game is in the 12th Inning
*  The SP is eligible to pitch based on the required minimum days of rest
*  If a SP is used in relief, he will require 3 days of rest before his next start.


RELIEF PITCHERS:
24 MLB IP and under are not eligible for post season play.
25 MLB IP and over are limited to 10% of MLB IP (rounded down) per series.

SPLIT ROLE PITCHERS:
Split Role pitchers that do not meet the minimum GS limit but, do meet the IP limit can appear only as a RP in the post season.
Split Role pitchers that appear as a Starter and as a Relief Pitcher are limited to both the Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher limit rules per series.
Split Role pitchers must have 3 days rest after a relief appearance before being eligible to make a Start.

NOTE:  In addition to the free agency penalty, any player that exceeds the usage rules will be released to free agency in the next block or series.  One free agent penalty will apply to each player overused.  The Commissioner reserves the right to have any game replayed.

#19 - POST SEASON SCHEDULE:
A 5 seed playoff system in each league is used to determine the qualifying teams for post season.  

Division winners in each league will receive seeds #1 & #2.  The next 3 best teams in each league will receive the wild card seeds #3, #4 & #5.

Tie breakers will be settled by;  1) Head to Head (Better Head to Head Record receives the higher seeding), 2) Home Record & 3) Runs Differential.

There will be 3 days of rest between the end of the regular season and the first game of the post season.  There will be 2 days of rest between playoff rounds.

Owners must set their 25 man active roster before the start of the playoffs.  Owners can make changes to this active roster after each series, however;  the following rules apply:  1) any SP that will appear in any series must be included in the 25 man active roster and cannot be removed (similar to the rule in the regular season);  and 2) you require a backup at each fielding position (similar to the rule in the regular season).

Each series will be a best of 7 using the format 2H, 3A, 2H.

Round 1:  Seed #5 Vs. Seed #4.
Round 2:  Seed #1 Vs. Winner from Round 1, Seed #3 Vs. Seed #2
Round 3:  League Championship Series
Round 4:  World Series

In the World Series, the team with the best W/L regular season record will receive home field advantage.  The home team will dictate the style of league play ie., DH Vs. Non-DH.

In the event of a tie, the following tie-breaker rules will be used in order:  1) Head to Head, 2) Home Record & 3) Runs Differential.  

#20 - MEMBERSHIP DUES:
The USFBL requires a
$4 USD per year membership fee in order to cover the costs associated with running the league (VBulletin Board, Web Hosting, Strat Draft Software & USFBL Championship Plaque)

#21 - EXPANSION TO 24 TEAMS - YEAR XII - 2008 SEASON:
Current Teams: 20
Expansion Teams: 4

1. The Expansion Draft Format:
i) Each existing team will protect 10 players.
ii) The Expansion Draft will have 6 Rounds.
iii) Each existing team will lose 1 player maximum per round thus, each expansion team will have added 5 players to their roster after each round and 30 players after the draft is complete.
iv) Once an existing team loses a player they will be allowed to protect 2 additional players.
v) Expansion teams under no circumstances are allowed to trade these draft picks.
vi) A lottery will be held to determine the draft order between the expansion teams.
vii) The Expansion Draft will be serpentine style thus, the team that picks #1 in Round 1 will pick #4 in Round 2 and the team that picks #4 in Round 1 will pick #1 in Round 2.
viii) Any player on an existing teams Year XI roster if unprotected is available to be drafted.
ix) Free Agents as determined at the end of the Year XI season are not available in this Expansion Draft.

2. Roster Cuts will work as follows in Year XII (1st Season):
a) The Expansion teams have the choice to protect up to 30 players.
b) The Existing teams have the choice to protect up to 26 players.
c) All cut players will be released to the Annual Draft player pool.

3. The Annual Draft in Year XII (1st Season) will work as follows:
i) A lottery will be held to determine the draft order between the expansion teams.
ii) The team that picks #1 in R1 will pick #28 in R1 and #4 in R2 and #1 in R3 thus, the team that picks #4 in R1 will pick #25 in R1 and #1 in R2 and #4 in R3.
iii) Expansion teams will pick #1, #2, #3, #4 in each round of the Annual Draft.
iv) An additional Round 1 draft pick will be given to each expansion owner.
v) These additional draft picks will be placed at the end of Round 1 (#25, #26, #27, #28).
vi) There will be no lottery held between the existing teams for the #5 and #6 picks in Round 1 for this season.
vii) Existing teams will complete their draft once they reach 40 players.
viii) Expansion teams will complete their draft once they reach 45 players.

4. The Annual Draft in Year XIII, XIV (2nd and 3rd Seasons) will work as follows:
i) An additional Round 1 draft pick will be given to each expansion team.
ii) This additional draft pick will be placed at the end of Round 1 using the same order the expansion teams select in Round 1.
iii) Existing teams have the choice to protect up to 26 players.
iv) Expansion teams have the choice to protect up to 30 players.
v) Existing teams will complete their draft once they reach 40 players.
vi) Expansion teams will complete their draft once they reach 45 players.

5. Season XV (4th Season) and beyond:
a) Each team follows the same rules as written in the USFBL constitution at that time.

6. Compensation Draft Picks to the Existing teams:
A. Take the draft position at which each team loses a player over each of the 6 rounds of the expansion draft using a weighted system that values players drafted in R1 more than those picked in other rounds. This system is to compensate the existing teams with a bonus draft pick based on the market value of the players they lost relative to the other existing teams in the USFBL.

Weighted System:
Draft Position the player is taken in R1 x 1
Draft Position the player is taken in R2 x 2
Draft Position the player is taken in R3 x 3
Draft Position the player is taken in R4 x 4
Draft Position the player is taken in R5 x 5
Draft Position the player is taken in R6 x 6

Using an example;
R1 - TOR loses a player with the #4 pick x 1 = 4
R2 - TOR loses a player with the #6 pick x 2 = 12
R3 - TOR loses a player with the #1 pick x 3 = 3
R4 - TOR loses a player with the #20 pick x 4 = 80
R5 - TOR loses a player with the #6 pick x 5 = 30
R6 - TOR loses a player with the #17 pick x 6 = 102

= 4+12+3+80+30+102 = 231

B. Then tabulate the existing teams from lowest weighted value number to the highest weighted value number. The lowest weighted number would correlate with the team that had the best talent from their depth chart selected in the Expansion Draft.

C.
Teams rated between 1-5 = Bonus R1 pick in the Year XII draft
Teams rated between 6-10 = Bonus R2 pick in the Year XII draft
Teams rated between 11-15 = Bonus R3 pick in the Year XII draft
Teams rated between 16-20 = Bonus R4 pick in the Year XII draft

D. These supplemental picks would be slotted at the end of each round. In R1, these supplemental draft picks would be slotted after the expansion teams bonus draft picks.

E. The order of the supplemental picks described above would be based on the weighted values determined in A. The team with the lowest weighted value number picks ahead of the team with the higher weighted value number.

F. The compensation pick only applies to Year XII.