Tout Wars 2009 Constitution (Must Read)
Jeff Erickson of rotowire.com, Lawr Michaels of creativesports.com, Peter Kreutzer aka Rotoman and Ron Shandler of baseballhq.com have sent out the new rules to be a Tout Wars participant. I am going to post 99% of it here and italicize the new rules changes which are also in red and I think they are great and intriguing. I have zero issue saying that these rules would help any league get their act together. The one glaring omission is keeper league rules but there are no keeper leagues in Tout Wars………Siano
After a few days this tool will live under our fantasy resources on the bottom right of the page.
TOUT WARS 2009
Copyright © 2009, Tout Wars, LLC
We the people of the Tout Wars Baseball Experts League, in our efforts to promote the game of fantasy baseball and further the growth of the fantasy baseball industry, do establish this constitution as the foundation for our organization.
To assemble a lineup of 23 baseball players whose cumulative statistics, compiled and measured by the methods described in these rules, exceed those of all other teams in the League.
A team’s active roster consists of the following players:
1 second baseman
1 middle infielder (either second baseman or shortstop)
1 first baseman
1 third baseman
1 corner infielder (either first or third baseman)
1 designated Hitter (AL) or utility player (NL), defined as a player who may play any
9 pitchers (who may be either starters, relievers or both).
The following statistical categories will be used to determine team performance and league standings:
Composite batting average
Total home runs
Total runs batted in
Total runs scored
Total stolen bases
Composite pitchers baserunners ratio (hits plus walks divided by innings pitched)
Performance stats of a player shall be assigned to a team only when he is on the active roster of that team and on the active roster of a major league team in the appropriate league.
The statistics for players traded out of the league will continue to accumulate for the duration of the season.
Teams are ranked from first to last in each of the ten categories and given points for their respective ranking (12 points for 1st place, 11 points for 2nd place, etc.)
The team with the most overall points at the end of the major league regular season will be deemed the Tout Wars victor.
In the case of ties in an individual category, the tied teams will share the ranking points of the two positions in the standings.
In the case of ties in total points, the team that finishes ahead in more categories will be deemed the victor. If both teams remain tied after this comparison, the tie will stand.
Each team is required to attain a minimum of 950 innings pitched in order to qualify for placement in the pitching categories of Baserunners Ratio and Earned Run Average, and a minimum of 4,200 At Bats for placement in the category of Batting Average. If these minimum levels of playing time are not achieved, the team will receive 1 standings point in those categories affected no matter where they finish. Every other team that meets the minimum requirements will receive their normal standings points (Category standings will not be artificially adjusted to accommodate a team that falls short of a playing time requirement.)
A major league player draft in the form of an open auction is conducted on dates as near as possible to Opening Day as is practical. These dates will be set by the Tout Wars LLC (LLC). Players also may be acquired via a snake, or serpentine draft for some leagues. For these leagues, references to salaries and budgets do not apply. (The term “draft” is used universally to refer to player acquisition via auction or snake.)
Each team must acquire 23 players at a total cost not to exceed 260 units.
At each year’s draft, all owners will fill their entire roster; there will be no players carried over from one year to the next.
There will be one or more Auctioneers, or Facilitators, who run the proceedings.
The Auctioneer will award the player to the team that is the high bidder. The team acquires the player for that amount and announces the roster position the player will fill. The process is repeated, with successive team owners introducing players to be bid on, until every team has a completed roster of 23 players, by requisite position.
In snake drafts, the Facilitator will ensure that time limits between bids are maintained and proceedings run smoothly.
All decisions of the auctioneer or facilitator are final.
Players eligible at more than one position may be shifted during the course of the draft.
No team may make a bid for a player that it cannot afford. No team may bid or select a player who qualifies only at a position (or positions) that the team has already filled.
Most all players are eligible to be drafted or purchased at auction, including:
- Players on the 40-man roster or in the minor league system within the league being drafted
- Players who have been demoted, cut or designated for assignment
- Players who start the season on a major league team’s disabled list.
- Players in foreign or independent leagues
The only exception: In American League-only and National League-only leagues, players on the 40-man roster of a team from the other league cannot be drafted.
Major League free agents may be drafted, however, if they sign with a team in the other league, they must be released immediately.
At the conclusion of the major league draft there shall be a supplementary draft held in which each team may acquire up to four (4) additional players for its reserve list. Player eligibility is the same as for the active roster draft.
Draft order is determined based upon a random drawing of the teams. This drawing will take place just prior to the beginning of the reserve draft. Draft order will be conducted in a serpentine fashion, with the top-seeded team having first selection in round one, last selection in round two and first again in round three, etc.
On Draft Day: A player may be assigned to any position at which he appeared at least 20 times in the major leagues in the preceding season. If a player did not appear in 20 games at any position, or did not appear the prior season in the majors at all, he qualifies at the one position he played most frequently the prior season in any league(s) he played in. If a player sat out the previous year for any reason, his eligibility will be determined by the last season in which he played professional baseball in the United States.
Designated Hitter is considered a position for these purposes. A player who only qualifies as a DH may only be assigned to the DH position.
