VBL Constitution

Introduction & History

The Virtual Baseball League began with the VBL1 and VBL2 in the mid 1990’s using Front Page Sports Baseball as the simulator of choice.

In 2002, the VBL3 began as the VBL1 and VBL2 began to shut down.

From 2002-2012, the VBL3 was simmed using Front Page Sports Baseball and lead by Mike Branda. In 2012, the final sim was done, but as the doors to the VBL3 closed –which lead to Branda opening the doors to the VBL, utilizing OOTP Baseball as the sim of choice.

After 10 years were simmed, in an effort to provide historical context, all owners participated in an inaugural draft. The first year of the VBL was 2002 in-game and 2012 real time.

The league began using real players, but during the 2004 season transitioned to utilizing a Feeder League system. While several of the Feeder players are “real”, the VBL is mostly known as a Fictional league.

The one rule that has remained constant throughout the VBL1, VBL2 and both the VBL3 and VBL is that at no time is it acceptable for the Commissioner to own a franchise within his own league.

Commissioner:

The Commissioner maintains day-to-day operations of the league. The Commissioner is also NOT allowed to own a team in the VBL. The only time this is acceptable is when a vacancy occurs, with every intention to fill that vacancy quickly. 

Team President Responsibility:

All Team President’s are expected to stay involved in all aspects of running their organization, meet published deadlines for mandatory events, and respond in a timely fashion to their fellow owners when a trade inquiry is received. 

Upgrading OOTP Versions:

Prior to the 2009 season, the Commissioner chose to upgrade to OOTP 15 without a league vote due to potential errors harming the OOTP 13 file.

Prior to the 2012 season, the league voted to upgrade to OOTP 16.

In a non-emergency situation the decision to upgrade OOTP to a newer version must first pass a 75% vote within the league owners. It is from that point that the Commissioner will decide if the league should upgrade.

Any team owner can present the league with a vote on the subject.

Cheating:

Any GM caught cheating will be sent photos from Vienna GM’s personal library.

League Structure & Team Movement

League Structure:

From 2002-2009 season, the VBL was made up of two leagues with 14 teams each and three divisions per league. The schedule was 162 games, with a balanced format. Three division winners plus one wildcard made the playoffs from each league with the #1 playoff team facing the wildcard team.

Prior to the 2010 season, the VBL re-aligned to a two league system with 2 divisions. The divisions will play a division heavy, 162 game schedule with the top 2 teams from each division making the playoffs, and facing in a best of 7 playoff series. 

Playoffs:

The VBL has 8 playoff teams, two from each division. The #1 seed from each division earns home field advantage over the #2 seed from that same division. The winners of each division series then play in a L

New Team Settings:

In the event of league expansion, all new teams will begin their franchise with the lowest loyalty, fan interest, market, stadium capacity and media contracts in the league.

They will also have the smallest budget in the league. Their budget will be determined by taking the difference between the 2nd lowest budget and the lowest budget and deducting that from the lowest.

(i.e. Team with second lowest has a budget of  $10m and Team with lowest budget has $7m – then expansion team will have a budget of $4m)

Team Relocation for New Owners: 

1st off-season:

A new Team President can relocate his franchise to an unused city within the divisions geography, but will face a penalty of $250,000 cash sent to the league. Also, they will be docked 10 fan loyalty points.

A new Team President can re-brand his franchise to any new nickname that isn’t used as long as they have uniform,logos, etc (Commish has over 1k of these for you to sift through, just ask).  The penalty for doing this will be $125,000 cash sent to the league. Also, they will be docked 5 fan loyalty points.

If the team does not have the cash, they cannot move their country or re-brand in their first off-season.

2nd off-season:

A new Team President can relocate his franchise to an unused city within the divisions geography, but will face a penalty of $125,000 cash sent to the league. Also, they will be docked 5 fan loyalty points.

A new Team President can re-brand his franchise to any new nickname that isn’t used as long as they have uniform,logos, etc (Commish has over 1k of these for you to sift through, just ask).  The penalty for doing this will be $62,500 cash sent to the league. Also, they will be docked 3 fan loyalty points.

If the team does not have the cash, they cannot move their country or re-brand in their second off-season.

