Constitution 2018

TOUT WARS 2018 CONSTITUTION

Copyright © 2018, Tout Wars, LLC

2018 changes in red.

PREAMBLE

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.

OBJECT

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.

ROSTERS

Roster requirements for deep (AL/NL 12 teams) leagues and shallow (Mixed Auction/Draft/Head to Head with 12-15—or more—teams) leagues are different.

A Tout AL or NL team’s active roster consists of the following players:

  • 4 outfielders
  • 2 catchers
  • 1 second baseman
  • 1 shortstop
  • 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
    non-pitching position
  • 1 swingman (either a hitter, any position, or a pitcher)
  • 9 pitchers (who may be either starters, relievers or both).
  • Each AL/NL-only league team will carry a maximum of four reserve players.

A Tout Mixed team’s active roster consists of the following players:

  • 5 outfielders
  • 2 catchers
  • 1 second baseman
  • 1 shortstop
  • 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
    non-pitching position
  • 9 pitchers (who may be either starters, relievers or both).
  • Each mixed league team with 15 teams or fewer will carry a maximum of six reserve players.

SHOHEI OHTANI

For 2018 only, Shohei Ohtani will be eligible to be drafted twice, once as a hitter and once as a pitcher. For all practical purposes he will be treated as two separate players. His only eligible position to start the season will be designate hitter.

STATISTICS

The following statistical categories will be used to determine team performance and league standings in Tout AL/Tout NL/Tout Mixed Auction/Tout Mixed Draft:

  • Composite on-base percentage
  • Total home runs
  • Total runs batted in
  • Total runs scored
  • Total stolen bases
  • Composite pitchers baserunners ratio (hits plus walks divided by innings pitched)
  • Composite ERA
  • Total wins
  • Total saves
  • Total strikeouts

Performance stats of a player shall be assigned to a Tout Wars 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 (or if post draft he has been traded away from that league to the other major league). Hitting stats only will accrue to qualified hitters, and pitching stats only will accrue to those assigned as pitchers. Players who have ambiguous major league roles will be assigned to a single role (hitter or pitcher) when he joins a Tout Wars team.

For Tout Wars Head To Head, the stats will be turned into points, and the team with the most points in each period earns a W:

Hitting Points: Single=1, Double=2, Triple=3, HR=4, BB=1, Strikeouts=-.5, Runs=1, RBI=1, Stolen Base=2, Caught Stealing=-1

Pitching Points: Win=5, Loss=-3, Save=5, Blown Save=-3, Strikeout=1, Walk=-1, Out=1, Hit Allowed=-1, Earned Run=-1

STANDINGS

Teams are ranked from first to last in each of the ten categories and given points for their respective ranking (In a 12-team league, for instance, 12 points for 1st place, 11 points for 2nd place, etc.)

Except in Head to Head, 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 tied positions in the standings.

In the case of ties in total points, the team that finishes ahead of the other in more categories will be deemed the victor. If both teams remain tied after this comparison, the tie will stand and the glory will be shared.

In Head to Head, each team will be paired against one other team twice during the season’s 22 periods (weekly, except 1) the first two weeks of the season, 2) the All Star week and the week following, 3) the first two weeks in September and 4) the last two weeks in September will be counted as single periods.

In Head to Head, during each period contesting teams will accumulate points. The team with the most hitting points will win two games, the teams with the most pitching points will win two games and the overall winner will win four games. Similarly, two loses will be given to the teams with the fewest pitching points, the fewest hitting points and four losses will be given to the team with the fewest overall points. In case of a tie, the wins and loses will be split between the two teams. 

In case of a tied record at the end of the season, the team that has the most overall wins will be declared the winner. If the teams are still tied, the team that scored the most total points in head to head play will be the winner. If both teams still remain tied after this comparison, the tie will stand and the glory of the championship will be shared.

Each roto league 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 On Base Percentage. 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.)

Head to Head league will also have a 950 IP minimum for the season, and a 4200 AB minimum for the season. Teams that fail to make either minimum will lose one win and gain one loss for each five innings or 20 at bats they fall short. 

