SGSFBL Rules

League Layout and Overview 

14 team fantasy baseball league based on actual MLB games (not a simulation league)
Serpentine Draft style with contracts and a keeper system (see below)
Head-to-head style with a 19-week regular season and a 6-week, 8-team playoff based on 12 categories (6 hitter, 6 pitcher)
23 active players, 6 reserve spots, and 3 injured reserve spots
Weekly lineups (Monday-Sunday)
Internet-based, using CBS Sportsline
Commissioner is Brian Kreklau (brian@smartguysports.com)
Prize league with a league fee of $150 per season per team
No league transaction fees

Owners/Teams

There shall be a maximum of 14 teams in the league. Teams may have multiple owners, but for the purposes of voting on league issues, each franchise is considered equal to all other franchises. Each owner is required to meet the basic guidelines of ownership in this league:

Attendance at the online league draft in the spring
Attendance at the reserve draft one week later
Required to turn in a list of contract years to the commissioner once a year prior to opening day
Required to pay league fees two weeks prior to the league draft of each year for the upcoming season
Required to adhere to the rules of the league
Required to participate in all league-wide constitutional amendment votes
Required to maintain a team and keep up-to-date with a starting lineup

Failure to comply with the above basic guidelines of ownership will result in possible expulsion from the league.

Rosters

Each team’s active roster consists of the following players:

2 catchers
1 second baseman
1 shortstop
1 middle infielder (either second baseman or shortstop)
1 first baseman
1 third baseman
1 corner infielder (either first or third baseman)
5 outfielders
1 DH (any hitter, regardless of position)
6 Starting Pitchers, 2 Relief Pitchers, 1 Utility Pitcher (either starter or reliever)

All teams will have 6 bench spots and 3 injured reserve spots. To be eligible to be placed on injured reserve, the player must have achieved the status of being on one of MLB’s injured lists. Once the player is removed from the MLB injured list, he must be activated from injured reserve before the following week.

Each team must have their lineups set 5 minutes prior to the players 1st game of the week.

Teams are not allowed to start players in their starting lineups with a status of Minor Leagues as determined by the league software, unless approved to do so by the commissioner.

Position Eligibility

A player may be assigned to any position at which he appeared at least 10 times in the major leagues in the preceding season. If a player did not appear in 10 games at any position, he may be drafted only at the position at which he appeared most frequently. A player becomes eligible for an additional position once he appears in the major leagues at that position at least 10 times.  For Starting and Relief Pitchers, we use 5 Games Appeared in the Previous Year or 3 Games Appeared in the Current Year as eligibility.

MLB players that only qualify as a DH can only be put in the DH spot, no other.

If a player did not appear the prior season in the majors, he qualifies at the position he played most frequently the prior season in any league(s) he played in. If a player sat out the previous year for any reason, his eligibility will be determined by the last season in which he played professional baseball in the United States.  This is enforced through the CBS Sportsline site.

Standings

The following statistical categories will be used to determine team performance and league standings:

Hitting

Batting Average
Home Runs
RBI’s
Runs Scored
Stolen Bases
OPS

Pitching

WHIP ((Walks plus hits) divided by innings pitched)
ERA
Wins
Saves
Strikeouts
Innings pitched

All 14 teams are placed in two 7-team divisions. Teams will play a weekly head-to-head schedule to be determined before the season by the commissioner. The regular season schedule will span the first 19-weeks of the MLB season, Week 1 goes from Thursday – Sunday, the All-Star Break week is combined with the following week. Each team will play each intra-division team twice and each inter-division team once. Each category that a team wins will count as 1 victory, each category a team loses will count as 1 loss. Each category a team ties will count as a tie.

The standings for each team will be determined by winning %. The formula to determine winning % shall be [wins + (.5 * ties)] divided by (wins + loses + ties).

Ties: If there is a tie in the standings for two teams the following formula will be used:

Head to Head record with opponent
Record over the last 4 weeks
Team with the Best Draft Slot (before trades)

Playoffs

At the conclusion of the regular season, the two division winners and the following six teams with the best record, regardless of division, would advance to the 6-week playoff round.  The playoffs are an eight team tournament where each matchup is a two-week matchup between the teams.  In the case of a tie in the matchup after two weeks, the team with the higher seed wins the tie-breaker.  The playoff tournament is as follows:

#1 vs #8
#2 vs #7
#3 vs #6
#4 vs #5

Each round of the playoffs the highest seed plays the lowest remaining seed.

All other teams that do not qualify for the playoffs would be finished for the season. Once the playoffs are set, only playoff teams are allowed to make waiver wire moves for the remainder of the year.

Statistics

All statistics determined by the league software (CBS Sportsline) are final unless a dispute is brought to the attention of the commissioner and an adjustment is made.  For suspended games if the game is not resumed in the same fantasy week, then the resumed game stats will not be counted.

Contract Cap

Each team has a contract cap of 46 contract years to use however they choose. The minimum contract year on any player is 1 year. Players on Injured Reserve don’t count against a team’s contract cap. Teams may at no time cut a player with a contract value more than 1 year. Players with 1 year contracts can be waived at any time. A team may at no time go over the contract cap of 46 years. No trades made that violate the cap will be approved. All players without contracts (free agents) have an automatic 1 year contract value.

Trades

Trades may be made at any time from the conclusion of the draft until July 31.  Trades involving future draft picks are not allowed from after the draft until the 3rd Sunday in June of each season.

Teams are not allowed to make any trades involving future considerations, players to be named later, etc. Teams can trade future draft picks up to 1 year into the future. These draft pick trades will be noted by the commissioner.

