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Updated October 2011

1  League Structure

 

1.01  League Name

The League shall be known as the Canadian Baseball League (CBL). The CBL was founded in 1973 in Canada, with team managers in both Canada and the United States.

1.02  League Goals

The CBL exists to promote enjoyment of baseball through participation in a friendly, stable league that emphasizes sportsmanship, integrity, and accurate, timely reporting. It also provides team owners with the opportunity to build a successful franchise over time through trades and/or the annual draft.

1.03  Membership

1.03[a] The CBL consists of twenty-four continuous ownership franchises, using actual major league baseball (MLB) team names and organizations. The teams are divided into two Associations, the Gnitecki Association and the Wesenberg Association (named after the two CBL founders, Richard Gnitecki and Bernhardt Wesenberg).

1.03[b] Twelve teams are assigned to the Gnitecki Association and twelve teams to the Wesenberg Association. Each Association has two Divisions with the teams evenly divided between them. The League Executive assigns teams to their Association and Division. Geographic proximity and traditional CBL rivalries are used as factors in assigning teams.

1.03[c] There shall be at least one manager per franchise. No person may manage two or more teams simultaneously except when necessary on a temporary basis while a new manager is being recruited.

1.03[d] Each CBL Club shall pay yearly dues to cover administrative costs involved in operating the CBL. The amount is determined annually by the CBL Executive, and is payable at the beginning of the season schedule.

1.04  Franchise switches

When a CBL franchise becomes open, that franchise will be made available for 30 days to existing league managers, with priority going on a seniority basis. Conditions are:

1.04[a]  Effective in 1997, a CBL manager may make only one such switch during his CBL career.

1.04[b]  If the open franchise is an existing team in the league, the switching manager may either [i] give up his entire team assets (players, draft picks, and minor league protection list) and take on the open team’s assets in total. Any future assets of either team that have been traded away will be adjusted by the League Executive for fairness; or [ii] retain all current team assets and change franchise names only. From the point of the switch onward, minor league picks would be made from the new franchise’s farm system.

1.04[c]  If the open franchise is a major league team not currently owned in the CBL, the manager may take his current CBL team roster and assume the open team’s identity. He must, however, leave the minor league roster of his current team behind and accept the minor league system of the new team. Seven minor leaguers will be protected as an initial minor league protected list.

1.05  Game Product

1.05[a]  The CBL uses the APBA master baseball game, or any computer version of the Miller Associates APBA Baseball Game.

1.05[b]  The final list of 30 players per MLB team carded by the APBA game company, plus any uncarded players already on forty-man CBL rosters who appeared in the major leagues during the year, shall be available for CBL play.

 

 

 

2  League Governance

 

2.01 Officers

The League has an executive composed of at least three officers: a Commissioner and two Association Presidents. In addition, the Commissioner may appoint any other officers necessary for the operation of the league.

2.02  Duties of the Commissioner

The Commissioner has authority over all aspects of league operation, including responsibility for

2.02[a]  appointing the Association Presidents.

2.02[b]  being public spokesperson for the League.

2.02[c] arbitrating any disputes that arise among managers, or settling any grievances raised by managers.

2.02[d]  disciplining managers or revoking franchises for cause.

2.02[e]  recruiting and orienting new managers when needed.

2.02[f]  ensuring publication of a regular league newsletter.

2.02[g]  ensuring administration of league finances.

2.02[h]  ensuring accurate statistical records are kept and shared with managers.

2.02[i]  keeping track of league votes.

2.02[j]  conducting the annual draft.

2.02[k]  ensuring construction and maintenance of an internet league web site.

2.03  Duties of the Association Presidents.

The Presidents are members of the League executive team. They:

2.03[a]  assist the Commissioner in carrying out administrative duties.

2.03[b]  perform the duties of the Commissioner when needed.

2.03[c]  maintain good communication among managers in their Associations.

2.04  Selection of the Commissioner

2.04[a]  When the Commissioner’s position becomes vacant, nominations will be open for a new Commissioner for a period of 30 days from the announcement of the vacancy in the newsletter. Any league member may nominate another member. Following the close of nominations, a vote is taken by the retiring Commissioner or his designate.

