I loooooove winning!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rules! Rules! Rules!

Thoughts on rules........

We all want competitive balance and, at the same time, want the freedom to do whatever we want to do with our team. As many have said before, we are all given the same amount of money, and what you do with it should be up to you.

To most, if not all, competitive balance means that there are no teams that try to lose. Characteristics of these teams include not signing free agents (even when incredibly cheap), promoting AAA guys not worth an ML spot, and running out SP's at 0(0) stamina. I think that we would all agree that this is an unacceptable strategy and bad for the league.

Having said that, an acceptable strategy in this game is to not try to win. I'll be the first to admit that I am not trying to win the division this season, or last, or the one before that. There are probably over half of us that would say the same. We all know it is not our time. This is also known as building for the future. It is good for any world to have people building for the future.

So how do you allow those to build for the future while, at the same time, ensure competitive balance and eliminate tanking? I don't think that it is by limiting how they spend (or don't spend) their money. I think that we would all agree that if someone can win 70 games with a team of guys making the ML minimum then that owner would be commended, and allowed the freedom to do whatever he wants to do with his saved money.

There can be, however, a fine line between losing on purpose and not trying to win. And the only way to address this is with rules. And believe me, I do not enjoy creating rules for a fake baseball game. It might be the nerdiest thing that I can think of. But here we are.

The only rule that I can think of to ensure competitive balance, eliminate tanking, and allow for rebuilding is a minimum win rule. We have one of those and, to my knowledge, it has been working fine. But I am all for improving the league, and if we need a stricter win rule to do that, then I'm all for that, as well.

Therefore, my plan is to put four options to a vote over trade chat. They are as follows:

All options would include the following language (New owners will be given a 2 year "grace period" before the rule would apply. Violators will be put to a vote).

1. All teams must win at least 110 games over a 2-year period. (currently in place)

2. All teams must win at least 120 games over a 2-year period.

3. All teams must win at least 55 games in any given season.

4. All teams must win at least 55 games in one season, at least 120 over two seasons, at least 185 over three seasons, and at least 265 over four seasons.

I appreciate everyone's input on other rules, but if we get this right, they will take care of themselves.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ideas on rules

First things first, the idea behind private world rules is to make this game more enjoyable for everyone and to set expectations. This is a great game and we all want to run our team they way we want to run our team but, at the same time, we all want good competition.

As it relates to mwelker, he has played by the rules and has not used foul language or personally attacked anyone in the world chat, so he has just as much of a right to be here as any of us. You may not agree with how his team was built or how he handles himself in trades or on the chat, but there is nothing that can be done about it. What we can do, however, is establish rules going forward that prevent these situations from happening again. So, without further ado........


1. Minimum total player salary of $30M and maximum total player salary of $100M.

Teams may not go under or over the minimum and maximum total player salaries, respectively.

2. Maximum contract offered to international players is an MLB Contract with a maximum bonus of $20M.

3. All owners are required to actively participate on all levels, INLCLUDING MINOR LEAGUES, to prevent routinely fielding a non-competitive team.

Active participation shall be defined as regularly logging in and assigning players to prevent fatigue. Failure to login for any consecutive 10 day period shall constitute a violation of this rule except where the commissioner or league has been notified first. A non-competitive team shall be defined as one that is sufficiently weakened in any manner so as to render the match a non-event. (i.e. final score 28-3; fielding pitchers who enter the game at 0% usually will result in a "non-event," the result being more a "football score" rather than baseball.) Non-events, however, are not limited to only fielding pitchers at 0%. Owners will be given a "reasonable time"(10 games) by the commissioner to correct the problem. After 10 games, if the problem continues and matches remain non-events, the comissioner will have discretion to allot more time to the owner or impose the penalty of immediate replacement.

4. All owners must win a minumum of 55 games in any one season, and 120 games over any 2 year span.

Any owner who fails to meet the 55/120 win requirement will be removed from the league prior to roll-over into the next season. Where there exists a special circumstance an owner may be allowed another season to meet the win requirement. A special circumstance will be considered only upon the owner's request to the commissioner, via trade chat or sitemail. A special circumstance is any circumstance out of the owner's control that is the reasonable cause of the owner's failure to meet the win requirement,or any circumstance that reasonably deprives the owner of his/her time, attention, or opportunity to tend to his team. Such circumstance will be determined solely by the commissioner who shall have broad discretion.

