HOF League Constitution

29 July 2018

League Concept

    The idea of the league is, as close as possible, replicate MLB with composite teams made of the respective era ball players.  General Managers will attempt to draft the best group of players and compete against other teams to determine who has the best team.

    The USA Strat-O-Matic E-Mail Keeper League is composed of four-divisions, four teams per division in 2 conferences utilizing the latest SOM CD-ROM Baseball program. The purchase of the player cards is optional. Teams are organized through a draft of MLB players available on the SOM team disk. Team managers will play a set schedule against other team managers. You will always play your team on your computer as the home team. The scheduled visiting team manager will e-mail a computer manager (CM) with a scheduled starter pitching rotation and any special instructions not covered by the CM. The Commissioner will post the CM on the Legaue Web Page.  At the end of each playing period the league rosters and stats are also updated on the League Web page. 

The current location of the web site is:  www.brunettifamily.org/family/

DH and Non-DH rules

    One conference is designated as a DH conference (Babe Ruth Conference); the other is a non-DH conference (Cy Young Conference).  Teams will use DH or non-DH lineups based on the hosting team status.  A GM can request a change from a non-DH conference to a DH conference and vice-versa only once.  This move has to be in concert with another GM willing to change in the other direction, also only once.   This switch will occur just before the new stadium draft. 

Stadium Draft

    Before the draft, GM’s may request a change of stadiums.  A GM who wishes to acquire a new stadium must first return his stadium to the stadium pool with other unused stadiums.   Once all the available stadiums are identified and in reverse order of winning percentage (worst to first) GM’s may pick a new stadium.  This is normally held via e-mail. 

  League Play  

At the conclusion of each series, the hosting manager will send a copy of the export files, box score and play-by-play files to the commissioner and to his opponent manager. The commissioner will consolidate, process and distribute the returned stats to fellow managers, publish the standings, league leaders, statistics and newsletter. Trading players is allowed during specified times.

    When all regular season games are played, teams designated as playoff teams will play for the honor to participate in the World Series. The winner of the World Series will be declared champion and earn the bragging rights associated therein until next season.

    At the start of the next season, a manager will release a minimum of 5 players. A draft will be held to replace released players to a full roster of 40 players. Supplemental rounds will be held to round out teams that do not have full rosters. This draft currently is held using the Strat Draft web site. The league and teams will expand and adjust along the same time line as Major League baseball. We may play as many as three seasons per calendar year.

League Organization

    The League Organization will consist of a commissioner, team GM/Managers and an Executive Council. The Executive Council consisted of one GM from each division and the commissioner. 

Commissioner Duties

    Write, distribute and maintain the rules of this league. Coordinate with team managers modifications of these rules to enhance the play of the league. Advise team managers whenever a rule change is to being considered.

    Develop and distribute a league schedule to all managers via the game's schedule manager. Enforce the playing of the schedule among the team managers. Coordinate the substitute play of a team if a manager is unavailable to play his scheduled games or when a team manager is delinquent. Distribute and maintain team rosters and stats for team play bi-weekly. Maintain the League web site.

    Keep track of all team roster moves. Develop a schedule for the trading period, draft day(s), and the start and end of each season. Approve/disapprove team trades. Publish approved team trades to all managers.

    At the conclusion of the regular season, designate teams as divisional and wild card winners. Coordinate the schedule and play of the wild card and divisional playoffs. Designate teams as playoff winners and coordinate and schedule the play of the World Series. Announce the winner of the League World Series. Publish a periodic newsletter that summarizes the previous period's play.

Executive Council Duties

The Executive Council shall consist of five (5) members: the League Commissioner, and one (1) general manager from each division elected by the GMs of each division. Executive Council elections shall take place after the league championship series is completed on a date determined by the League Commissioner.

Voting for the Executive Council members is held every even number year prior to the 1st retro season that year.

Charges of major rule infractions, appeals of the Commissioner's rulings on minor infractions, and charges of ethics and/or sportsmanship violations shall be made only to the Executive Council by means of an e-mail sent to all Council members concurrently.

