We hold these truths to be self-evident: that baseball is the greatest game on earth; that Strat-O-Matic (SOM) baseball is the next best thing to the real thing; and that all managers and general managers are not created equal. The North American Strat-O-Matic Association (NASOMA) was established in 1980 so that the finest SOM baseball minds can compete annually for the true world SOM championship. The purpose of this document is to provide standard rules and procedures to govern the conduct of all NASOMA activities, so as to keep controversies and disputes to a minimum, to promote consistency, fairness, and league stability, and to otherwise allow for the full enjoyment of all participants.
II. Basic League Structure
A. Current league structure includes 16 teams, aligned in 4 divisions of 4 teams each, as follows:
Millard Fillmore Division
Mansfield Buckeyes - Glenn Wheeler, Commissioner
Midlothian Mavericks - Tad Collier
Oklahoma Drillers - Shawn Spears
New York Skyscrapers - Robert Emrich
Herman Wheeler Division
Waco Inmates - Steve Hart
Waxahachie Fungoes - Derek Townsend
Chicago Nads - Dave Hibbard
Belldale Rhinos - Jose Escobar
Bob Uecker Division
Dallas FFTs - Terry Miller
Hooterville Warpigs - Rick Lackey
Tulsa DVs - Bryan Reusser
South Grand Prairie Wahoos - Garth Lewis
Ab Wheeler Division
Logan County Tweeners - Norm Wheeler
Stanley Sidewinders - Vincent Mullen
Nashville Killer Bees - Philip Mullen
Disney SuperGoofs - Phillip Hill
B. The schedule of games each season shall be prepared and distributed by the Commissioner or his designee prior to the pre-season draft. Each team shall play a 162 game schedule, including 14 games vs. each team within its own division and 10 games vs. each team in the other 3 divisions.
C. 6 teams make the playoffs each year, those being the 4 divisional champions and the 2 other wildcard teams with the best overall won-lost records. The team with the best record (seed #1) will get a bye in the first round. The division winner with the second best record (seed #2) will also get a 1st round bye. The remaining divisional champ with the best record (seed #3) plays the wildcard team with the worse record (seed #6) in the first round, with the other first round series featuring the divisional champ with the worst record (seed #4) against the wildcard team with the better record (seed #5). In the second round, the #1 seed plays the lowest seeded first round winner. All playoff series are best of 7 games (2/3/2), and should be included on the annual schedule so that off days and days of rest for pitchers can be accurately determined. At the beginning of the playoffs, all pitchers are assumed to be fully rested, but thereafter the schedule is strictly observed, with pitchers' usage at the end of one series potentially affecting their availability or how well rested they are at the beginning of the following series.
D. If there is need to resolve a tie, MLB rules will be used to determine the resolution. The tie-breaker playoff games will be treated as playoff games, but at bats and innings pitched do not count toward the playoff totals for either team. However, teams advancing after the tie-breaker playoff game(s) must follow a regular pitching rotation with no day off before their first round series.
E. The winner of the previous NASOMA championship shall have the team and owner's name of the current year's winner engraved on the permanent, rotating championship plaque, which is designated as the Randy Higdon Championship Plaque.
F. Travel expenses for both draft and playoffs shall be shared equally by all active teams in the league.
III. The Draft
A. Each team will present a protected list of players to the Commissioner on a given date. The commissioner will announce the date at least a week in advance. The number of players protected can be 0 to 30 (plus one for each Reserve Spot).
B. Each team will be allowed to draft as many players in the draft as it takes to supplement their protected list and reach 30 players total (plus one for each Reserve Spot).
C. The Tweener Rule: Each team is allowed to take one or two extra picks, but must then cut one or two players following the draft so that they finish with a roster of 30 (plus one for each Reserve Spot). These picks are optional; teams are not bound to take either of those two extra picks and may pass when the optional picks come up.
D. The draft is done in rounds, with each team initially having one pick in each round. The order is based on last year’s standings (including playoff results). If non-playoff teams finish the regular season with identical records, the first tie-breaker is always head-to-head records; for remaining ties involving teams within the same division, the next tie-breaker is record within the division; any otherwise unresolved ties are broken by a roll of the dice, with the Commissioner presiding. One team will then pick first in odd number rounds with the other team picking first in the even rounds.
E. A draft grid will be dispersed prior to the draft which will have all picks in order and will have taken into account trades and the limit of picks each team may legally take.