5. Prospect Cap of 30 million

6. Transfer of budgeted money not allowed

I will take an informal poll (to the left) and see which (if any) have support. If something looks promising, I will put it to a vote in the trade chat. A rule needs at least 17 "yes" votes to pass.

Fairplay Guidelines

Hardball Dynasty

1. More than one team in the same world

One person cannot control more than one team in the same world. This means two or more teams may not be controlled by the same account or multiple accounts (otherwise known as an alias account). Violation of this rule will lead to cancellation of the teams and expulsion from the game.

If an owner finds himself in this situation due to accident, he should submit a support ticket and request to have one of the teams transferred to a new world.

Arranging a trade with another franchise so the other franchise can sign a free-agent resulting in the other franchise receiving compensation picks.
Impeding other owners
Certain transactions made solely to impede other owners are not allowed. In particular, protesting a trade merely to help someone else is strictly prohibited.

Roster Dumping

Dumping an entire roster to the waiver wire directly undermines the competitiveness of the league and reduces league strength. If you choose to discontinue play please make your roster as competitive as possible and refrain from accessing the team or league. Owners found to have dumped their roster will be kicked out of the game completely.

Private World Rules

Each private world has a commissioner responsible for any non-standard rules of the world. If there are any issues pertaining to the world, present the problem to the world commissioner to address. The commissioner will either address individually or work with customer support to address. If the commissioner does not take the action you feel is necessary, please contact customer support with the details. Private world owners have a responsibility to run the league fairly and consistently and we will more often than not back his/her decisions.

A private world may have it's own set of rules for the world. Unless otherwise stated, the rules for public worlds apply to private worlds. Private world rules are available within the game in the Admin Office. New rules introduced in a world may not be retroactive in nature. That is, a new rule cannot take into account past performance. When an owner joins a private world, they implicitly agree to the posted private world rules.

A commissioner may prevent an owner from entering at the start of a season via the password system. If it's a returning owner, the commish must request the removal via customer support ticket and it must include the rationale for removal and the rationale must be accepted (we evaluate). A ticket must be submitted before the end of a season and the same ticket must be re-opened after the world rolls over if the owner tries to return to the world.

Should a private world commish abuse his power, we will work with the rest of the world owners to determine if he/she should be removed from the role. A 10-user vote is considered the baseline for removal.

Failure to Field a Competitive Team

It's sometimes possible to sacrifice the current season for a better chance in future seasons. That's an accepted strategy both in the real world and on our site.

For the balance and enjoyment of the world and its participants, however, it is not permitted to intentionally field an overly atrocious team when a much better team could have been assembled at the same cost and time commitment. For instance, it's no more difficult to field a healthy team that can win 50 games than it is to field a team that can win 30 games.

In order for a user to be stripped of his/her Hardball Dynasty franchise during a season for failing to field a competitive team, one of the three following conditions MUST be met:

Major League team expected winning percentage of less than .250 for at least 80 games of the regular season.
Using a starting pitcher at 50% or below fatigue for 10 or more Major League games in a row.
First time Hardball Dynasty user not logging in to his franchise's world for at least 6 days prior to the start of Spring Training.
We do not proactively hunt for these infractions. Instead, we investigate when any owner from a public world or the commissioner from a private world brings it to our attention via a customer support ticket.

At that time, we review the situation. If it's clear the owner is tanking or has abandoned his team, the franchise will be stripped and assigned to the designated replacement owner. The replacement owner must be specified by the user that has submitted the ticket. If we do not believe the owner is intentionally tanking, he will maintain his team. At that time, we may send a warning sitemail and email detailing the situation.

These Fair Play Guidelines are considered the initial warning, so no additional warning is necessary to have a franchise stripped. And remember, an owner can be stripped of a team for other Terms of Service or Fairplay Guideline infractions. This section just pertains to failing to field a competitive team.

Week 5 Rankings

I'm going to spend most of my time on some proposed rules, so an abbreviated rankings this week:

1. Kansas City Crusaders (55-22) Prev #1

2. Boston Massacre (51-26) - Prev #2

3. Fresno Fire (50-27) - Prev #4

4. Helena Hustle (47-30) - Prev #7

5. Honolulu Tropics (53-24) - Prev #3

6. Oklahoma City Falcons (43-34) - Prev #5

7. Montreal Garde Imperiale (45-32) - Prev #10

8. Chicago Black Sox (43-34) - Prev NR

9. St. Louis Cardinals (41-36) - Prev #8

10. Los Angeles Hollywoods (43-34) - Prev #9

6. Tampa Bay Bats

Just Missed