TCBA Today Constitution and Rulebook

 

100. ORGANIZATION

110. TCBA Today (TCBA-T) operates to promote friendship and stimulate competition among baseball fans through playing the APBA Computer Baseball Game remotely or in person.

111. No wagering on any TCBA game, series, or draft is permitted.

112. The league mailing list may not be used or sold for any form of solicitation that is not directly related to league business.

120. The association is composed of 24 active managers, consisting of four divisions of six teams each. There may also be an indefinite number of non-participating associate members.

121. All members are required to adhere to both the letter and the spirit of this Constitution and all other TCBA-T rules and practices.  Members must be fair and prompt in their dealings with other members, and answer all correspondence from other managers, including trade offers.

122. Repeated failure to follow league rules and practices, gross incompetence, or violation involving personal integrity may result in a vote to suspend or expel a league member.  The vote will be conducted among the other 23 members of the league. A two-thirds majority, consisting of at least 13 affirmative votes, is required for expulsion.  Once expelled, the member may not rejoin the TCBA-T except by vote of league members.

130. The basic operating rules of the TCBA-T shall be as follows:

131. The current APBA data disk will be used each year.

132. All players are owned from year to year by the same team, unless released or traded.

140. The officers of the association are the president, the treasurer, and the player control agent. There may also be a three-member rules committee, chaired by a rules committee chairman. When in effect, in January of each year, if any three members so request, there will be an election for any of these positions. If no candidate receives a majority in such an election, there will be a run-off election among the three highest vote-getters and anyone tied with them. The duties of these officers are as follows:

141. The president interprets and enforces TCBA-T rules, recruits and selects new members, and arbitrates any conflicts between members. In enforcing the rules, the president may penalize violations by issuing appropriate fines, declaring players ineligible for periods of time (including post-season), invalidating the result of one or more games, or any combination of the above.  Any dispute involving the team managed by the president shall be resolved by the chairman of the Rules Committee, when in effect, or if his team is also involved, the vice-chairman of the Rules Committee. The president may also name members to fill any vacancies in officer positions created by resignations in-between elections. The president may not take any action which contravenes this Constitution, as amended, or overrules a valid vote of TCBA-T members.

143. The treasurer collects annual dues fixed by him at a level which will cover anticipated association expenses for the year, and distributes league funds as necessary to cover league expenses.

146. The player control agent maintains "cash" balances and rosters of each team in the league. He is responsible for handling the Rookie Draft, Free Agent Draft, and any waiver claims that are made.

147. When desired, there may be a rules committee of three members, to receive, discuss, refine, select, and present proposals by TCBA-T members regarding changes in TCBA-T rules and practices. The member of the Rules Committee receiving the highest number of votes shall serve as chairman unless he designates some other committee member to perform that function. The committee member receiving the second highest vote total shall be designated the vice-chairman.

150. Any reasonable proposal to change TCBA-T rules or practices may be presented to the Rules Committee for discussion, and possible amendment or refinement. If any two members of the Rules Committee vote affirmatively on the proposal, it shall be presented to the entire membership for discussion and written comment (pro and con) at least two months before voting.

151. An absolute majority of league members is necessary to add, delete, or change any part of this Constitution and Rulebook except Rules 100-199. Proxy votes will not be permitted on changes to the TCBA TODAY Constitution. The absence of a full membership shall not prohibit voting and obtaining absolute majority votes with less than a full membership voting.

152. A three-fourths majority of the voting members, with a minimum of 13, is necessary to change, or delete any part of Rules 100-199.

153. Associate members of the TCBA-T may participate in any voting which does not concern the size of or who shall be a member of the TCBA-T. Their votes will be counted as one-half vote each.

154. Any rule change that affects members unequally (as determined by the Rules Committee) shall not take effect until the beginning of the following season.

160. At the annual general meeting, the members may present, consider, and adopt rule changes, but no rule proposal may be voted on at the meeting unless it was proposed at least one month earlier, and any members absent from the meeting are given the opportunity to vote by mail, telephone or e-mail.

 

200. SCHEDULE

210. The schedule consists of one series per (calendar) week for 34 weeks, home or away but not both, for a total of 162 games, 81 home and 81 away games. A series may consist of 4 or 5 games.

