GABL By-laws

Welcome to the Great American Baseball League (GABL). All managers are expected to be familiar with and follow the rules herein. Unless noted otherwise, we attempt to follow the rules of Major League Baseball. The Commissioner will resolve all violations and questions concerning the rules, including any situations that are not specifically addressed. Managers shall report any errors, including their own, to the Commissioner immediately.

1. By-Laws Changes

1.1. Any active manager may submit league by-laws change proposals to the Commissioner, which must be accompanied by at least two (2) other managers as "co-sponsors.”

1.1.1.   The format of the submission shall be in the form of the current by-law number and exact wording of the proposed by-law.

1.2. League by-laws changes require the approval of a majority (>50%) of the active managers.

1.2.1.   The Commissioner will establish a voting period of not less than two weeks for votes to be submitted on any proposal.

1.2.2.   A quorum of >50% of active managers is necessary to make a by-laws change.

1.3. Voting on by-laws changes will take place during the off-season.  If a rule passes, it does not go into effect until the subsequent season.  Exceptions can only be made in extreme cases where there is either unanimous agreement to make an immediate change or where the commissioner feels that the change is necessary or practical for the administrative functioning of the league.

2 Commissioner

2.1.  An active manager will hold the Commissioner’s position.

2.2. Active managers will vote to select the Commissioner.

2.3. The term for Commissioner will be one year at a time, with no limit on the number of terms.

2.4. The Commissioner will be elected no later than January 31 of any year.

2.5. The Commissioner or his designee is responsible for the following:

2.5.1.   Establishing the playing schedule and distributing the schedule for the season to be played.

2.5.2.   Reviewing all trades to ensure that they are "in the best interest of the league".

2.5.2.1.  If a trade is determined by the Commissioner to not be "in the best interest of the league", the Commissioner will call for a vote by active managers to approve the trade.

2.5.3.   Appointing a League Statistician to provide season standings and player statistics updates to all active managers.

2.5.4.   Chairing the meetings held by the league.

2.5.5.   Compiling and distributing a list of the available rookies for the annual draft to all active managers.

3 Roster Limits

3.1. Unless otherwise stipulated, the current GABL season will be played using the previous year’s MLB active roster limits.

3.2. Teams may have a maximum of 40 players on their roster. In addition, each team will be allowed one low-usage player (LUP) who may be carried on the roster without counting against the 40-man roster limit.  “Low usage” is defined as 25% of the minimum AB/IP usage requirements for rookie eligibility, rounded to the nearest number. (currently 25 AB or 6 IP). This player may not be used on the active roster under any circumstances during the season.

3.3. Any manager with more than 40 players on their roster at the beginning of the season will inform the Commissioner which players will be cut to decrease his roster to the maximum (or below the maximum, if the manager wishes to participate in the Wally Draft).

3.4. Cut players will be placed in the free agent pool to be drafted with the rookies during the next rookie draft, if they meet eligibility requirements.  Once placed in the free agent pool, players will be unavailable until the next year's draft, except as provided in paragraph 3.4.1.

3.4.1.   At the time that roster cuts are announced, managers have the option to cut as many players from their roster as they like and participate in the “Wally Draft,” if they cut down to less than 40 players. Teams will receive enough picks in the Wally Draft to bring their roster to 40 players and 1 Low-Usage Player. (See paragraph 3.2).

3.4.2.   The re-entry “Wally” draft will consist of all players cut by other teams  after the draft, even if they do not meet the 100 AB/25 IP requirement.

3.4.3 The re-entry “Wally” draft order will be in reverse order of regular season finish, and consist of as many rounds required to fill drafting teams’ 40-man rosters (and low-usage player slot).

3.5. The number of players added to the active rosters when GABL rosters expand on September 1 will be the same number as MLB rosters added on September 1 the previous season. (see paragraph 3.1)

4 Season Schedule

4.1. The league plays a 162 game season.

4.2. The season schedule will be prepared by the Commissioner or designee to reflect the number of games agreed upon by the active managers.

4.3. The season schedule will reflect the divisions as agreed upon by the active managers, and when possible, the teams assigned to a division will play more games against the other teams assigned to the same division, on a team basis.

