The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

League Guide

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy (IBC) derives its name from the W.P. Kinsella book of the same name. The reason I chose this name is that I hope to put together a league in which will be teams concerned with more than wins and losses. To me, baseball has always been larger than life; a game devoid of time restrictions, haunted by and dependent on its ghosts, where numbers become an art from and the human beings that play it are expected to be flawed and inconsistent, yet revered anyway. I hope you will see in the guidelines that follow, that I have tried to create a league that adheres to statistical accuracy, yet stays simplistic; a league that will promote competition, yet be played for the pure enjoyment of THE GAME. The guidelines are sometimes not very specific; but I hope you will see the intent and abide by it.


    Dave Mindeman, Founder and First Commissioner, 1988-1991

  3. LEAGUE STRUCTURE

    1. The IBC will be composed of two twelve-team leagues with three four-team divisions per league: (1) American League, the Designated Hitter will be used; and (2) National League, pitchers must hit.

    2. There is no interleague play.

    3. Each team will play every other team in their division 22 games per year, and will play 12 games per year against each of the teams from the other two divisions.

    4. This is a continuous ownership league and all players, once drafted, will remain with your team until traded or released (except minor league prospects defined below who have a three (3) year contract).

    5. The winners of each division will make the playoffs.

    6. The second place team in each league with the best record will make the playoffs as a “Wild Card” team.

    7. In the event of a tie a ONE GAME playoff will determine the division winners or a wild card team. Ties for division titles will be broken before any ties for a wild card spot are determined. A coin flip will determine the home team for any one game playoff game. Ties will not be broken solely to determine playoff seeding. In the event of a tie for playoff seeding the tie will be broken by regular season record, and failing that by a coin flip.

    8. The Division Winning team with the best record will play the team with the worst record in a best of 5 game series and the other two playoff teams will play each other in a best of 5 game series. The team with the better record will have home field advantage in a 2-2-1 format. (The Wild Card team will NOT have the home field advantage under any circumstances) there will be 2 off days between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.

    9. The winners of the 1st round of the playoffs will meet in the best of 7 League Championship Series (LCS). The team with the better record will have the home field advantage in a 2-3-2 format EXCEPT that a wild card team CANNOT have the home field advantage in the LCS. There will be at least one off day before the LCS. (more if the previous series finishes in less than 5 games).

    10. The winners of the NLCS and ALCS will meet for the IBC World Series, a best of 7 series, with the team with the better record getting the home field advantage in a 2-3-2 format. The DH will be used for AL homes games and there will be no DH in NL home games. There will be at least one rest day between the end of the LCS and the beginning of the World Series (more if the previous series ends in less than 7 games).

  4. BEGINNING THE SEASON

    1. The season will start at a time determined by the commissioner (generally between mid-March and April 1st.) The season will run for approximately 6 months. Prior to the season, all managers will send a roster file with lineups and rotations to the commissioner.

    2. Each manager will have the opportunity to make changes to his active roster, rotation, and lineups before each series.

    3. APBA Baseball for Windows (BBW) Version 5.0 (or 5.5) will be the program used by the IBC. All mangers must have a copy of this program and League Manager, Advanced draft and Statmaster to participate in the IBC.

    4. The commissioner will provide the initial Organization Disk prior to the season. Please do not set up your own organization disk. All managers are required to own a copy of the current APBA data disk.

  5. PLAYING THE SEASON

    1. The IBC will play weekly series. Each series will be 5 or 6 games in length vs one opponent.

    2. Games will be played between Thursday and Monday night.

    3. Franchise files with game results will be due to the commissioner by 8:00 AM eastern time on Tuesdays.

    4. The commissioner will send a results file out as soon as possible on Tuesday.

    5. Any manager desiring to make changes to his active roster, rotation or lineups can submit a new default file by 8:00 AM eastern time on Thursday.

    6. The commissioner will send a new playball file out as soon as possible on Thursday.

    7. Any trades that are made during a week must be reported to the commissioner by both teams before 8:00 AM eastern time on Thursday in order to use the players in that week’s games.

    8. Rainouts will be rescheduled if the teams meet again in the season, otherwise rainouts will not be made up unless it impacts a team making the playoffs. If the rainout effects only playoff seeding the game will NOT be made up (if the teams don’t meet again that season).

  6. Live Play

    1. Teamviewer will be the medium of choice for playing IBC games. The most recent of Teamviewer can be downloaded here.

    2. The intent behind live play is to allow managers the opportunity to personally manage every one of his team’s games, if he so desires.

    3. Live play is at the discretion of the VISITING manager. If the VISITING manager wants to play live, the home team should make all reasonable attempts to accommodate that desire, including offering to let the VISITING manager play the games versus a Micromanager if the home manager is unavailable.

    4. A manager should contact his opponent as soon as possible in a week to set up live play, and home managers should wait a reasonable amount of time before playing the games versus a micromanager.