3rd off-season:

A new Team President can relocate his franchise to an unused city within the divisions geography, but will face a penalty of $62,500 cash sent to the league. Also, they will be docked 1 fan loyalty point.

A new Team President can re-brand his franchise to any new nickname that isn’t used as long as they have uniform,logos, etc (Commish has over 1k of these for you to sift through, just ask).  The penalty for doing this will be $31,250 cash sent to the league. Also, they will be docked 1 fan loyalty point.

If the team does not have the cash, they cannot move their country or re-brand in their third off-season.

Team relocation can only occur in the off-season.

Team Relocation for Veteran Presidents (More than 3 seasons): 

A veteran President may relocate if his team has performed under .500 for the past 3 seasons as of the current season they request. The franchise will be docked 14 fan loyalty points, and 5 fan interest points. The city of choice must be in line with the geographical boundaries of the current division.

Team relocation can only occur in the off-season.

 

Stadium Modeling & Updating

All stadiums begin with a capacity of 45,000. Through participation rewards it is possible to increase this total (see below info for rewards).

All minor league affiliates will play in the same park model as the big league club.

A team may ONLY change their stadium model under one of following conditions:

  1. He is a brand new Team President relocating his franchise within the first 3 years. 
  2. He has been in the league for more than 3 seasons + team has performed over .500 for the past 3 seasons + the team operated with a PROFIT in the previous completed season. 
  3. Stadiums cannot be changed from Spring Training until a champion is crowned.

Stadium Requirements:

Field Dimensions:
LF Line: (Min 315, Max 360)
LF: (Min 315, Max 360)
LF/CF: (Min 350, Max 390)
CF: (Min 395, Max 420)
RF/CF: (Min 330, Max 410)
RF: (Min 310, Max 370)
RF Line: (Min 310, Max 370)

Wall Heights (Average Wall Height is 8 feet):
LF Line: (Min 5, Max 20)
LF: ( Min 5, Max 20)
LF/CF: ( Min 5, Max 20)
CF: (Min 7, Max 18)
RF/CF: (Min 7, Max 23)
RF: (Min 5, Max 20)
RF Line: (Min 5, Max 20)

Type:
Dome, open, retractable

Surface:
Grass or Turf

Gameplay

Sim Schedule:

Sims are run Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday with all export deadlines at 7:00 PM EST. 

During the regular season, a sim will consist of 3 days. 

The off-season sims will be 3 virtual days until January 1st, then 5 virtual days for the month of January, then a full 7 days at a time in February which takes us to Spring Training.

Exports:

Team Presidents are expected to export and stay involved with all aspects of the organization.

On Leave:

If a President needs to take a vacation or needs time off from the league, they need to contact the Commissioner’s office to ensure the team is there for them when they return.

 

League Settings Overview:

  •  Ratings Scales: 1-100
  •  Overall Ratings – 1-100
  •  Potential Ratings – OFF
  •  Coaches/Scouting: On
  •  Scouting Accuracy: Normal
  •  Designated Hitter: No
  •  Cash Cap: $500,000
  •  Expanded Rosters: Yes
  •  Minor League Free Agency: Yes
  •  Ghost Players: No
  •  Personality Ratings: Yes
  •  Morale Ratings: Yes
  •  Suspensions: Yes
  •  Drug Suspensions: No
  •  Visiting Team’s Gate Share – 20%

Roster Management

Player Contracts – The Smithwick Guard Dog Rules:

There are several flaws in the game that allow teams the ability to trick the AI. We are trying to avoid that. To make things easy to remember, all financial rules below stick to a 15% guideline.

Every team will receive a warning and contract adjustment for the first offense. However, the second offense of the following rules will result in more guaranteed money for the player.

It is the owners responsibility to make sure a player is not demanding a contract that is “illegal.” 