2.04[b]  A majority (50% plus 1) is necessary to win a vote for Commissioner. If no winner is declared on the first ballot, a run-off vote is taken between the top two candidates.

2.05  Amendments to the Constitution

2.05[a]  Any member of the league may present proposals for change to the league constitution by forwarding the proposals to the Commissioner. The proposals will be published in the CBL Newsletter.

2.05[b] Proposals are adopted when approved by a 3/4 (75%) majority vote of league members. An abstention shall be considered a vote to retain the existing rules.

2.05[c] Any proposal for change having been defeated in a vote may not be resubmitted for a period of at least one year.

2.06 Grievances

Grievances may be voiced by any manager to the League Executive. The Commissioner shall be the final authority in settling grievances.

 

 

3 Regular Season Play

 

3.01  Season

The data produced by the APBA Game Company from the previous MLB season shall be used to play the current CBL season.

3.02  Schedule

The schedule of play is developed by the League Executive and published on the league Web Site, and copies are provided to each owner as needed. The schedule consists of 162 games, beginning and ending at approximately the same time as the major league baseball season. Games between teams are organized into series of several games in a home-and-away format.

3.03 Rosters

3.03[a]  Each CBL club will have a Total Team Roster of no more than 40 players who have received an APBA card in the current or a previous year. This will include players on the Active (see 3.03[b]) and Reserve (see 3.03[c]) Rosters, but not players on the Minor League Protected List (see 3.04). This limit must be maintained at all times except for the period beginning with the annual CBL draft in February and ending with the submission of opening-day rosters in March. At any other time of year, if players are added through trade or waiver pickup, the owner must release players by the end of the same day to return to the 40-man limit.

3.03[b]  Each CBL club will establish an Active Roster of 25 players from the start of the season through approximately 130 games. Each club may carry up to 40 active players for the rest of the regular season (“September callups”).

3.03[c]  Each CBL club may have a Reserve Roster of up to fifteen players, so long as the maximum allowable Total Team Roster size (40) is not exceeded.

3.03[d]  Players may be moved between the Active and Reserve Rosters prior to the start of each full series, so long as the maximum allowable Active Roster size is not exceeded.

3.03[e]  A player who does not receive an APBA card, after having received one in a previous season, may nevertheless be used up to the level of his actual Starts, Innings Pitched, or Plate Appearances, if any, in the major leagues during the past season, and will remain on the Roster until traded or released. If the player meets the statistical qualifications for unlimited status, (as per 3.06[b]7 and 3.06[c]2) he need not observe the limit of actual Starts, Innings Pitched, or Plate Appearances.

3.03[f]  Any player carded in the APBA game who is not on a CBL Club roster is a free agent and is available to be selected in the annual CBL draft.

3.04 Minor League Protection Lists

3.04[a]  In 1992, each CBL Club was allowed to establish a Minor League Protected List of seven minor league players from within the franchise who had never at that point received an APBA card. On May 1st of each subsequent season, each club is allowed to add three additional minor league (never carded) players to its protected list. Players remain on the CBL Club’s Minor League Protected List until they are carded by APBA, traded by the CBL club, or released by the CBL club. When carded, these players are automatically the property of the CBL Club on whose Protected List they appear.

3.04[b]  Any minor league player not protected by a team prior to being carded is a free agent, available in the next annual draft; except that if a player enters professional baseball after May 1st and is carded in that same season, he may be claimed by the corresponding CBL Club, provided that the CBL Club must use one of its three minor league protection spots from the following year to secure the player.

3.04[c]  Until protected, a never-carded minor league player is not the property of the CBL team and may not be traded.

3.05 Playing the Games

3.05[a]  Games are played face-to-face when possible, and by the home team when face-to-face play is not possible.

3.05[b]  Each manager shall forward all appropriate instructions, play games, and forward appropriate individual game statistics and series results on the dates required. Instructions should reach the home manager by seven days prior to the date the series is scheduled to be completed. If no instructions are received within seven days after the due date for the series, the home manager shall play the series using the instructions available on the Web Site. Games must be played and results communicated to the visiting manager no later than fourteen days after the due date set for the series.