    5. A manager who will be out of town should contact his opponent to make arrangements to play games. With email, there is no reason a short note can’t be sent when a vacation is planned

    6. Flexibility and common sense are the keys to live play; managers should make every effort to be reasonable.

  7. Roster Rules

    1. Team rosters will be limited to 42 players, including up to ten (10) prospects. Prospects are defined as minor league players, amateur players, or uncarded major league players. Rosters cannot include more than ten (10) players on the prospect roster. Teams may carry more than 32 major league players if they wish. Roster slots 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38 are “flex” slots that can be EITHER major leaguers or prospects.

      FIELD ROSTERS for league play will be 26 players including at least one back up player at every position and at least nine (9) pitchers. A player may be the sole backup at two positions maximum. Rosters may be adjusted at the beginning of each series, between Tuesday morning and Thursday morning.


      RESERVE ROSTER players are the 6 to 12 players that can be placed on the FIELD roster at the beginning of each series. A maximum of 4 of these players may be uncarded and uncarded players MAY NOT APPEAR in an IBC game.


      PROSPECT players are those who are not carded by APBA for the current season (and placed by the manager on the PROSPECT roster) or have never been carded. When placed on this list, these players carry a three (3) year contract. This contract is canceled only if the player receives an APBA card in a subsequent season or the three-year period expires. PROSPECT players CANNOT be released prior to the end of three years and they MUST be released if not carded in three years. EXCEPTION: If a PROSPECT player dies while under contract, he will be released after the current season (or immediately if he dies between the end of the season and the draft).


      1. In the case of a player receiving a card he must be placed on the 32-38 man roster or be waived after the next pre-season draft.

      2. If a player does not receive an APBA card in three years, he is automatically waived and eligible to be drafted by any team during the next pre-season draft.

      3. PROSPECT players carry their three year contract when traded; the time does not reset with the new team. Once the contract expires, that player is eligible for the draft under (2.) above.

      4. A PROSPECT player can move up to the regular roster only if he receives an APBA card. He cannot move up to the regular roster as an uncarded player.


    2. ROSTER CLARIFICATIONS

      1. The only uncarded players that can be on the roster are those who had a card in a previous season but do not have a card currently and are not being waived. A player on the regular roster must have been carded at one time, and no uncarded player DRAFTED may be on the regular roster. The only time an uncarded player can be on the regular roster is if he was carded in a previous season, has not been waived or cut since then and is currently on your roster. EXAMPLE: Jon Lieber pitched in the majors in 2002. He missed the entire 2003 season. The team having Lieber can chose to cut him, keep him as a minor leaguer (with a three year contract), or keep him as a major leaguer (but of course can’t actually use him).

      2. A PROSPECT player cannot have a card and can only be given PROSPECT status via draft pick OR be a previously carded player (who has uncarded status now) and is given the three year PROSPECT contract.

      3. As used in this league guide “Carded” means “played in the major leagues” APBA currently rates ALL players who appeared in the majors and all players appear on the data disk.

      4. Uncarded and PROSPECT players CANNOT appear in an IBC league game.

      5. During the final month (4 series) of the season, all carded players on your roster are eligible to be active.

  8. TRADING

    1. Trading is open all year. However, in season trades must be completed by the end of 4 months of play to take effect for the rest of that season. The commissioner will announce the specific date for each season. Any trades made after that date will not take effect until the off-season.

    2. Trades made IN SEASON must adhere to roster restrictions. If a trade gives a manager more than 42 players he MUST cut a player (or players) immediately. A team CANNOT acquire an 11th minor leaguer at any time, even in season when it is clear that one or more of the team’s PROSPECTS are going to be carded the next season. The PROSPECT players do not get promoted onto the regular roster until after the season.

    3. Trades made in the OFF SEASON do not have to adhere to all the roster rules. A team may acquire more than 42 players in the off season.

    4. IMPORTANT NOTE: Managers must be careful when trading for PROSPECTS. Teams may never have more than 10 prospects. If it is determined by the commissioner that the number of PROSPECTS the manager has who will not receive cards is ten (10), then any trade involving an eleventh PROSPECT will be voided.

    5. Draft picks may only be traded for the immediate upcoming pre-season draft. Trading of future draft picks (two or more years away) is not allowed. The conclusion of the pre-season draft marks the time that next year’s draft picks can be traded.

    6. Trades are deemed complete when both managers notify the commissioner.

  9. PRE-SEASON DRAFT

    1. The pre-season draft will be at a time determined by the commissioner after checking with the league’s members. Traditionally this is one of the first 3 Saturdays in January.

    2. The draft will be conducted on-line in the IBC chat room. Managers who cannot attend the chat session can submit draft lists or participate by telephone.