A legal player contract must meet the following criteria:

  •  Each incentive or bonus may not exceed 15% of highest guaranteed yearly salary within the contract. (Example: If Johan Santana makes $1million as the highest guaranteed salary during a multi-year deal the bonus for winning Pitcher of the Year cannot be any higher than $150,000)
  •  Playing time/Innings/Plate Appearance incentive must be within 15% of their most recent year’s performance. (Example: If Santana pitched  220 innings in 2008 – his bonus for innings pitched in 2009 can NOT be under 187 and cannot be over 220 innings.)
  •  Team Options: A team option buyout MUST be at least 15% of the highest yearly guaranteed value on the contract. The option also may NOT be 15% more than the highest yearly guaranteed value.

(Example: Player is signed to 3 year back loaded deal worth 500k-500k-1mil with a 4th year team option – that team option cannot be any more than $1.15million with a buyout must be NO LESS than $150,000)

  •  Player & Vesting Option Buyout: There is no rule on the buyout amount for these options, however they still fall under the 15% of yearly guaranteed value rule.
  •  Contract Extensions: You cannot offer a contract extension to a player until they have officially reached arbitration. If an owner breaks this rule, the final two years of the deal become player options with no warning issued.

Penalties:

The owner will receive a warning the first time they break any of the above contract rules (except the Extension rule). All contracts breaking the rule will be reset to abide by the rule they broke.

For the second offense, all of the bonus/buyout $ will be added to the final year of the guaranteed salary. So if you have a 4 year deal with $100k in bonuses that are illegal, that is $400k added to the players final guaranteed year.

For the third offense, Vienna GM is given your home address.

If the player concerned was signed as a free agent, the player will be released back into free agency. If the contract was an extension, then the extension will be voided and the team will retain rights to the player.

Designated For Assignment (DFA):

If a Player is left on DFA (with no time remaining) while a sim is being done, the commish will try to put that player in the minor leagues. If a player cannot go to the minors for whatever reason and there is no room on the 40-man roster, then the player will be released.

The DFA time is 13 days.

Organization Roster Size:

Every team is expected to fill a complete roster within all of their various league levels. If the Commissioner sees that you have an incomplete minor league roster (to the degree you have holes in your lineup/rotation/bullpen) – signings will be made for you automatically, with a warning sent.

It is in your team’s best interest to follow this guideline as it will ensure your minor leaguers can develop properly.

Waiver Claims:

A player will remain on waivers for 9 days before passing through.

Trades:

All owners are expected to respond in a timely fashion to their fellow owner who inquires about a trade. When a trade is completed, the owners must CC the Commissioner’s office on an email explaining the details of the trade using position, player name and level. (Example: Austin Sends 3B Dave McGilicutty (AA) to Springfield for SS Happy Gilmore (ACT).)

  1.    Draft Picks for the upcoming year can be traded. One year’s worth of future draft picks can be traded but it is up to the receiving team to remind the Commissioner that the pick needs to be swapped in game after the current draft takes place. 
  2.    Teams can trade a maximum of $500,000 in cash and may only do so if they have the cash on hand.
  3.    Trades are processed after the daily games are simmed. If a player gets disabled list injured during these simmed games, the Commissioner will not process the trade and ensure that both parties still agree.

Amateur Draft:

The First-year Player Draft (20 Rounds), which is on March 1st (in-game) is handled via e-mail draft for the first two rounds. 

The e-mail portion will begin when the game hits February 1st.

After that, the Commissioner will update the draft pool in the game and provide a new league file. There will then be 3 nights of live drafting for rounds 3-5. Anybody who cannot attend will have their pick done via their exported draft list.

It is in the best interest of the GM to export a draft/scout list in the few sims prior to the March 1st sim. Doing this will ensure your scout creates a more in-depth list for the later rounds.

We ALL have day jobs… please be prepared with a short list… you can email it to me or email to yourself. If you’re 10 picks away make a list of 10 guys. I think if you are further than 10 or so picks away, its reasonable to expect you to need to look at who was picked before you select. Just remember you have 27 others waiting for you to pick please. 

The draft order is based on worst regular season record, to the best.

 

Rule V Draft

The Rule 5 draft will be held through the e-mail list. We will draft via e-mail, and depending on the pace might meet up live on Slack to finish it. 

Finances

Payroll

There is no minimum or maximum for team spending.

Cash on Hand

There is a cash cap set at $500,000

Ticket Prices

Ticket Prices may be set anywhere from $4 and $7.