In-season major leaguers: In addition to Draft Day eligibility, a player becomes eligible at all other positions at which he appears at least 5 times in the major leagues.
In-season foreign/minor leaguers: A FAABed or promoted player is eligible only at the one position he has played most frequently in the foreign/minor league season to date. Once that player has accumulated major league playing time, he becomes eligible at any other positions at which he appears at least 5 times in the major leagues.
The official source for minor league games played by position will be BaseballReference.com.
A player may be activated from the reserve list if he is on the active roster of a major league team in the appropriate league.
At any time prior to the transaction deadline, a team may release, reserve or DL a player from its active roster, and replace that player from his reserve list, disabled list, free agent pool, or via trade.
If a team attempts to reserve a player, it must release, activate or trade a player from its reserve list to bring it within the four player limit. Failure to do so will result in the nullification of the player move.
If a team acquires a player via trade who will be added to the reserve list, it must release, activate or trade a player from its reserve list to bring it within the four player limit. Failure to do so will result in the release of the player(s) that the team was acquiring in the trade, but does not void the trade.
Players on a team’s reserve list who are on a major league team’s active roster may remain on the reserve list indefinitely.
Players who are on a team’s reserve list and who are subsequently placed on a major league disabled list may be moved from the reserve list to the DL at the owner’s discretion.
A player placed on the major league disabled list is eligible to be placed on his Tout Wars team’s disabled list. The DL will be considered an extension of reserve list, however, there is no limit to the number of players that may be on a team’s disabled list.
When a player on the DL is activated to his team’s major league roster, that player must be activated to his Tout Wars team active or reserve roster by the second transaction deadline following his activation.
If an activated major league player is not activated to his Tout Wars team roster by this time, he will automatically be released to the free agent pool.
All DL activations are bound by the roster requirements for the active or reserve lists. Players must be released, traded, etc. to make room for the DL-activated player.
Beginning with the second transaction period following the conclusion of the draft, through the end of the regular season, free agents in the free agent pool may be signed, without limit, in the following manner:
Each team shall have, for the purpose of acquiring free agents, a supplementary budget of 100 units. This amount shall be known as the team’s Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB).
Up until the weekly transaction deadline, a team may submit a bid for one or more free agents. These bids will be submitted to the SWAT along with normal weekly transactions.
The minimum bid shall be zero (0) units; the maximum bid shall be the amount remaining in a team’s FAAB budget.
A free agent goes to the highest bidder. If more than one team submits the same high bid (even if that high bid is 0 units), the player goes to the team that is lowest in the most recently compiled daily standings.
For winning bids, the number of units deducted from the winner’s FAAB budget shall be the amount of the second highest bid, plus one (1). For multiple high bids of zero units, the winner shall have no units deducted from his FAAB.
If multiple teams submit identical zero-unit bids on the same players, the owner lowest in the standings will be awarded the player ranked highest on his list. Then, in order, each owner next highest in the standings would be awarded the next remaining player ranked highest on each successive list.
In any given week, teams may acquire as many free agents on which it was the high bidder until it runs out of roster spots to fill, players to bid upon or available FAAB resources. Teams cannot submit contingency bids that add up to an amount that exceeds the number of units remaining in their FAAB budget.
There is no restriction on the types of players who may be bid on – Majors, minors, foreign leagues are all okay – with the exception of players on another Tout Wars active or reserve roster, or players on the 40-man roster in the opposite league (for the AL-Only and NL-Only Tout Wars leagues). If a player being bid on is not on an active Major League roster, the minimum bid will be one (1) unit.
Players acquired via free agent bid must immediately be added to a team’s active roster and remain there for a minimum of one week. For each free agent that it signs, a team must at the same time release, trade, disable or reserve a player from its active roster.
The following information must be submitted to the SWAT when placing FAAB bids:
The name of the player being bid upon
The amount of the bid
The associated move that will clear a roster spot if that player is acquired.
FAAB bids must be listed in hierarchical order. Each team shall identify the players who are being replaced by their bids, and where more than one player could be replaced by acquired free agents, the order in which their players shall be replaced.
If a player is placed on the major league 60-day disabled list, his Tout Wars team may release him and add his salary back to this year’s FAAB. If this transaction occurs prior to Monday 5 pm EDT of the All Star Break, the team may reclaim 100% of the player’s salary. If the transaction occurs after Monday 5 pm EDT of the All Star break, the team may reclaim 50% of the player’s salary. The salary reclaim decision must be made within the first 30 days that the players has been DLed. FAAB units acquired in this manner cannot be used for bidding purposes until the following week’s transaction period. If a 60-day DLed player is released in this manner and returns from the DL before the end of the regular season, he will be placed back in the free agent pool and will be available for FAAB acquisition. If a player is deemed out for the year but is not placed on the 60-day DL, his team may not reclaim his salary.
On the evening of the Major League Baseball trading deadline (July 31), the AL-only and NL-only leagues may conduct an event called, “FAABonanza.” This event is an open, online auction of available free agents. Typically conducted in a chat room, players may be nominated, one at a time, and all owners with available FAAB may bid for them. Nominations may be offered by owners in reverse order of the standings as of July 31. High bid wins and then another player is nominated until no more nominations are offered.