    3. The draft will consist of 8 rounds:

      1. The 8 playoff teams will draft 17-24, regardless of record.

      2. The 2 LCS losers will draft 21 and 22.

      3. The World Series Loser will draft 23.

      4. The IBC League Champion will draft 24.

      5. The order for ties will be determined by the teams’ AWAY records for the previous season, with the team with the BETTER away record drafting first in the first round and then reversing the order in alternating rounds.

      6. IBC Draft Lottery

        1. The Top 5 picks in the IBC will be lottery picks.

        2. All non-playoff teams will be placed into a draft lottery pool.

        3. The Top 5 teams will be determined by drawing random numbers via an independent website such as random.org.

        4. Once the Top 5 picks have been determined, the remaining picks will be placed into draft slots in reverse order, according to winning percentage (the same as the previous rule).

        5. The draft lottery applies to the first round only. Teams will draft in their normal order in rounds 2-8.

        6. The chart below lists the Ping Pong Ball odds

        7. Place # of ping pong balls Odds
          24 16 11.76%
          23 15 11.03%
          22 14 10.29%
          21 13 9.56%
          20 12 8.82%
          19 11 8.09%
          18 10 7.35%
          17 9 6.62%
          16 8 5.88%
          15 7 5.15%
          14 6 4.41%
          13 5 3.68%
          12 4 2.94%
          11 3 2.21%
          10 2 1.47%
          9 1 0.74%
    4. The commissioner will send out the complete order for all rounds prior to draft day. This will include information on all traded draft picks as available at time of mailing (or emailing).

    5. All players (professional or amateur) not currently on IBC rosters will be eligible for drafting.

    6. If a team drafts an 11th (or more) minor leaguer, that player will immediately be cut and will be placed in the pool for the February waiver draft. The team drafting the extra player will not be allowed to pick another player in his place. If the player goes undrafted in the Waiver draft, then he will be eligible for the next season’s draft as though he had never been picked.

  10. WAIVERS

    1. At the conclusion of the pre-season draft and a brief trading period, rosters will be cut to 42 players.

    2. All released players, as well as all carded players not drafted in January will be available for the waiver draft process.

      1. Carded players claimed must go on the regular roster.

      2. Uncarded players claimed may go on the regular roster or PROSPECT roster (if the team is under ten (10) PROSPECTS.

    3. The order of selection of players is the same as Round 1 of the January draft.

    4. Trading of position in the February waiver draft is not permitted.

    5. As the selection process moves up the line, each team may select up to three (3) players from the waiver list and at the same time designate the players on their current roster they will be releasing to accommodate their waiver selections. This is designed to give managers with weaker teams the chance to improve first.

    6. The players released during the process will be available to those managers drafting later in the selection order.

    7. At the conclusion of the waiver draft a Waiver List of approximately fifty (50) players will be established. Players will be eligible to be drafted under the following guidelines:

      1. These players will be carded veterans for use if a team needs coverage because of usage limitations at some time later in the season or for any other reason.

      2. To acquire a player from the Waiver List, a manager must trade in a roster player.

      3. Players claimed off the Waiver List are yours to keep until traded or released.

      4. Any manager may claim a player. First come, first served.

      5. The Waiver List will be CLOSED at the trading deadline during each IBC season.

    8. EMERGENCY WAIVER CLAIMS (EWC) are made for emergency coverage in case of injury.

      1. EWC are made for the duration of a specific injury to a specific player on a teams’ regular roster.

      2. The 50 players on the regular waiver list are NOT eligible to be chosen as EWC players.

      3. EWC claims MUST be either pitchers grade 5 or less, or hitters who are “930” players (i.e. have an OBP + SLG of .600 or less)

      4. The EWC player MUST be dropped when the injured player is healthy.

      5. Under no circumstances may a team keep an EWC player past the end of a season.

    9. Teams will be allowed a total of up to 4 waiver claims per season (the February waiver draft does not count toward this limit). These 4 claims can be regular waiver claims or Emergency Waiver Claims, or some combination of both, but the maximum total is 4. If a team uses all 4 claims no further waiver claims will be allowed. Under extraordinary circumstances a team may be allowed to make extra claims to cover a season, but the Commissioner may assess penalties as he sees fit. The bottom line is, be sure you have the season covered adequately.

  11. PLAYER MINUMUMS AND AIM

    1. The IBC uses full Advanced Injury Management (AIM).

    2. All injuries incurred during IBC play will count.

    3. Teams are required to have a minimum amount of coverage at the beginning of the season as follows:

      1. Teams must have a minimum of 1100 PR at each position. Please keep in mind that a player with a SF of less than 100 will not get the benefit of his full PR when making this calculation.

        EXAMPLE: A player with a PR of 1000 and a SF of 75 will be credited with only 750 PR for purposes of this section.


