"Classic Retro League" Constitution

1. League Structure

A. The Classic Retro League (CRL) is a "continuous" retro league that will begin with the 1963 season. Beginning in 1969, the CRL will consist of twenty teams divided into two leagues (East & West) of ten teams each. Realignment for the 1973 season will most likely happen with four divisions and probably two leagues (NL & AL, 5 teams per division).

B. The league officers are Pete DeStefano (Commissioner) and Larry Reeves (Assistant Commissioner). Any changes or additions to this constitution must be made by a majority decision between the league officers, except as stated in 1C.

C. In some circumstances, the league officers may present a proposal to all managers for a league vote. Proposals for rule changes or other matters will be approved with a majority vote. In case of a tie, the Commissioner will make the final decision.


2. Software Requirements

A. Each league member is required to purchase the current season's roster disk from the Strat-O-Matic (SOM) Game Company. Current versions of the SOM computer baseball program (updated annually in February) are required. All patch files from the SOM website are to be downloaded and used in a timely fashion.


3. Team Names & Ballparks

A. All teams must represent a city of major or minor league size. All teams must have a nickname that has been used previously by a professional, college or minor league sports team. See http://www.logoserver.com/index.html for some ideas. It is not necessary to use both the city and the nickname combination of any actual franchise or team. The Portland Panthers, St Louis Hawks and the Syracuse Stars are all acceptable combinations. A team may never change their name unless the team is transferred to a new owner. All teams must have a unique city and nickname.

B. League members have the choice of using a real major league ballpark such as Fenway Park or a fictitious name that suits their team. For example, Syracuse Stadium or Stars Field are acceptable names for the Syracuse Stars. Whether a fictitious or real ballpark is used, the manager must choose the ballpark factors (singles and homeruns for righties and lefties) associated with that park before the start of that team's first draft. Once set, these ballpark factors cannot be changed. For simplicity, the ballpark factors for doubles and triples will be 100 for any fictitious park and cannot be changed.

C. Click here to see the current list of owners and their team names.


4. 1969 Expansion Draft

A. Click here to see the rules outlined for the 1969 draft.


5. Schedule & Player Rest

A. Each team will play a 162 game schedule, consisting of 81 home games and 81 away games. On the SOM schedule, there will be 3 days off at the All-Star break.

B. Each week will consist of a "home and home" series versus your opponent. The week will consist of two 3-game series. One day of rest will be given on the schedule after each "home and home" series. Word of caution: manage the pitching staff wisely... no other days of rest will be given during the regular season, except during the All-Star break.


6. Game Play & Game Files

A. Netplay is strongly encouraged, but not required, except for all playoff games. When netplay is not feasible during the regular season, teams will play their road games solitaire versus the opponent's computer manager (CM) and must follow instructions (a specific lineup versus a certain pitcher, for example), if given by the opposing manager. The CM must, at the very least, specify the 25 "eligibles", starting rotation and starting lineups for the series.

B. After playing his weekly road games (solitaire or netplay), each owner must email all game files and boxscores to the Commissioner by 11:59 pm EST every Monday night... series summaries are certainly welcomed, but not required.

C. Games should also be played as they appear on the schedule. So, if you are the home team first, please wait, if possible, for your opponent to send you the results… then import those games before playing your road games.


7. Game Rules

A. The following rules will be used:

Main rules: Maximum Level. All maximum rule settings will be used except for Improve Statistical Accuracy, , Starting Pitcher Clutch, Force Daily Injuries & Allow extra pre-1920 errors. "Home Field Advantage" (HFA) was instituted for the 1971 season. HFA will not be used for playoff games.

BP/Weather/Clutch: Ballpark effects will be used, but weather and clutch hitting will not.

Stealing: Super Advanced Steal System

Strategy: Super Advanced Strategy Charts.

Miscellaneous: Use miscellaneous rules.

Closer: Use closer rules.

Injuries: Do not use injuries.

Pitcher Fatigue: Use SADV fatigue and pitch count.

Groundball A: Allow GBA on pitcher cards.

B. Lineups will be set for "Draft League Mode No Rest". No scheduled days off will be given except as stated in 5B. Overusage will be set to "Ignore" and Minor Leaguers will be set to the "40/25 Method".

C. A player rated to play any outfield position may play any outfield position (SOM Rule 25.21). If a player is rated in LF only, he may play CF or RF, but must suffer the following range penalties (maximum range is a "5"):

LF to RF +1, LF to CF +2, RF to CF + 1.