Upon receipt of such charges and appeals, the League Commissioner shall notify the GM of the nature of the charges made.

The Executive Council shall investigate all charges brought to the Council. After its investigation, the Council shall complete a report which shall include: A statement of charges or appeal made, findings of facts, a recommendation of probable cause, and, if probable cause is found, a recommendation for disciplinary action. Each finding of fact and recommendation for disciplinary action shall be made only after concurrence of the Executive Council. Disciplinary action may include permanent expulsion from the league. If the Council does not recommend any action taken, the petitioner shall be notified and the matter shall be considered final. The Council shall not make any other notification of the situation. Any further communication concerning the matter shall be prohibited.

The Executive Council shall have the authority to communicate with any league member in its investigation of a pending matter.

The decision of the Council shall be final. Any further communication concerning the matter shall be prohibited.

In cases where a member of the Executive Council is the accused, the GMs of that perspective division shall elect an alternate Executive Council member for that particular issue.

This procedure for dealing with infractions and conflicts shall be the only method of dealing with such matters. Members are prohibited from sending E-mails to more than one person concerning charges or complaints against another member. If a league member notifies another member that he does not wish to receive any further communication pertaining to the actions of another league member, that request must be honored. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action.

Team Organization

    A team consists of 40 players.  Team rosters will include a minimum of two players rated at each position with enough AB's to sustain a 162-game schedule. Team rosters must include a minimum of 1,500 MLB innings pitched.

Team Manager Duties

    Adhere to the rules of this league. Recommend improvements to these rules to enhance league play.  Draft enough players from the available free agent players on the SOM team disk to field a team with at least two players per fielding position and a pitching staff of at least 1,500 MLB innings.  See Player Utilization rules.

    Send your team's computer manager as an e-mail attachment with 25 active players and a built in starting rotation to the hosting manager with a copy to the Commissioner. Play your team against the scheduled opponent on time.

    Submit the export files, box scores and PAC file to your opponent and the commissioner promptly upon completion of each series.

    Query your visiting manager if his instructions are not clear or if his CM instructions are not received.

Provide the commissioner verbiage about your team for publication in the periodic newsletter.

The Draft

    A pre-season draft will be held to replenish team rosters due to trades, retirement or release. The draft currently is held using the Strat Draft web site. Drafting order is a straight draft. Ties are broken by MLB rule; the team with the worst regular season record from the previous season will pick first.

    The draft normally takes about 10-14 days to complete. During the draft, the pick times for the managers may vary between 8-12 hours.  If no pick is made in the allotted time, the next team is on the clock. The skipped team can make his pick any time he wishes.  If the draft is not complete by the last scheduled day the pick clock will be  lowered to 30 minutes.

Draft Order Determination:

1)    The non playoff teams will have the first 12 picks in the draft.  The teams will be ordered 1 thru 12 based on their ascending winning percentage.

Effective with the 1994 draft:

The non-playoff teams draft order for the 1st round only is determined by lottery.  The team with the best record will have least number of chances for the 1st pick.   The number of chances will increase so that the team with the worst record will have the most chances for the 1st pick. The lottery will be held at the end of regular season play.

2)      The four teams who lose in the Divisional Series will have the next 4 picks in the draft.  The teams will be ordered 13 thru 16 based on their ascending winning percentage. 

3)      The two teams who lose in the Championship series will have the next 2 picks in the draft.  The teams will be ordered 17 thru 18 based on their ascending winning percentage.

4)      The team that loses the World Series will pick 19 with the team winning the World Series picking 20th.

    The draft is complete when each team has a 40-man roster. A team must be sanctioned OFFICIAL by the commissioner before any regular season play. The team is official when the manager has fulfilled the player utilization rules listed below (two players per position, 1,500 MLB innings pitched and enough at bats at each position to satisfy the requirement for a 162-game season). If a team was unable to be sanctioned at the draft, he may become official through trading with another manager or turning in a drafted player and selecting a player from the remaining free agent pool. 

