OBWL Knowledge Base

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1 OBWL Rulebook, v2.0

The Online Basketball World League is a fantasy basketball league established on May 2nd, 2011. It initially utilized the Jump Shot Pro Basketball and Fast Break College Basketball software engines to create a fictional fantasy basketball universe. Recently, we elected to switch completely over to the Fast Break Basketball engine for both college (OCBL) and professional leagues (OBWL). Members of the league assume the role of the General Manager of either one of the pro league's 28 teams or one of those team's developmental league affiliates. Members are responsible for directing those teams in a quest for a championship that starts with each new season. The members are also expected to contribute to the community - common means of doing so are to create fictional characters, write press releases, cover stories, feature stories, podcasts, blogs, and other league related media. It is the endeavor of this community to impart a measure of realism and depth to the league in order to make their fantasy sports experience more immersive.

1.1 Overview

The primary goals of the game are to have fun and, of course, win the league championship trophy. The championship trophy is referred to as the Heikkinen Cup in honor of the original league’s founder, Petri Heikkinen. Only one team per league can win the championship each season and we have a league full of competitive people so going all the way will not be easy! It can be a temptation to adopt a “winning is the only end” mentality but that is not the reason this community has stayed together over two decades. We offer a unique experience and engender a fun environment while engaging competition. It’s a hard balance to strike because, with only one champion, everyone else eventually loses but, if good sportsmanship is practiced by champions and non-champions alike, we can make the experience as fun as possible which is more important than winning in the founder’s eyes.

All actions and suggestions that make the league more fun are welcomed, all actions that make the league less fun, are discouraged and have potentially punitive measures associated with them. “Less fun” actions include but are not limited to excessive profanity, cheating, immature behavior, and open hostility. For the most part, we are a mature community and it is expected that, even if you are not legally an adult, that you will make every attempt to behave as one. The games are simulated on Grey Dog Software’s Fast Break Basketball 3 and Fast Break College Basketball software. All possible events (player/coach development and retirements, processing bids free agent biddings, draft lottery etc...) are controlled by the software. Financial rules are based on the rules available in the version of FBB3 which reflect the real-life NBA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) rules.

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1.2 Charges

Participation in the OBWL is free of charge; however, in order to participate, each GM must own a copy of the Fast Break Basketball 3 application. The FBB3 GUI is the means through which a player will manage their team in this universe. Copies can be secured directly from Grey Dog Software at http://www.greydogsoftware.com/home.php.

It is possible that in the future donations will be accepted and to offset costs such as web hosting but payment will never be required under normal circumstances.

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1.3 Communications

1.3.1 E-mail

League participants are required to provide an email to be used as a method of contact. It is expected that league members will check this email every day as trade offers, league announcements, and other important communications are frequently sent via email. GMs are similarly expected to respond to email inquiries. If a GM does not receive the league update emails after every daily simulation, it is the GM’s responsibility to contact League Officials in order to address the problem. If vacation or other in life activity makes it not possible to check email, it is expected that the GM will notify league officials.

When sending OBWL-related e-mail to any of the league members, it is advised to use the [OBWL] prefix in the subject field of messages, in order to make filtering of e-mails easier.

The league offices will send out newsletters and mailing lists for league announcements and press releases. Should a league member have a comment on an email announcement, they should take it to the discussion forum (see below). The league discussion forum is a better place for discussions and casual conversation, you should not send unnecessary messages to league mailing lists.

1.3.2 OBWL Home Court (Forum)

OBWL Home Court is the official message board for the league. All members will be signed up as a registered user on this message board. Like email, league members are expected to check it regularly in order to stay current on league announcements and discussions.

Home Court is the appropriate place for the posting of trade blocks for league consumption, general Q & A on league functions, opinion polls, and other league related activity.

It is required that GMs must keep their contact information contained in their Home Court profiles accurate and up to date so that fellow GMs can contact you.

1.3.3 Instant Messaging / Chat

This league is a highly social one. Members are not required to download or use any specific instant messaging or chat programs, although several of those programs (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, mIRC, ICQ, etc.) are useful in socializing with fellow members. The forum has a built in chat feature located in the toolbar at the bottom of the page.

1.3.4 Address Book

Each member's GM Tools menu (a menu that appears when logged into the website) has a link to the Address Book, a secure webpage containing profile information for every member, including e-mail address. Each member is required to keep this information current and inform the Commissioner in the event of a change in contact info.

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1.4 Cheating & In-Game Identities

We expect our members to refrain from any kind of actions that are considered cheating in the game. The desire to win may lead a GM to bend/break rules in order to gain an advantage for their franchise and, while this kind of “gamesmanship” might be tolerated in the real world, if a GMs action is considered in violation of the rules, League Officials will rectify the situation by any means within their power.

Since a static document cannot cover all contingencies, the rules will be a living document and subject to amendment as a particular situation arises. If an issue arises that is not expressly covered in the rules, the League Officials will exercise their judgment on the situation, provide remedy, and strive to amend the rulebook as quickly as possible. The most fundamental rule in regard to cheating is that only one person is allowed to control one team at a time. If someone is found guilty of running multiple teams, whether by using fake identities or using another member as a "puppet" GM, all parties involved will be banned from the league… for life. There is absolutely zero tolerance for this behavior.

Although cheating and using a fake identity are strictly forbidden, this is a game of imagination and members are allowed to create fictional characters for in-game press purposes. On a probationary basis, members may create fictional General Manager “personas” to write and post under. There are a number of valid reasons for using a pseudonym for the purposes of media but care must be taken to ensure that such identities are not being used to gain a competitive advantage. All General Manager personas must be approved by the League Commissioner. Once an online persona is created, it cannot be changed. GMs are thus advised to put careful thought into the crafting of their fictional GM character (should they choose to do so) as they will not be allowed to create another. GM personas cannot be "fired" or "retired," for all intents and purposes they are the General Manager of their OBWL team as long as their creator is an active member of the league. Members may not trade or inherit a GM persona from another member (for example, if a member quits, the member replacing him may not assume the old General Manager persona). Members are still required to provide their real life names and contact information upon sign up and that information will be used privately to conduct of league business (mailing lists, announcements, GM tools notifications, etc).

During this trial period, the Commissioner will be closely monitoring all activity by GMs who adopt a persona. The web site is equipped with a number of tools that track user information and any suspicious behavior will be dealt with swiftly. Past events have demonstrated that fictional personas can greatly add to the league experience but only by providing 100% transparency to ensure fairness.

Other fictional identities exist in the league (including podcast hosts, beat reporters, columnists, etc.) and these writers are not required to publically reveal their true identities to the league as a whole (though they are still required to get their “nome de plume” approved by the Commissioner). Although these identities may be given access to tools such as the forum or e-mail addresses, under no circumstances will these personas be allowed to act in any official GM capacity. Members are reminded when dealing with these fictional characters that, although they may be anonymous, they are run by league members and as such you should carefully consider how any information or opinions you share with such a persona may be used or reported to third parties.

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1.5 Bugs and Errors

It is likely there may be minor bugs and glitches. There are two areas of responsibility in this league: the website and the application.

The website is hosted at the expense of League Officials and provided free of charge. We deploy varying levels of expertise that we bring to bear on the site as the schedules of League Officials allow. If there are display or other issues with the OBWL league page, we will do our best to address and resolve them as quickly as possible. To keep the site as robust as possible, every GM assumes responsibility to report problems encountered so they can be resolved. When reporting, please include as much relevant information as possible (browser type, version, screenshots, etc.). The application GUI is developed and maintained by the staff at Grey Dog Software. Should you have issues with the application, please be sure to quickly post a request in their forums and alert the Commissioner. Prospective members will not be allowed to join the OBWL until they have demonstrated they are able to export and import game files via the software’s built-in FTP function.

It is fully expected that these issues will be resolved but more complex issues may take time. We will try to provide work around measures should something linger on or suspend league play as the situation requires. Should there be other technical issues, the Commissioner will endeavor to be as transparent as possible (some details have no probative value to the solution and end up as “noise”) and work on a resolution that is the most equitable for all parties involved. As unfortunate as incidents are, typically sims will not be re-run or done over. So, for example, if a GM submits the wrong game plan for Game 7 of the Finals and the game is lost, there will be no re-simulation of the games in question.

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1.6 Loopholes and Issues Not Covered by the Rules

As mentioned above, this Rule Book is a large document and is a “living” document maintained and evolved by events in the league. It is possible (likely even) that not every possible incident is covered. If there's a case that's not explicitly, accurately, or specifically covered by the rules, the Commissioner will try to solve the situation according to the spirit of the league.

Sometimes GMs also may find a loophole in the rules and be tempted to take advantage of it. Abusing a loophole that provides unfair competitive advantage is prohibited. In such cases, the situation will be handled according to the spirit of the rules and the loophole will be closed immediately.

