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1. Organization 

2. Players

3. Acquiring and Losing Players

4. Season

5. Playing the Game

6. Limits

7. Post Season 





The purpose of the APBL is to play APBA Baseball in a friendly and honorable environment, one season behind the actual major league season.



Steve Roney founded the league in 1972. Each team has a major league "parent" team. The teams in the APBL were originally stocked with the cards of the actual 1971 MLB season and play began in 1972. The rules have changed a number of times, most notably the addition of minor leagues. There have been three redistribution drafts; after the APBL was reduced from 26 to 24 teams; in 1991 when four teams were reconfigured and in 2000, when 9 teams were re-configured. 



The rules of this league are determined by the league members, and interpreted and enforced by the Commissioner. Changes in the rules occur under the following conditions:

A) A proposal for a new rule is formally posted on the league website.

B) Any comments or discussion of the rules are published in the next edition.

C) The proposal is voted upon, on a 1 team = 1 vote basis.

D) A 2/3 majority of the ballots submitted is required to change existing rules.

E) Unless specified in the ballot, changes go into effect for the next season after rule change is approved.

F) Emergency rules may be imposed by the Commissioner as necessary to maintain an orderly league with the support from long-time APBL managers. This will rarely need to be done and is not utilized often.



The APBL has 2 leagues (American and National) with 3 divisions (East, Central and West) in each league and 4 teams in each division modeled after the real MLB. The current breakdown is:


Baltimore, Boston, New York, Tampa Bay


Detroit, Cleveland, Minnesota, Toronto


Anaheim, Oakland, Kansas City, Texas


Florida, New York, Philadelphia, Washington


Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis


Arizona, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego

The vacant franchises are:  Seattle, Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, San Francisco

A) All changes in franchises or structure of the APBL must occur between January 1st and March 1st.

B) Franchise trades are permitted under the following conditions:

1) Mutual agreement of the GMs involved, and
2) League approval (based upon competitive balance)

C) A team may petition to take over a vacant system under these conditions:

1) The team returns all protected minor league players still in the parent system.
2) The team makes more than adequate compensation for any traded minor leaguers.
3) The league office determines that reasons for the move are honorable.
4) No major discrepancy is created with respect to MLB, e.g. ANA in NL or even A.L.E

D) A manager is allowed one move in their APBL lifetime.  Further moves must be petitioned through the League Office.



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Each APBL team has access to his parent club's minor league system. Any player in that system may be added to the 26-man active roster or traded, provided that the player is not already on another team's roster, has not previously received an APBA card, and the team has roster space available.





The APBL team roster is limited, at all times, to 40. The following all count towards that 40 player limit:


A)  carded players
B)  former carded players that have not been cut
C)  protected minor league players
D)  players to be named later (PTBNLs)
E)  draft choices obtained from other teams
F non-drafted, single season use cards as outlined in section 3.2 (F)
G "useless" cards as outlined in section 2.6



Immediately after APBA publishes the players that will receive cards for the just-completed MLB season, rosters will be updated and a preliminary cut date to 40 roster spots will be set. 



For series play, the maximum allowed roster is 26 players. A default F-file must be sent to the Commissioner for inclusion in the Opening Day C-file. Players may be shifted between the active and inactive/taxi squad between series. 

A) Effective September 1 on the League Manager calendar, each team may expand their Active Roster to 40 for the remainder of the Regular Season.



Active rosters must adhere to the following:

A) If any single starting hitter is injured or ejected from the game, the team will still be able to field a player rated at every position.

Simply:  A roster must have a backup player for every position.

B) The active roster must include 4 Starting Pitchers and 4 Relief Pitchers (available to relieve).

C) No player may be removed voluntarily from a game if no rated player is available to replace him.

D) If a substitute is injured or ejected, the team must move players around to cover all of the defensive positions with rated players.

E) Players must be rated at their position if they are starting.

