American Baseball League

League Constitution

Last Updated on 23 Oct 2013

  1. Goals
    1. The league is a computer baseball league that promotes competition and enjoyment.
    2. Provide for a system of player control that includes a salary system and free agency.
    3. Encourage face-to-face play as much as possible.
    4. Encourage realistic player usage.

  2. League Structure
    1. The latest version of Diamond Mind will be used (currently version 10)
    2. The ABL has 2 conferences, the Southern Association and the Northern Association. The Southern Association has 2 divisions, the Sun Belt Division and the Riviera Division. The Northern Association also has 2 divisions, the Appalachian Division and the Snow Belt Division. Each division has 6 teams, giving the ABL 24 teams in total.
    3. The ABL has the following officers:
      1. Commissioner (LeRoy Gorham): Insures adequate communication, presides over all off-season activities (including free agency and the draft), maintains official rosters and salaries, maintains the website, imposes fines and penalties, and presides over the playoffs.
      2. Database Manager (Mark Hetterich): Maintains the official Diamond Mind database during the regular season, presides over the monthly waiver drafts, and generally assists the commissioner in league matters.
    4. Managers are responsible for maintaining a competitive team and meeting all league deadlines. Managers must have an active e-mail account that can handle file attachments and compressed files. Managers must have access to the internet via the World Wide Web. Managers must have a legally purchased copy of the Diamond Mind Baseball Game and have a legally purchased copy of the current season's database (usually available in late December).

  3. Regular Season Schedule
    1. Each team will play 160 games during the regular season. A team will play 14 games against divisional opponents (one 7-game series at home and one 7-game series on the road). A team will play 5 games against non-divisional opponents (one 5-game series either home or road, rotating on a yearly basis).
    2. There are 6 months in the season, starting with April and ending with September. A given month includes all games on the Diamond Mind schedule with a date of that month. For instance, April includes 30 games (one for each day from April 1 to April 30).
    3. The general schedule for a given month is:
      • 26th of the previous month: Official database distributed
      • 1st of the month: Manager profiles due to opponents
      • 25th of the month: Games are due
      • 25th of the month: Waiver draft selections are due
    4. The final month of the season will be split into 2 reporting periods to closely monitor playoff races and to ensure player usage.

  4. Game Play
    1. For each series, each team has an active roster of 25 players (except for September games which have unlimited rosters). A team can have a different 25-man active roster for each series, but it must remain the same during a series.
    2. The designated hitter will be used for all games. Injuries are turned off.
    3. Pitcher rest will count during a series, but usage does not carry over from series to series.
    4. There are no off days or doubleheaders within a series in the regular season.
    5. There are off days in playoff series.
    6. If both managers agree, the series may be played online or face-to-face. It is strongly encouraged that playoff series be played online or face-to-face.
    7. Procedure for playing games:
      • Make sure the official database is installed (there is a new official database for each month of play due to waiver claims)
      • Use the "Transfer -> Import Statistics" function to load your opponents manager profile.
      • Make sure that both team's rosters are set with 25 active players
      • Clear all pitcher rest by using "Tools -> Reset Player Usage"
      • Play the games in consecutive order (make sure to play all 5 or 7 games)
      • Use the "Transfer -> Expoert Statistics" function to create a zip file of the results.
      • Send the file to your road opponent and to the database manager.
    8. Tips for making manager profiles:
      • Farm out enough players to have 25 active players on the roster
      • Fill out lineups (you only need DH versions), the depth charts, starting rotation, and the bullpen
      • It is strongly recommended that starting pitcher usage is set to STRICT and player usage is set to GAME BY GAME
      • It is also strongly recommended to set all spot starter frequencies to 0. This will ensure that the computer manager will use the lineups and rotations that you intend.
      • Set the manager and player tendencies as desired
      • Use the "Transfer -> Export Statistics" function to create a zip file which you then email to your road opponents.