4.4. League series will be established with minimum 3-game series whenever possible.

5. Ball Park Selection

5.1. Managers may select any ballpark in the American or National League, or may design their own park.

5.2. Once a ballpark is selected, that ballpark will be the park, ratings remaining static, for that team for no less than three (3) consecutive seasons.

5.3. Ballpark selection will take place after the draft, at the time final rosters are announced, every three years. (Prior to the 2023, 2026, 2029, etc., seasons).

6. Designated Hitter

Effective the 2022 GABL season, all teams will use a Designated Hitter.

7. Team Playing Guidelines

7.1. All active managers must submit a Computer Manager file containing their preset lineups and rotations, plus their settings, as directed, prior to the beginning of the season.

7.2. Pitching rotations for an upcoming series must be exchanged between the managers who are scheduled to play, no later than Friday of the week preceding the week in which the games are to be played.

7.3. If the manager, who plays a series, does not follow the opposing manager's instructions correctly, the opposing manager will have the following options, regardless of the outcome of the game:

7.3.1.   Have the entire game replayed.

7.3.2.   Have the game replayed from the point of the incorrect action.

7.3.3.   Let the game stand as played with all usage counting toward the season limits.  If this results in a player exceeding his usage limits, he is not subject to overuse penalties.

8. Player Availability

8.1. For the 2023 GABL season, position players are limited to 110% of their total MLB season at bats with no game limits during the GABL season. The usage multiplier will be revisited again prior to the 2026 season.

8.1.1.   In a playoff series, hitters with less than 400 ABs are limited to 6% of their actual ABs as rounded by the game.  Hitters with 400 or more ABs will have unlimited usage.

8.1.2. Every GABL playoff team will set their Playoff Roster prior to each playoff series and notify the League Statistician and opposing team manager. The number of players on the roster will correspond to the number allowed on MLB playoff rosters the prior year.

8.2. Pitchers are limited to 110% of their actual number of innings pitched in the regular season rounded to the nearest whole inning.

          8.2.1. Pitchers with 200 or more unadjusted innings may start (or relieve) on 3 days rest, following any start. All other pitchers may only start (or relieve) on 3 days rest if their previous start was five innings or less.

8.2.2.   Pitchers used in relief are not eligible to start a game until they have had the following rest after their previous relief appearance.

 

0 to 2 2/3 ip in prior outing: 2 days required rest

 

3 to 5 ip in prior outing: 3 days required rest

 

5 1/3 or more ip in prior outing for pitchers with <200ip: 4 days required rest

 

5 1/3 or more ip in prior outing for pitchers with >=200 ip: 3 days > required rest

8.2.3.   In a playoff series, pitchers are limited to 10% of their actual IP as rounded by the game. 

9. Rest: Giving Days Off

9.1. Starting Pitchers

9.1.1.   Starting pitchers must be rested in accordance with the rules above.

9.2. Relief Pitchers

9.2.1.   Relief pitchers are limited by the game, for each series. Each team will “reset rest” prior to playing their home series each week, therefore relief pitcher rest does not carry over from the following week.

9.2.2. To “reset rest,” each home manager must select the “Days Off” button at the bottom of the lineup screen prior to only the first game of the series, and then select “yes” to reset rest.  This is done ONLY prior to the first game of a series.

10. Roster Transactions

10.1. There is no limit on the number of times a player may be sent down to or recalled from the minors.

10.2. The active roster must be set prior to the beginning of each series.

10.2.1 The active roster size follows whatever MLB did in the previous season. (see paragraph 3.1)

10.2.2. Starting pitchers for a road series may be set ineligible in the computer manager (so Hal does not bring them in in relief in a game), but these pitchers still count against the maximum number of active players for a given series.

10.3. It is up to each manager to determine if a team has more than the maximum number of players active/eligible for a series.

10.3.1 It is up to the home team manager to decide if he wants to check the active roster size (including starting pitchers for that series) of the away manager BEFORE playing the series and resolve any discrepancy with the away manager BEFORE playing the series. 

10.3.2 It is up to the away team manager to decide if he wants to check a completed series’ box scores. If the away team manager finds that the home team manager exceeded the active roster limit for that series, the away manager may stipulate that the series be replayed or may accept the series results.