213. During the regular season, each team will play 52 games against the teams in one other division (8 against some teams and 9 against others,) and 5 games against each team in the other two divisions.  Schedule will rotate these division matchups on a three-year cycle.

214. During the regular season, each team will play 10 games against each team in its own division.

215. Rainouts and ties will be rescheduled during open dates in the season, at the discretion of the league president. Any rainouts and ties not rescheduled by the end of the season will be replayed if they have any bearing on divisional championships, playoff qualification or playoff seeding. Injuries and rest will carry over to such replays from the final game of the regular season, and teams may use, subject to AIM, pitchers who had exhausted their allotment of allowed starts during the regular season.

220. There shall be post-season playoffs subject to the following rules:

221. The first-place team in each division qualifies for the playoffs. These teams are designated Teams 1, 2, 3 and 4 for post-season play, with the lowest numbers going to teams with the best regular-season records, in order.

222. Of the 16 non-division winning teams in each league, the four with the best records also qualify for the playoffs. The non-division winning team having the best record will be designated Team 5 for post-season play, and the non-division-winning team with the next-best record will be designated Team 6 for post-season play. The two teams with the next-best records after team 6 will be designated Team 7 and Team 8.

223. If after all ties, rainouts, and upheld-protest games have been made up, any ties exist between teams in the same division for any playoff position mentioned in or , the tie will be broken, without additional playoff games, in favor of the team with the:

A. best record in head-to-head play between the tied teams, or if still tied, the 

B. best record inside the division of the tied teams, or if still tied, the 

C. best overall record for the last 25 games of intra-division play, or if still tied, the 

D. greatest differential between runs scored and runs allowed for the season, or if still tied, the 

E. greatest number of runs scored in head-to-head play between the tied teams, or if still tied, the 

F. greatest differential between runs scored and runs allowed in games played within the division of the tied teams, or if still tied, a 

G. coin toss.

224. If after all ties, rainouts, and upheld protest games have been made up, any ties exist between teams in different divisions for any playoff positions mentioned in or , the tie will be broken, without any additional playoff games, in favor of the team with the: A. greater strength-of-schedule, i.e., overall comparative records of the entire divisions of the tied teams, or if still tied, the B. best record against all teams in the divisions which do not contain the tied teams (common opponents), or if still tied, the  C. greatest differential between total runs scored and total runs allowed in games against common opponents specified immediately above, or if still tied, the D. greatest differential between total runs scored and runs allowed for the season, or if still tied, the E. best record in head-to-head play between the tied teams, or if still tied, a F. coin toss.

225. In the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, team 1 plays team 8 in Series A; team 2 plays team 7 in Series B, team 3 plays team 6 in Series C and team 4 plays team 5 in Series D. 226. In the semifinals, the winner of Series A plays the winner of Series D in Series E and the winner of Series B plays the winner of Series C in Series F. 227. In the TCBA Today World Series, the winner of Series E plays the winner of Series F to determine the league champion. 228. All playoff series described in Rules 225-227 shall be best-of-seven series. The higher seeded (lower numbered) team is the home team for games 1, 2, 6, and 7 of each series. AIM injuries and fatigue carry over from the regular season to the quarterfinal playoff series, and from one playoff series to the next. There will be one scheduled day of rest between the last day of the regular season and the quarterfinal series (more if necessary to make up rainouts), but no days of rest between rounds of the playoffs. All regular-season rules of play (Rules 300-399) apply, except that there are special limitations on post-season starts by pitchers ( ) and there are no limits on stolen base attempts ( ).

 

300. RULES OF PLAY

310. All games are played subject to the Official Rules of Baseball as applicable, using the APBA Baseball for Windows computer game. [If a version of this game later than version 3.75 is used, any features which affect the play of the game which were not included in version 3.75 must be not be used, including but not limited to bunting for a base hit, pulling the infield in at the corners, and ballpark effects.]

311. Player fatigue and injury is determined by using the AIM system of Baseball for Windows version 3.5, using the following options: All injuries and fatigue, Late-20th Century pitcher durability and recovery, enforce batters faced limits, PR 930 if SLG + OBP < .600, and pause pre-game if player is tired, bushed or worn out.

312. Use of micromanagers for away series is mandatory unless the series is played with the live (real-time) participation of the visiting manager. Any micromanager used must be distributed to the entire league if it is not already available to the public. (If the manager is obtainable by paying a fee to the publisher, it is considered available to the public).