There are some conventions, a kind of standard procedure along with some policies that develop which, for some reason or another, haven't found their way to the rulebook yet. In such situations, the Commissioner understandably doesn't really have other option except to do as always has been done -- simply because that's what has always been done. That's not the strongest argument, but inconsistent decisions are not any better course of action. Of course, it is the desire of the League to codify such "unwritten rules" for eventual addition to the rulebook so there is no uncertainty in the rules governing the league.

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2 Members

As far as titles, ranks and statuses go, there are four kinds of people among the OBWL members: league officials, general managers, veteran mentors, and affiliate general managers.

2.1 League Officials

There following are currently the official positions within the league:

  • Commissioner
  • Deputy Commissioner
  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Media Production
  • Director of Collegiate Sports Relations

A league member may hold more than one position, except of course Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, which are mutually exclusive. Official league positions may be created, altered, eliminated, or assigned on an “as needed” basis when vital league functions come to light, as determined by the Commissioner.

2.1.1 Commissioner

"Enlightened dictatorship" is a pretty good term to describe the decision-making system in the OBWL. The league is run by the Commissioner who is the last and final word in decisions concerning league rules and operations. Frequently, the Commissioner will consult with GMs and other league officials on major issues so members are encouraged to express themselves but the Commissioner is the final word in matters of league operations like simulating the games, directing league personnel, and conducting official league events.

2.1.2 Deputy Commissioner

The Deputy Commissioner is responsible for assisting the Commissioner in all league duties as needed. The Deputy Commissioner is empowered to act on the Commissioner's behalf on any matter should the Commissioner be unavailable. Periodically, the Deputy Commissioner may be required to undertake duties as assigned by the Commissioner.

2.1.3 Director of Operations

The Director of Operations is the member who is primarily responsible for maintaining the website. The Director of Operations will upload data to the website, maintain and develop online tools, manage web services (such as e-mail, data backups, website security and permissions, etc), FTP, and address website bugs and technical difficulties.

2.1.4 Director of Collegiate Sports Relations

The Director of Collegiate Sports Relations is responsible for overseeing the running and maintenance of the Online College Basketball League (OCBL). Duties include running the simulation of the college league and syncing operations with the Professional league. They also provide an export of college prospects from the Fast Break College Basketball engine for use in the Fast Break Basketball 3 engine’s draft functionality.

2.1.5 Director of Media Production

The Director of Media Production is responsible for the creation and maintenance of logos, uniforms, player avatars and other official graphics used by the Online Basketball World League. The Director of Media Production will also assist in the creation and production of other media for by use.

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2.2 General Managers

Each team is controlled by one general manager. If a GM fails to meet the responsibilities of his role as noted below, that GM may face disciplinary action from League Officials.

2.2.1 Responsibilities

General Managers are required to:

  1. Interact: This is a social league that uses basketball as its framework. As such, you are expected to interact with your fellow GMs. People are the reason this league exists and if GMs should strive to do things that foster that community. Should a GM decline to interact with his fellow GMs, that GM may face disciplinary action from League Officials. In short, if you want to play by yourself and never talk to anyone, you’re welcome to… the sim has plenty of computer opponents you can play against. It is likely that, in the natural course of competing with other human beings, you will probably develop rivalries with league members and, while GMs are not required to like other GMs, they must be able to display a level of civility that does not violate the spirit of the league. Additionally, GMs may – at times – need to interact with other GMs including their rivals so it falls to each GM to learn how to interact in a civil manner. Silence is not an option.

    Exceptions to the requirement to respond do exist (ex. vacation). In these instances, the Commissioner should be updated beforehand of these exceptions so he can address complaints about responsiveness. Unresponsive GMs may face disciplinary action as their lack of response runs contrary to the social nature of this league.

  2. E-mail: As noted above, every GM must provide an e-mail address that is regularly checked. In the modern era of emails on handheld devices, there is no excuse other than negligence to not read and respond where necessary to emails from the league and your fellow GMs. This league presumes that GMs check their email at least every two days. Events like end of season check-ins will presume that review and response time.

  3. Roster: GMs are required to maintain a legal roster. During the season, it is natural for a team’s roster to change. A legal roster consists of at least 12 players, maximum 15 except in the off season where the maximum climbs to 20 (but must be reduced to 15 by season start). Also, all teams must carry at least 10 healthy players at all times and have those 10 players as having a position defined in their Depth Chart in the first 10 slots of their depth chart. General Managers will be expected to strive to improve their roster and field competitive teams. This includes executing trades, free agency, drafting, etc. League Officials do understand that rebuilds happen; however, the intentional decision by a GM to field a non-competitive roster to obtain a top pick can damage a team’s capability to function and runs contrary to the competitive spirit of the league so it is discouraged.

  4. Game Plans: In line with the competitive spirit of the league, GMs should submit game plans. Much like having talent on the roster, game plans are the attempt to utilize that talent. Our league features a great amount of control and some experimentation will be useful to field the best possible lineup. It is not required that a GM field a game plan for every game but GMs should set their lineup to deal with injury replacement. It also helps to get best performance from the roster talent.

  5. Manage Team: Throughout the course of the season, other activities will require a GM's attention. Things like staff hiring, setting staff allocation, and other items will require a GM's timely attention in the off season to avoid delaying the league. GMs are expected to attend to these matters in a timely manner. Failure to do so will be brought up for review by the League Office and can include disciplinary actions where negligence is detected.

  6. Trades: To reiterate what was said in 2.2.1.a above, GMs are required to respond to trade offers. It’s not required that you execute a trade but dialog between GMs with respect to trades is strongly encouraged (ex. Counter offer for trade proposals that don’t precisely fit). At minimum, a simple "yes" or "no thanks" will suffice as a response to a trade offer. All trade offers between GMs must be responded to yet, if a GM who is sent a trade offer declines the trade and indicates to you that they do not want to entertain counter offers, do not harass them with repeated offers for the same player. Should a GM harass another in this way, League Officials should be contacted and documentation should be provided of the issue.

  7. Draft: GMs should participate in rookie drafts events or expansion draft events (see the interact note above) even if you don’t have a pick. Frequently, these are live events where anything can and often does happen. All of us have lives and, sometimes, conflicts happen – reasonable effort from GMs is expected and a GM should communicate to League Officials in that event. The GM should also make arrangements to provide a draft list or proxy.

  8. Press: We don’t require that each GM pen a magnum opus each time their team plays a game but we do request that the GM submit some press releases over the course of season. These articles help make this more than just a mass of numbers like any other rotisserie league. These articles (submitted via the PR tool on the website) should amount to approximately 1 per game month and be at least 250 words. Seasons typically take 6 months, so GMs are required to do at least 6 press releases during the course of a season. We all operate in this league within the same “universe” and writing something about your team, player, or thoughts on basketball as it relates to the league adds character to the league. We want your contributions even if English isn’t your primary language. Free translation programs exist that allow GMs to craft articles in their native language and then translate them. The majority of GMs speak English so that will be the universal medium for press releases.

2.2.2 Press Releases

As stated above, it is recommended that each GM writes press releases for their team. At the time of this rulebook’s version was drafted, incentives for participation have not been completely defined; however, in exchange for the effort the League Officers undertake to bring this league to you, we ask that you give something back in the way of press.

League Officials are open to considering further means by which press participation can be rewarded. We know your time is valuable… ours is too. If we work together, we can mutually enjoy the time that we spend with this league.

Articles must be sent to the press list by using the web utility. HTML is possible but more advanced HTML has potential to break the utility so we request that GMs submit press using basic formatting. Notepad is a very effective means of submitting basic formatting. Programs like MS Word can inject formatting that will break your article due to the way it interacts with the press module. Articles that are broken will be removed and not count toward the PR requirement until fixed by the GM. A tutorial on proper formatting (including inserting images) using the utility will be provided in the future.

There is also constant need for all kind of general league articles to the site front page. These Cover Stories and Feature Stories are welcome at any time though they may be released at a metered rate by the Commissioner. GMs who would like to write one but can't come up with a subject can email the Commissioner for an assignment.

2.2.3 Quotes in Articles

You are allowed to quote yourself, the GM, players, and head coaches in press releases. For quotes, you should remember a few guidelines:

  1. Keep it related to basketball.
    Using players as a “mouthpiece” to disparage other GM’s is discouraged. There is a fine line between saying “So and So” made a bad choice as a GM and using a player to conduct a character assassination. Should a GM feel offended by a post, we ask that they submit their complaint to League Officials so that we can review the matter.