Game Setup Preferences

(To Be Published Seperately)

Sending your stats to the commissioner.

    Load your E-mail program. Compose an E-mail letter to the commissioner (joebrunetti@mac.com). Name the Subject: Team1@Team2. Select Attach File. Attach all of the Export files (H & V files) and all the .PRT box score files for that series. Name the .zip/.sit file Visiting Team Initials @ Home Team Initials67. (67 = 1967 Season). Enter any tidbits, highlights, low lights of your series in the body of the letter. Send the mail. 

Playing Cycles and Deadlines

    For this league to work efficiently and maintain the fun and excitement that Strat-O-Matic baseball offers, it is imperative that everyone adhere to the deadlines for mailing instructions and submitting results. 

    There are 6 playing cycles or blocks in a season.  A playing cycle will run generally 10 to 14 days. If you have not received your instructions for your home series after 4 days, query your visiting manager with a copy to the commissioner. If no response within 24 hours, ask the commissioner for a computer-generated manager for that team and he will mail one.

For managers who have not received their away results, inform the commissioner and he will send them.

All games will be played by the end of the block before going into the next block.

Timeline & Suspense's

Timelines and suspense’s are published on the League Schedule. 

CM’s are due NLT than the 1st Wednesday of the block. If no CM is sent to the League by Thursday morning Eastern time or the lateness has not been coordinated with the Commissioner or League membership, the Commissioner will post a CM for the GM. More than 3 unexcused late CM’s in a season, the team will be penalized one pick position in the 1st round.

Game are due NLT than the last Sunday of the Block. If no game results are sent to the League by Monday morning or has not been coordinated with the Commissioner or League membership for QP, the Commissioner will quick play the Games Monday morning Eastern time. More than 3 unexcused late game results in a season, the team will be penalized one pick position in the 1st round.

Absent managers

    From time to time and for various reasons, there may be teams with no manager. If you are scheduled to play a team with an absent manger, mail your CM file, rotation and lineup as normal to the commissioner. The commissioner will generate a CM and rotation for the absent manager and play the game CM .vs CM.

Player Utilization

    Players may only play the field position listed on their card/disk image. Exceptions to this rule are spelled out below.

    When ALL other players have been used, a manager may use players out of position for the remainder of that game only. If late in the season a manager finds that he does not have enough AB's to field a team at their normal positions, he may use the following player substitution rules for that position only.

Outfielders: The new SOM rules allow outfielders to play any outfield position.

Pitchers: Pitchers are permitted to pitch only in the capacity listed on their card. All pitchers are limited to 110% (rounded up) above their actual MLB innings pitched. All * starters are permitted to pitch on three games rest. Starters are limited to 40 starts. Starters may not relieve.

When available, pitcher hitter cards will be used.

Computer-generated rest overrides the above rest rules.    

    Hitters: All hitters are limited to 110% (rounded up) of their actual MLB at bats. A manager must keep on his roster at all times at least two players for each fielding position.

Injuries:  Injuries are not used in this league.

Minor League Players

    Each team will have no more than 25 active players on their CM with the remainder in the minors. Managers will designate which players are in the minors by updating their CM AFTER downloading the new rosters distributed by email by the commissioner. The minor league players do not have to be the same players for the home series as the away series. Minor league players cannot be called up in the middle of a series. All changes are effective at the beginning of the next playing cycle.

All minor league players are eligible to play starting with the Block 6 playing cycle. This will represent the Major League 40-man call up in September.

Trades

    Trades are not permitted during the draft, but "gentleman agreements" are announced and effective immediately after the teams are sanctioned at the conclusion of the draft. ALL concerned parties send trade recommendations to the commissioner for approval. 

Trades will not be permitted if the trade will make a team UNSANCTIONED at any time, regardless of any other pending trades. 

During the regular season, no team has an open spot on his roster. Multiple team trades are permitted as long as, at conclusion of the trade, all teams have full rosters and are still designated as sanctioned by the commissioner.

