North American Baseball League (NABL) - Official Constitution

Last revision: July 15, 2017

Originally written by David Greiner; modified by Dann Chow.


This is the official Constitution of the NABL.  This Constitution is a living document and will be changed from time to time.  Responsibility for changes lies with the NABL Commissioner, but most rule changes will be voted upon quasi-democratically.  By being an owner in the NABL, you are agreeing to treat all other owners with respect, to be competitive to the best of your abilities, and to be flexible enough to adhere to rules that may be adjusted from time-to-time.


Rule change for 2018: in rule 2.3, the number of Injured slots will be increased from 2to 4.




1.1  Current reigning champion

2016: Cold Spell (Dann Chow)

1.1(b)  Past champions

2015: Pesky Polecats (Dylan White)

2014: Cold Spell (Dann Chow)

2013: Hunting for RLJ (Tim McLeod)

2012: Saratoga Spiders (Tim Haupt)

2011: High Heat (Todd Habiger)

2010: Hidalgo All-Stars (Steve Parsons)

2009: Cold Spell (Dann Chow)

2008: Hunting for RLJ (Tim McLeod)

2007: Mad Cows (David Greiner)

2006: StL Cardinals (Rick Griffith)

2005: High Heat (Todd Habiger)

2004: Mad Cows (David Greiner)

2003: Cold Spell (Dann Chow)

2002: Daaron’s Dance Groove (Daaron Sarver)

1.2  Runner-ups

2016: Pesky Polecats (Dylan White) – Div Champ

         Ponson’s Waistline (Bill Gipperich) – Div Champ

2015: Hunting for RLJ (Tim McLeod)

2014: Pesky Polecats (Dylan White)

2013: Springfield Isotopes (Joe Cory)

2012: Hunting for RLJ (Tim McLeod)

2011: Bama Groove (Daaron Sarver)

2010: Hunting for RLJ (Tim McLeod)

2009: The Batemans (Cory Delbridge)

2008: Cold Spell (Dann Chow)

2007: Landlocked Sharks (Eric Hardman)

2006: Mad Cows (David Greiner)

2005: Mad Cows (David Greiner)

2004: High Heat (Todd Habiger)

2003: The Green Monster (David Cevero)

2002: Mad Cows (David Greiner)

1.2(b) Wild Card Participants

2016: Saratoga Spiders (Tim Haupt)

         Bama Groove (Daaron Sarver)

1.3  Object of the game

To win the league, you assemble a daily lineup of 18 Major League Baseball players whose cumulative statistics, during the regular season defined below, compiled and measured by the methods described below, exceed those of all other teams in the League. 


Then you kick someone’s butt in the NABL playoffs, as described below in Section 7.

1.4  League size

12 teams, separated into two six-team divisions (Sidd Finch and Joe Shlabotnik divisions). Realignment will take place every 3-5 years, at discretion of the commissioner.

1.5  League calendar (approx)

§      Spring Auction (March)

§      NABL Regular Season (Apr-Sep)

§      Trade Deadline (11:59 pm EDT August 31) – changing to August 20 in 2016

§      Wild Card Scramble (3rd last week of MLB regular season)

§      NABL Series (last 2 weeks of MLB regular season)

§      Keeper Submissions (Oct-Nov)

§     10-Day Fall Unfreeze (Nov)

§      Winter Draft (Nov-Dec)

§      Take-Out-the-Trash Deadline (one week before Spring Auction)





2.1  Roster size requirements

Required roster size after Spring Auction = 30

Maximum roster size at all times = 32 (including Injured)

Minimum roster size at all times during season = 18

2.2  Active roster (18)

All teams must be able to field an active roster at all times during the season (from Spring Auction to Keeper Submissions) (using position eligibilities as listed on CBS web site).


Active roster means players who are eligible at each of the following positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 4 OF, UT, 4 SP, 4 RP. Can include players on DL or minors.

2.3  Reserve roster (up to 12)

Any player not active is a reserve.  After Spring Auction, reserve roster must be 12.  During the season, this number can go below 12, but must never exceed 12.  Any transaction that increases the overall roster size must be accompanied by a transaction to return to maximum of 12.