313. No designated hitter rule will be used in the TCBA-T until one year after such rule is actually used in the real-life National League.

314. In the event of computer failure prior to the end of a game, the game should be replayed in its entirety.

320. All managers shall use a copy of the official league data disk for that season which contains the following changes:

321. The hitting card of any pitcher who has 12 or less real-life at-bats in the corresponding major league season shall not be used. When such a pitcher comes to bat, the standard "Pitcher's Hitting Card" in of these rules shall be used. All pitchers use their own individual offensive and defensive ratings.

 

323. The injury rating of all innocuous players (defined in ), and pitchers (defined in ) shall be changed to J-1 (unless it was J-0).

330. To be eligible for usage in the regular season, a non-pitcher must have at least 50 real-life plate appearances in the corresponding Major League season. 

331. To be eligible for usage in post-season play, a non-pitcher must have at least 80 real-life plate appearances in the corresponding Major League season. 

333. No player may start at a position (except pitcher) at which he did not appear at least 15 times during the corresponding major league season, unless he has played 100 or more games at that position during his major league career. A player not eligible to start at any position at all because of this rule may start at the first position listed on his card. Players may be used defensively at positions at which they are ineligible to start, but never before the seventh inning unless the last remaining eligible player at that position is injured or ejected.

 

334. Innocuous players are defined as players with a batting average less than .235, an on-base percentage less than .315, a slugging percentage less than .350 in the corresponding major league season, and who meet fielding limitations as shown in are given a play rating of 930. Any additional non-pitchers with SLG + OBP < .600 will also get a PR of 930.

 

336. No player may appear at a position at which he is not currently rated. No player may be removed from the game without a defensive substitute available at his position, unless his team is tied or behind in the ninth inning or later. If it becomes unavoidable to use an ineligible player at a position, a weak hitter who once played or might be expected to play the position shall be used.

 

337. Each team must include on its playing roster at least two rated players at every defensive position. A player may be used to meet this requirement at more than one position.

340. Pitcher eligibility and fatigue depends in part on the pitcher's category. To be eligible for usage a pitcher must have at least 8 starts or 20 games pitched in the corresponding Major League season. To be eligible to pitch in the playoffs a pitcher must have started 10 games or appeared in 25 in the corresponding Major League season. The three categories of pitchers recognized by these rules are starters, who have no asterisk after their grade on the APBA data disk; relievers, who have an asterisk after their single grade on the APBA data disk; and split-grade pitchers, who have two separate grades on the disk.

 

341. Split-grade pitchers (only) are limited to their real-life number of starts.

 

342. Pitchers defined as innocuous (Grade 3) are given a MBF of 900 or their actual MBF, whichever is greater.

 

343. Starts and appearances by starting pitchers and starts by split-grade pitchers in post-season play are limited as follows:

             MLB starts                Starts/Appearances per 7-game playoff series

                1-9                                0/0

               10-19                               1/1 

               20-29                               2/2

                30+                                2*/2*

*Game 1 starter can start 3 games if his fatigue rating qualifies him to do so. However, Game 1 starter may only appear in three games if all three appearances are as a starter; otherwise he is restricted to two appearances. Split-grade pitchers are limited only as to starts, not appearances.

350. All strategy used must make sense as baseball strategy. Strategy may not be based solely or primarily on reasoning which is unique to or based on the limitations of the baseball simulation model of APBA, BBW or the TCBA-T.

 

351. No pitcher may be removed from a game without a valid baseball reason. Valid reasons include fatigue, allowing the last batter to reach base, pinch-hitting, lefty-righty advantage or anything else that would make sense in real baseball. An example of an invalid reason would be to insert a reliever with a good hitting card who is due to bat the next inning.

 

352. The pitcher who starts the game may not be removed before pitching two full innings, unless he allows two or more runs, Rule 351 notwithstanding.

 

353. No pitcher may pinch-hit unless it is shown that he was used to pinch-hit at least 8 times during the corresponding season. A pitcher who qualifies to pinch-hit under this rule may only pinch-hit when all or all but one of the non-pitchers on the bench have been used. Announcing players and removing them without playing for the purpose of making a pitcher eligible to pinch-hit is not permitted.