11. Reporting Player Usage

11.1. Managers are responsible for monitoring their player/pitcher usage.

11.2. For a first offense, the overused player gets reduced to 75% of usage the following season.  The player may not be cut the following season and must be carried on the 40-man roster, unless he has zero usage due to not appearing in MLB.  The player may be traded, but his usage would remain at the reduced level for the entire season when he arrives at his new team.

11.3. For a second offense, both overused players would be reduced to 50% of usage the following season.  All other penalties in 11.2 above apply.  For a third offense, all three overused players would be reduced to 25% of usage the following season.  For a fourth offense, all four players would be reduced to 0% of usage the following season.

11.3.1. Over-used player(s) will be immediately suspended (ineligible) for the rest of the season including the playoffs.

11.4. If a manager believes that it is possible that a player/pitcher might exceed their usage limits during a series, he is responsible for including instructions regarding that pitcher/player to his road opponent.

11.5. If the violation occurs as a result of the opposing manager not following the provided instructions, then no penalty is assessed.

11.6. Double plays, triple plays, or caught stealing resulting in over usage of a pitcher do not count as a violation, but should be reported to the Commissioner immediately to prevent misunderstanding.

11.7. The commissioner has the authority to waive the penalty for an overusage violation if, in his opinion, the overusage was unintentional and insignificant.

12. Rookie Draft

12.1. A player shall qualify for inclusion in the GABL Rookie Draft if he receives his first eligible Strat card as a member of one of the approved teams (See Rule 13). An eligible Strat card has a minimum of 100 at bats or 25 innings pitched rounded to the nearest whole inning.

12.2. A player shall also be eligible for inclusion (as a “retread”) in the GABL Rookie Draft if he was released from a GABL roster at any time and has a minimum of 100 at bats or 25 innings pitched in a subsequent season.

12.3. The Galarraga Rule: A player shall be eligible for inclusion in the GABL Rookie Draft if;

12.3.1 He did not play in the MLB the previous season; and

12.3.2 He returns to play the next season for an approved “Rule 13” team; and

12.3.3 He meets the minimum usage requirements (100 AB or 25 IP).

13. Teams Contributing to the Rookie Draft

13.1. The number of teams used to produce the rookie draft list shall be 21. In the event of Major League expansion or contraction, teams shall be added or removed from the draft pool so that the ratio of draft pool teams to MLB teams will be as close to 70% as possible. Of the 21 teams, 16 are selected by each individual team manager (the “constant” teams). Five (5) are voted upon every three years (the “variable” teams).

13.2. The following teams (the “constant” teams) were selected to contribute to the rookie draft by each team manager prior to the 2023 GABL season and will remain in the draft pool, effective the 2024 GABL draft, until league membership changes, at the discretion of the commissioner.

Atlanta Braves – Gary Z. (TPD)

Baltimore Orioles – Keith H. (BPH)

Boston Red Sox – James C. (PVT)

Cincinnati Reds – Rip G. (GRA)

Cleveland Guardians – Mike D. (CBA)

Kansas City Royals – Sean C. (ADI)

Los Angeles Dodgers – Allan B. (HOS)

Miami Marlins – Dan G. (ADD)

Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan R. (DSA)

New York Mets – Dennis B. (DEN)

New York Yankees – Scott S. (ARI)

Philadelphia Phillies – Chris T. (JSH)

St. Louis Cardinals – Mike S. (VCS)

Texas Rangers – Jon G. (DAM)

Tampa Bay Rays – Clyde S. (MOC)

Seattle Mariners – Jim H. (JCH)

13.3 The following teams are the “variable teams” selected by managers prior to the 2024 draft and will remain in the draft pool for a three-year period.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Chicago Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates

Oakland A’s

Washington Nationals

13.3.1. A vote will occur the year prior to the draft that the pool teams will take effect. The next vote will be prior to the 2026 season to take effect for the 2027 draft. At that time, managers will each select five teams not included in Rule 13.2 above. The five teams with the most votes will be selected for the next three-year period.

14. Trading Draft Picks

14.1. Draft picks may be traded for the next draft regardless of when that draft will occur.  Picks for the following draft can be traded after the current regular season is completed.  The Commissioner will determine when the trade window will begin each offseason, allowing for a reasonable time period for playoff teams to complete the postseason before trading may begin.