  2. Only quote your own players.
    You are considered the owner of the player as long as he appears on your roster page (and for arrivals, you become the owner when he shows up on your roster). For traded players, you may quote them when the trade is processed and the rosters updated, not when the trade is approved by the League Officials. For Off-Season Free Agency, the owner changes when the FA is signed by a new team.

  3. Press is a great way for a GM to give players "personality."
    How a GM derives this is up to the GM who has rights for the player however some consistency is typical. GMs will get emails from restless players asking for more playing time and other sim generated player interactions.

  4. Respect a player's established persona.
    If you're quoting a player that has previously played for some other team(s), try to respect the character created by his previous GM(s). This doesn't mean that a player's personality can't evolve over time but it is unlikely that a player becomes a completely different person overnight once they are traded. For example, a former bad boy persona doesn’t become a choir boy overnight… it takes a media campaign to rehabilitate his image. A GM can find quotes from players in the team press releases, Cover Stories, and Feature Stories.

  5. For coach quotes, please consider their persona too.
    GMs with a new coach can establish whatever they like but it helps maintain the continuity of the league when our coaches don’t all have multiple personality disorder. Also, consider their ratings: a coach great at PSD and PRD but poor in INS and JSP likely won’t be talking about complex offensive plans (maybe their assistant would though?) and focus quotes relating to things they know.

2.2.4 Inflammatory Quotes in Articles

In the course of building rivalries, a GM might feel inspired to write about another GM. This is not uncommon and often serves to intensify the rivalry which can make your experience in this league much more engaging. That said, many GMs use their actual name for their GM name, so writing a press release that names them in connection with crimes (for example) will be subject to censure by League Officials. There is a VAST difference between writing “so-and-so is a terrible general manager and should be fired” and writing “so-and-so is a pedophile” in your press. Internet searches can be taken out of context so please exercise common sense in that regard. Press that violates this will be taken down and no credit will be given to the GM due to the content violation. As with players, if you want to obtain a quote from another GM, you are required to obtain the quoted GM’s consent.

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2.3 Veteran Mentors

The main purpose of the Veteran Mentor system is to make it easier for interested people to start dive into GMing in the league without being completely overwhelmed with information. During the mentoring period, which lasts the duration of a Rookie GM's first complete season, the new GM will be assigned to an experienced league GM. This veteran GM is a source for training on how to best handle the day to day operations of the league and to be a source of advice and practical mentoring. Building a successful team can be complex so we feel it is essential that first time GMs receive plenty of advice and active guidance.
When the need for a Veteran Mentor arises, the Commissioner will poll the existing veteran GMs for a volunteer. It is expected that the veteran mentor will check in on his assigned GM at regular intervals during the course of this first season. Both the Veteran Mentor and newcomer MUST keep in contact at least once per week at a minimum. The Veteran Mentor will strive to reply to all questions the rookie has about the league promptly. The mentor will help with the day-to-day duties of running the new GMs team, including game planning, team building philosophy, finances, contracts, and roster transactions. The Veteran Mentor will also copy the Commissioner on all communication to their assigned GM during this mentoring period.
In some ways the Veteran Mentor is expected to act as the "senior consultant" for the team that hired a rookie GM and, as such, the mentor is empowered to overrule the rookie GM if necessary to preserve the best interests of the team and the league. Rookies can still solicit trades from other league GMs and are encouraged to do so as trade negotiations are an important part of being a league GM; however, veteran mentors can veto a poorly crafted deal or an imbalanced one. Mentors and rookies are expected to work together to reach an understanding when disagreements occur over what is in the best interest of the team. The Veteran Mentor needs to act as a "safety net" to prevent complete dismantlement of a team in that first year while the new GM is learning the landscape and history of the league. If intervention by the Commissioner becomes necessary, the Veteran Mentor can expect to be held accountable for the rookie's actions.
Volunteers for veteran mentorship may be rewarded beyond the reward of introducing a new player to our league (which is a reward in itself). If it is found that the Veteran Mentor is not taking care of his duties, the Commissioner reserves the right to rescind any offer of reward.

2.3.1 Affiliate General Managers

GMs in their first season under the mentorship of a Veteran will be assigned an open professional franchise if available. If no professional franchise is available, the GM will be assigned to the mentor's affiliate in the OBWL Developmental League (D League for short).
The D League does not have financials like the professional league does and trading is not enabled; however, GMs of Affiliate teams are able to manage rosters and execute :other functions of their appointment as General Manager to demonstrate their readiness for Professional Franchise Assignment by doing the following:
  • Manage the roster effectively by using the application to send in orders to the FTP site properly.
  • Field a competitive roster by making efforts to win games including strategy and depth chart changes.
  • Engage with their parent franchise by creating a relationship with their Parent Franchise and Veteran mentor (if applicable) via email, chat, or other methods.
  • Attract the notice of Professional League Ownership by writing press releases about their team and player's exploits.
Affiliate GMs who are deemed ready for Professional Franchise assignment will be contacted about a position by a Franchise's owner via the League Offices. The Commissioner will then facilitate the hiring process and assignment of that GM to the franchise. Affiliate Rosters
Affiliate rosters challenge an affiliate GMs to field a competitive roster and demonstrate skill with gameplanning the roster they are provided have. An affiliate GM might be required to manage a less than ideal setup but they are not without a means to improve their rosters. GMs with questions about strategy should contact their Veteran Mentor. Affiliate GMs without a mentor should consult the GMs in general via the forums or other means at their disposal. Affiliate Talent
Supplemental Rookie Dispersal Draft
Affiliate roster talent is pulled from the supplemental draft and is conducted by computer control. This is by design to minimize the length of each off season and to provide the D League affiliate GMs with a unique challenge that Professional GMs do not face. Professional GMs' rosters are fixed with few means at their disposal to change them but Affiliate rosters change on a season by season basis.
Parent Franchise Talent
Each Affiliate's parent franchise can relegate a players on their roster under the age of 26 to the Developmental Affiliate's Roster. This often is a means for the professional GM to evaluate the player. While the affiliate GM is not required to play the player sent down over another, should the Parent Franchise request it, an affiliate doing so would demonstrate engagement with their Parent Franchise (one of the factors in promotion of a GM).
Parent Franchises are permitted to acquire players to be a means of improving their affiliate's roster; however, because the Parent Franchise fields the financial burden of that player's salary, the Parent Franchise is under no obligation to do so. An affiliate's communication with their Parent Franchise should be courteous - harassment of the Parent Franchise GM or Veteran Mentor will result in Commissioner reprimand and progressive discipline should the behavior continue.
Parent Franchise GMs should, in turn, be courteous to their affiliate in all written or verbal communications with their affiliate. This extends from giving the affiliate GM advice to notifying the affiliate GM of intention to recall players relegated to the D League. Should a Parent Franchise fail to notify the Affiliate GM in time to adjust their roster before the sim, the Commissioner is empowered to make adjustments to the affiliate roster in order to facilitate completion of the sim (ex. if a call up is still on a depth chart, the sim will not process). Typically, this results in adjustments to depth cart (ex. moving the backup to the starting role and/or adjusting minute distribution), and gameplan. The affiliate can then adjust both gameplan and roster to their specifications once the updated league file is downloaded and provide updated orders with their revised rosters for use in the subsequent sim.

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2.4 Participation Bonuses

The league will thrive with GM participation. This comes in many forms including (but not limited to) press releases, assisting with league events, and writing Cover Stories. As compensation for time invested in the league, participation delivered in measurable amounts will earn points that can be spent in a number of ways to gain benefits in-game.

Generally, a GM can earn two points each season. A season is defined as the span of time between the initialization of an off season and the initialization of next years off season. One point can be earned for team-based participation (a Team Point is earned by publishing 6 press releases of no less than 250 words in a season and is associated to the team for which it is written) and one for league-based participation (a League Point earned by writing cover stories, feature articles, or other league-wide features).

Points earned may be spent the season after they are earned and are valid only for use in the season after they are earned. Points will not carry over from season to season.

2.4.1 Contract Buy Out

Up to two years of a player’s contract may be bought out by using one point. A GM utilizing this option may do so only once per season and only once per player. This option may only be used on a player who has played at least four years on his current contract. In practice this means that a player may only be bought out of the fifth or sixth year of his contract. When a team buys out a player's contract, the player is released into the free agent pool and the team is charged 50% of the remaining salary owed. Other teams may hire the player but the 50% charge remains with the team that bought out the player’s contract.

This buy-out amount is charged to the team as cut salary and therefore counts against both the salary cap and owner budget. If the player had more than one season left on his contract, then the buy-out amount is distributed evenly among those seasons.

For example, a team buys out a player in the 5th and 6th years of a contract that spanned 6 seasons. The remaining 2 years were contracted for $21.00 million ($10 million in Year 5, $11 million in Year 6). The GM buys out the contract and is then charged $10.5 million instead of the $21 million per the contract terms. The year 5 cap exposure is now $5 million and the year 6 cap exposure is now $5.5 million.