Other OF moves have no range penalty. Players may only play the infield positions for which they are rated, except in emergency situations or under special circumstances approved by the commissioner.

Pitchers rated only as "Starters" by SOM are allowed to pitch in relief and "Relief Only" pitchers may be used as starters, but pitch counts, usage limitations and fatigue levels will naturally limit this.

D. No DH will be used until the 1973 season. Players not rated at any position may be used at first base and be given the default 1b5-e30 defensive rating.


8. Draft Eligibility

A. The draft pool will be comprised of only players eligible for season play. See Section 9 for eligibility.


9. Player Eligibility (For Seasonal Play)

A. Players on a roster disk must meet the following minimums to be eligible for seasonal play: 60 AB for a batter and 30 IP for a pitcher. Players not meeting these criteria will be considered "uncarded" and ineligible for use during that season.

B. A batter exceeding the minimum requirements as noted in 9A will also be considered "uncarded" if the player's card is from Gary Simonds' website* AND at least one of the following is true:

i. His HOMERUN percentage on either side of his card is greater than 10% (> 10.8 chances out of 108)... ballpark HR chances will be multiplied by 0.5 when determining the number of chances. For example, if a player versus lefties has a homerun on 1-6 (5 chances) and 1-7 (6 chances), he will be considered "uncarded" because his 11 total chances exceed the limit of 10.8. The card would be ruled "ineligible" for play regardless of how many homerun chances he has on the opposite side of his card.

ii. His TRIPLE percentage on either side of his card is greater than 10% (> 10.8 chances out of 108).

iii. His DOUBLE percentage on either side of his card is greater than 20% (> 21.6 chances out of 108).

iv. His HOMERUN + TRIPLE + DOUBLE percentage on either side of his card is greater than 25% (> 27 chances out of 108).

v. His on base (hits, walks, HBP's) percentage on either side of his card is greater than 60% (> 64.8 chances out of 108)... ballpark HR and single chances will be multiplied by 0.5 when determining total chances. For example, if a player versus lefties has singles and walks in the entire 1 and 2 columns (72 chances), he will be considered "uncarded" because his 72 total chances exceed the limit of 64.8. The card would be ruled "ineligible" for play regardless of how many on base chances he has on the opposite side of his card.

vi. He has a highly unbalanced card (6R/6L or greater) and has less than 20% of his at bats on the season on his stronger side.

* Note: Gary's website no longer exists, but cards that originated from his site can be determined by the lowercase abbreviation used by strat in the player's 3-letter "team code"... mla, nyn, for example.


10. Rosters

A. Each team can have up to 30 players on their roster at any time, with a 25-man "active" roster available to play in a given series of games. These 25 "eligibles" must be announced at the start of each 3 or 4 game series and cannot be changed once the series begins. The lone exception to this rule is when their is no limit to the number of players on a team's active roster, which begins on September 1 or before the start of a series that extends into September. For example, if a 6-game home and home series begins on August 27 and ends on September 1, then the rosters will be expanded beginning on August 27.

B. Each team's 25 "eligibles" must consist of players providing adequate depth at every defensive position. "Adequate depth" is considered to be:

i. At least two players available/carded to play each infield position.

ii. At least two players available/carded to play catcher.

iii. At least five players available/carded to play an outfield position.

C. At the end of each season, each owner may select up to 18 players to be kept/frozen for the following season. The only requirement for the "keepers" is that the player must have at least 80% of his AB/IP total from the previous season. For example, for Sandy Koufax to be eligible as a "keeper" for the 1964 season, he must pitch at least 249 innings in 1963... 0.8 x 311 IP (311 was his real life total in 1963) = 248.8. This is known as the "Use Him or Lose Him" (UHOLH) rule. The only exception to this rule is stated in 10D.

D. If a manager has an oversight and fails to reach 80% usage on a player, he has the choice of keeping that player or players. The penalty for such will be a loss of a draft pick determined by the chart below. However, the player(s) in question must exceed 60% usage to qualify for this "second chance". This is to prevent managers from using this "second chance rule" as a loophole for keeping players while sitting them on the bench all season.