F. Uncarded players may be drafted in any round during the draft, but only if you have Reserve Spots available. Each team is limited to having only as many uncarded players on their team, whether protected prior to the draft or drafted, as they have Reserve Spots for. You are not required to have or draft uncarded players.
G. Reserve Spots are for players who are ineligible to play in any games. You retain their rights, but they are inactive for the season. Each team initially has two Reserve Spots per year. Reserve Spots are tradable commodities. In addition, a contest is held each year with the winner getting an extra Reserve Spot. Reserve Spots can be filled with either carded or uncarded players.
H. Immediately following the regular draft, there will be a Lightning Round. Any team may participate, but they must be present at the time. Lightning Round picks cannot be traded (although players taken with Lightning Round picks can be). The Lightning Round is 5 rounds long. The order of the draft is the same as the regular draft. Teams have 1 minute to make their selection. Only carded, available players can be drafted. If a team passes, uses too much time, or drafts an ineligible player, their draft is over.
I. Immediately prior to the draft, each team picks the NASOMA ballpark in which they will play their home games. A team may take the new numbers of their current park, keep the same ballpark numbers from the previous year, or adjust any or all of their previous numbers by a maximum of +2 or -2. Each number may be independently adjusted at the team owner's discretion. Every fourth year (in U.S. Presidential election years) a team has the additional option of choosing a completely new SOM ballpark.
A. Each team must designate, before leaving the draft, which of their 30 players are active for that season and which one(s) will be on their inactive Reserve list. Players kept active on the 25-man playing roster for a series during the draft weekend’s games MUST be kept on the final 30-man rosters. Players kept on the official 30-man rosters must be carded players, and each team is responsible for having:
1.at least one back-up at each position 2.enough at bats to cover each position for a full season 3.at least 5 starting pitchers 4.enough innings for a full season
B. Official rosters may not be altered after being turned in.
C. During the season, each team may trade any or all draft picks and any or all players to other teams. All player transactions take affect after the end of the season. No players may switch teams during the season. There is no limit to the number of players and picks a team may acquire the rights to via trade.
D. Trades that amount to "renting" players for the season, such as trading a player for a "player to be named later" with the express understanding that the "player to be named" will be the same player returned at the end of the season, are prohibited.
E. Each team's roster for the first 138 games of the regular season consists of 25 active players and 5 inactive players on the taxi. Players may be switched between the taxi squad and active roster for each individual series (an individual series may be 2, 3, or 4, games - refer to the official schedule). The 25 player active roster may not change during an individual series. All 30 players are active for the final 24 games of the regular season. Teams once again return to 25 player active rosters for the playoffs, and the same rosters must be used throughout the post-season. No roster changes may be made as you advance through the playoffs.
F. Happy April Fools Day!
V. Game Rules
A. All games shall be played and scored in accordance with the rules of Major League Baseball and the super-advanced Strat-O-Matic rules, subject to the following additions, deletions, modifications, and clarifications:
B. No player may appear in a game at a position that is not listed on his card, and position players may not be called on to pitch.
C. Do not use the optional super-advanced rules for individual balks, wild pitches, and passed balls. Wild pitches and passed balls should only occur from a standard reading of the "catcher-X" section of the fielding chart.
D. Do not use the Closer rule.
E. When a relief pitcher goes more than 3 innings in a day (including the combined total for both games of a doubleheader), if he then pitches the next day he is tired when he comes in. When a reliever goes more than 5 innings in a day, he may not pitch the next day, and on the second following day he would be tired when he comes in. Because regular season series might not be played in the actual order as shown on the schedule, assume that all relievers are fresh to begin each individual series.
F. Although regular season series may be played out of order, the rotation for starting pitchers is based on the official schedule, and starters must have at least 3 days rest between starts. For each individual series, whether it be 2, 3, or 4 games, a team must designate at least 4 of its active pitchers as being in the starting rotation, even though 1 or more of those starters may not actually appear in that series.
G. Pitchers are eligible to start a game only if the word "Starter" appears on their cards. Pitchers are eligible to appear in relief only if the word "Relief" appears on their cards, except in post-season play, when a team may designate 1 "Starter" as being eligible to pitch in relief, and such pitcher shall have a POW number of 1. Once a “Starter” is used in relief in the post-season, no other “Starter” may do so.
H. Although each team is required to have a back-up at each position, there will be no injuries.
I. If a team pinch-hits or makes other substitutions late in a game, but then has no one available to play a particular position, that team must forfeit the game.