 

354. The hit-and-run may be called only when the runner on first has a Steal Allowance Letter of A-F (or G with Steal Success Number 0-27) and the batter has a hit-and-run rating of at least 2. The hit-and-run play may not be called with two out.

 

355. The attempted steal may not be called when the baserunner has already attempted 125% or more of his steal attempts for the corresponding season.  However, trailing runners on double or triple steals may steal at any time. Pinch runners may not steal unless they have an SAL of A-F, stole at least 5 bases during the corresponding major league season, and are otherwise eligible. In post-season play, the steal may be called only when the runner on first has a Steal Allowance Letter of A-F (or G with Steal Success Number 0-27). This rule does not affect a team's ability to call the hit-and-run play.

383. After each series, the home manager must send a data file as applicable in the League Manager module of the BBW game to the person acting as League Manager "commissioner," by the posted deadline.

384. Failure to meet deadlines established for reporting procedures detailed in Rule 383 will result in a fine to be deducted from the team's cash balance. This fine is doubled for the second offense and tripled for the third and subsequent offenses in one season. Waiver of a penalty may be granted by the president only if a valid excuse is submitted before the series, or if truly exceptional circumstances intervene. Fines will be refunded to any team that changes managers before the next rookie draft.  The fourth offense in any season triggers an automatic expulsion vote under .

385. At the conclusion of each season each team is given a lump sum bonus of $72,000 for playing their home games.  If a series is not reported on time, the person acting as "commissioner" (as defined in Baseball for Windows League Manager) will play the series using micromanagers for both teams. All bonus money will be awarded after rosters are cut to 30 following each season and may not be used until that date.  It may be used in the upcoming Rookie Draft and thereafter.

 

400. PLAYER CONTROL

410. Each team may control up to 26 players on its active playing roster and up to 9 others on its reserve list ("farm team") for a total of 35.  Players may be transferred between playing roster and reserve list between any two series.  Players may be transferred between playing roster and reserve list only between series and not between games of a series, regardless of injury.  Control of an ineligible player ( ) may be maintained by keeping his name on the reserve list.

411. Starting with a posted pre-season deadline and throughout each season, each team must have sufficient players available at every position to total a Play Rating (PR) of 1100 [counting only those players eligible to start, and in the case of players who have a Season Factor (SF) of less than 100, counting a play rating of PR times SF divided by 100] at that position.  The play rating of a player who qualifies to start at more than one position may be divided as needed to meet this requirement. The 1100 PR requirement for a team at any position is reduced to 1050 if that team has at least one player eligible to start at that position who has a PR of 930 or higher and whose SF is 100.  In this case, players on the roster not eligible to start but rated at that position can apply 60 PR of their total available in order for the team to reach the 1050PR level at that position.  Each team must have sufficient starting pitchers to start 170 games (based on real-life use) and a total MBF (batters faced) on the pitching staff of 7000 or more. Innocuous players (defined in ), and pitchers ), may be used to meet of these requirements.  For purposes of this rule, innocuous starting pitchers will be credited with 20 starts or the number of starts made in real life, whichever is greater, and 900 MBF or the number of batters faced in real life, whichever is greater. 

412. Each player will be assigned a "salary" each season based on application of a formula contained in Appendix C using the player’s real-life statistics for the corresponding season.  Prior to the start of the season, and from that time forward throughout the season, no team may exceed the salary unit limit established for that season for their complete roster.  Any team exceeding the Salary Cap for the current season must, from that point, immediately cut players from their roster to achieve the salary unit limit or below.  All players cut at that time will be placed in the league’s free agent pool and will be available in to the league through its free agent system.

420. Players may be traded and sold between teams, subject to the following rules:

 

421. Trades may include money from a team's cash balance, but all players and money in a transaction must be transferred at the same time. Trades may not include players to be loaned, transferred, or named later, or any other type of future consideration. No agreement may be made to announce a trade or part of a trade at any future date. Trades may be made, however, after the current season's deadline, to take effect at the end of the season in progress, with any cash involved being transferred immediately.

 

422. Any transaction resulting in a team acquiring the rights to more than 35 total players must include the names of those players cut to return the gaining team to the 35-man maximum roster.  Such cuts will take effect on the date the transaction takes effect, and are not revocable.

 

423. No trade may take effect until both parties have notified the player control agent of all players, cash, and/or draft choices involved in the transaction.