<  50 Points - No Penalty
>= 50 and < 75 - 9th rd pick
>= 75 and < 100 - 8th rd pick
>= 100 and < 125 - 7th rd pick
>= 125 and < 150 - 6th rd pick
>= 150 and < 200 - 5th rd pick
>= 200 and < 300 - 4th rd pick
>= 300 - 3rd rd pick

1 AB = 1 Point
1 IP = 4 Points

E. The "keepers" do not need to meet the minimum requirements as stated in 9A, but these players will be ineligible for play during the following season and are considered "uncarded". A team cannot have more than five "uncarded" players on its roster during any given season.

F. Players who get two "cards" on a roster disk will count as only one player on a team's roster. The card representing his stats from the first part of the season must be used first. When the budget for the first card is spent (80% minimum, 110% maximum), then the second card may be activated. A player may have only one card active during any week. Both player "cards" are subject to rule 9A & 9B regarding eligibility. A player whose individual cards do not meet the 60/35 minimum but whose combined total exceeds 60/35, are also not eligible. An owner may select which one of the two "cards" is eligible for the playoffs with one exception: The first card must be used at least 80%. If the first card if used only 78% during the regular season, then the second card is not eligible for use during the playoffs. Budget will be based upon the actual AB/IP for the card to be used and not the total of the two.

G. Playoff teams must announce their 25 "eligibles" before the playoff series begins. After the first playoff game has been played, the 25 "eligibles" cannot be changed for any reason throughout the playoffs.


11. Usage

A. Each player will be limited to 110% of his real life AB/IP usage. For example, in 1963, Willie Mays will be limited to 655 AB (1.1 x 596 = 655.6)... 110.01% is considered "overused".

B. If one or more players are overused in a particular game or games, the Commissioner reserves the right to forfeit the game(s) by the offending team.


12. Free Agents

A. After the draft, there will be a handful of players left over. These players will occupy the free agent pool. During the regular season, free agents may be picked up. However, in order to pick up a player, you must first release a player from your roster. If two teams want to pick up a player during the same week, then the team with the worse record gets that player.


13. Trades

A. Owners may trade any amount of players and/or draft picks subject to the approval of the Commissioner.

B. Draft picks may only be traded one season in advance. For example, during the 1963 season, you may trade your 1964 draft picks, but not your 1965 draft picks. At the conclusion of the 1963 World Series, you may begin trading draft picks for 1965.This is to prevent owner's from sacrificing a franchise's future.

C. The trade deadline for the season will be August 31 on the SOM schedule. If August 31 falls within the middle of a series, then the deadline will be at the end of that week. For example, if a "week of games" falls from August 28 to September 3, then the deadline will be on September 3 (at the end of that week in real time).

D. Trades may resume again after all teams declare their "keepers" (see 10C) AND after the World Series concludes.


14. Playoffs

A. The top three teams from each league (two division winners plus one wild card team) will qualify for the playoffs. Full rest will be given before the start of the series. The first round will consist of the wild card team and the division winner with the 2nd best record (team with the best overall record receives a bye). The team with the better regular season finish will have the home field advantage, except for the first round, which will be given to the division winner (not the wild card team). All series will have the following format: 2-3-2 with a single day of rest after Games 2 and 5.

B. Regular season ties shall be broken per the following:

i. Best head to head record amongst tied teams.

ii. Best home record amongst tied teams.

iii. If a tie still exists, the California State lottery will break the tie.

C. If two teams are tied for a single playoff spot, then a 1-game playoff will determine which team advances. Home field will be determined by the California State (3 number) lottery... odd numbers for one team (i.e, 723), even numbers the other team (i.e. 010).

D. If two or more teams are tied for the best overall record, a 1-game playoff will not be played. The first round bye will go to the team that wins the tie-breaker (See 14B).

E. If three teams are tied for the last remaining (wild card) playoff spot, a "2-game", single-elimination playoff will take place. The team that wins the tie-breaker (see 14B) will receive a "bye" and the remaining two will play a 1-game playoff to determine which team advances to the second playoff game.

F. If four teams are tied for the last remaining playoff spot, then a "3-game" playoff will take place. A "Final Four", single elimination "mini-tournament" will decide which team advances to the playoffs.

G. See 10F for 25-man roster requirements.

H. No days of rest will be given for a 1 (or more) game playoff (prior to the first 7-game playoff series). These games are considered an extension of the regular season.