Rated players include:

SS (listed first on card) at 2B (as a 4) and 3B (as a 2)
C (listed first on card) at 1B (as a 1)
If not possible to field a rated replacement, use the most likely player on the bench using the default (BBW) or following ratings:
1B-2, 2B-5, SS-6, 3B-2, C-5, OF-1 (Basic or Master game)




 Players appearing on their first APBA data disk are automatically the property of the APBL club holding that franchise unless the player has been traded away as a minor leaguer or protected while in another team's system. The new players from the vacant franchises go into the spring draft pool.



Each Spring, prior to the APBL season, a draft will be held under these conditions (with date and location to be determined and published by the Commissioner):

A) On or near February 1st of each year, each team must cut any additional players on its roster to 40 men. This information is to be communicated via f-file in such a manner that the information is in Commissioner's possession at the time the deadline occurs. Failure to meet this condition will lead to the Commissioner making your cuts. If a backup manager is available, your franchise may be awarded to him at the Commissioner's discretion at that time.

B) All players cut, or undrafted after the previous year's draft, previously appearing players not on a franchise's roster and any new players from the vacant franchises will be in the draft pool.

C) Teams may participate in the draft as long as they have roster space available (less than 40) and any league-imposed penalties have been met.

D) The draft order is as follows: Each league's teams are ranked in reverse order of winning percentage.  The picks are alternated between leagues, with the A.L. drafting first in even numbered years and the N.L. in odd numbered years.

E) The draft continues until all rosters are filled, all the players have been drafted, or all the teams pass upon their turn to pick.

F) Any undrafted player may be claimed by any team on a first come, first served basis. Claims may be made at any time after the Rookie Draft until September 1 on the League Schedule.  The claimed player will be added to the team's roster for the next series on the schedule.  That player stays with the selecting team for that season only and then returns to the draft pool.









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Players may be traded from any team to any other team at any time during the year, with the exception of August 1 on the League Schedule to the end of the Playoffs. Any trades made during a season are contingent upon both teams being in good standing with respect to the League Office, completing their seasons and remaining in the league the following year. The format of a trade:

A) All teams involved in a trade must report the trade, in its entirety to the Commissioner and the Director of Transactions.

B) Players, non-appearing players on a roster, minor leaguers in one's system, draft choices (for the next approaching draft only), and PTBNL's may be traded. In the case of a PTBNL, it must be specifically defined at the time of the trade. This definition will be use as the criteria for settling any disputes that may arise as a result of the trade.

C) Any trade made by a first-year manager is subject to approval by a commission appointed by the League Office.

D) Any trade made by a second-year manager that involves minor league players is subject to league approval.  All parties must report all trades within 72 hours or the trade will be voided.





Since this is an electronic league, good communication is necessary to help play a fair and honest game. These rules are to facilitate that goal.

A) All teams must submit a default f-file including active roster, lineups, rotations and micro-manager by the deadline specified by the Commissioner.

B) After each results series, teams will have the chance to modify their existing f-file for the next series.

C) Upon consent of BOTH managers, a team may use written instructions for a particular series.


The home team is responsible for ensuring that correct c-file and f-files are loaded and the correct MicroManager is used for the visiting team. 



Series must be reported to the Commissioner and the visiting manager in accordance with the following rules:

You must play and report series in accordance with the weekly deadlines each season. These deadlines will be as follows:

1.  Managers must submit their Lineup F-files by Wednesday at 9PM of each week.

2.  The Commissioner will send out the Lineup C-file by Wednesday at 9PM of each week.

3.  Managers must submit their Results F-files by Monday at 9PM of each week.

4.  The Commissioner will send out the Lineup C-file by Sunday at 9PM of each week.



If series results from a manager are late, the Commissioner will simulate the series using each team's assigned micro-manager.  The Commissioner has the right and responsibility to make any changes to either team's roster to complete the series.






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Each team will be allowed one missed deadlines without penalty.

For each subsequent deadline missed (cumulative), the team will be assessed penalties in the following manner:

2nd miss: team will forfeit 5th round pick or highest remaining pick in the next draft.
3rd miss: team will forfeit 4th round pick or highest remaining pick in the next draft.