Gate Revenue

Visiting teams will receive 20% of the home team gate.

Media Revenue

All teams began the VBL with equal National and Local media deals. After 3 seasons, the deals were re-negotiated automatically.

Fan Interest

Fan Interest will be determined by the team’s actions.

Budget

Each team receives a budget based on their revenue from the year prior. All VBL teams began with the same budget.

Free Agent Compensation

The VBL used Free Agent Compensation through the 2013 draft, following the draft we no longer use it when the owners voters 20-8 to eliminate it.

Participation Rewards & Bonuses 

Rules:

– Presidents can earn a maximum of 50 points per season – but with banked points it is possible to earn more.

– A President can bank half of their points for 1 year. (IE the most you could possibly carry over is 25 if you had earned 50)

– All Player Points may only be used if a player has a work ethic of Normal or higher. (IE no player with the word LOW in his work ethic can be altered)

– Teams may make 1 change per player per year. An individual player cannot receive two edits in one off-season

– When a new President begins his first off-season, we take the average number of points for the bottom 5 participators and add that total to their team’s reward total.

– All edits are applied to a players ACTUAL rating, rather than their POTENTIAL rating.

IE Prior to 2004 we had 3 new Presidents – the bottom 5 participators earned 7-7-7-12-14 points. Therefore our 3 new Presidents got 9 points added to their reward total.

How to Earn Points:

Team Presidents can earn points by submitted press clippings to the league mailing address using the templates provided on the right hand side of thevbl.org under the Rewards section.

Point totals can be found by clicking the link labeled Reward Totals.

How to Use Points:

 

Offensive Players (Under 26 years old on March 30):

Cost: 5 points each.

Infield Range +5

Infield Error +5

Infield Arm +5

Turn Double Plays +5

Outfield Range +5

Outfield Error +5

Outfield Arm +5

Catcher Ability +5

Catcher Arm +5

Power +3 or Contact +3 with Eye +2 (This is a combo deal, you choose between Power/Contact and you get the Eye upgrade)

Fielding Edits (Under 26 years old on March 30):

Cost: 5 Points each.

Each player has a rating inside OOTP. For 5 points, you can add a position if the player has no ability yet to play it. The player will receive 75% of their highest rating

C: 1B, 3B, LF, RF

1B: LF, RF

2B: SS, 3B, CF

3B: 1B, 2B, SS, LF, RF

SS: 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF

LF: 1B, RF, CF

CF: LF, RF

RF: 1B, LF, CF

Please note: If you are switching a player from outfield to infield (or vice versa) or a catcher to another position, you will want to check their overall ability.

So for example if Kiawah wanted to teach Jason Varitek to play 3B. He should go to Varitek and click “Set Position To” and choose an infield position. This will then show him what Varitek’s ability to play the infield is (IE Range etc). If it’s very low, don’t waste your points.

Pitching Edits for ages 24/25 Only:

Cost: 5 Points

This edit can only be done to a pitcher TWICE in his career. The player may only be 24 years old on March 1st or 25 years old on March 1st.

Stamina +5.

Pitching Edits for 24 or 25 years old on March 30 ONLY

Cost: 5 points

These edits can only be done to a pitcher twice in his career and he may only be 24 or 25 years old on March 30th.

Velocity: This will bump your pitchers velocity up 1 setting. So 92-94mph will go to 93-95mph

Control: This will bump your pitchers control up 5 points.

Pitch Edits (24 or 25 years old on March 30 ONLY)

Cost: 10 points

Each player has a rating inside OOTP. You can add a pitch if the player has no ability to throw the pitch. The player will receive 75% of their 2nd highest rating.

10 point Pitch Adds: Fastball, Sinker, Cutter, Curveball, Slider, Changeup, Splitter, Forkball, Circle Change

Special 10 point Pitch Add: If a pitcher already throws a knuckleball/knuckle curve or screwball then and only then can you add a knuckler/knuck curve or screwball to the players repertoire.

Player Work Ethic Edits (under 26 on March 30)

Cost: 5 points

Bump up your players work ethic to Normal. This move allows you to bump a player whose ethic is Very Low or Low and move them to Normal.