Each team is also allowed two additional Injured players during the season.  To be eligible for the Injured slot, a player must be on the MLB disabled list and so recognized by the web site.  This player should return to active/reserve duty after returning from the MLB disabled list.

2.4  Roster movement

An owner may demote a player from the active roster to the reserve roster or promote a player in the reverse direction, at any time and for any reason. 


As noted in 2.2 above, all teams must be able to field an eligible active roster at all times during the season (from Spring Auction to Keeper Submissions).

2.5  Position eligibility

Players are assigned a primary position by the web site.  They are immediately eligible at that position.


To gain eligibility at an additional position, players must qualify according to these rules:


All hitters:

(a)   at least 10 MLB games in the preceding season or

(b)   at least 5 MLB games in the current season.


For SP:

(a)   at least 5 MLB starts in the preceding season or

(b)   at least 2 MLB starts in the current season.


For RP: 

(a)   at least 10 MLB relief appearances in the preceding season or

(b)   at least 5 MLB relief appearances in the current season.


Players eligible at more than one position may be used at any of those positions at any time.

2.6  New player eligibility

Players are immediately eligible at the primary position assigned by the web site.





3.1  Salary cap

Each team is allowed a maximum total salary of $400 at any time during the season.

3.2  Player salary

The salary of a player is determined at the time of acquisition.  It does not change during the season.


§        The salary of a player who is protected from the previous season is determined by a complex formula described below.

§        The salary of a player acquired in the Spring Auction is his auction price.

§        The salary of a player who clears waivers and is claimed as a free agent is whatever salary he was when was put on waivers.

3.3  League minimum

The league minimum salary is $1 and all salaries must be an increment of $1.

3.4  Salary increases

After the NABL Series, all players will have their salaries increased.  These increased salaries will apply if the player is designated as a Keeper or if the player is selected in the Winter Draft.  After the Winter Draft, all unselected players have their salaries reset to $1.


Players will have their salary increased by $3 or 40%, whichever is greater.  Example: Player A has a salary of $1—he will be given a raise to $4.  Player B has a salary of $15—he will be given a raise to $21.  (All salaries will be rounded to the nearest $1 increment)


As of October 2015, there will be an exception for players who have 0 MLB career appearances. The increase for these players will be $2, not $3.





4.1  Spring Auction

A Spring Auction will be held each year about 3-4 weeks prior to MLB Opening Day.  Each team will acquire the players necessary to fill their roster of 30.  Including the salaries of the protected players, each team will have up to $400 to spend.


Each team MUST acquire 30 players by the end of the auction.  After the auction, each team MUST be able to field a valid active roster (according to positions listed on the CBS web site – it is your responsibility as owners to track positional eligibility, as CBS may update them from time to time).


The order of nomination of players at the Spring Auction will be determined by reverse order of standings from previous year.  The opening bid will be a minimum of $1 for any eligible player, with bidding proceeding at a minimum increment of $1. 


No team may make a bid for a player it cannot afford.  For example, a team with $10 left and three openings on its roster is limited to a maximum bid of $8 for one player.


Any baseball player is eligible for the auction.  Eligible players include (by way of example) previously undrafted players, minor leaguers, unsigned players, Japanese league players, high school or college players, and the old guy down the block named Chow with the great arm.


Owners must accept that someone else may pick their team for them in the case that they are unavailable for the Spring Auction, for whatever reason.


The commissioner will set a Roster Activation Deadline approximately 24-48 hours after rosters are entered online.  No waiver/free agent transactions may be made before that deadline.  This is to ensure equal opportunity at free agents. Initial waiver order will be the reverse order of standings from previous year.

4.2  Trades

Teams are free to make trades of any kind without limit, as long their roster can be adjusted to stay under the $400 salary cap and they stay within the 30-man roster limit.


A few notes on trades:

§        No trades involving salary or draft picks are allowed.

§        All players’ salaries will remain unchanged if they are traded. 

§        Trades are effective immediately upon submission and confirmation of all parties involved. 

§        Commissioner has the right to question the intent of any trade and subsequently veto any trade.  The general intention of the NABL is that trades are allowed unless one team is purposely trying to help the other team or harm his own team.  “Trading for the future” is permitted.

§        See note on trade deadline in Section 5 below.