Trades during the off-season do not have to be for an equal number of players. 

Trading of future draft picks may not exceed one year. During the regular season, all teams must mainatin a 40-player roster. 

Trades made for draft picks before any penalties are assessed at the end of the season are made at the GM’s own risk. The trading deadline is the end of Block 4.

Multiple Team Players

    During the course a Major League season, some players were traded causing them to have two player cards. When available, our league will use the combined player stats identified on the team disk. These players are subject to the same player limitation rules as other players. If SOM doesn't distribute players with a combined card, a manager who drafts a player with two cards is charged only one roster spot. The each player's card will be prorated against the schedule to determine when the second and/or third card goes into effect. This information will be depicted on the League Schedule.

Player Retention

    Players belong to a team until the player is traded, released, or retire. Mangers will always have 40 players on their team. At the end of the season, manager will be given the opportunity to trade and release players and given an opportunity to restock their team from the available free agent pool via draft. A minimum of 5 player are released at the end of the season.   If SOM elects not to create a card on a roster due to DL, limited AB/IP's, military service, .etc the GM owning that player may retain the right to him until a card is created.  Protecting such player will count toward the GM's roster limit.

Penalties

    For each player exceeding the 40 starts and/or 110% usage, the team will be knocked down one rung from its first pick in the next draft.  GM's will have an opportunity to appeal any penalty.

Playoffs

    At the conclusion of the regular season, eight teams will be designated for the playoffs. The top teams in each division and the next two teams with the best record in each Conference.   In each conference, the team with the best record will play the team with the worst record. The team second best record will play the team with the next worst record.

Major league tie-breaking rules to determine playoff eligibility are used. 

These teams will compete in Quarter- and Semi-final games to earn the right to go to the World Series. Players with more than 500 AB's have unlimited usage. Starting pitchers marked with a * have unlimited usage.  All other players are limited to 15% of their Major League AB/IP's for the entire playoffs. Each round of the playoffs should be completed in 2 weeks with a 1 point penalty possible for unreasonable delays.

Any team earning a playoff spot with overused players cannot activate said players according to the following schedule:

a.   111%  to 120% overused, in minors during Round 1;

b.   overused 121% to 130% in minors during Round 1 & 2;

c.   over 130% overused not eligible for post-season games.

d.   Starting pitchers used more than 40 starts but did not exceed the percentage limits are in the minors for Round 1 games. They are also subject to rule 1b and 1c above.

    QUARTERFINALS: Each team will play a best of 7 game series. The format will be 2-home, 3-away, 2-home. The team with the better record will have the home field record. At the start of the series, pitchers are considered rested and all injured players are now healthy. 

    SEMIFINALS: The winner of each Quarterfinals series will play the team with the best record in their division. Each team will play a best of 7 game series. The format will be 2-home, 3-away, 2-home. The team with the best record will have the home field record. At the start of the series, pitchers are considered rested and all injured players are now healthy. The winner of each series will go to the USA Strat-O-Matic World Series.

    WORLD SERIES:

The two winning teams from the Semifinals will play a seven game series. The team with the best regular season record will have home field advantage. The format will be 2-home, 3-away, 2-home. At the start of the series, pitchers are considered rested and all injured players are now healthy.

Awards

    At the conclusion of the regular season, player awards will be determined for Batting Title, Home Run Champion, MVP and Cy Young as reflected in the Newspaper Recap. The Relief pitcher award will be determined by the commissioner using establish Rolaids Relief award points.

League Expansion

    The 1987 General Managers have voted to expand the league by two teams starting with the 1993 and another 2 teams for the 1997 season.

    Acknowledgements: I wish to thank the I-75 Mail League (still going since 1979) which gave me the inspiration and desire to start my own league and many of the ideas that are represented here in the rules. I also like to acknowledge my friend Richard Cangelosi who waaaay back in '68 shared many a game of Strat with me on the steps of South Philly.