DRAFT DAY

Roster building, in the form of an open auction, is conducted on dates as near as possible to Opening Day as is practical for the auction leagues. These dates will be set by the Tout Wars LLC (LLC). In 2018 they are March 16. 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 draft.)

For the Tout Mixed Draft League, a date in early March will be selected for the draft. For 2018 it is March 6.

Each team in an auction league 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 in Auction Leagues. 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. Once they are signed by an MLB team, however, they can only be retained by the Tout team in the league in which they are signed. If they sign with a team in the other league, they must be released immediately.

At the conclusion of each AL or NL only Tout Wars draft there shall be a supplemental reserve draft held in which each only-league team may acquire up to four (4) additional players for its reserve list. Player eligibility is the same as for the active roster draft.

In the mixed-leagues, teams will acquire up to six (6) additional player for their reserve lists. In the Mixed-Draft league, teams need to make a legal roster out of their 29 players.

Reserve round draft order in Auction Leagues will be based on the previous year’s finish. Last year’s first place team gets first reserve pick, second gets second, and so on. Players who change leagues will be slotted into the spot they finished in the league they played. Rookies will have the last picks. Ties will be broken by a random tiebreaker. Draft order will be executed 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.

In Draft Leagues, teams will be allowed to select their draft position for the entire draft and reserve rounds, with precedence given to teams that finished higher in the previous year’s standings. For instance, last year’s first place team would get first choice of draft position, while last year’s fifth place team would get fifth choice, and so on.

POSTION ELIGIBILITY

On Draft Day: A player may be assigned to any position at which he appeared at least 15 times in the major leagues in the preceding season. If a player did not appear in 15 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 combined. 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. If he’s never played professional baseball in the United States and reliable games played data is not available for the last season he did play somewhere, he will be assigned a position in advance of the auction or draft, based on the one position he is most likely to play in the coming season. Such designation will be made, if requested, by March 1st, and cannot be changed after that date even if the situation changes.

If a player appeared at 15 games or more at DH in the majors and did not play 15 or more games at any other position, he qualifies as a DH/Util only. If a player did not appear in 15 or more games played at any defensive position at all levels, he qualifies at DH/Util only.

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 who has not played 5 major league games this season 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 Baseball-Reference.com.

RESERVE LIST

Each Tout Wars AL or NL team has a maximum four-man reserve list. Each Tout Wars Mixed team has a maximum six-man reserve list.

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 its 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 (or six) 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 (or six) 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 may remain on the reserve list indefinitely, whether or not they are on a ML active roster. 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.

DISABLED LIST

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 the reserve list, and there is no limit to the number of players that may be on a team’s disabled list at any time.

The Disabled List will include the 7-day concussion, 10-day and 60-day injury lists, plus the official removals from the 25 man roster for Bereavement, Paternity and any other personal issue. 

When a player on the DL is activated to his team’s major league roster, that player must be transferred to his Tout Wars team’s active or reserve roster by the next transaction deadline following his activation. If an activated major league player is not transferred to his Tout Wars team active or reserve roster by this time, he will automatically be released to the free agent pool. (Example: If a player is activated by his major league team on Sunday, he must be restored to to his team’s active or reserve roster on Monday. If he is activated by his major league team on Monday, he must be on his TW team’s active or reserve roster the following Monday (or, in the case of H2H, on Friday).

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.

FREE AGENCY

Beginning with the second transaction period following the conclusion of the draft, in 2018 this is March 25th, 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 1000 units (or a reduced amount, based on its point total the previous season). This amount shall be known as the team’s Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB).

Total FAAB allocation is subject to adjustment based on a player’s finish the year before. The following year, teams will have deducted 10 FAAB-dollars for each point (rounded down) that they finish below league-specific thresholds. The thresholds are 60 points for 12 team leagues, 65 points for 13 team leagues, 70 points for 14 team leagues, and 75 points for 15 team leagues, like the Mixed Auction and Draft leagues. For instance, a Tout NL team that finished with 52 points would start the following year with 920 FAAB dollars, rather than 1000. (ie. 60 – 52 = 8 x 10 = 80. 1000 – 80 = 920)

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 for players on the Major League 25 man roster shall be zero (0) units; the maximum bid shall be the amount remaining in a team’s FAAB budget. The minimum bid for all other players, as detailed below, shall be one (1) unit.