Trades may be made at any time from the conclusion of the draft until August 31. Statistics will take effect at the weekly reporting period.
Teams are free to make trades of any kind so long as the active rosters of the teams involved in the trade reflect the required position distribution upon the completion of the transaction.
Any player may be traded to another team’s active roster or reserve list. Teams may also trade any number of FAAB units up to a maximum of the amount remaining in their FAAB budget. FAAB units traded must be in full unit increments.
Roster moves made by a team that involve its reserve list, its disabled list or the free agent pool and its active roster may be made simultaneous with a trade in order to meet roster requirements.
Failure to replace a traded player and bring a team’s roster to its legal limit will result in the nullification of the trade.
If one third of the owners in the league feel that a particular trade is imbalanced, they may submit their concerns to the league adjudicating authority. The trading partners would then have to demonstrate exactly how they arrived at this being a fair deal, in terms of either stats gained or places gained in the standings. If they are unable to adequately show that the deal is in both team’s interests, then the league adjudicating authority may exercise its rights to revoke the deal.
Transactions may be made beginning the second Monday after draft day.
WEEKLY: All free agent bids and trade transactions must be communicated to the SWAT by 12:01am EDT Mondays (midnight Sunday). All winning FAAB bids must be communicated by the SWAT to the league by noon EDT on Monday. All roster moves to accommodate free agent and trade acquisitions must be made by the start of the first Major League game on Monday. If there are no Monday games scheduled (such as during the All Star Break), the deadline will be Monday at 5:00 pm EDT.
DAILY: Reserve-to-active moves may be made daily, but only for replacement of players who are placed on the disabled list, demoted, suspended, or deceased. Daily activations from reserve can only be made for natural openings on the active roster, not to replace poor performers (those must be made at the weekly deadline). Streaming players daily is strictly prohibited.
All weekly transactions will be based on the Major League roster composition as of 12:01 am EDT, Mondays. All daily transactions will be based on the Major League roster composition as of 12:01 am EDT on the day of the transaction. To clarify, if a player is placed on the DL at any time after midnight, he cannot be replaced until the following day.
RESPONSIBILITY & GOVERNANCE
The governing body of the Tout Wars leagues is Tout Wars, LLC, which is composed of a Board of Directors who are team owners in the leagues. The LLC documents detail qualifications for membership, roles, etc.
For the purpose of maintaining the integrity of this league, the following positions of responsibility may not be filled by a participating team owner. They may be filled by a vendor of fantasy support services or any impartial third party, as designated by the LLC.
Auctioneer or Facilitator
SWAT – Secretary of Waiver and Trades
Transaction Adjudicating Authority
The LLC is empowered to interpret the rules. Any changes proposed to these rules shall be brought to the LLC.
QUALIFICATION: Participation in Tout Wars is determined by the LLC and is by invitation only. Openings will be filled based on a nomination and voting process, as determined by the LLC. In general, potential team owners must possess the following qualifications for participation in Tout Wars:
- Must have a minimum five years experience playing fantasy baseball.
- Must have a minimum three years experience contributing to a baseball or fantasy baseball publication, website or information service.
- Must be able to promote the Tout Wars league in their information service via banners, links or original content. These links must be accessible from March through September, at minimum.
- Must be able to travel to draft weekend.
DRAFT DAY: All owners who accept the invitation to participate are expected to be present to draft in person during draft weekend. There will be no remote drafting via phone or internet. In the event that an owner does not show up for a draft, the LLC will designate a proxy drafter from a predetermined list of alternates. An owner may offer to provide his own proxy, but that person must be approved by the LLC no later than seven days prior to the draft.
ILLEGAL MOVES: All illegal player moves made by a league member will be nullified. For an illegal draft pick, the player will be immediately released back into the free agent pool. For an illegal roster move, the transaction will be nullified and any affected statistics will be recalculated back to the date of the offense.
ADVANCEMENT: In order to ensure that the very best players compete in these leagues, and appropriate advancement may occur, the following ownership transactions will take place:
Any owner who finishes with fewer than 100 standings points during the preceding two years (105 in NL-only) will be “designated for assignment.” AL-only and NL-only owners will be moved to the Mixed league. Mixed league owners will be removed from competition (though they are eligible to be voted back in by the LLC). No more than two owners per league can be “designated” in any season.
Any resulting openings in the AL-only and NL-only leagues will be filled by owners in the Mixed League who finished with the most points during the previous two-year period. Any openings in the Mixed League will be filled by new candidates voted in by the LLC.
Standings points ties will be broken based on performance in the most recent season.
REMOVAL OF OWNERS: An owner may be removed from a league at any time, for any reason, by vote of the LLC if they deem the removal to be in the best interest of Tout Wars. All decisions are final.
Any issues not covered by this Constitution will revert to the rules as stated in the Official Constitution in Rotisserie League Baseball. Tout Wars LLC will rule on any issues not covered by the RLBA constitution.
This constitution was adopted from the original model described in Rotisserie League Baseball and from the Official Constitution of the Leagues of Alternative Baseball Reality (LABR). Tout Wars honors LABR as the industry’s first official league of experts.