      2. Teams must have a minimum of 7000 Batters Faced among the pitching staff.

      3. Teams MUST have at least one backup at every position AT ALL TIMES. If you have only one backup, and your starter or backup is injured you MUST make a trade, a Waiver Claim, or an EWC before your next series. A team CANNOT begin a series with only one player who can play a position. (For this reason is it STRONGLY recommended that you have at least 3 players on your roster who can play each position).

    4. Before the season begins, the commissioner will alter the pitching grades of all Grade 1 and Grade 2 pitchers to make them Grade 3.

    5. Before the season begins the commissioner will double the ACTUAL number of Batters Faced for all pitchers graded 3, 4 and 5. Pitchers graded 6 and 7 will get a boost of 25% to their actual batters faced.

    6. Before the season begins a team may add a RP rating to 2 pitchers on the team. This is a one time only adjustment and ratings cannot be added later, nor may a team decide on different players once the season starts. A rating may be removed if a manager desires. This will not effect live game play at all but it may make a micromanager more likely to use a player from the pen as you desire.

    7. Players with an OBP+SLG of .600 or less are designated by AIM as innocuous players. These players will receive a PR of 930 and are referred to as “930” players. They can be very useful to help cover positions. Please be aware that these players can sometimes be injured for LONG periods of time so make allowances for that when relying on this type of player for substantial position coverage.

    8. Injuries WILL carry over into the playoffs.

  12. PLAYING RULES

    1. Starting pitchers CANNOT be removed from a game unless they meet one of the following:

      1. He pitches 3 full innings

      2. He gives up 3 runs (earned or unearned)

      3. He allows 7 baserunners via hits, walks or hit by pitch (errors don’t count).

    2. Any pitcher (starter or reliever) MUST be removed at the end of the current inning if they have given up eight (8) runs (earned or unearned).

    3. Pitchers cannot be used as designated hitters (DH) or as pinch hitters.

      EXCEPTION: A pitcher may be used as a pinch hitter provided all position players on the bench have been used in an extra inning game.


    4. Pitchers can be used as pinch runners.

    5. The Hit & Run play can be used anytime the score is within 3 runs or less, up to a maximum of four (4) times per game. It may be used once every two (2) innings after the 9th inning in addition to the original 4.

    6. Players are allowed to play ONLY the positions listed on the screen. The ONLY exception is when the last player at a position is injured during the game or series. When using a player in an unrated position, the substitute must be a reasonable choice.

      EXAMPLE: If you are choosing between Marcus Giles and Frank Thomas for Shortstop you must use Giles.


    7. If the only available player is listed as Available, Tired, Worn Out, or Bushed by AIM he must still be put in the game before you are allowed to play an unrated player at that position.

  13. PLAYER RESTRICTIONS

    1. AIM takes care of virtually all of our player restrictions. As long as a player is not injured you can keep using him, even if it is more than he was used in real life, except for starting pitchers (see below).

      1. Starting pitchers are not permitted to start more than forty (40) games, unless they had more than 40 in the real life MLB season.

      2. Position players who had less than 100 plate appearances in the real life MLB season, are only allowed 10 percent of their real life plate appearances in a playoff series. This number is rounded to the nearest 10. For example, a player with 64 real life plate appearances is limited to only 6 in a playoff series. This calculation starts over for each series, and unused plate appearances do NOT carry over from one series to the next.

    2. STEALING

      1. Base stealers will be limited to their actual stolen base ATTEMPTS plus 15%. This includes attempts made during hit and run plays and bunts. Players in a playoff series are limited to no more than 50% of their real life stolen base attempts. This calculation starts over for each playoff series.

      2. EXAMPLE: 32 SB + 8 CS = 40 attempts x 1.15 = 46 attempts allowed.

  14. RULES COMMITTEE

    1. The Rules Committee shall consist of 3 members. One will be the commissioner and the other two will be elected representatives of the AL and NL and those league reps will serve two year terms and can be reelected indefinitely.

    2. The Rules Committee will solicit rules proposals, and will debate them and decide which to simply implement (minor rules requiring a 3-0 vote of the committee), which to present to the league for vote (major rules or any rule if it gets a 2-1 vote), and which to not present to the league (any rule that does not get at least 2 votes in committee).

    3. Any proposal presented to the league will require 16 votes to pass (2/3 of the league).

  15. COMMISSIONER'S ROLE

    1. The commissioner’s role is to best serve the interests of the Iowa Baseball Confederacy.

    2. The commissioner shall have the authority to mediate disputes on organizational issues or between managers and make final decisions when all sides of an issue have been presented and are still unresolved.

    3. The commissioner shall have the authority to assess penalties and or dismiss managers for overuse of players, habitually late stats or league correspondence, or other conduct detrimental to the IBC. This specifically includes collusion or cheating of any type.

    4. The commissioner, above all, shall strive to be accessible to league members and help promote communication and understanding among the members of the IBC.