A team that has bought out a player cannot then re-sign that player to a free agent contract (in-season or off-season) until after the buyout amount is off their contracts page (one or two seasons depending on the contract).

2.4.2 Affiliate Hands On Treatment

A GM utilizing this option may do so only once per season for the cost a participation point and only if their affiliate is not assigned to another human GM. Using this option enables the GM to exercise control over the Depth Chart and Gameplan of his Developmental League Affiliate. This option may be exercised any time between completion of the off season and will run from until the end of that same season.

Practically speaking, this will be an exception to Rule 1.4 Cheating & In-Game Identities. The GM exercising this option will have a distinct FBB3 account created for them to represent the affiliate access. The account will be named by the League Office so as to not be confused with a GM's primary identity. This GM account will be accessed via the FBB3 user interface just GMs do with their professional team but, instead of their GM name, the affiliate manager name will be used. The team will also have a password assigned to it just like their professional team. The management options that will be enabled are Gameplan and Depth Chart and other aspects of Roster Management will be left under computer control. Manipulation of options via the Team Settings in the FBB3 application will result in revocation of access to the affiliate and possible disciplinary measures by the League Office. Signing players from waivers and trades between D-League affiliates are not permitted. Failure to maintain a legal roster will result in forfeiture of the benefit.

Scouting is disabled in the developmental league so players sent down from a pro team to an affiliate will appear rated differently than viewed from their parent franchise's scout.

Due to complications with the Fast Break Basketball 3 software, this benefit is unable to be used until after the regular season starts.

2.4.3 Injury Reduction: Calling in a Specialist

A team may spend a participation point to reduce a player's injury by 20% (rounding down to the nearest whole number). For more catastrophic injuries, it might mean the player goes to a country where an procedure in their country is not legal or taking the player to a specialist. For lesser injuries, it might mean more aggressive treatment than normal.

This benefit will 'only relate to the number of days on the injury at the time the benefit is utilized and will not mitigate player ability loss that may occur from catastrophic injury.

The benefit will change the number of days left on an injury on the sim date once the commissioner is notified of the intent to use it and will be based on the number of days left after the sim has run on the day of notice.

Creative PR explaining what measures the team has taken to enable the player to come back early are welcome but not required. If needed, there are many analogs in the NBA of players who have undergone procedures to help mitigate injury that can be referred to.

2.4.4 Player Name Alteration

In the course of writing press, a change of player name might become appropriate. A GM may spend a point to effect this name change. Each name change is subject to approval by the commissioner and must be submitted in writing via email to the commissioner who then has final say over the use of the name. Names that have multiple press releases are much more likely to be accepted than others.

Some examples of possible use cases for a name change are:

  1. A child of an original player makes it to the big leagues. So Johnnie Dawson (a retired player) is a retired great. The College game might eventually put out a Johnnie Dawson again. The GM who drafts him might be interested in a legacy story line and could use this benefit to change the last name to include "Jr" or "II" so his name becomes Johnnie Dawson Jr or Johnnie Dawson II (and so on).
  2. A player gets married and takes on a surname change. This has happened before with players who had identical last names where the GM wished to avoid confusion. In that instance, if deemed appropriate, the GM could use this benefit to create a modification of the player's last name. In rare instances, it might be possible for a GM to change the last name to something completely different.
  3. A player has a meaningful reason to change their name. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was Lew Alcindor at one time. Ron Artest became Metta World Peace.
  4. An appropriate nickname that can replace a player's first name. Most won't remember Craig Claxton, Anthony Jerome Webb, or John Williams... however, people do remember Speedy Claxton, Spud Webb, and HotRod Williams.

Vulgar selections will be simply denied without discussion. Abbreviations of first name combined with last name are likely also to not meet with approval for either first or last name alterations. I will not change a first name simply because a GM likes that name and wants to change the drafted player. Same goes for last name.

Simply put, I will not let the league become a joke with players named J-Dub driving the lane on Q-Fizzle.

2.4.5 Player Name Seeding

A GM might want to see his or one of his legendary player's names put into the logic of the OCBL player generation so that a player with a surname of his choice could come up through the ranks of the OCBL. A GM may spend a participation point in order to seed 5 names into the list that player names are generated from. This is no guarantee the player will be of any discernible quality or when that player will come into the OCBL ranks as that is all left to the random name generation that the OCBL software does.

However, if you had a player with an unusual last name (like "Roman" or "McCarthy" for example) that you'd like to have a chance of seeing one day, this is the way to do that.

2.4.6 New Point Options

At the time of this writing, other options for participation are being discussed. Should a GM have an idea for a use of the team or league participation point, please post a thread in the forums where the idea may be discussed.

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2.5 GM Check In

To make sure teams in the league are being run by active GMs and to ensure GMs are updated with communications important to the league, the Commissioner may, at any time, perform a league-wide GM check in. All GMs of the Professional League must reply to the e-mail and confirm they'll continue in the OBWL in the upcoming season. GMs who fail to respond in the appropriate manner to the GM check in email by the end of the check in time specified will be relegated to their Development League affiliate. If the GM then responds after the check in time but before their team has been reassigned, they will be permitted to continue as GM of their professional affiliate pending the Commissioner's approval.

It is the GMs responsibility to keep their current email address up to date with the League Office as noted in section 1.3.1 of the rule book.

Development League GMs are not required to check in though they may choose to do so if the mail sent indicates it is appropriate to do so.

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2.6 GM Tools

General managers will have a variety of tools at their disposal to assist in managing their professional ad developmental league assigned teams. Please note that only one GM can be assigned to each team so a professional GM will only have control of a professional team.

2.6.1 Fast Break Basketball 3 GUI

GMs will submit orders via the Fast Break Basketball 3 user interface. Other means of submission (like emailing League Officials) will not be accepted without permission and will be discarded if received.

2.6.2 File Manager

OBWL GMs will be required to pull down the league data files prior to submitting orders. An FTP site has been provided for this. GMs may access this via logging into the OBWL website and selecting “GM Tools” and then “File Manager” options. There are multiple logins and these are necessary to protect both the servers where the files are housed and the files themselves. Each GM will have a unique password and it is expected that this password not be shared with any other GM. Use of outdated data files or sending orders from a system that is not updated can result in delay of league play. This league file will be small and should transport relatively easily. It is encouraged that GMs have a compression utility like WinRAR to decompress these files as they will be zipped to facilitate speedy transfer of data. Please familiarize yourself with this process.

2.6.3 Press Release Editor

In order to submit press to the league, a GM must log in via the GM Tools option on the www.theobwl.com website. Clicking the “Press Release Editor” will give a GM a space to write text. Title of the PR (or “byline”) can be entered, GM should select their own team as the Category, and the content should be entered using a plain text editor. HTML is supported but very tempermental so, to keep from breaking the web page, please only use plain text editors (like Notepad) to draft your articles until you are comfortable with what the editor can handle.

2.6.4 OBWL Web Site

Limited HTML will be pushed to the league web page for viewing. The HTML is exactly what the FBB3 simulation produces. Customization requests for this output should be submitted to the developer of the application via the Grey Dog or Fast Break Basketball forums. Framing and resolution of the page on certain mobile devices will be addressed on an “as time allows” basis. Issues should be submitted via the OBWL league forums.

2.6.5 OBWL Forum

General league discussion should be done on the message boards which can be opened from the OBWL main website or accessed directly by adding the forum URL in any browser. The forum has an IM feature on it that allows for instant communication between GMs. This communication is expected to be civil. Unacceptable social behavior (bullying, verbal abuse, etc.) should be reported to a League Official and documented so that the offense can be reviewed and the matter addressed by the Commissioner.

Forums are the appropriate place for trade blocks, opinion polls, announcements, and other discussion will happen there. Please make sure to check it regularly.

2.6.6 OBWL Facebook

To provide an alternate channel for communication to league GMs the OBWL has a Facebook page. It is requested that this page be reserved for league announcements and that the forum be used for league, team, or other discussion. The Commissioner administers to the Facebook page and will remove content that is not appropriate.

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3 Competition

Actually, there's more than just one fantasy basketball league in the OBWL universe! In addition to the major pro league there's a college league (complete with tournaments), developmental league, and more.

3.1 OBWL

The OBWL is, of course, the competition where a GM will conduct the operations of the league’s professional basketball franchises.

3.1.1 OBWL Season Schedule

The OBWL season consists of the events below. This is just a high level overview. Events are explained in detail in other parts of the rulebook. Unless noted otherwise, the season will follow a calendar shown in the Hot Seat of the FBB3 application. This calendar will not match the real life date.

Off Season

  • Player contracts expire and those with expiring contracts become Free Agents

Coach hirings

  • Coaches are offered contracts.