All trades will need to go through a commissioner approval process before completion. Trades must be approved by the commissioner to ensure that teams do not exceed the salary cap. This approval process has nothing to do with the merit of the trade, just to make sure that teams are within the cap.

The commissioner will determine the validity of all trades.  If the commissioner determines that a trade should be put up for a league-wide vote he has the right to do so.

Free Agency

Beginning with the first transaction period following the conclusion of the draft, through the end of the season, free agents in the free agent pool may be signed in the following manner:

Starting on the 1st period of the week teams submit waiver claims for waivers based on the current waiver wire order (the reverse of the draft order). The waiver process runs nightly at around 2 AM (CBS Sportsline).  Once a team picks up a player from the waiver wire, they will be placed at the bottom of the order for any future waiver wire pickups, with all teams below moving up 1 spot. All players are on waivers for a term of one-day and always must go through the waiver process.

Free Agency continues all the way through the regular season and into the playoffs. Once the playoffs begin, only playoff teams are allowed to make roster moves.

All players picked up on waivers throughout the season carry a default contract value of 1 year.  Once the playoffs teams are set, only playoff teams are allowed to make waiver wire moves through the end of the season.

Regular Draft and Reserve Draft

A major league player draft in the form of a serpentine draft is conducted on dates as near as possible to Opening Day as is practical. These dates will be set by the commissioner well in advance.

The 1st year of the league we will hold a serpentine 22 round draft.  At a later date prior to opening day; the league will hold a 6 player reserve draft.  Both draft orders will be drawn for separately from a random online dice drawn. This draw will occur well in advance of the draft and allow teams to trade draft picks.

Players eligible to be drafted include any player currently on the 40-man roster or in the minor league system of a team within the league being drafted who has not yet been demoted, cut or designated for assignment. Players who were kept by their previous team are not eligible. Players who start the season on a major league team’s disabled list are eligible. Amateur players are not eligible.

During the draft and reserve draft, a team is not required to fill the active roster spots as specified in Section III. A team can draft any number of players at any position, so long as they do not exceed the total number of 22 players during the draft, 6 players during the reserve draft.

After Year 1, the draft will be a straight draft for the 1st 6 rounds and then a serpentine draft for the remaining rounds. Teams that have players under contract on their roster forfeit draft picks from the regular draft starting in Round 22 and going up. Teams may not waive 1 year contract players in the offseason to pick up extra draft picks. The draft order after Year 1 will be determined by the reverse order of the 6 non-playoff teams from the prior season (through Week 19), followed by the reverse order of the 8 playoff teams based on their playoff results and seeds. After Round 6 of the regular draft, the draft will start in a serpentine manner until it is completed. Some teams may have more or fewer picks in the regular draft based on how many players they have under contract and if they have made any draft pick trades. After Year 1 the reserve draft will be a 6 team straight draft that is based completely on the same draft order described above.  In the scenario where a team has traded a draft pick but that pick is removed do to a keeper, then the pick is traded, but the keeper is taken from the next highest remaining draft pick from that team.

Keeper System

At the conclusion of the reserve draft and up to MLB Opening Day each team must submit to the commissioner via email, how it would like to allocate contract years for its newly acquired players. Any player that has a contract value cannot have their contracts adjusted. Each team has a contract cap limit of 46 years. Teams don’t have to use all 46 years, but that is the cap.

Contract Re-Allocation

One week prior to the league draft, teams are allowed to make a one year contract re-allocation with anyone on their roster as of the end of the season.  Each team is allowed to remove one year from any multi-year player on their roster and re-allocate that contract year to any other player on their roster.  This contract can be allocated to players in multiple seasons, etc.  This contract can also be allocated to a player whose contract is set to expire.

League Schedule of Events

League Regular Draft/Reserve Draft held prior to the upcoming baseball season (March)
SGSFBL season (April-September)
Future contract years are allowed to be traded on the third Sunday in June.
SGSFBL Trade Deadline, Midnight Eastern on July 31st.
SGSFBL Playoffs.
Upcoming season Draft order determined by the commissioner, offseason trades allowed.
One week prior to the draft, contract re-allocations allowed.  Player contracts are rolled back by the commissioner.

League Fees/Prizes

The cost of the SGSFBL season is $150 per team. This must be paid to the commissioner one week prior to the league draft. $200 and odd dollars are allotted to the league software and for Paypal fees, etc.

The league prizes will be paid out as follows:

#1 seed: $150
#2 seed: $150
#3 seed: $100
#4 seed: $100
#5 seed: $50
#6 seed: $50
#7 seed: $50
#8 seed: $50

League Champion: $500
League Runner-Up: $300
3rd Place Winner: $200
4th Place $100

Responsibility and Governance

The commissioner is empowered to interpret the rules.

All illegal player moves made by a league member will be nullified. For an illegal draft pick, the player will be immediately released back into the free agent pool. For an illegal roster move, the transaction will be nullified and any affected statistics will be recalculated back to the date of the offense.

Approval for participation in the SGSFBL will be determined by the commissioner. Three recorded complaints received by the commissioner against any participant, for rule violations or behavior not in the best interest of the league, will be grounds for termination from the league either immediately or at the conclusion of the season. No fees reimbursement will be required for expulsion from the league.

Any issues not covered by this constitution will be determined by the commissioner in the best interests of the league, until a suitable amendment can be ratified by the league in the offseason. Every February, each franchise will be given the chance to suggest up to 3 new amendments. Then at the end of February, all of the suggestions will be placed on one voting form and the league will vote on them. Any amendments must be ratified by a vote of 8 out of 14 teams. These changes will then be incorporated into the constitution. This would then conclude the policy changes for the year.