3.05[c]  Each manager shall accurately compile statistics on each game played in the format required by the League Executive.

3.05[d]  Each manager shall, as far as possible, comply with all instructions of the visiting manager, and manage the visiting team to its best advantage in situations where instructions are unclear or silent.

3.05[e] Each manager shall supply for the League Web Site a set of Standard/Emergency Playing Instructions, both home and away, for each series of the current season, prior to the start of the season. The Standard/Emergency Instructions must provide rotations, lineups, and playing information. The Commissioner shall ensure that all Standard/ Emergency Instructions are available to every manager.

3.05[f] If a home manager fails to complete a series within fourteen days of the due date, the Commissioner may designate a person to play the series, using the Standard or Emergency Instructions.

3.06  Player Use

3.06[a]  Players may be used only as much in the CBL regular season as they played in real life, as detailed below, except when defined as “unlimited”.

3.06[b]  Pitchers

3.06[b]1  Only a pitcher rated as a starting pitcher may start a game.

3.06[b]2  A starting pitcher must have at least three games rest between starts. Consider the road games to be played first, the home games last in each series for the purpose of establishing a pitching rotation.

3.06[b]3  A starting pitcher may not exceed the number of Starts, nor the number of Innings Pitched in the MLB season (except for Unlimited Pitchers as allowed in Paragraph 3.06[b]7 below).

3.06[b]4  A relief pitcher may not exceed the number of Innings Pitched during the MLB season (except for Unlimited Pitchers as allowed in Paragraph 3.06[b]7 below), but is not limited as to Number of Relief Appearances.

3.06[b]5.1 A pitcher graded only as a starter by APBA may be used both as a starter and/or reliever in the CBL, but is limited to the number of appearances. A start may be considered to represent two relief appearances for the purpose of calculating the allowable appearances. The total innings pitched in the CBL cannot exceed the actual MLB innings. These limits apply except in the case of pitchers defined as unlimited re: 3.06[b]7.

3.06[b]5.2 A pitcher graded by APBA as a split-grade starter/reliever is limited to actual number of starts but is not limited in relief appearances as per above clause 3.06[b]4. The total innings pitched in the CBL cannot exceed the actual MLB innings. These limits apply except in the case of pitchers defined as unlimited re: 3.06[b]7.

3.06[b]6  A split grade pitcher with the higher grade being 5 or greater is limited to the actual innings pitched.

3.06[b]7  A starting pitcher, carded or uncarded, whose grade is 4 or lower is limited to 36 starts and must observe the days of rest as in Paragraph 3.06[b]2, and any pitcher whose grade is 4 or lower is not limited to Innings Pitched other than by Paragraph 3.06[b]6. 

3.06[b]8  A pitcher may bat only if he is pitching in the game, unless he is rated at a position other than pitcher. Pitchers may not pinch-hit. A pitcher is allowed to pinch-run.

3.06[c]  Position Players

3.06[c]1  Position players may not exceed the number of Official Plate Appearances, excepting as provided in 3.06[b]2, nor the number of Stolen Base Attempts recorded in the MLB season. There is no limit on Games Played.

3.06[c]2  Position players, carded or uncarded, who meet all of the following criteria are considered “unlimited” and are not restricted to any number of Plate Appearances:

[i] Batting Average of .240 or less

[ii] On Base Percentage of .300 or less

[iii] Slugging Percentage of .350 or less

[iv] None of the following defensive ratings: 8 or 9 at C; 4 or 5 at 1B; 8 or 9 at 2B; 5 or 6 at 3B; 9 or 10 at SS; 3 at OF. 

3.06[c]3  A manager may request Unlimited status for a non-productive position player who marginally exceeds the criteria in Paragraph 3.06[c]2 if the manager has exhausted all means of trading for help. This designation may be granted with the approval of the League Executive prior to the opening of the season.

3.06[d]  Injuries: games missed due to injuries shall be limited to no more than the remaining games in the half series (i.e. the home or away portion of the series) currently being played.