Rookie Draft

  • New players enter OBWL player pool via two-round draft.
  • Undrafted players after two rounds are assigned to Developmental League rosters.

Free Agency

  • Players whose contracts have expired are available for all teams to sign in an 11-stage Free Agency period.

Ticket Prices

  • Teams set their ticket prices for upcoming season.

Arena Proposals

  • Teams may try to get their city to agree to construct a new arena or propose relocation to another city.

Dispersal Draft

  • Talent remaining after free agency will be dispersed among the D-League franchises by computer dispersal draft.

Training Camps

  • GMs set preferences in the FBB3 application for players to focus on in the off season.

Regular season

  • Each team plays an 80-game schedule.
  • Simulations will happen in three “Game Calendar” days. Teams may have anywhere from 0 to 3 games in that sim span.
  • Contract extensions can be negotiated for players.


  • Top eight teams from each conference advance to playoffs.
  • Playoff seeding will be done with the two Division winners seeded 1 and 2 by record. After that, Conference record will determine seed order with tiebreakers determined as they do in the NBA.
  • All playoff rounds are played in best of seven format.

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3.2 OCBL

The OCBL (Online Collegiate Basketball League) is a computer-controlled feeder league that is human control capable (though not at the time of this writing). Future pros play at the college/university level and, as in real life, some of the players end up playing professionally. Some never make the big show and may languish in the developmental league biding their time for their big opportunity.

The OCBL season consists of regular season plus conference championship tournaments and national postseason tournaments.

3.2.1 Players

OCBL players are rated just like the OBWL players. Competition in college varies from school to school and conference to conference, so keep this in mind when considering a player's pro potential.

3.2.2 Declaring for the OBWL Rookie Draft

A player's standard college career lasts four seasons, although sometimes a player may gain a fifth year of eligibility if he's "redshirted" (i.e. doesn't play a game during a season). If a player has been redshirted in the past, he'll typically be a year older than a non-redshirted player of the same class. Underclassmen may also declare for the draft in a similar manner.

3.2.3 Draft Promises

At this time, draft promises are not available. GMs interested in this option should broach the subject on the forum to be discussed for integration into the league.

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3.3 Summer League

At this time, summer league play is not available. GMs interested in this option should broach the subject on the forum to be discussed for integration into the league.

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3.4 All-Star Weekend

At this time, All-Star Weekend is controlled by the Fast Break 3 application and is not available for GM voting or participation. GMs interested in this option should broach the subject on the forum to be discussed for integration into the league.

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3.5 Awards

After the OBWL season is completed, GMs will have an opportunity to reward those who excelled! Numerous awards will be handed out in the annual OBWL Awards.

The application will determine things like MVP, DMVP, and many more but these are considered to be the “Media Polls” which may or may not be correct.

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3.6 Hall of Fame

The most legendary of the most legendary will be honored to the OBWL Hall of Fame. Ballot for induction into the Hall of Fame will be handled via the forum and GM vote.

At season end, the HOF Committee will post the nominees with some details on their careers. The Commissioner will then create a ballot for GMs to vote to induct the player into the Hall of Fame the following season. At the Commissioner's discretion, he may add to, edit, remove, or otherwise change the submissions of the HOF Committee.

To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a nominee must obtain a two thirds vote from the GMs. In special circumstances, the League Office reserves the right to induct a player in recognition of that player's contribution to the league without the necessary votes.

If the player secures this vote, the player gets into the Hall of Fame. GMs are expected to vote yea or nay in a timely manner when these ballots arrive. The Commissioner will announce the deadline.

It may take multiple ballots for a player to make the Hall of Fame if he makes it at all.

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4 Simulation

A complete OBWL season usually takes from five or six calendar months. During regular season, the Commissioner run three game days every week day except in the playoffs. Playoffs will advance one game day each week day. Considerations for slower pace in regular season can be proposed. Some examples of reasons to do that include but are not limited to 1.) slowing prior to trade deadline to allow for trade negotiations; 2.) in last ten game days so that GMs in close division/conference races can plan for single game days down the stretch instead of three day sims. The tempo of those slowdowns will be determined by the Commissioner but GMs should feel free to propose them via the forums so they may be discussed.

At present, there is no fixed time for when the simulation will happen and the website will be updated each sim span. The Commissioner is a human too and, sometimes, things may get in the way of a tight turn around. That said, the Commissioner will strive for consistency or communicate an update via league email if timelines change. Typically, there will be at least 16 hours between each set of simulations but, if for some reason there's less time, the Commissioner will send a note about it in advance.

The order of events in a simulation is dictated by the application. So, in terms of games, cuts, trades, signings, they will process in order that they are processed by the software after the GM orders are pulled from the FTP site by the Commissioner.

4.1 Players

4.1.1 Statistics

On a player’s page, there are many abbreviations for statistics. Fast Break Basketball 3 provides a cornucopia of statistical data and, though not representative of all of them, some of the examples are shown below:

pos -- Player main position

g -- Games played

gs -- Games started

min -- Minutes played per game

fgm -- Field goals made

fga -- Field goals attempted

ftm -- Free throws made

fta -- Free throws attempted

tgm -- 3 point shots made

tga -- 3 point shots attempted

opg -- Offensive rebounds per game

rpg -- Total rebounds per game

apg -- Assists per game

spg -- Steals made per game

tpg -- Turnovers per game

bpg -- Blocked shots per game

fpg -- Personal fouls per game

ppg -- Points per game

min -- Total minutes

orb -- Total offensive rebounds

reb -- Total rebounds

ast -- Total assists

stl -- Total steals

to -- Total turnovers

blk -- Total blocks

pts -- Total points

pf -- Total personal fouls

dq -- Ejections

a/to -- Assists to turnovers ratio

s/to -- Steals to turnovers ratio

s/f -- Steals to fouls ratio

b/f -- Blocks to fouls ratio

dd -- Double-doubles

td -- Triple-doubles

You may or may not value the analytical “advanced” statistics. Should you wish a different statistic be used, please feel free to advocate for that change with the Fast Break Basketball developers at the Grey Dog or Fast Break Basketball forums.

4.1.2 Ratings

Player ratings range from 1 to 99 and are presented to each GM from the viewpoint of their scouting staff. The scouting for each team is based only on the reports of the scout himself. The scouting ratings for the other staff members do not currently have an effect. Scouting also gets updated several times per season so it should get more accurate as time goes on.

The HTML will also show color and number ratings that represent a “public opinion” of a player which may differ from that of your staff. Typically, public paints in broad strokes (even the most casual basketball fan knew who Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson were and that they were good players). Your scouts will provide nuance to these ratings and give you insight that only they can provide. Their perspective also changes as they have more time to evaluate a player so their opinion of a player may change over the course of the season.

Player ratings are defined in the Help section of the application and also presented below: Inside Scoring (INS): Helps determine the player's ability to create all shots as the ability to get inside will open up outside shots as well.

Jump Shot (JPS): Affects how likely a player is to make shots away from the basket.

Free Throws (FT): Affects how likely a player is make a free throw.

3-Point Shot (3PS): Affects how likely a player is make a 3-point shot.

Handling (HND): Affects how likely a player is to commit a turnover

Passing (PAS): Affects the quality of a player's passes.

Offensive Rebounding (ORB): Affects the player's ability to get offensive rebounds.

Defensive Rebounding (DRB): Affects the player's ability to get defensive rebounds.

Post Defense (PSD): Affects the player's ability to defend inside shots.

Perimeter Defense (PRD): Affects the player's ability to defend outside shots and prevent drives.

Stealing (STL): Affects the player's ability to steal the ball.

Shot Blocking (BLK): Affects the player's ability to block shots.

Quickness (QKN): Has an effect on driving, rebounding, creating shots, and defense. Matters pretty heavily in whether a player can take his defender off the dribble. For example: A spot up SG needs quickness less than one whose skill is going to the basket. Also is a small factor in things like rebounding.

Strength (STR): Affects play near the basket including rebounding, shooting, and defense.

Jumping (JMP): Helps determine the player's ability to get to the basket with drives.

Stamina (STA): Determines how quickly players get tired during a game. Tired players will have decreased performance. Players play worse in game the lower their stamina gets.

Height: Size factors in after the ratings. The height will affect a player’s ability to defend jump shots. Players shoot worse with taller defenders in his face.

Happiness: Unhappy players will eventually request a trade as well if the situation doesn't improve. Unhappy players will always test free agency in contract extension situations as well.

Additionally, all players have a happiness rating. It is not uncommon for players who think highly of their ability who are not getting playing time they desire to complain about it. These complaints will show up in the News Feed of the application and in your GM inbox as their agent engages you. What you do about it and how it will impact that player’s performance are not revealed to the GM and will have to be determined by the GM’s actions (ex. play, continue to bench, cut, trade, etc.).