4.3  Waivers

Players that are dropped are placed on waivers.  The waiver period runs for 2 days (usually not counting the waive date).


Players can be claimed off waivers, using the online claim system.  Waiver priority order will reset weekly based on reverse order of standings.  A successful waiver claim will send an owner to the bottom of the priority list for the remainder of that week, until the next reset.

4.4  Free agents

All players not on an NABL team roster nor on waivers are considered free agents.  This includes minor league players.


Free agents may be signed without limit.  Free agents are available for the league minimum of $0.1M to the first claimant.  Free agents can be picked up directly on the league web site and no interaction with the commish’s office is necessary.  (exception: the web site does not list the deep deep Japanese/minor league/high school player that you want – if you would like to pick up someone who does not appear on the web site list, contact the commissioner with your request). 


A team cannot exceed the maximum of 32 players on their roster, so it may be necessary to waive a player from the roster in order to accommodate the free agent signing.

4.5  Keepers

Each owner is required to submit a Keeper roster by Keeper Date (TBD) of each year.  It will consist of players who are kept or protected for the following season. 


Keeper salaries will include the salary increases described in rules 3.4.  These calculations will be provided to all NABL owners shortly after the MLB season.


The sum of all Keeper salaries for one team may not exceed $180.  There are no limits on the number of players retained (other than the 32-man total roster) or the positions they play as long as their combined salaries do not exceed $180.  If an owner fails to submit his Keeper roster on time, the League Commissioner will select the winter roster for that team or has the option of finding a replacement owner.

4.6  Winter Draft

The Winter Draft increases the salary limit for each team to $230.  It is held in draft fashion, drafting in reverse order of final standings for that year.  No snaking of the draft order occurs, each round starts with 12th and ends with 1st.


All owners are eligible to participate in the Winter Draft.  Any players not on a Keeper roster are eligible to be taken in the Winter Draft.  Salaries will include the salary increases described in rules 3.4.


The Winter Draft continues until all owners:

(a)   cannot afford any more players given the $230 cap,

(b)   have reached the 30 player max roster size, or

(c)   have decided to stop drafting.





5.1  Trade deadline

No trades will be permitted after 11:59 pm ET on August 31 (changing to August 20 in 2016).  Trades must be submitted and verified by this time in order to be valid.

5.2  September roster moves and post-season eligibility

These notes apply to the period between the trade deadline and the end of the NABL regular season:

§        Free agent pick-ups can continue to be made as usual.

§        Players who have salary ≥$10 cannot be picked up as free agents during this period.

§        Players acquired after the trade deadline are not eligible to play in the NABL Series.

§        Players acquired after the trade deadline are eligible to be Keepers.

5.3  Roster freezes

No acquisitions of any kind are allowed between the end of the NABL regular season and the 10-day Fall Unfreeze.

§  End of season deadline is 11:59 PM ET of the last day of the NABL season.

§  Keeper Deadline happens sometime in October/November.

§  10-day Fall Unfreeze will be a 10-day period declared by the commissioner that falls between the Keeper Deadline and the Winter Draft. Trading and drops will be allowed during the 10-day Fall Unfreeze. Teams can exceed the $180 keeper limit during this time, but cannot exceed the $230 Winter Draft limit. Winter Draft picks cannot be traded.

§  There will be at least several days between the Fall Unfreeze and the Winter Draft. Rosters will be frozen again during these few days.

5.4  Winter unfreezing

After the Winter Draft, all rosters are unfrozen:

§      Teams are free to make trades, but must stay under the $400 salary cap limitation and cannot have more than 30 players. 

§      Teams must also have enough room under the salary cap at all times to field a roster of 30, e.g. a roster of 19 players cannot exceed $389, leaving $1 for each of the remaining 11 roster spots. 

§  Teams can NOT pick up free agents during the winter.

§  Teams CAN release players during the winter. These players will be reset to $1 before the Spring Auction.

5.5  Take-Out-the-Trash Deadline

Take-Out-the-Trash Deadline will be approximately one week before the Spring Auction.  This will be the final date for releasing players.


Rosters are frozen again from the Take-Out-the-Trash Deadline until the Spring Auction.





