Polo Grounds Baseball provides entertainment and amusement while emphasizing fellowship, community, and baseball scholarship.
The 13 Articles of Organization
Article 1: Definition and Vision
Polo Grounds Baseball (PGB) is an SOM computer baseball league with all games played on a rotating, voluntary, weekly basis. PGB operates as a “keeper” league, with rosters remaining intact each off-season, and due to its style of game play, could be considered a “GM-Only” league. Upon admittance to PGB, managers agree to these articles, and will operate a single team.
Article 2: The Commissioner
The Commissioner’s primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to: organizing PGB functions; modifying, interpreting and enforcing league rules; scheduling; league-wide communications; and oversight of other routine business. Duties may be delegated by the Commissioner as warranted.
Amendment A: Authority of The Commissioner
Playing rules and procedures are determined solely by The Commissioner, with input from league members employed at the discretion of The Commissioner.
UPDATED: Amendment B: Committees
General policies and procedures can be crafted by committees formed at the discretion of The Commissioner. All members will be encouraged to participate on committees, and their topical recommendations will be considered binding.
Article 3: Game Play
Games will be played on a rotating basis by a PGB manager, as assigned by The Commissioner, from March to September, with results posted on a regular basis. Managers are responsible for monitoring their lineups, CMs, roster moves, and other game-related information.
Amendment A: Game Playing Rotation
The official game rotation will be assigned by the Commissioner, and is encouraged, but not mandatory for each manager.
Article 4: Teams
PGB consists of 18 teams in three divisions, and will play 162 games per season. Teams are allowed forty (40) players on their roster, with a maximum of 26 players active for games at all times. Team identities/names must be in good taste, and are subject to approval.
Amendment A: September Rosters
Active rosters can expand to 28-30 players starting around September 1 (at the discretion of The Commissioner) of each season.
Amendment B: Restricted List
Up to two players from each roster can be placed on the Restricted List if MLB usage falls below 10 IP/25 AB. Once placed on the list, the player is ineligible for the remainder of the season, and will not count against the 40-man active roster.
UPDATED: Amendment C: Off-Season Roster Limits
Winter rosters must be trimmed and kept to 34 players by December 1.
Article 5: Roster Construction
Teams will acquire players via the Annual Draft and Rule 5 Draft. MLB players from eligible rosters (REG, ADD, MIXED, or COMP) will be included in the Annual Draft. Once rostered, players remain eligible until their release. Each player is allowed a maximum of five options (promotion/demotion) per season. MIXED cards will use only combined AL+NL stats.
Article 6: Player Usage
Each player will be restricted to 110% of their actual ABs and IPs. It is up to each manager to monitor these limits. Starting pitchers must have four days rest between starts at all times–no exceptions. Postseason limits are 10% of actual ABs and IPs per 7-game series, but no limits on one-game play-ins. However, winning play-in teams must use the same roster for their subsequent series.
UPDATED: Amendment A: Consequences of Severe Overuse/Neglect
First penalty for overuse or neglect can include the forfeiture or suspensions of the offending player, re-slotting to a lower draft position, and/or forfeiture of a 3rd round draft choice in the next Annual Draft, which will be held in escrow for all teams until the completion of the regular season. Subsequent penalties will increase in severity. Usage will no longer be tightly monitored or reported; instead all managers are fully responsible for player's usage. However, there will be periodic sweeps in which all usage will be reviewed, and penalties applied if necessary. Here is the procedure, new for 2022:
Trace overuse, offending player de-activated: suspended for balance of regular season; overuse applied to following season.
Trace overuse, offending player still active: same as #1 with suspension including postseason and/or moving down in draft order.
Significant overuse, offending player de-activated: same as #2 with loss of third-round draft pick.
Significant overuse, offending player still active: same as #3 with permanent loss of player.
Continued overuse or willful neglect could result in dismissal from the league.
Amendment B: Intentional Misuse of Players
Lineups are composed of players eligible at each position. Players may play out of position ONLY to temporarily cover injuries, or as HAL dictates during in-game strategy.
Amendment C: The Polo Grounds Public Library
The use of the library to claim short-term emergency roster assistance has been suspended, starting with the 2021 season.
Amendment D: Injuries
The usage of injuries has been suspended to ease gaming duties.
Article 7: Ballparks
Teams may customize their ballpark by setting OF fences and IF range. Settings can be altered annually by a factor of (+2) through (-2), with a maximum differential of (8).
Article 8: Postseason
UPDATED: The two division champions and five best remaining records will qualify for the postseason. Division champs will receive the top two seeds and will have a first-round bye plus home-field advantage vs. the remaining division champion and qualifying runner-up during the second round of postseason play. The matchups are as follow, with higher seed having home-field advantage:
Play-in Game: Wildcard team #6 vs. Wildcard team #7. (1 game)
Wildcard Round: Wildcard team #3 vs. winner of Play-in Game; Team #4 vs. Team #5. (best of 7)
Championship Round: Division winner #1 vs. lowest remaining seed; Division winner #2 vs. highest remaining seed. (best of 7)
World Series: Winners of championship round. (best of 7)
All series use the 2-3-2 home/away schedule. Off days are scheduled after games 2, 5, and 7.