4.1.3 Player Color Ratings

On the player and team pages, a pair of colored “boxes” denotes the way FBB scouts a player. The first box (“Cur”) represents the player’s currently-scouted ability while the second box (“Fut”) represents FBB’s best guess at his potential ability. For young players, the potential is generally higher than his current ability; for established players, these are generally the same. It is possible for these ratings to change (generally improving as a young player moves into the peak of his career and declining as a player ages past the peak of his career).

Red = A poor player, not likely to even be in a team’s regular rotation.

Orange = A mediocre player or a specialist that could be useful in limited minutes or specific situations (e.g., a player who only shoots threes but can’t rebound or defend).

Yellow = A bench rotation player or spot starter.

Green = An almost certain starter, possibly able to put up “star” numbers in the right situation.

Blue = A star player and all-star candidate.

Purple = Extremely rare, this rating indicates a once-in-a-generation player (Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, etc.).

The color ratings are based on set numbers and are not an indication of the talent in the league itself. The color ratings are more like cliff notes. There isn't a requirement that there are X number of blue players for instance. The colors are determined by comparing the individual skills to what is important at each position.

4.1.4 Health, Injuries, and Suspensions

Players also have a health rating which will display in the GUI. If a player becomes injured, GMs will be responsible for making roster adjustments while that player is out. Continuing to start an injured player might exacerbate his injury or prolong his recovery period.

Injuries can happen at any point. They can occur in games or on off-days. Long-term injury may permanently damage the player, causing his ratings to drop and he may or may not recover from it. Keep an eye on the effectiveness of a player returning from a major injury -- he might not be the player he used to be!

The exact healing time is listed in the FBB3 application.

4.1.5 Contract Factors

When evaluating contract offers, players consider factors like playing for winning teams and contract value. Pay attention to these factors (shown in the FBB3 GUI) when considering what kind of offer to extend to the player.

4.1.6 Hidden Attributes

Players have attributes that are not visible that govern how they interact with other players, coaches, and GMs. At the time of this writing, GMs do not have a method to view those hidden ratings though consideration may be given to a mechanism to reveal them via expenditure of participation points.

4.1.7 Development

Each season at the training camp, players' ratings will change based on what a GM sets for their training priorities. Players also develop as they age (each players’ birthday is noted) and they will peak at their prime age which is unique for each player.

The process of setting training camp priorities is as follows below (Menu items or buttons shown in bold):

  1. Click Training the menu at the left (not Training Camp at the bottom of the page from the Hotseat view)
  2. There will be some default values there.
  3. GMs can hange them to whatever they want them to be or hit recommended.
    • Weight in training on a 0-10 scale are offered in several categories (Ex. INS, JSP, etc.) with 1 being the lowest and 10 being highest.
    • GMs can use the "Lock" funciton to prevent change to a particular player's settings.
  4. Hit Exit wich is next to the Recommended button (This acts as a "Done" button saving your changes)
  5. Double Check your orders by returning to Training
  6. If all is OK, click Exit again.
  7. Click on the Team Setup menu option at the left.
  8. Select the option to send your order to FTP.

A few notes based on questions that have been asked appear below:

  1. Why are the recommendations set the way they are when Recommended is clicked?
    • To date, there is no logic given by the application developer for why the application recommendations are set they way they are.
  2. Can I do better than the recommendations? Or is it better to just put 10s in a few areas or spread it out evenly? Or Will putting 0 in something cause skills to degrade?
    • There is no absolute formula that will yield the best results because the developer has deliberately not told us. Because of that, every GM will have their own theory and strategy on what works best. The developer has said the following on the topic: "If you are talking about training, then the best bet is to focus on skills that the player has room for improvement in when they are younger. Conditioning will be more important as they get older" but that does not indicate what age range "younger" is and if skipping conditioning all together will inhibit the players STA (which translates to min the player can be on the court).
    • It falls to every GM to bring players along in the manner they deem best.
  3. How much change can I expect to see immediately after camp?
    • GMs will likely see very little immediate change. This is because FBB3 reveals ratings of players gradually through the course of the season so it may take the whole season of playing for a team to get a complete picture of that player's capabilities.
  4. What impact does the coaching staff have on camp yields?
    • There is no known quantification of this anywhere on record. The developer has vaguely confirmed, however, that coaching staff does have an impact. It follows then that teams with a 5 star INS staff will develop the corresponding INS catagories of their players better than a 3 star staff.
  5. What do the training categories mean?
    • Inside (INS): Inside scoring and rebounding
    • Shooting (SHT): FT, Jumpshot, and 3p shot
    • Handling (HND): Handling and passing
    • Post defense (PSD): Post defense and shot blocking
    • Perimeter defense (PRD): Perimeter defense and stealing
    • Condition (CND): Quickness, strength, jumping, and stamina (I'm not sure if jumping ability changes in TC)
  6. Where can I read for myself and make up my own mind?

4.1.8 Retirements

Retirements are random. Players tend to play longer when given playing time and when they are performing at a high level. Occasionally a player will unexpectedly retire for whatever reason. These make for good story material for press releases if the player was important for production or sentimental reasons.

Retiring players contracts will stop counting against the team's salary and the application will reflect the specifics of when the salary comes off a team’s books.

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4.2 Coaching Staff

Each OBWL team has a 1 head coach, 1 scout, and three assistant coaches who are responsible for contributing to an overall staff rating represented by a number of stars.

4.2.1 Staff Ratings

The team staff consists of the General Manager, Head Coach, 3 assistant coaches, and the team scout. Staff members are rated in the following skills:

Scouting Current Ability (SCUR): Used to determine the player's current ability.

Scouting Potential Ability (SPOT): Used to determine the player's future potential.

Coaching Inside (CINS): Affects inside scoring and rebounding.

Coaching Shooting (CSHT): Affects free throw shooting, jump shooting, and 3-point shooting.

Coaching Handling (CHND): Affects handling and passing.

Coaching Post Defense (CPSD): Affects post defense and shot blocking.

Coaching Perimeter Defense (CPRD): Affects perimeter defense and stealing.

The skills of the coaching staff will have an effect on both performance during games and development of skills. For each coaching category you can assign up to three staff members on the staff window. You will get a rating based on your coaching skill of one to five stars. Scouting of players is done by the scout only. The scout will rate players multiple times per season and will adjust their evaluations of the players based on a combination of previous scouting results and the current evaluation.

4.2.2 Hidden Personality Ratings

Like players, coaches have hidden personality ratings that influence their decision to sign a contract offer. These factors are hidden but may be revealed via participation spending at a later date.

4.2.3 Coach Hirings and Firings

GMs can fire and hire coaches at their discretion. Coach salary does not count against the salary cap but it does count against each team's budget. Teams over budget can only offer one year minimum contracts to coaching staff.

Due to the design of the application, if a coach is fired before their contract expires, their contract does not continue to count like what would happen if a player were cut in a similar manner. Because of that, when a coach is fired before his contract is up, the Commissioner will add a “cut salary” value to the team that cuts the coach when this is detected. This will count normally as all cut salary does in the application. Coaches signed in the off season may not be cut until moving day.

The intention of this is to prevent an endless sign/cut cycle, maintain continuity of the league, and discourage abuse. Because there is no mechanism to alert League Officials to the coach cut, we must manually monitor. GMs who want to fire their coach are required to provide written notification to Commissioner (via email) when they fire a coach. The commissioner will make every effort reflect the cut salary in a timely manner. Should a GM fail to report it, the commissioner will monitor the situation and, if there is an unreported change, the salary will be reflected at that time and additional punitive measures may be applied up to dismissal of the offending GM. Avoid this by simply notifying the commissioner via email when you fire a coach.

Additionally, the application allows GMs to sign a coach immediately after firing him. That opens the door for abuse as well so the Commissioner will immediately void contracts like this that are detected. Any detrimental impact to a team, regardless of phase that it is detected, is the responsibility of the GM. Avoid this becoming an issue in the first place by not firing and then immediately rehiring a coach.

Further, it is possible to offer on other team's coaches (colloquially referred to as "poaching"). GMs with a mid season coaching vacancy may not offer on other a contract to another team's staff in the professional league; however, developmental league staff may be offered on. Please notify the commissioner via email of the signing though so that the league office can assign a suitable replacement for the developmental affiliate. [top of page]

4.2.4 Coach Extensions

Coaches may not be extended. The application may allow a GM to do so but this interface lacks logic to enable coaching salaries to be priced according to the market. The intention of this is to prevent wealthy teams from "locking up" the top staff until they grow old and retire. This must be done even though the application would normally allow a GM to do so. Any GM who is noted extending their coaching staff will have the contract voided at the time it's noticed and attempts to rehire that coach will also become void. In short, you'll lose the coach you extended and somebody else will probably get them. Should a voided coach's contract remain void an entire 365 day span, a team may attempt to hire them properly at the coach hiring phase.