4th miss: team will forfeit 3rd round pick or highest remaining pick in the next draft.
5th miss: team will forfeit 2nd round pick or highest remaining pick in the next draft.
6th miss: removal from league.

If a team has traded or lost all their 5th round or higher draft picks and receives a penalty, the team will forfeit the two highest remaining picks they have left in the upcoming draft.  In addition, this team will be frozen from trading draft picks for 1 calendar year after receiving this punishment.




All APBL members must use APBA's Baseball for Windows and League Manager version 5.5.


The Designated Hitter (DH) is used in any game played in an AL park and is not used in any game played in an NL park.




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Any manager who feels he has grounds for protest should communicate the protest in full detail, along with supporting evidence, to the Commissioner. In order to be grounds for protest, an incident(s) must have affected the outcome of the game. If the protest stands, the game will be replayed from the point of protest if possible; otherwise the game will be replayed in its entirety.





The following modifications will be made to the default AIM ratings assigned by League Manager:


Players with a Season Factor (SF) of less than 100 will have their Play Rating (PR) and SF factors modified as following:

1.  The SF will be changed to 100.

2.  The PR will be prorated by the following calculation:  modified PR = (current PR * current SF) / 100.  E.G., a player with a PR of 1000 and a SF of 50 will receive a PR rating of 500. (500= [1000*50]/100)


Hitters with an OPS (OBP + SLG) of less than .600 will receive a Play rating of 930/100.

Pitchers rated as Starters or Split Grade pitchers with 10 or more starts:

Grade 1 will have their MBF raised to 1000, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 2 will have their MBF raised to 900, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 3 will have their MBF raised to 800, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 4 will have their MBF raised to 700, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 5 will have their MBF raised to 600, if it isn't already at this level or higher.


Pitchers rated as Starters or Split Grade pitchers with less than 10 starts:

Grade 1 will have their MBF raised to 500, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 2 will have their MBF raised to 450, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 3 will have their MBF raised to 400, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 4 will have their MBF raised to 350, if it isn't already at this level or higher.

Grade 5 will have their MBF raised to 300, if it isn't already at this level or higher.





The APBL welcomes 4 teams from each league (A.L. and N.L.) into the Playoffs by the following method:  The 3 division winners (as determined by a tie breaking series if necessary, see section 7.3 below) and a Wild Card entry by the team with the highest winning percentage of a non-division winning team. The Wild Card entry is scheduled to play the division winner with the highest winning percentage unless that team is in the same division. In that case, the Wild Card team must play the division winner with the next highest winning percentage.



B) The Division Series is a best of 5 series. The home team is determined by the higher winning percentage of the teams playing during the regular season.

C) The League Championship Series is a best of 7. The home team is determined by the higher winning percentage of the teams played during the regular season.

D) The World Series is a best of 7 series that determines its home team based upon the year. The A.L. hosts the Series in odd numbered years, and the N.L. in even numbered years.



A) If a division or wild card race ends in a tie, a best of 3 game playoff will occur beginning the day after the regular season ends. A coin toss will allow a team to pick which game(s) to host, the 1st game or the last 2 games.

B) If a division ends in a tie and both teams will make the playoffs, both teams may agree to avoid the tie-breaking series and defer to their season's records vs. each other. The team with more wins would be declared the division winner. If either team wishes a 3 game playoff, it must be played.

C) If any other combinations occur involving ties, an equitable, albeit short playoff system will be established by the Commissioner involving actual game playing to determine the playoff teams. The use of regular season records, coin tosses, and double elimination tournaments are all possibilities to help establish or produce an equitable playoff.




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APBL rules apply to all playoff games except:

B) A pitcher may not be used as a pinch hitter unless he made a real-life, post season appearance as a pinch hitter, and may do so only to the same extent.




33 Years & Counting
The APBL has been the home of baseball since 1972.  It has grown from a grass-roots "dice and boards" league into an exciting and progressive internet league.

The APBL features
APBA Baseball for Windows and the League Manager Power Tool version 5.5