3.06 [e] Position players may not be used at positions for which they are not rated. The only exception is when injury or ejection during a game leaves a team with no players rated at the position vacated by the player, in which case an unrated player may be inserted to finish the game.

3.07  Penalties for over-use of players

3.07.1 Penalties for overuse of players beyond the established buffers (30 PA for batters, 5 SBA for base-stealers, 2 GS and 15 IP for starting pitchers, and 7 IP for relief pitchers) will be determined by the Commissioner and graduated depending on the severity of the overuse. Penalties may include loss of playoff status, loss or demotion of draft picks, or other penalties as deemed by the Commissioner to be justified. In general, the penalty will be more severe when the overuse is more extreme and/or involves better players. If there is any possibility that the overuse contributed to a team making the playoffs, that team will be removed from the playoffs. Examples of typical penalty rationales are presented in the Supplement to the Constitution at the end of this document. The Commissioner’s decision is final unless appealed within three days of receipt of notification.

3.07.2 The decision of the Commissioner may be appealed by the offending team or by any other manager to the other members of the Executive (i.e. two presidents and the statistician) who will [a] uphold the ruling; [b] modify the ruling; or [c] remove the penalty. The decision of this Appeal Committee is final.

3.08  Rainouts and computer crashes

3.08[a]  Rainouts shall follow the MLB rule; that is, if 5 innings are completed, the game is an official game. If fewer than 5 innings are completed, the game is to be replayed.

3.08[b]  In the event of a computer crash during a game, the game will be replayed in its entirety.

 

 

4  Playoffs

 

4.01 Playoff Teams and Schedules

4.01[a] The team with the best won-loss record in each Division shall qualify for the playoffs. Of the remaining teams in each Association, the two teams with the best won-loss records regardless of division shall also qualify for the playoffs.

4.01[b]  In the event of a tie for the final playoff spot in an Association, the teams involved will play a best-of-three preliminary round.

4.01[c]  Each playoff shall consist of a best-of-seven series. The teams will use a 2-3-2 format, with the team with the superior record having the extra home game except in the Canada Series. In the event of a tie among two or more of the four teams in the Association playoffs, seedings will be determined by regular season head-to-head record; if still tied, each team’s record within its Division shall be used; if still tied, the Commissioner shall supervise the flip of a coin.

4.01[d]  In the first round, the team with the best record in each Association shall play the team with the worst record in the Association regardless of division.

4.01[e]  The two teams that win the first round series in each Association shall meet for the Association championship.

4.01[f]  The Association champions shall meet in the Canada Series for League championship. The Canada Series shall be a best-of-seven series. Home advantage shall alternate between the Associations, with Wesenberg champions having the home advantage for odd-numbered CBL seasons and Gnitecki champions having the home advantage for even-numbered CBL seasons.

4.01[g]  All regular season rules apply to the above playoffs, championships and Canada Series, excepting usage rules as identified in Section 4.02.

4.02  Player Use During Playoffs

During the playoffs there are special limitations on usage.

4.02[a]  Hitters are limited in each series to a maximum of 1/15 of their MLB regular season Official Plate Appearances, if those Plate Appearances are 480 or less. Hitters with more than 480 PA’s are unlimited for the playoffs.

4.02[b]  Relief pitchers are limited in each playoff series to 1/10 of their MLB regular season Innings Pitched.

4.02[c]  There is no limitation on starting pitchers, excepting the requirement for three days rest between starts. As on real life, there is considered to be an off-day when the series switches sites, so a starting pitcher may pitch Games 1, 4 and 7.

4.02[d]   Uncarded players are not eligible for the playoffs.

4.02[e]  Injuries are limited to the current segment of the playoff series at the site where the injury occurs.

4.03  Reporting of Results

All statistics and box scores for the playoffs, championships and Canada Series are to be submitted to the Commissioner.

 

 

5 Player Movement

 

5.01  Annual Intra-League Draft

5.01[a]  Each year there will be a draft of free agents and unprotected players, in February. Each CBL Club shall submit a Total Team Roster of protected and unprotected players on the date established by the League Executive.