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 multiple high bids of zero units, the winner shall have no units deducted from his FAAB.

In any given week, teams may acquire as many free agents on which it was the high bidder as it wants until it runs out of roster spots to fill, players to bid upon or available FAAB resources.

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 an eligible 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 acquires, a team must release, trade, disable or reserve a player from its roster. By the weekly roster-freeze deadline teams must release, trade, or disable players in order to make their roster legal under Tout Wars rules. Players acquired via free agent bid are eligible to be traded immediately, with the player(s) added to the acquiring owner’s active roster, remaining there for a minimum of one week.

Players not on a 40-man roster may be acquired by FAAB with a bid of one (1) unit or more. Once they are added to a 40-man roster, however, in Tout AL and NL only leagues they may only be retained by the Tout team in the league in which they are added. If they are added by a team in the other league, they must be released immediately.

FAAB and Claims are processed by the stat service’s automatic system and owners are expected to provide the information necessary to make that function properly. In case of emergency or lack of access to a computer or phone, the following information must be submitted to the SWAT when placing backup 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.

REDEMPTION

If a player who was bought in the auction is placed on a major league disabled list, 7-day, 10-day or 60-day, his Tout Wars team may release him and ask his SWAT to add the player’s auction salary back to this year’s FAAB. In the Mixed Draft league, players will be given dollar values based upon the prices paid in the Mixed Auction league. For instance, the first player drafted will take the value of the most expensive player taken in auction. Similarly, the 20th player drafted will have the price of the 20th most expensive player bought in auction, regardless of position. 

If the redemption occurs prior to Friday 5 pm EDT of the All Star Break, the team may reclaim 100 percent of the player’s salary times 10. If the transaction occurs after Friday, 5 pm EDT of the All Star break, the team may reclaim the player’s salary * five. 

FAAB units acquired in this manner cannot be used for bidding purposes until the following week’s transaction period. This means that the Tout Wars team must release the player before midnight on Sunday to have the salary added to his FAAB that week (for use in the following week’s FAAB claims). If the player is released after midnight on Sunday the salary will be added to the team’s FAAB the second Monday following the most recent Sunday.

The request for redemption must be made before the player is activated by his major league team. 

If a DLed player is released in this manner, 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 DL, his team may not reclaim his salary. 

For any team owner to reclaim a player he previously redeemed, he must bid at least as many FAAB units as he reclaimed originally (divided by 10 or five, depending when the redemption was made).

No redemptions will be made after August 31 through the end of the season.

Players on a Minor League disabled list may not be redeemed.

The Redemption Process Explained: A Primer

1. Upon receiving the rebate request via email (or any other acceptable means as designated by the SWAT), the SWAT will post the following on the league message board, giving notice:45
 
a. The name of the owner making the request
b. The DL player being released
c. The amount rebated
d. The date of the FAAB run after which the rebate will be available
 
2. After executing the next FAAB run, the SWAT will adjust the FAAB totals then follow up with a confirmation post on the message forum confirming the adjustment was made.
 
3. If the SWAT fails to make the initial notification, the owner making the request should call attention to the omission on the league message board, as well as alerting Peter Kreutzer (webmaster@toutwars.com), the SWAT coordinator, who will then make sure the initial notification is made on the league message board. The FAAB will not be redeemed until after after the next FAAB run.
 
4. If the notification is made but the SWAT fails to redeem the money, the owner should contact the SWAT and Peter Kreutzer, who will make the correction that day, redeeming the money and updating the notification confirming that the amount was redeemed. Unless there is a date confirming email, no FAAB redemptions will be processed retroactively. 
 

TRADES

Trades may be made at any time from the conclusion of the draft until midnight ET of August 31. Statistics reflecting the trade will take effect at the weekly reporting period on Monday.