Team Edits:

Cost: 1-5 Points

Stadium Capacity: Max of 5 points. Every point used increases your capacity by 200 seats. Max Stadium Capacity is 50,000

_________

Rewards beginning in 2013:

Rules:

– Presidents can earn a maximum of 100 points per season – but with banked points it is possible to earn more.

—- Updated from original rule which stated you could only earn up to 50 points.

– A President can bank half of their points for 1 year. (IE the most you could possibly carry over is 50 if you had earned 100)

—- Updated, now the bank minimum will be 50

– All Player Points may only be used if a player has a work ethic of Normal or higher. (IE no player with the word LOW in his work ethic can be altered)

– Teams may make 1 change per player per year. An individual player cannot receive two edits in one off-season

– When a new President begins his first off-season, we take the average number of points for the bottom 5 participators and add that total to their team’s reward total. (IE Prior to 2004 we had 3 new Presidents – the bottom 5 participators earned 7-7-7-12-14 points. Therefore our 3 new Presidents got 9 points added to their reward total.)

All edits are applied to a players ACTUAL rating, rather than their POTENTIAL rating.

How to Earn Points:

Team Presidents can earn points by submitting press clippings to the league mailing address using the templates provided on the right hand side of thevbl.org under the Rewards section.

Monthly Press Releases plus Season Preview and Review will be worth a total of 50 points. The point totals from previous year will be readjusted making the Team Preview and Season Review each worth 10 points as opposed to 7 and 6 from previous years.

Team Presidents can also earn points by submitting a Hall of Fame vote before the deadline. This will earn them a total of 7 points.

If an owner exports at least 4 times during each regular season month, they will receive 5 points. The season consists of six virtual months, so a team President can earn 30 points if they export at least 4 times every virtual month. There are roughly 10 sims per virtual month.

If a team meets all requirements and has a total of 87 points without banked points, they will receive a 13 point bonus getting them to 100.

Point totals can be found by clicking the link labeled Reward Totals.

Who can be edited:

0-3 Pro Years (this is total years in minors+bigs): Can receive potential OR actual rewards. Also these players can earn a 10 point boost by spending 5 points of participation.

4-6 Pro Years (this is total years in minors+bigs): Can receive ONLY actual rewards.

This change was decided because the age with birth dates and when we process rewards has always seemed to be an issue. Plus this allows for younger players to get help in various different ways, and older players to still get an actual edit.

Pro Yrs can be found by choosing the “Financial Info” tab after Customizing your View and selecting Pro Yrs. A player who was just drafted would have 0 pro yrs, and a player who was drafted 6 years ago would have 5 Pro Yrs.

Unless otherwise noted, every 5 points spent will now earn you TEN points of upgrades.

Players with 0-3 Pro Yrs, Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – Fielding Cost 5 points gets you 10 points

Presidents can split the ten points up anyway they like between these fielding ratings excluding the learning of a position.

Actual Infield Range +10

Actual Infield Error +10

Actual Infield Arm +10

Actual Turn Double Plays +10

Actual Outfield Range +10

Actual Outfield Error +10

Actual Outfield Arm +10

Actual Catcher Ability +10

Actual Catcher Arm +10

Learning a position: Cost is 10 points

–       For 10 points, you can add a position if the player has no experience points there yet. The player will receive 75% of their highest rating. So if their experience at 1B is a 200, I’d give you 150 points at the new position. Please consider the infield/outfield/catcher ratings before deciding to do this. A player with terrible range in the outfield and no arm, isn’t going to benefit from positional experience bumps.

Players with 0-3 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – At the plate actual – Cost is 5 points gets you 10

Presidents can split the ten points up anyway they like between these five ratings.

Actual BABIP (Impacts Contact the most) +10

Actual Avoid K (Also Impacts Contact) +10

Actual Power (also impacts contact) +10

Actual Gap Power +10

Actual Eye +10

Players with 0-3 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – At the Plate Potential – Cost is 5 points get you 10

Presidents can split the ten points up anyway they like between these five ratings.