  5. Seasonal Player Limits (note actual stats used are the ones that appear on the Diamond Mind disk)
    1. Regular season hitters:
      • Hitters with over 150 actual AB's are limited to actual AB's plus 50.
      • Hitters with 450 or more AB are limited to either actual games played or actual AB's plus 50 (manager's choice).
      • Hitters with 150 or less actual AB's are limited to actual AB's.
      • Hitters with OPS under .600 are limited to 500 AB or actual AB's, whichever is higher, provided that their OPS is under .600 against BOTH LHP and RHP.
    2. Regular season pitchers:
      • Starting pitchers are limited to actual GS.
      • Relief pitchers with over 30 actual IP are limited to actual IP plus 10.
      • Relief pitchers with 30 actual IP or less are limited to actual IP.
      • Starting pitchers who do not pitch in relief (in ABL league play) have no IP limit.
      • Pitchers who both start and relieve (in ABL league play) are limited both by GS and IP (see above).
      • Pitchers with an ERA of 5.50 or above are limited to 150 IP or actual IP, whichever is higher.
      • Pitchers with an ERA of 5.50 or above who have at least 1 actual GS are limited to 30 GS or actual GS, whichever is higher.
    3. Playoff hitters (limits are per series and do not carry over to another series):
      • Hitters are limited to actual AB's divided by 10, rounded up.
      • Hitters with OPS under .600 are unlimited.
    4. Playoff pitchers:
      • Starting pitchers are limited to actual GS divided by 10, rounded down.
      • Relief pitchers are limited to actual IP divided by 10, rounded up to the nearest third of an inning.
      • Starting pitchers who do not pitch in relief have no IP limit.
      • Pitchers who both start and relieve are limited both by GS and IP (see above).
      • Pitchers with an ERA of 5.50 or above are unlimited.
      • Pitchers with an ERA of 5.50 or above who have at least 1 actual GS are limited to 3 starts in a series.
    5. Special rules for 1-game tie-breaker:
      • Any player overused in the regular season is ineligible for this game.
      • Any starting pitcher with 20 or more actual GS is allowed to start in the game.
      • Any player with 250 or more actual AB's can play the entire game.
      • Any player with less than 250 actual AB's can hit once during the game.
      • Any pitcher with 30 or more actual IP's may pitch in the game.
      • In extra innings, any player or pitcher may be used.
      • Rosters are limited to 25 active players.

  6. Playoff Structure
    1. The ABL playoffs included 8 teams in a 3-round tournament
    2. All playoff series will be 7 game series in a 2-3-2 format, with the higher seeded team as the home team for games 1, 2, 6, and 7. There is one off day after game 2 and another after game 5.
    3. 4 teams make the playoffs from each league. The divisional winners are seeded 1 and 2 based on record. The next two best teams in the league are seeded 3 and 4 based on record.
    4. Ties for playoff seeding are broken first by head-to-head record and second by divisional record.
    5. Ties for the final spot(s) in a league result in a 1-game playoff. The 1-game playoff will be played head-to-head (if managers involved can't do this, then a surrogate manager will be appointed). The home team will be determined randomly.
    6. The ABL championship series will be contested by the two league champions. The team with the best regular season record has home-field advantage (subject to the above tie-breakers if necessary).

  7. Player Control
    1. The ABL works on a salary structure. There is a hard salary cap of $7000 which is in effect during the season and during the free agency process.
    2. Salary cap money can not be traded.
    3. During the season, a team may not have more than 35 players on it's roster (including players not rated on the current Diamond Mind disk).
    4. Players with less than 30 actual AB's or 20 actual IP's are disqualified from playing in the ABL. They will be deleted from the official ABL database.
    5. Trading is not allowed during the season, although there is a monthly waiver draft (described below).
    6. Off-season free agency procedures:
      1. Soon after the regular season ends, the commissioner will publish a schedule of events for the offseason.
      2. At this point, trading begins, the salary cap is no longer in effect, and teams may have an unlimited number of players on their roster.

      3. Roster Declaration (usually early November): Trading is halted. Each player on a team is given a salary designation, either "E", "R", or "U":
        • E - The player's new salary is $50 higher than last year.
        • R - The player's new salary is $5 higher than last year.
        • U - The player's new salary is $0.
        Declaring a player as "E" is the only way to guarantee that you keep him. It is possible that you may lose an "R" or "U" player. Just to clarify the “U” player designation. If your goal is to lower a player’s salary, then you must designate him “U”. In the past, we would allow teams to designate a new salary for “U” players (say Willie Mays made $700 and you want to offer $500, you could designate that). What I’d rather do (and my software is currently set up to do this) is that all “U” players are given a salary of $0. If you want to keep a player at a lower salary, then you can bid for him during the “U” bids. This way, your offer is kept secret instead of being published along with the list of “U” players.