 

424. No manager may offer the same player in trade to more than one team at a time, unless the offer indicates that it is only tentative, using words to that effect.

 

425. Any team violating , or attempting to make a trade which is illegal under these rules or impossible because of its current roster or cash balance, will be fined $20,000. Both parties to a trade may be fined the full amount if both participated in the violation. At the president's discretion, a trade may also be voided and/or the fine money awarded to a team injured by the violation.

 

426. Any trade that takes place on or after the posted trading deadline (prior to Series 13), will not take effect until the conclusion of the season in progress.

 

427. No player transactions of any kind may be made between the deadline for cutting rosters to 30 prior to rookie nominations until the rosters are posted by the Player Control Agent.  Nor can trades be made from a deadline established by the Player Control Agent approximately a few weeks prior to the winter meeting until all teams have again cut their rosters as described in Rule 440 following the Rookie Auction.

 

428. No manager may make any trade, trade offer, or agreement to make a trade until the fifteenth day after his name and address have been published in writing to the members of his league.

430. Rookies, defined as players never before included on an APBA data disk and whose statistics for the corresponding season meet one of the criteria of 80 plate appearances, 8 games started as a pitcher or 20 games pitched, are drafted as follows:

431. The auction draft is held at the winter TCBA-T meeting. Those players available for the draft will be selected the previous autumn by manager nominations. Each manager may nominate, by mail in advance of a specified deadline, 0 to 8 rookies. There will be no penalty for failure to nominate any rookies. Players will be added to the draft by selecting one nominee from each team in reverse order of W-L record, until 50% of the available rookies have been selected or all nominees from each team have been selected, whichever is first. In the event that less than 20 rookies are nominated, others will be chosen randomly to bring the pool up to 20.

432. The pool of rookies available for the draft is placed in a random bidding order.  The order is determined during the annual rookie draft.

433. The Rookie Draft will be conducted as an auction with an auctioneer to be designated by the President, in which teams bid in predetermined order according to previous season's finish.  It is preferred that members attend in person, if possible.

434. If some managers cannot attend in person, an attempt will be made to permit them to participate by telephone or other electronic method. It will not be permitted, except by ruling of the President in exceptional circumstances, to designate a proxy bidder, whether a league member or not.

435. If the draft cannot be conducted with all managers present either in person or by telephone or other electronic method, the absent managers will bid by submitting a separate sealed envelope on each player he wishes to bid on. There will be no limit on the number of players a team may bid on, and a bid may include a contingency making it dependent on how much cash the team has left, whether or not it has drafted some other player, or any other reason. The total of such bids may exceed the team's cash balance; however, any bid which exceeds the team's adjusted cash balance when it is opened will be deemed a bid for the remainder of the cash balance.

436. Managers will be seated around the table in the draft room in order of their previous season's record, with a place left for any manager participating remotely. Bidding on each player will start with the manager whose nomination placed that player in the draft. That manager must make an opening bid of at least $5,000. (If the player was not nominated, the manager making the opening bid will be chosen randomly and there will be no minimum bid.) If a manager must make an opening bid but has less than $5,000 left or has already drafted the maximum number of rookies, he will be permitted to bid $5,000 but no more. If he drafts the player because there is no other bid, he will have a negative cash balance at that point. This will be the only situation in which a team may bid more than its cash balance.

437. After the opening bid on each player, the bidding proceeds around the table in order of seating. The direction of bidding will alternate with each player between clockwise and counter-clockwise.  Any team not able or wishing to bid more than the previous bid must pass and may not make any further bid on that player.  Bidding continues around the table until all but one manager has passed.  The minimum increment by which a bid must be increased is always $1,000 although a manager may increase the previous bid by any amount in multiples of $1,000 that does not exceed his cash total.

438. [Applies only if one or more managers are bidding by mail.] After all but one manager has passed on a player in the live bidding, it will be determined whether or not there are one or more envelopes containing bids on that player which are equal to or higher than the final live auction bid.  If so, the manager who is present will be asked to declare what is the highest he is willing to bid on that player. Then all envelopes containing bids on that player will be opened and the mail bids compared with the declared maximum.  The player will go to the highest bidder, whether live or by mail, for $1,000 more than the next highest of these bids.  If no mail bid exceeds the highest live auction bid, the player is drafted by the highest live bidder. Ties in this process are decided in favor of the team having the poorer record in the previous season.