4.3 Team Cohesion Rating

As excerpted from the Fast Break Basketball forums, “Each team has a base value signifying that team’s culture. The players on the team will move closer to that value. The importance of each player to the overall cohesion value depends on how talented the player is. The better players carry more weight. Changing the end of the bench players for instance shouldn't do much to the overall value. Trading between certain teams may have only a small effect on cohesion while trading with others may be a larger hit. If you made no changes to the roster at all then you would most likely have perfect cohesion within a few seasons.”

Cohesion builds over time so it is likely to be lower for everyone in a league that is just starting.

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4.4 Game Planning

While coaches are responsible for all in-game decisions, GMs set the guidelines via Game Plans. Game Plans consist of two parts: Depth Chart (setting the rotation) and Team Preferences (tempo, focus, defensive style, etc.).

All Game Plans must be sent to the Commissioner via team export to FTP in the FBB3 GUI.

Game Plans can be exported in the team orders by saving a local file but the GM must ensure that his roster is the same as the exported plan and that there are no other orders outstanding. Failure to do so may result in impact to the league that could delay sim progression.

4.4.1 Depth Chart

The depth chart allows you to set your starters as well as the order players should be used off of the bench. The legal positions section allows you to set which positions a player can play during a game. If there are no eligible players that can play the position, the game will place what it determines to be the best available player at that position in the game. The playing time setting allows you to set the desired number of minutes for each player. The setting is most important for starters as any unassigned minutes will be filled by players from the bench. Players set with no legal position or no playing time are not a part of the normal playing rotation. They will be used only when it is not possible to fill the lineup with rotation players or if too many members of the rotation are in foul trouble.

In games, the sim uses these depth charts as a guideline. The actual minutes played can vary.

GMs can relegate players to their development league and maintain a much larger roster. It is encouraged that a GM consider doing so because, if injuries occur and a team is about to start a set of simulations with less than 10 healthy active players, the league will force activate players or sign a minimum contract player to a GM's roster so the team can field a legal roster.

A player can play at any position on the floor and not just the position he’s listed at and all of a team's active players must have a position defined in the depth chart. After playing a certain amount of time in the season at that position, the player’s position will be changed. This means that a listed SF who plays SG all season will be listed as a SG if he plays enough minutes at that position. Theoretically, a player can be listed at every position in the depth charts. Not every player will be good at every position but they can play it and their play will certainly reflect their ability to play that position. A GM could field five point guards or five centers in their starting lineup but those lineups will be less effective than a more traditional lineup.

4.4.2 Game Plan

Pace: A higher setting means your players will push the action more. In general, everything on the floor will be done faster, more stamina will be used, and players are more likely to shoot but that is a smaller effect. Things like dribbling up the court will be done faster, less time between passes, etc. Basically, it will generate more possessions in the game and will cause players to tire faster.

Motion: A high setting means your team runs a very structured offense. High motion is more like a "run a play" offense and will help players who struggle to create their own shot get more shots. Lower motion creates a style that puts it more on the individual player to make plays. Players in low motion are more likely to try and beat their man then hit the open man. Uses extra stamina as well.This is beneficial for teams with good passing skill but is harder on players who are good at creating for themselves.

3p Usage: Affects the likelihood that your team will look for 3 point shots.

Focus: The general preference for where you would like to shoot the ball. Players will be less likely to shoot if they are outside of the preferred region.

Crash Boards: How much your team should focus on getting the rebound as opposed to getting back on defense or trying to get easy baskets on offense. This is basically a sliding scale. At 0 everyone focuses on getting back, at 10 everyone goes for the board. 9 is basically everyone but the PG, 8 everyone but the PG and SG. There is not currently a stamina penalty but players who crash the boards are affected defensively/offensively on the next possession.

Defense: Teams may specify up to two defenses that they will use. The usage settings will determine how likely you are to use each defense. If they are equal then you will use them equally. If one is 10 and one is 1 then you will mostly use the defense set to 10.

Full Court Press: How often your team will run a full court press. This will create turnovers at the expense of more fouls and extra energy use.

Key Players: Up to three key players may be selected. These players get more touches on offense, especially at the end of the game.

Game Plan Settings - Defense

Based on observations from other leagues and general feedback from other leagues that utilize the FBB3 application, the following are presented for consideration. While not an official declaration of application function, it can serve GMs as a test case for consideration.


*PRO: Your individual matchups are exposed so great defensive players can be matched against great offensive players if desired.

*CON: Your individual matchups are exposed so poor defensive players can possibly be matched against great offensive players.

From the Dev, "Uses more stamina. Primarily uses primary defender's ratings but still does look at players in the area so blocks and steals can come from other defenders."


*COMMUNITY SUPPOSITION: A team set to use “Help Defense” will do better against a team set to use less “motion” in its offense.

*PRO: Your team is more likely to block shots.

*PRO: Your opponent is more likely to commit “unforced” turnovers (i.e., those that do not lead to a steal for your team).

*PRO: Your opponent is less likely to get assists.

*CON: Your team is more likely to commit fouls.

*CON: Your starters’ minutes decrease (i.e. players become fatigued faster).

From the Dev, "Uses more stamina. It does still look at players in the area so blocks and steals can still come from other defenders."


*PRO: Your team is more likely to block shots.

*PRO: Your team is more likely to get steals.

*PRO: Your opponent’s three-point shooting percentages go down.

*CON: Your team is less likely to get defensive rebounds (i.e., your players are out of position).

*CON: Your team is much more likely to commit fouls (more than twice the increase with Help and Zone defense).

From the Dev, "Like man but players off the ball are going to be playing less tight to their men so they will be in better position to rotate (impact where the ball is) when needed."


*PRO: Your team is much more likely to block shots (more than twice the increase with Trap and Help defense).

*PRO: Your starters’ minutes tend to increase (you can keep your better offensive players on the floor longer).

*CON: Your opponents tend to shoot a higher overall percentage and score more points.

*CON: Your team is more likely to commit fouls.

From the Dev, "The C will be in the paint and should be in position to affect drives. The defense is strong inside but weaker against outside shooting."

4.4.3 Single-Game Game Plans

GMs cannot send single-game game plans unless the simulation pace is changed. During three game simulations in the normal course of running the league, the same game plan will be used for all games in the set of sims. Of course, during the playoffs each sim is only one game so it is possible to make adjustments from one game to the next in a series.

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4.5 Cities

The OBWL cities have ratings as listed under the Team page in the FBB3 GUI and on the HTML output:

Market Size – This is the population of the city in which the team is housed.

Economy – This is the financial viability of the city.

Fan Loyalty – This is the fan dedication to the team.

Each of these factors contribute to the ability of a team to generate revenue for their basketball team via ticket sales, TV contracts, merchandise sales, etc.

All attributes of a city should be considered when setting ticket prices in addition to your evaluation of a team. For example, a strong economy & a good team should allow one to set prices a little higher than normal but poor fan support can offset this. It is up to the GM to determine the impact of all factors in determining a means to maximize profit and thereby allowing one to spend more money during the all-important free agency period.

City attributes can change each year (going up or down) based on the results financially & on the court.

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4.6 Finances

Good financial management is one of the key ingredients in building a successful franchise. Budgets, expenses, and revenues in FBB3 finances are explained below.

4.6.1 Team Budgets

Each team has a team budget that limits spending. The budgets are different for each team and they change each year based on the success of the team as determined by the team owner who sets the budget. GMs are encouraged to pay attention to what their owner's priorities are and give those extra emphasis in the course of running their team. An owner that is greedy will likely shrink budget in reaction to a season of low/no profit. Owners who want winning react by shrinking your budget after a poor performance in the season. It may be possible for the owners cap to be less than league salary cap.

The salaries of all players on a team cannot total more than the budget in any season with a few noted exceptions. Raises can take a team over this budget amount. Minimum contracts can be extended at all times regardless of if a team is over budget. Teams can always sign their draft picks to a contract - even when over budget. These are the noted exceptions to exceeding the budget. Otherwise, no team can offer a contract that would take them over their total budget.

Teams that exceed the budget are only allowed to sign league minimum one-year deals. This applies to both coaches and players. A team over budget may conduct trades but only if the deal reduces the team’s overall salary exposure in the next season. Exceptions to this trade provision may be made on a case by case basis (ex. taking on an extra 1 mil in salary for one season to cut 18 mil in salary over the next four seasons) and request for consideration should be submitted in writing to the Commissioner who is the final arbiter of if any special dispensation will be allowed.