15. Draft Order Determination

15.1 Effective for the 2024 Rookie Draft, the draft order for the first round will be determined using a weighted lottery for the first two picks only, with the remaining eight picks among non-playoff teams (3rd through 10th picks in the first round) assigned in the reverse order of standings for those teams that do not have their number drawn in the lottery for the first two picks.

Numbers are drawn using the Random Number Generator to determine the first two picks.  Once a team's draft slot is selected via the lottery for the first pick, they are removed from consideration for the second pick.  However, if that team has acquired multiple picks in the first ten picks of the first round via trade, those other acquired picks are still eligible for the second lottery pick.  

(Random Number Generator is https://www.random.org/sequences/).

The six playoff teams are then assigned draft positions based on reverse order of standings:  Losers in the Wild Card round will pick 11th and 12th, with the team with the better record drafting 12th; losers in the League Championship Series round will pick 13th and 14th, with the team with the better record drafting 14th; the World Series loser will draft 15th and the World Series winner will draft 16th.  

16. Playing Games on Time

16.1. All games must be played in the week they are scheduled unless otherwise approved by the Commissioner. Results are due by Monday of the following week, or as otherwise designated by the Commissioner or League Statistician.

16.2. It is the league’s expectation that pitching rotations and computer manager files will be provided to your weekly opponent with ample time for your opponent to meet his game-playing obligations. If rotations or computer managers are not provided on time, then the commissioner reserves the right to use a default manager/rotation or to take any other action necessary for the efficient and timely playing of games.

17. Playoffs

17.1. The playoff format cannot be changed until it has been used for three consecutive seasons (unless the number of teams in the league increases or decreases).

17.2. The playoffs will consist of 1) the two division winners; 2) the next best record in each division and 3) the next two best records in the league, regardless of division

17.2.1. Playoff Format

17.2.1.1.  First Round

17.2.1.1.1. The Division winners get a bye.

17.2.1.1.2. The wildcard team with the best record will play the wildcard team with the worst record and the remaining two teams will play each other.

17.2.1.1.3. The series will be a best-of-seven format. There will be two days off between the end of the regular season and the start of the wild card series.

17.2.1.2.  Second Round

17.2.1.2.1. Division Winner with best record plays surviving wildcard team with worst record.

17.2.1.2.2. Other Division Winner plays remaining wildcard team.

17.2.1.2.3. Best-of-seven format.

17.2.1.3.  Championship Series pits surviving teams against each other in a Best-of-Seven format.

17.2.2. The division winners shall have home field advantage against the wild card teams.  In the GABL World Series, home field advantage shall be determined by which team had the best regular season record if both teams are division winners or if both teams are wild card teams.  If one team is a division winner and the other team is a wild card team, then the division winner automatically shall have home field advantage.

17.3. In the event of a tie by two teams for a Division championship or Wild Card berth, there will be a one game playoff. Home field advantage will go to the team with the better head-to-head record. In the event the teams split their season series, home field advantage will go to the team with the better in-division record, even if they are wild card teams that played in different divisions.

17.3.1 Any tiebreaker games do not count against regular season 162-game usage. Usage for tiebreaker games will follow a modified version of the playoff rules:

* Batters with 420 or more adjusted AB are allowed unlimited usage in each tiebreaker game played.

* Batters with 315-419 adjusted AB are allowed a maximum of 3 AB in each tiebreaker game played.

* Batters with 210-314 adjusted AB are allowed a maximum of 2 AB in each tiebreaker game played.

* Batters with 209 adjusted AB or fewer are allowed a maximum of 1 AB in each tiebreaker game played.

* Any starting pitcher with sufficient days rest since his previous start may be used in a tiebreaker game. Starting pitchers are limited to a maximum number of innings in the game as the endurance number on their card.

* All relievers are limited to a maximum number of innings in each tiebreaker game as the endurance number shown on their card.

* Roster/rotation/rest will be the same as were in place continuing from game 162. There is no off day between game 162 and 163, however reliever rest will be “reset” prior to the game.

17.3.2.Ties between teams both making the playoffs DO NOT require an additional game(s) added to the regular season except for a tie for a Division championship, which would be settled with a one-game playoff.