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. Traded FAAB may not be spent on claims until the period following the period of the trade.

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 simultaneously 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.

DEADLINES

Transactions may be made beginning the Monday at the start of the season. This date may be changed if the start of the ML season is moved. One exception: All Star Week the FAAB and weekly transactions deadline will be midnight the night before the first post All Star regular season games are played. Based on the past few years, that means the FAAB deadline that week will be Thursday night at midnight.

WEEKLY: All free agent bids must be communicated to the SWAT by 1:00pm ET Sunday. All winning FAAB bids will be available at the stat service (onRoto.com) at 1:01pm ET Sunday. The league’s SWAT will verify these results to the league by 9:00am EDT on Monday. All trades and roster moves to accommodate free agent and trade acquisitions and all Weekly ups and downs must be made by the start of the first game on Monday involving teams that the league draws players from. Trades must be entered into the automated Trade System at onRoto  and accepted before the deadline in order to take effect that date. If there are no Monday games scheduled, the deadline will be Monday at 7:00 pm ET. The Monday Roster Freeze Deadline will be changed to Thursday during Opening Week 2018, and Friday during the All Star Break.

FRIDAY: In Head to Head league only, teams will be permitted to make unlimited ups and downs from within their own rosters before the start of the first game on Friday.

DAILY: Active to reserve moves may be made daily, before the start of the first Major League game of the day for mixed leagues, or before the first AL or NL team appears in a game for the Only leagues, but only for players who are placed on the disabled list, demoted to the minors, suspended, or deceased. If the player replacing the reserved player is not an active player on a team’s 25-man roster at the time of his promotion, he may only subsequently be demoted via Weekly ups and downs on Monday.

NOTE: AL players on NL rosters and NL players on AL rosters are subject to the same restrictions. If you have a player from the other league on your roster you must finish any moves involving him before his league’s game commence that day. Any moves involving such players after the deadline will be rolled back.

Daily activations from reserve to the active roster can only be made for players returning from the DL, promoted from the minor leagues or restored following a suspension. If a player on the active roster is actually on the DL or in the minors, he may be replaced and moved to the DL or reserve list (though the latter might require the release of a reserve player). If an active player is to be replaced by a returning player, he must be released. Streaming players daily is strictly prohibited. Creating openings artificially by promoting inactive players in advance of the move, or any similar action, are also prohibited.

All weekly transactions will be based on the Major League roster composition as the onRoto roster updates, which occur at about 6am Monday morning. These reflect all the published transactions through Sunday (but may rarely include a ML move made overnight and credited on Monday). All daily transactions will be based on the Major League roster composition as of 6:00 am on the day of the transaction. To clarify, if a player is placed on the DL and reported to onRoto before it runs it’s morning roster updates (at 6:00 am), the player can moved that day. If a player appears on either the MLB.com or ESPN.com transaction list for the preceding day, he may also be moved even if the move hasn’t been reported by onRoto. (A call to the Swat will be necessary to handle this manually.) A player reported to have moved on the current day by MLB or ESPN, but whose move is not reflected in the onRoto report, may not be moved that day, but can be moved the next day.

The season is completed when all regular season and playoff-qualifying games are completed. All stats accumulated in such games are counted. There will be no FAAB or waivers before any ML playoff games at the end the season.

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.

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 in that league. 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

Statistician

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, media or information service.

– Must 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 come to draft weekend, if the league requires it.

– It is the responsibility of Tout Wars players to keep TOUT LLC apprised of any change in eligibility status. Failure to do so could lead to removal. Owners, please let us know about employment changes.

FEE SCHEDULE (2017):

  • Payment by March 1: $150 per team (mixed online: $100)
  • Payment after March 1: $200 per team (mixed online: $150)
  • Final payment deadline is March 15. Payments not received by March 15 will result in the team owner being disqualified from competition for that year.

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 or replacement drafter, depending on the situation, 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.

There shall be no more than one person per team at the draft table, except if the invite was extended to partners.

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.