Amendment A: Tiebreakers
One-game playoffs, which are part of the regular season, will be held only when playoff eligibility is at stake. Home team will be determined by coin flip, and is played the day immediately following the end of the regular season. If a tie occurs that only affects postseason seeding, this tie-breaker will be used: The same tiebreaker process is applied for draft seeding, with the team losing the tiebreaker drafting earliest.
Tiebreaker #1: Head-to-head record between tied teams; winner gaining the higher seed.
Tiebreaker #2: Head-to-head run differential between the teams; winner gaining the higher seed.
Tiebreaker #3: Regular season run differential for all games; winner gaining the higher seed.
Tiebreaker #4: Coin toss.
Amendment B: Postseason Usage
Postseason limits are 10% of actual ABs and IPs per 7-game series, but no limits on one-game play-ins. However, winning play-in teams must use the same roster for their subsequent series.
Article 9: Annual Draft
Players meeting eligibility standards will be available for the Annual Draft to take place every offseason. Eligible players include unclaimed American League veterans and rookies. Teams select in inverse order of regular-season record from the previous season. Playoffs teams will be slotted after all non-playoff teams, with the league champion selecting last. Players selected must remain on a PGB roster for a minimum of one full season.
Amendment A: Tiebreakers
Tiebreaker #1: Head-to-head record between tied teams, with series loser drafting first.
Tiebreaker #2: Head-to-head runs scored between the two teams, with loser drafting first.
Amendment B: Draft-Day Procedures
Drafts are conducted over several days, usually in February and/or March, on a timed schedule. A round takes one full day to complete, with 10-minute selection intervals, using the Stratdraft website. Teams can draft at their appointed time, even if the team ahead of them hasn’t selected a player. Managers missing their slot can make a selection at any time during the rest of the day’s draft, or afterwards if needed. In special circumstances, the draft can be suspended to accommodate managers notifying The Commissioner BEFORE the day’s draft begins.
UPDATED: Amendment C: Revised MLB Player Eligibility
Only unclaimed AL veterans, AL rookies, and recently released MLB players are be eligible for the Annual Draft. Starting in 2021, the next three drafts will be supplemented with the addition of 1-2 abandoned PGB roster per season, starting with Covington and later adding the remaining available rosters.
Article 10: Rule 5 Draft
The Rule 5 Draft has been re-instated for the 2021 offseason, and will last for three rounds. Teams begin by protecting 16 players, and draft from among all unprotected players made available. Once a team loses a player, they can add one to their protected list, and can lose no more than three players total.
Article 11: Trades and Transactions
No trade or transaction is final until it has been approved by The Commissioner. Once approved, new lineups and/or pitching rotations must be submitted before players can be used. Transactions will be rejected by the Commissioner if it results in an illegal roster or player movement. Annual Draft selections may be traded for the following year only, unless approved by the Commissioner.
Amendment A: Releasing Players
Since rosters may never contain more than 40 players, teams must occasionally release players to fit within this limit. Also, immediately following the Annual Draft, teams must release players to maintain a legal roster. Players can also be traded instead of released, but once a player release has been posted (or announced) the player is immediately ineligible for further transactions.
Amendment B: Daily Transactions
Players may be added to or demoted from the 25-man roster at any time, with a limit of five player movements per season.
Amendment C: Future Considerations
No trades with “future considerations” (except for draft choices) are allowed unless all players involved have been mutually agreed upon at the time of the trade. Trades involving unclear compensation, draft stipulations, or unnamed players to be determined later, will be voided.
Amendment D: Restrictions on Trading of Draft Choices
1) Draft choices may only be traded for the next regularly scheduled draft. The Commissioner will void trades involving draft choices beyond the upcoming draft. The first day of any year’s draft will be the first day these future choices can be traded (ex: 2018 choices can’t be traded until the 2017 draft begins.)
UPDATED: 2) Starting in 2023, draft slots past Round 5 can NOT be traded at any time.
3) Players that have been selected in the current draft past Round 6 can only be traded AFTER all 40-man rosters are posted.
4) Third-round draft picks will be held in escrow for all teams until the completion of regular season, in case of overuse penalty.
Article 12: New Membership
Applications for membership will be reviewed as needed, and will be judged by the Commissioner based upon the following criteria: 1) openings among PGB franchises; 2) evidence of an energetic and involved membership by the applicant; and 3) consistent access to e-mail/internet, and be availability for all off-season drafts.
Article 13: Resignation of Membership
Members are requested to complete the current season prior to voluntarily resigning their PGB membership. As a courtesy to other members, those opting for resignation are encouraged to give as much notice as reasonably possible.