5.01[b]  Each CBL Club will be allowed to protect some of its players through the draft. The size of the protected rosters will vary with the won-lost records over the previous two regular seasons combined. The six clubs with the best records over the two year period will protect 18 players, the next six will protect 20, the next seven will protect 22, and the seven clubs with the fewest wins will protect 24. The remaining players on each roster are available for selection by other teams in the draft.

5.01[c]  Each CBL Club may lose a maximum of three players in the draft.

5.01[d]  Draft choices will be exercised by CBL Clubs in reverse order of won-lost of the combined previous two seasons.  In case of tie(s) for drafting positions, the League will go back an additional year to break the tie.

5.01[e]  The draft will consist of five rounds. Remaining free agents may be dispersed following the draft at the discretion of the League Executive, using the same order of selection as for the regular draft.

5.01[f]  A team is allowed to draft a player from its own unprotected roster, but that player is not counted as one of the three players lost to the team.

5.01[g]  In an expansion year there will be a draft of free agents, but no draft of unprotected players.

5.02  Trades

5.02[a]  Managers may trade players, draft choices, draft protection spots beyond the minimum number of 18 that each team must hold, minor league protection spots, and protected minor league players.

5.02[b]  An immediate exchange of players is not required. One side may include future considerations to allow for the completion of compensation at some later date. The exact intention of the nature of the future considerations is to be outlined as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings, and submitted in writing as part of the trade report to the Commissioner.

5.02[c] Trades may be made at any time during the year. To be effective, trades must be reported to the Commissioner and Webmaster for inclusion on the Web Site list. The trade will then become official (e.g. the players will be considered to pass from one team to another) for the series indicated in the trade report. All trades must be approved by the Commissioner, who may cancel any trade deemed by him (her) to be improper or not in the best interests of the CBL.

5.02[d]  Until notice of the trade appears on the Web Site, no player may appear for his new team. Any attempts to use an unofficially traded player will result in the forfeiture of any game in which the player appears. 

5.02[e] A trading deadline in July is established each year by the Commissioner, after which no trades can be made that will be effective for the current season.

5.02[f]  No trades with a new manager are valid unless all league managers have been informed, via the newsletter, of the new manager’s name, address, and phone number.

5.02[g] “Future assets” (draft pick, draft or minor protection spots) may only be traded beginning January 1st of the preceding calendar year.

5.03 [h] Draft protection spots for the next draft may not be traded until the current CBL regular season is complete, in order to know for sure how many spots each team owns.
 

5.03 Free agent draft

5.03[a]  At least once during the year at a time other than February, the Executive shall conduct a draft of presently or previously carded free agents.

5.03[b]  Selection order shall be the same as in the previous annual intra-league February draft, and the positions are not tradeable commodities.

5.03[c]  The comprehensiveness of the player list and the conditions for the draft will be established and amended from time to time by the Executive.

 

 

6  Web Site

 

The Web Site for the league shall include, but not be limited to:

6.01 a listing of rosters for all teams;

6.02 a running record of all transactions;

6.03 a directory of manager names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses;

6.04 a list of minor league protected players for each team;

6.05 the current version of the league constitution;

6.06 league newsletters;

6.07 results of the most recent annual free agent draft;

6.08 emergency or standard playing instructions for each team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7  League Awards

 

7.01 Awards Voting

7.01[a] The CBL managers shall vote annually on the following awards and honors within each Association:

[1]  Pitcher of the Year

[2]  Position Player of the Year

[3]  Rookie of the Year

[4]  Manager of the Year

[5] All-Star team, including the starting nine players and the starting pitcher. The All-Star manager (previous season’s Association champion) shall select the pitching staff and reserve players. The total All-Star team shall be 28 players. Each club shall be represented by at least one player.

7.01[b]  In voting, no manager shall vote for players on his/her own team.

7.02  All-Star Game

The League shall have an annual All-Star game between the Associations at a site selected by the officers. The site shall alternate each year between Association clubs, with the Wesenberg Association hosting the game in even-numbered CBL seasons and the Gnitecki hosting the game in odd-numbered CBL seasons.