6.1  Rotisserie scoring

The following criteria are used to determine team performance:

§        Composite batting average (BA)

§        Total runs scored (R)

§        Total home runs (HR)

§        Total runs batted in (RBI)

§        Total stolen bases (SB)

§        Total wins (W)

§        Total SVHO2 (Saves+Holds/2)

§        Composite earned run average (ERA)

§        Composite WHIP ratio:  bases on balls (BB) + hits (H) divided by innings pitched (IP)

§        Total strikeouts (K)


Points will be calculated rotisserie-style across all 12 NABL teams.  The first-place team in a category receives 12 points, the second-place team 11, and so on down to 1 point for last place.  Standings, however, are done by division.


Pitchers’ offensive stats are not counted, nor are the pitching stats of the occasional position player called in to pitch when the score is 16-1 after five innings and the relief corps is hiding under the stands.

6.2  Tie-breaking

There are no ties in ERA, WHIP and BA.  All ties in those categories will be broken.


In cases of ties in an individual category other than ERA, WHIP or BA, the tied teams are assigned points by totaling points for the ranking at issue and dividing the total by the number of teams tied.


In cases of ties in total points, final places in the standings are determined by comparing placement of teams in individual categories (head-to-head rotisserie).  Respective performances are calculated and a point given to each team for bettering the other.  Should one team total more points than the other, that team is declared the winner.


Should there be a tie between more than two teams, then head-to-head-to-head roto will be next tiebreaker (e.g. 3-2-1 in each category if 3-way tie). 


Should the point totals still be equal, then the team with the higher CF (Chow Factor) wins.  CF=1.25*RBI + Ks.  This is pretty arbitrary, but it never comes to this, and I took the liberty of inventing a formula that includes both hitting and pitching. 


Should the CF be equal, then look out above, because the sky is falling.  Second tiebreaker will be HR. Third tiebreaker will be WHIP.

6.3  Official stats

The official stats of whatever web site we’re using are the official stats of the NABL.  They usually get them from somewhere official.  Currently we use CBS Sportsline.





7.1  End of NABL regular season

The last games of the NABL regular season are played on the day before the last three full weeks of the MLB regular season.  Division winners and three wild card finishers (3 best non-division winners) will be declared on the subsequent morning.


However, final standings in rule 7.3 are determined after the end of the MLB season.

7.2.1. Wild Card Scramble

The Wild Card Scramble is conducted between the three wild card teams over the 3rd last week of the MLB regular season.


The Wild Card Scramble teams square off with rotisserie scoring for the one week to determine the Wild Card Winner. Points are awarded in each roto category (3-2-1). In the case of a tie, see tie-breaking procedure in 6.2 above (head-to-head and then Chow Factor).


The Wild Card Winner moves onto the NABL Series.

7.2.2.  NABL Series

The NABL Series features the two division winners and the Wild Card Winner.


The NABL series is conducted over the last two weeks of the MLB regular season, including statistics from post-season one-game playoffs (“tiebreakers”) used to determine who gets into extended post-season play, such as Angels-Mariners 1995 and Giants-Dodgers 1951. 


The NABL Series teams square off with rotisserie scoring for the two weeks to determine the NABL Champion.  Points are awarded in each roto category (3-2-1). In the case of a tie, see tie-breaking procedure in 6.2 above (head-to-head and then Chow Factor).

7.3  Final standings

Final standings are important in determining Winter Draft order.  1st is the NABL Champ, 2nd is the NABL Series runner-up, 3rd is the third place team in the NABL Series.  4th and 5th place are determined during the Wild Card Scramble, with final placement depending on standings at end of MLB season.  6th through 12th place are determined by final placement in standings at end of MLB season.

7.4  Prize money

Each season, all fees shall be promptly collected by the NABL Commissioner, who is empowered to subject owners to public humiliation to ensure that payments are made to the League in a timely fashion.  As of 2016, entry fee is $60 US per owner.  All owners will pay the same entry fee.


The funds will be distributed as follows:

§   Web site fees ($150 as of 2016)

§   Commish expenses ($15)

§   Division winners ($130 each)

§   Wild cards ($60 each)

§   Wild Card Winner ($45 bonus)

§   NABL Champion ($70 bonus)