      4. "R" Bid Submission (one week after roster declaration): Each team may submit a list of bids on "R" players. You may bid a new salary for any "R" player on any team. This new salary must be higher than the player's current salary (which is $5 + last year's salary). The team who currently has the player then has 2 options: Keep the player at the new salary offer +10% of the difference, or give up the player to the bidding team. For example: MR has Willie Mays on his roster, and last year his salary was $495. MR declares him an "R" player so his new salary is $500. WW bids $700 on Mays. MR now has 2 options: Keep Mays at $720 salary ($700 + 10% of $200 difference); or let Mays go to WW at $700 salary. Remember, that you must have room under the salary cap to match a bid.

        If there are multiple bids on the same player, the team bidding the highest is the winner. If there are ties for the highest bid, they will be resolved using the draft order (team with the better draft selection wins the bid). Bids are in increments of $1.

        A team may bid on no more than 2 "R" players from any one team.

        Contingencies are allowed. For example, “Bid $700 on Willie Mays… if not high bid, then bid $600 on Duke Snider”. Also remember that this is not EBay style bidding. If you bid $300 and the next highest bid is $20, then the new salary is $300, not $21.

      5. "R" Bid Matching Deadline (one week after the "R" bid submission): This is the deadline for teams to decide whether or not to match and bids made on their "R" players.

      6. "U" Bid Submission (one week after the "R" bid matching deadline): Each team may submit a list of bids on "U" players. The minimum bid is $10 with increments of $1. The team that makes the highest bid on a player immediately takes control of that player, and his salary is the amount of the bid. If there are ties for the highest bid, they will be resolved using the draft order (team with the better draft selection wins the bid). You may bid on your own players in this phase (this is how you can try to keep a player for a lower salary).

      7. End of Free Agency Process: Once the bids are announced, trading will resume. At this time, you may cut any player with a $0 salary (that is, a "U" player that received no bids). If such player is rated, then they will be added to the draft pool. You may decide to keep a $0 player, but his salary will become $10 at the start of the season if you want to include him on your 35 man roster. This $10 will count against your salary cap.
    7. Rookie Draft
      • Soon after the Diamond Mind disk is released, the ABL commissioner will build the ABL database and release it to the league. At this point, the rookie draft starts via email.
      • The rookie draft order is based on inverse order of record. Ties are broken by head-to-head record (worst record picks first). Further ties are broken by record in divisional games (worst record picks first). The draft pool includes all players included in the ABL database who are not on a team.
      • In order to make a draft pick, a team must have immediate salary cap room for the draft pick's salary, which is determined by the round in which the player is selected (see below). If a team does not have salary cap room, the pick is forfeited (however it may be traded before the pick actually happens in the draft).
      • The rookie draft will continue until every team has passed.
      • Draft picks in the first 9 rounds may be traded at any time trading is allowed. Picks for the current and the next draft are eligible to be traded.
      • Draft pick salaries:
        • Round 1: $165
        • Round 2: $130
        • Round 3: $100
        • Round 4: $80
        • Round 5: $60
        • Round 6: $45
        • Round 7: $35
        • Round 8: $25
        • Rounds 9+: $10
    8. In-season waiver draft
      • After every month of games (except the final month), there is a 3 round waiver draft. Players available to be drafted are those players on the disk that aren't on a 35-man roster.
      • Drafted players are given a salary of $10. If this draft pick puts a team over the 35-man limit or the $7000 salary cap, then another player must be released.
      • Note that it is possible to draft a player who has played for another team previously in the season. The new team is responsible for any previous usage.

  8. Ballparks:
    1. Each team will have one stadium from the ABL database. The ballpark will be the same for the entire year.
    2. If a team wishes to switch ballparks, the manager must declare at the end of the regular season. If two managers wish to change to the same ballpark, then the winner is determined randomly.
    3. If an actual major league team moves to a different stadium, then the ABL team who uses the old stadium has the first choice of using the new stadium.
    4. Ballparks may not be traded.

  9. Fines:
    1. In the ABL, fines are money that is deducted from a team's salary cap for the upcoming season or can take the form of forfeited draft picks.
    2. Fines are levied for missing league deadlines at the discretion of the commissioner.
    3. Fines are levied for overusing players.
      • Minor overuse result in a fine of $1 ($2 for playoff teams) for every unit of overuse (each AB or 1/3 IP).
      • Major overuse (including overuse of pitcher games started) will result in the loss of draft picks and/or loss of the player (by making the player a "U" in the upcoming free agency phase).
      • Playoff teams may be disqualified from the playoffs for blatant overuse.