Potential BABIP (Impacts Contact the most) +10

Potential Avoid K (Also Impacts Contact) +10

Potential Power (also impacts contact) +10

Potential Gap Power +10

Potential Eye +10

Players with 0-3 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – Actual Pitching – Cost is 5 points, gets you 10 

Actual Control: +10

Actual Movement: +10
– Presidents can split up the 5 points for Movement and Control (ie 3 on Control, 2 on Movement)

Actual Pitch Improvement: +10 (Must already have a rating for the pitch)

Players with 0-3 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – Potential Pitching – Cost is 5 points gets you 10

Potential Control: +10

Potential Movement: +10

– Presidents can split up the 5 points for Movement and Control (ie 3 on Control, 2 on Movement)

Potential Pitch: +10 (Must have a rating for that pitch already)

Potential NEW pitch, Cost is 10 points: Fastball, Sinker, Cutter, Curveball, Slider, Changeup, Splitter, Forkball, Circle Change – Added pitch can NOT take pitchers repertoire over 5 pitches

Special NEW pitch, Cost is 10 points: If a pitcher already throws a knuckleball/knuckle curve or screwball then and only then can you add a knuckler/knuck curve or screwball to the players repertoire.- Added pitch can NOT take pitchers repertoire over 5 pitches

Players with 0-3 Pro Yrs – Work Ethic, Cost is 5 points 

A player can have their work ethic bumped up from Very Low or Low to Normal – OR from Normal to High, each bump is worth 5 points and can only be done once per year (IE it will take you two years to get a Low work ethic up to high).

Players with 4-6 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – Fielding Cost: 5 points gets you 5 points

Presidents can split the five points up anyway they like between these fielding ratings excluding the learning of a position.

Actual Infield Range +5

Actual Infield Error +5

Actual Infield Arm +5

Actual Turn Double Plays +5

Actual Outfield Range +5

Actual Outfield Error +5

Actual Outfield Arm +5

Actual Catcher Ability +5

Actual Catcher Arm +5

Learning a position: Cost is 10 points

–       For 10 points, you can add a position if the player has no experience points there yet. The player will receive 75% of their highest rating. So if their experience at 1B is a 200, I’d give you 150 points at the new position. Please consider the infield/outfield/catcher ratings before deciding to do this. A player with terrible range in the outfield and no arm, isn’t going to benefit from positional experience bumps.

Players with 4-6 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – At the plate actual, 5 points gets you 5 points

Presidents can split the five points up anyway they like between these five ratings.

Actual BABIP (Impacts Contact the most) +5

Actual Avoid K (Also Impacts Contact) +5

Actual Power (also impacts contact) +5

Actual Gap Power +5

Actual Eye +5

Players with 4-6 Pro Yrs Plus Normal+ Work Ethic – Actual Pitching. 5 points gets you 5 points

Actual Control: +5

Actual Movement: +5

– Presidents can split up the 5 points for Movement and Control (ie 3 on Control, 2 on Movement)

Actual Pitch Improvement: +5 (Must already have a rating for the pitch)

Velocity: You can bump a pitcher’s velocity one level for 5 points. Velocity is handled in 3 mph intervals starting with 83-85. So the next level would be 84-86.

Stamina: For 5 points, you can increase a pitcher’s stamina by 10 points

Extra non-Player Bonus:

Stadium Capacity: Max of 5 points. Every point used increases your capacity by 200 seats. Max Stadium Capacity is 50,000

Fan Interest: Bump your fan’s interest in your club by 5 points.

All-Star Game:

Along with home field (which is dumb I know but how else should it be decided?) in the championship series, the winning league will receive a $1.5 million bonus to share among the group and a 2 point bump in Fan Interest

-Each team in the winning league will receive $100,000

-The team with the MVP will receive an additional $50,000

-The winning GM will receive a $50,000 bonus

If your cash is lower than the cash cap, the money will go right into your cash.

If you are at the $500,000 cash cap, then the remaining bonus money will be dropped directly into your merchandise revenue.

Application: GM’s should send this to the Commissioner’s Office every off-season.

Team Name:

Points Before Edits:

List players Pro Yrs AND Work Ethic as you’d like to edit them. For example…

CF Luis Martinez (High WE, 3) – +3 CON / +2 EYE

Banked Points:

 Interested in Joiningthe VBL? Send an e-mail here