 

 

SUPPLEMENT TO THE CBL CONSTITUTION

 

PENALTY GUIDE FOR PLAYER OVER-USE

When a team exceeds the buffer zone beyond actual mlb use for a player, the Commissioner will apply penalties as they fit the situation, mitigating the application of the "typical" penalties when necessary. The following describes what some typical penalties will be:

  • elimination from the playoffs if there is any chance the overuse would have helped the team make the playoffs (overuse from the max is considered, not just the overuse beyond the buffer)
  • overused player will always be ineligible for the playoffs even if the team is allowed to participate
  • overuse by 31-60 PA or 16-25 IP (for SP’s) or 8-12 IP (for RP’s) or 3-5 GS or 6-10 SBA will result in a drop of 15 places for a draft pick of the Commissioner’s choice (1st thru 5th depending on quality of player overused and extent of overuse)
  • overuse by 61+ PA or 26+ IP (for SP’s) or 13+ IP (for RP’s) or 6+ GS or 11+ SBA will result in loss of a draft pick of the Commissioner’s choice (1st thru 5th depending on quality of player and extent of overuse)
  • overuse of multiple players would result in multiple penalties or a more severe single penalty

 

Examples:

The penalties for the 2002 CBL season would have been as follows, had this rule been in place:

1.                  Baltimore: mistakenly overused FP Santangelo by 73 PA, believing him to be unlimited when he was in fact slightly better than the criteria specified for unlimited status. Since Santangelo was the poorest offensive player on the team, and other options could have been used on the roster that would, if anything, have resulted in a better record, the penalty for this overuse would have been loss of a draft pick, likely a fifth rounder. Baltimore would have remained in the playoffs, but Santangelo would have been ineligible.

2.                  Montreal: exactly the same error as Baltimore i.e. overused Wilkerson by 300 PA, believing him to be unlimited. Again, no advantage from the standpoint of wins was attained by using this poor offensive player. The overuse was more extreme, and the penalty would then be slightly more severe, likely a third rounder. Montreal would have retained its playoff status, but Wilkerson would not be able to play.

3.                  Toronto: overused a starting pitcher, Randy Wolf, by 18.2 innings. Since Toronto tied for the wild card spot, and the overuse potentially could have resulted in one or more wins during the season (in this case it is likely that more wins came from his usage), Toronto would be removed from the playoffs, and a second round pick would be dropped fifteen spots.

4.                  New York Yankees: overused a baserunner, Derek Jeter, by six steal attempts (the buffer is five). Since the Yanks also tied for the wild card, and since it is conceivable that Jeter’s six extra steal attempts led to one or more extra wins, New York would be eliminated from the playoffs. There would be no further penalty.

5.                  Cincinnati: same as the Yanks, overused Jeff Frye by six steal attempts. Since they were only in the position to make the playoffs because of the other disqualifications, they would also be removed. No further penalty would be applied.

6.                  Texas: overused two hitters by 26 AB each. The team did not make the playoffs, and the overuse was not of a magnitude that other options would have resulted in a lower win total. This would normally be the dropping of a pick by 15 spots for each player, for a total drop of 30 spots, but for a rookie the drop would be only half of the penalty. The level of pick dropped would vary with the quality of the player(s) involved, in this case likely a third rounder (average players).

 

To expand the scenario and provide other examples, suppose that Toronto had been in the playoffs, ten games clear of the best non-playoff team and one game ahead of another wild-card team. Since the Jays would undoubtedly have made the playoffs even had a D been used instead of Wolf for the 18.2 innings, but since the other wild card team might have finished ahead of the Jays, Toronto would remain in the playoffs, and the penalty would be [a] loss of home-field advantage in the playoffs; and [b] dropping of a draft pick by 15 spots. Depending on how much of a real penalty the home-field loss is (it could be a non-factor if the Jays would have had no advantage anyway), the pick would be either a first or a second rounder, since this transgression involved a good player.

NOTE: The idea of dropping the offending team, Toronto, to the bottom of the playoff seeding list, was considered, thus forcing them to play a better team in the first round, but that would be a slight penalty to the first-place team as well, and since they earned the right to meet the playoff team with the fewest wins this seems unfair to them to give them a (possibly) better team to have to meet.

 

 

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