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.

There are no export requirements, and no rewards associated with exporting. However, it is expected that all Team President’s take care of their team as needed.

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. We currently used OOTP 18 as of Mid-2017.

This league never rushes to upgrade OOTP’s and will always do so in either an emergency, or a strategic way. Typically, we upgrade every other version so that the cost to play in the VBL is minimal over two years. 

Cheating:

Any GM caught cheating will be sent photos from Major Pixel’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:

Prior to the 2016 season, the VBL voted to add a wildcard team to each division. The playoffs now consist of the top three teams in each division making the post-season.

Team #3 travels to Team #2 for a best of 3 series, with all 3 games taking place at the #2 seed’s home.

The winner of that series, will face the division winner in a 2-3-2 style best of 7 series. The winner of that series will play for the league championship with a chance to play for the VBL Title.

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 & Other New Owner Rules: 

New owners that inherit a debt will get half of that debt bought out by the league immediately.

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, then the fee can be added back to their debt after the debt buyout listed above.

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, Tuesday & Thursday with all export deadlines at 7:00 PM EST. 

Live Sims will begin between 7-8 pm est unless otherwise noted. The Commish will send an ETA just prior to 7pm.

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

The off-season sims will be 3 virtual days until January 1st, then 7 virtual days for the month of January, then a full 10 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 – 1-100
  •  Coaches/Scouting: On (Teams are required to have full coaching staff. Asst GM is not required)
  •  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%Note: Coaches can be extended at any time, but a new hire at any level, can NOT happen until the VBL off-season starts which is generally 2 virtual days after the champ is crowned.

Roster Management

Player Contracts:

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.

Remember the number 15%. Everything is 15%. Simple as that. So if your contract is not the same yearly value across the board – then you need to stop and look it over. 

If you’re awful at math: https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/percentage-increase 

Incentive $

Can not be higher than 15% of the highest guaranteed year on the contract.

Example: Player has a two year guarantee contract 500k and 550k.

Minimum Innings Bonus $, Bonus for Pitcher/Hitter Award, Bonus for All Star can NOT be any higher than 15% of $550,000 which is $82,500

1st Penalty: Warning and adjustment

2nd Penalty: Half of the bonus value goes into the guaranteed value and bonus adjustment

3rd Penalty: Total bonus is added to guaranteed value and bonus is also properly added.

Incentive or Vesting Qualifier:

Innings Pitched, Games Started, Games Finished, Plate Appearances, Games Played incentive can NOT be over 15% of their most recent season when the contract was signed.

Pitcher Example: If a pitcher throws 100 innings, 10 starts, 10 games finished then their vesting or incentive total cannot be more than 115 innings, 11-12 starts, and 11-12 games finished.

Hitter Example: If a hitter has 400 plate appearances, and 100 games played then their vesting or incentive total cannot be more than 460 plate appearances, and 115 games played.

1st Penalty: Warning and adjustment

2nd Penalty: Half of the bonus value goes into the guaranteed value and bonus adjustment

3rd Penalty: Total bonus is added to guaranteed value and bonus is also properly added.

Team/Player/Vesting (or Opt-Out) Option Value

An option of any kind (Team, Player, Vest or Opt Out) value can NOT be higher than 15% of the highest guaranteed value.

Example: A guaranteed contract has 500,000 and 600,000 yearly value. The Team Option can not be more than $690,000 which is a 15% increase over the 600,000.

This is to make sure players are not unwisely and unrealistically accepting a team option that is a drastic increase from their guaranteed value which is an offer with no real intention of executing by the GM.

1st Penalty: Warning and adjustment

2nd Penalty: Half of the option value goes into the guaranteed value and buyout adjustment

3rd Penalty: Option becomes a Player Option

Team Option Buyouts

A team option buyout MUST be at least 15% of the team option.

So if the team option is 100,000, your buyout must be at least $15,000. It can be MORE, it can NOT be less.

1st Penalty: Warning and adjustment

2nd Penalty: Half of the option value goes into the guaranteed value and buyout adjustment

3rd Penalty: Option becomes a Player Option

This rule is in place to ensure teams are not offering a true value of $0 because they do not intend on ever executing the team option.

Contract Extensions:

A player can NOT receive a multi-year contract extension until they hit THREE YEARS of major league service time.
If a player officially (meaning shows up in the arbitration screen) qualifies as a Super 2 Arbitration player, the GM is allowed to offer a multi-year extension – but you must first send a note to the Commissioner’s office showing the player has qualified for arbitration earlier than 3 years.
The three year (or super two) rule exists because players have not yet learned their true financial value before the money is available to them. They are judging their worth based on their minimum $120,000 contract instead of what they can expect in arbitration.
A player CAN receive a 1 year contract extension offer from you at any time.

The one year contract is allowable so that teams can buyout an upcoming year of arbitration without committing long-term. An example of this option’s usefulness would be if a player is about to hit 3 years of service time (or super 2 eligibility), and you offer him a 1 year deal that avoids arbitration but still gives him a one year increase.

Penalty: Contract voided and you deal with the repercussions from that.

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 (15 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.

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.

No 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

How to Earn Points:

Team Presidents can earn points by submitted press writings 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.

Details of the reward structure are sent out to the league every season as a reminder.

 

 

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.

Interested in Joining the VBL? Send an e-mail here