17.3.3.Ties between teams both not making the playoffs DO NOT require an additional game added to the regular season.

17.3.4. In the event of a tie by MORE THAN TWO teams for a Division championship or Wild Card berth, we will follow the old MLB rules for tie-breaking, which are too long and convoluted to list here, but are available online.

17.3.5. In the event of a tie between two teams as described in 17.3.2 or 17.3.3, the tie will be broken for draft order purposes as follows:

17.3.5.1. Head-to-Head Winning Percentage

17.3.5.2. In-Division Winning Percentage

17.3.5.3. Second-Half Winning Percentage (Last 81 games)

17.3.5.4. Road Winning Percentage

          17.3.6. Tie-breaker games do “count” as regular season games for all team record and statistical purposes (except overusage).

17.4. Playoff managers must make a reasonable attempt to play playoff series face-to-face, on-line, over the phone, or head-to-head through some other means.  The commissioner will determine the definition of "reasonable" on a case-by-case basis. 

18.  Expansion

18.1. Expansion requires the acceptance vote of a majority (>50%) of the active managers.

19. League Funds

19.1. A league fund can be maintained to offset the expenses of the Commissioner and others in conducting league business.

19.2. League expenses will include trophies, website costs or other approved expenditures.

19.3. The Commissioner can determine an amount for “League Dues,” if necessary,  and will provide an account of league expenses within one week of the request from any active manager.

19.4. Expenses of the league will be kept as low as reasonably possible.

20. Playing Requirements

20.1. Each league member will purchase the current season’s computer game and roster files from Strat-o-Matic.

20.2. Each current league member must have access to a computer capable of playing the current version of the Strat-O-Matic game.

21. League Statistician

21.1. The League Statistician is appointed by the Commissioner and will maintain the league season statistics.

21.2. League members are required to send the game files and box scores, via the Internet, for the week, to the statistician by the following Monday, or at any other time as determined by the League Statistician.

21.3. The Statistician will provide updated stat files to the league at least weekly.

22. Inactive Teams

22.1. If a team becomes inactive, the league will attempt to recruit a replacement manager or maintain a waiting list for interested replacements.

22.2. If the team becomes inactive during the play of a season, and a replacement manager is not available, the Commissioner will ask for a volunteer to play out the remainder of the games for the regular season.

22.3. If a team is inactive prior to the beginning of a season, and a replacement manager cannot be found, the team will remain inactive until one of the following conditions occur:

22.3.1.A replacement manager is found, who is willing to take over the team, as-is.

22.3.2.League expansion occurs, in which case the members of the team will be added to the draft pool for the expansion.

22.3.3.The League approves an active manager to "control" the inactive team in addition to his own team.

23. Game Rules/Options Setup

23.1. Rules Settings

23.1.1.Main Rules

23.1.1.1.  Super Advanced Rules

23.1.1.2.  Maximum Rules – NONE checked

23.1.2.BP/Weather/Clutch

23.1.2.1.  Ballpark Effects – yes

23.1.2.2.  Weather effects – yes 2008 / no 2009 and beyond

23.1.2.3.  Clutch Hitting – No

23.1.3.Stealing – Super Advanced Steal System

23.1.4.Strategy – Supper Advanced Strategy Charts

23.1.5.Miscellaneous – Use Miscellaneous Rules

23.1.6.Closer – Do Not Use Closer Rules

23.1.7.Injuries – Do Not Use Injuries

23.1.8.Pitcher Fatigue – Use SADV Fatigue Rules

23.1.9.Groundball A – Allow GBA on Pitchers Cards

23.2. Lineups & Usage Options

23.2.1.Visiting Team Lineup – Manual Mode

23.2.2.Home Team Lineup – Manual Mode

23.2.3.Scheduled Days Off – No Scheduled Days Off

23.2.4.Auto Swap – No Auto Swapo-O-Matic

23.2.5.Minor Leaguers – Minor Leaguers – INELIGIBLE

23.2.6.Overusage – Ignore Overusage

23.2.7.Use ‘SuperHal’ Bullpen – checked

23.2.8.Use ‘SuperHal’ Lineup Subs – checked

23.2.9.Allow Extra GS for Certain Pitchers – checked