15. World Series

A. The league champions will face off in the World Series. The series will be a best of seven, in the 2-3-2 format with a single day of rest after Games 2 and 5. The "home field advantage" will be based on the following tie-breaker:

i. Best regular season winning percentage... "tie-breakers" to determine playoff teams are considered regular season games.

ii. Best head to head record.

iii. Best winning percentage on the road.

iv. If a tie still exists, then the California State lottery will break the tie.


16. Usage/Ratings for the Playoffs

A. For each 7-game playoff series, an owner may use up to 8% of a player's real life AB/IP. For example, a player with 99 AB in real life is allowed only 7 AB in an LCS... 8 AB is more than 8% of 99, so only 7 AB is allowed in this case. The usage limitation is independent of the number of games that the series is played... in the above example, 7 AB is allowed in a 4-game sweep or a series that goes all seven games.

B. The only exception to the usage rule is if Game 7 goes into extra innings... at that time, all players are waived their usage "limitations". 

C. Players with two cards in a set must have one of them declared eligible for the post-season when a manager announces his post-season roster. The other card will not be used and post-season budget will be computed using the selected card’s AB or IP.

D. All starting pitchers who were given a "0" relief rating* (not to be confused with a closer rating), will be given the following relief ratings based on their IP in real life during that season:

IP >= 200, relief rating = 4

IP >= 100, relief rating = 3

IP < 100, relief rating = 2

* Strat-o-matic gave a "0" relief rating to starting pitchers who did not pitch in relief during the regular season (in real life)... as a result, their suggested pitch count when used in relief is unrealistically low. It is/was very common for starting pitchers (especially 4th or 5th starters) to be used in relief in a playoff series.


17. Yearly Drafts & Draft Lottery

A. The draft before the start of each season will be a "straight" draft. The draft order will be in reverse order of regular season record except:

i. The winning team in the World Series will draft last in each round (#20 overall).

ii. The losing team in the World Series will draft second to last in each round (#19 overall).

iii. The losing teams of the league championship series will draft 17-18 overall. The team with the better regular season record will draft #18 overall. Ties will be broken per 17v noted below.

iv. The losing teams of the first round will draft 15-16 overall. The team with the better regular season record will draft #16 overall. Ties will be broken per 17v noted below.

v. The fourteen teams that do not make the playoffs will enter a "lottery" (see 17B) to determine the order for the first round only. All subsequent rounds will be in reverse order of record, except as noted in 17Ai thru 17Aiv. Ties by two or more teams will be broken in the following manner:

a. Best head to head record amongst tied teams. The team with the best head to head record will get the higher (earlier) draft pick.

b. Best road record. The team with the best road record will get the higher (earlier) draft pick.

c. If a tie still exists, the California State lottery will determine the order.

vi. When a tie exists between two or more teams in the draft, the team that obtains the higher lottery odds, will pick last amongst the tied teams in Round 2 and beyond. For example, if San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle are tied with a 76-86 regular season record and SF has the highest lottery odds and LA has the second best lottery odds... then, Seattle would pick ahead of LA, who would pick ahead of SF in all other rounds after Round 1.

B. A draft lottery will be used to determine the first 2 picks (for the first round only). The fourteen that do not make the playoffs will have a shot at the #1 or #2 pick... each team will get the following number of chances out of 1000. The California Daily 3 (midday) lottery on a pre-determined date will decide who gets the #1 pick. The California Daily 3 (evening) lottery on that same pre-determined date will decide who gets the #2 pick. If the evening lottery yields the same result (the team with the #1 pick is not eligible to get the #2 pick), then the midday lottery on the following day will be considered and so on. The remaining 12 teams will draft in reverse order of record... so the worst team can do no worse than pick third in the first round.

1st worst: 200 chances (#'s 000 to 199)

2nd worst: 175 chances (#'s 200 to 374)

3rd worst: 150 chances (#'s 375 to 524)

4th worst: 125 chances (#'s 525 to 649)

5th worst: 100 chances (#'s 650 to 749)

6th worst: 75 chances (#'s 750 to 824)

7th worst: 55 chances (#'s 825 to 879)

8th worst: 40 chances (#'s 880 to 919)

9th worst: 30 chances (#'s 920 to 949)

10th worst: 20 chances (#'s 950 to 969)

11th worst: 12 chances (#'s 970 to 981)

12th worst: 9 chances (#'s 982 to 990)

13th worst: 6 chances (#'s 991 to 996)

14th worst: 3 chances (#'s 997 to 999)