J. Players may be used during the regular season until they have reached 110% of the at-bats or innings pitched as shown on their cards. Regardless of their regular season usage, all players are once again eligible for post-season play, although limited to a maximum of 33% of the AB's or IP's as shown on the card (rounded to the nearest whole number). The 33% limit applies to the entire post-season, regardless of whether the team plays in 1, 2, or 3 different playoff series.
K. The designated hitter rule is in effect for all NASOMA games.
L. Any games may be played on the SOM computer game by agreement of both managers, or at the discretion of the home team for play-by-mail games. A computer league will be issued at the draft. Only this league may be used for games played on the computer, including all Netplay games.
VI. Deadlines and Demerits
A. Regular season games must be played and reported by:
Beginning in 2017:
March games (due 1st Sunday in April) - 20 games
April games (due 1st Sunday in May) - 40 games
May games (due 1st Sunday in June) - 65 games
June games (due 1st Sunday in July) - 90 games
July games (due 1st in Sunday in August) - 115 games
August games (due 1st Sunday in September) - 140 games
September games (due 1st Sunday in October) - 162 games
B. All teams must report the results of all games played to the webmaster within 24 hours of playing the games, except for games played on Draft Weekend, which must be reported by midnight Wednesday after the Draft. For games played throughout the season, only one of the teams is required to report the results as long as the email is copied to the other team. Wins and losses must also be entered into the W/L grid before updates can be made to the standings.
C. When a series is played on the computer, the one with the computer must send the other manager all necessary files (game files, box scores, subsets, etc.) within 24 hours of the final game. The receiving manager determines which files he wants sent to him. The receiving team should then acknowledge receipt of the files. If the computer used belongs to neither team, both managers are responsible for obtaining their own files from the computer.
D. Instructions (or arrangements) for all games that cannot be played face to face or via netplay must be sent out by July 31st.
E. Final Stats must be submitted to the Commissioner and the Webmaster by midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving. For pitchers, the following stats must be submitted: games, games started, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, hits allowed, runs allowed, earned runs allowed, walks, strikeouts, home runs allowed, wins, losses, saves, errors, and earned run average. For non-pitchers, the following stats must be submitted: games, at bats, runs scored, hits, runs batted in, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, strikeouts, errors, stolen bases, times caught stealing, times hit by pitch, and batting average. The season's final stats must also include a breakdown of the team's won-lost records against all other teams.
F. Failure to meet the deadlines in Rule VI, part A will result in: 1 demerit for falling 1-20 games short of the minimum, 2 demerits for falling 21-50 games short of the minimum, or 3 demerits for falling 50+ games short of the minimum. This will apply each month. Failure to report results as stated in Rule VI, part B will result in 1 demerit for each offense. Failure to send computer files or acknowledge receipt as stated in Rule VI, part C will result in 1 demerit for each offense. Failure to send out instructions on time, as stated in Rule VI, part D, will result in 1 demerit for each offense. Failure to submit stats on time, as stated in Rule VI, part E, will result in 5 demerits.
G. Consequences for demerits:
0-3 demerits: no consequence
4 demerits: you are limited to a max of 20 players at the March cut down.
5 demerits: you are limited to a max of 19 players
6 demerits: you are limited to a max of 18 players
7 demerits: you are limited to a max of 17 players
8 demerits: you are limited to a max of 16 players
9-14 demerits: you are limited to a max of 15 players
15 or more demerits: you are limited to a max of 14 players
The number of Reserve Spots you own wouldn't affect the ruling. If you have 2 Reserve Spots, you will still have 32 players at the end of the draft, but you will only start with the max you were allowed. Example: if you have 2 Reserve Spots but earned 6 demerits, you start with a max of 18 players and use the draft to get to 32. There will be no protecting players for anyone.
A. The Commissioner shall have the authority and responsibility to preside over all league activities, to resolve any questions or disputes concerning interpretation of the provisions of this Constitution, to impose any necessary sanctions or remedies for violation of league rules, and to otherwise ensure compliance with both the letter and spirit of this Constitution. The Commissioner may assign specific duties or limited authority to deputies or committees to assist him as necessary.
B. All amendments to this Constitution shall require the approval of at least two-thirds of the league managers. Any rules changes announced from year-to-year by the SOM game company (if such changes relate to SOM rules previously adopted by NASOMA) shall automatically be incorporated into the NASOMA rules, unless rejected by a vote of at least two-thirds of the league managers.