439. No more than six rookies may be drafted in one draft by any manager, unless a team is required to open the bidding for a 7th player, and every other team passes.

440. Players are also distributed in the Free Agent Draft, also held at the TCBA-T meeting in February of each year. Following the Rookie Auction Draft, each non-playoff team cuts its roster to 30 players.  Teams making the playoffs will be required to cut to a lower number following the rookie draft.   Beginning in 2003, all teams making the playoffs will be required to cut down to 29 players.  Any teams that make the playoffs for the following year (2 consecutive years) will be required to cut do 28 players.  For each consecutive season that playoff qualification continues an additional player cut will correspond until that team reaches 25 players.  Any additional season, from that point forward, that the team makes the playoffs they will also cut to the minimum allowed of 25 players.   After any season in which a team misses the playoffs the team will revert to cutting to 30 players and be required to cut to 29 the next time they make the playoffs.  The players who are cut as well as any other un-owned carded players are available in this draft. Each manager, unless he appears in person, submits a preference list. The draft proceeds, in order of fewest victories the preceding season.  Teams may draft for as many rounds as they choose, but must maintain the integrity of the 35 man roster by cutting or dealing a player whose acquisition puts them over that total.  Free agent draft picks may be sold or traded only during available trading periods occurring after Rookie nominations and the beginning of the Free Agent Draft.

450. Players on the league waiver list may be claimed for $5,000 by sending notice of the claim to the player control agent. The waiver list consists of all players available but unclaimed in the Free Agent Draft, plus all players released during the current season.  During the first 21 days that a player is available, multiple claims on a player are resolved in favor of the team with the lower winning percentage.  After 21 days, a player goes to the first team to claim him, the e-mail date of transmission, postmark or telephone call date determining priority.  Players must be cut immediately after a waiver claim or uneven trade if necessary to stay within the roster limit. No players may be claimed after the trading deadline specified in .

461. Teams are awarded bonus cash prior to the Rookie Auction for having players among the league leaders, as determined by Stat Master in certain categories.

460. Teams are allotted cash annually after the Rookie Draft.  The league champion receives $2,000; the other seven playoff teams receive $27,000 each; the other 16 teams receive $60,000 each. Cash is also awarded in the form of bonuses as indicated in .

461. Teams failing to submit a ballot in the annual voting on rule change proposals are fined $10,000, to be deducted immediately.

462. All players on a team’s 35-man roster will be required to be used at least one third of their actual MLB usage (rounded up).  For hitters this will be for plate appearances, for pitchers’ innings pitched.  Any players not used the minimum amount will be placed in the following years free agent pool.

 

 


 

APPENDIX A - Standard Pitcher's Hitting Card

                                                                                                               

                       11 -  7-1  31 – 23-6   51 – 13- 6

                       12 – 25-7  32 – 26-7   52 – 27- 7

                       13 – 14-6  33 -  8-1   53 – 18- 6

                       14 – 30-6  34 – 31-6   54 – 32- 6

                       15 – 36-3  35 – 13-6   55 -  9- 2

                       16 – 28-6  36 – 27-6   56 – 34- 6

                       21 – 13-6  41 – 30-6   61 – 33- 6

                       22 -  8-1  42 – 13-6   62 – 13- 6

                       23 – 26-6  43 – 29-6   63 – 12- 6

                       24 – 13-6  44 -  9-2   64 – 13- 6

                       25 – 24-6  45 – 14-6   65 – 35-11

                       26 – 13-6  46 – 29-6   66 -  0- 6

 

APPENDIX B - Fielding Limitations for Innocuous Players

 

                     POSITION                RATING

                         C                     5-7

                        1B                     2-3

                        2B                     5-7

                        SS                     6-8

                        3B                     2-4

                        OF                     1-2

 

APPENDIX C - Salary Calculation System

 

For Hitters:

 

TWar= OWar plus 25% DWar

 

 

For Pitchers:

 

TWar = PWar

 

 

Formula Definitions:

 

OWar – Offensive Wins Against Replacement

DWar – Defensive Wins Against Replacement

PWar – Pitching Wins Against Replacement

TWar – TCBA salary

 

Note: All WAR calculations are based on the Baseball-Reference.com version