4.6.2 Expenses

Player/Staff Salary – This is the cost of your players, coaches, and salary in the course of the season.

Arena Rent – This is the cost of your current arena over the course of the season.

Luxury Tax – Teams over the luxury tax threshold will have to pay a dollar amount into a tax pool that is then divided among the teams underneath the luxury tax threshold. This encourages responsible spending for teams and a consequence for not doing so.

Revenue Sharing – Designed to represent Revenue Sharing per the CBA in place at the time the application was created. Since the application was created, a new CBA has gone into effect. That is not used.

Questions about why a team did or did not recieve money may be directed to the Commissioner via the league forums but GMs should review the CBA qualifications first so they can make. The CBA can be located at this link: http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm and, if a GM does not understand it (it is, admittedly complicated), GMs are encouraged to consult with other GMs to gain an understanding of why funds were allocated the way they were.

If this amount appears as an expense, the amount is deducted from their profit at season end. If a team has an expense under revenue sharing, they are referred to as a "net contributor."

4.6.3 Revenues

Ticket Revenue – This is income from the sales of General Admission, Club, and Luxury seats on a game by game basis for your arena.

TV Revenue – This line item is largely determined by your market and influenced by your teams’ desirability for broadcast. Consistently successful or talented teams in major markets will command higher TV revenue.

Merchandise Revenue – Much like TV revenue. Fans will purchase more of a team’s gear when they are successful and are able to extend their sales reach outside of their market into a more national approach. That’s done by being desirable (a.k.a. winning in season and championships).

Luxury Tax – Teams under the luxury tax threshold will receive a payout from the tax pool that contributes to their profit on a season. This rewards teams that display fiscal responsibility.

Revenue Sharing – Designed to represent Revenue Sharing per the CBA in place at the time the application was created. Since the application was created, a new CBA has gone into effect. That is not used.

Questions about why a team did or did not recieve money may be directed to the Commissioner via the league forums but GMs should review the CBA qualifications first so they can make. The CBA can be located at this link: http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm and, if a GM does not understand it (it is, admittedly complicated), GMs are encouraged to consult with other GMs to gain an understanding of why funds were allocated the way they were.

If this amount appears as a profit, the team is a “net recipient” from the revenue sharing pool and will note a line item in their ledger at the end of the season on their team page. The amount is added to their profit at season end.

4.6.4 Attendance

Average Attendance – The average number of GA seats sold per game.

Average Attendance Capacity – Percentage of GA seats sold per game.

Average Club Seats – The average number of Club seats sold per game.

Average Club Capacity – Percentage of Club seats sold per game.

Average Suites – The average number of Suite seats sold per game.

Average Suites Capacity – Percentage of Suite seats sold per game.

4.6.5 Ticket Prices

Ticket prices can only be set during the off season and reminders to do so appear in the Hotseat in the FBB3 GUI. The computer can recommend prices if a GM is unsure of what price to use. With careful observation, a GM can set the maximal price on tickets to generate more revenue.

Prices can be changed in the following categories:

Average Ticket Price - Average priced ticket in the arena.

Club Seat Price - Average price of club seats in the arena.

Luxury Price - Average price of luxury suites in the arena.

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4.7 Arena Proposals

Each team has a home arena and capacity and quality of the buildings may vary quite a lot from city to city. If a GM feels their arena doesn't satisfy their team's needs, they can try to get a new one under construction via arena proposals submission in off-season.

Fundamentally, there are two kinds of arena proposals, constructing a new arena in your current market or moving the franchise to another market (city).

Within their current market, GMs are free to propose new arenas in the off season at the appropriate time (the arena proposal area - under the Finances section of the application - will be inactive at all other times). There is a financial cost to the franchise for a new arena which the franchise must pay. This could impact the profit/loss statement at the end of the season for one or more seasons to follow.

GMs wishing to move their franchise to a new market must have earned both a league and a team point in the season prior (see section 2.4 Participation Bonuses). If they fulfilled this requirement, they must send an email to Commissioner proposing the move and requesting approval to relocate the franchise. Failure to notify the Commissioner will result in a roll back of the sim to a prior save point where that offer will be nullified.

GMs wishing to rename their franchise as part of the move, in addition to the requirements above, must have completed no less than 5 consecutive seasons with the franchise where the name change is desired. As a part of the request to move, the GM may propose a new franchise name and logo for their team. The GM is responsible for contacting the Director of Media Relations to create branding for their team (i.e. a new logo design) on their own and this new branding must be presented at the time of proposal to move the franchise. GMs are encouraged to be creative but also reminded to keep the new name along the lines of usual sports team names; however, for more "exotic" submissions from a GM for team name, the Commissioner may veto a GM's proposal and or suggest alternative names.

Better arena quality, when construction is complete, creates more cash flow your team generates from increased gate and capacity so it is a vital part of being a general manager to occasionally propose a new arena. The timing of this move can be important however, because owners expect profits and if your construction causes a loss on the season, the GM will have to answer to their owner and may lose budget capacity.

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4.8 Rookie Draft

There are several ways teams can acquire players like minimum contracts, regular contract negotiation in free agency, trades with another team, and the annual rookie draft. This section covers the annual rookie draft.

4.8.1 Draftees

Each season, new young players enter the OBWL player pool from our college league the OCBL via Rookie Draft. The official draft list will be released after the OCBL season has been finished and before the draft is held. At the start of the off season, college players who have have made their final decisions to turn professional will declare for the draft. The League Offices will disperse a list of the players ordered by the league scout (also referred to as "public perception") via HTML for general consumption. This list will also be made available as part of the league file so that franchises can apply their scout to it instead of the league scout - the league scout is the equivalent of a 40/40 rated scout. GMs are strongly encouraged to review the players using their own scouting staff in order to find a player that best suits the needs of their franchise.

4.8.2 Draft Lottery

The draft order is determined by the teams' success in the previous season with the top teams in regular season standings picking last. Only picks from non-playoff teams take part in the lottery, with team last in the standings having the highest probability of ending up with the first overall pick (approximately 25% chance). The order of the picks are determined by computer-run draft lottery.

The lottery will take place after the draft list has been released but before the draft itself. Time will be allocated (amounting to a day or two) after the announcement of the lottery for teams to post trade blocks, engage in negotiations, etc. before the draft itself is held.

4.8.3 Rookie Draft in Practice

The OBWL Rookie Draft is a live event held on mIRC The draft itself will take place in a designated chat room on mIRC (#OBWL1), with GM discussion taking place in #OBWL2. GMs will not be allowed to speak in #OBWL1. Only the draft announcer will speak in there and when he does so, it will be to announce selections. In #OBWL2, GMs will be allowed to freely converse and comment on selections.

When GMs join the channels, they MUST use their team name as their IRC nickname. (For example, mine will be simply: ArchersGM)

Each team will have five minutes to make their pick in the first round though they need not take all five minutes. Second round picks are afforded 2 minutes. GMs are responsible for knowing who has been picked so it’s recommended that GMs keep a copy of the draft and track the status of each player picked. This keeps the draft from going over time. When it is a GMs turn to pick, the draft announcer will send a PRIVATE MESSAGE using mIRC. Once you have told him your selection, he will confirm and your pick is final. He will then announce it in the draft chat on the #OBWL1.

GMs are allowed to negotiate and make trades whenever during the draft. If you make a trade in the draft, both GMs MUST confirm it to Commissioner. The clock will be paused so that it can be checked before being made official. Of course, GMs should take care of their own trade negotiations in private messages, not in either of the public chat rooms, and it is the responsibility of each GM involved in a trade to ensure that the component parts of the trade fit. The Commissioner will simply respond “Trade no good” and resume the clock if a trade proposed is not legal.

If you cannot make the draft:

  • Let the Commissioner know in advance.
  • Submit a list of picks in order of preference to the League Office. The Commissioner will take care of your picks in the order provided. It is important to submit a complete list through our own pick at the very least (ex. if you only hold the 26th pick, your list should be 26 players long). There will be no judgement calls made by the Commissioner (ex. "best SF") because individual scouting makes each GM's assessment of players different from other GMs.
  • If a team doesn't submit a proper list for consideration at the time of their pick and the GM isn't present in the draft rooms at the time their franchise is put on the clock, the team will be allocated the full time appropriate for the round of the pick (either 5 or 2 min). When time expires, they will have the 10th best undrafted player according to the league scout's official rankings (published in advance of the draft). This is commonly referred to as a "Penalty Pick."

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5 Collective Bargaining Agreement

This chapter of the OBWL rule book may come second to last, but it's certainly not the second to least. The OBWL Collective Bargaining Agreement -- the "CBA" -- includes regulations related to rosters, contracts, finances and trades, among others.

The content of this chapter may be difficult to understand at first, but learning it is truly important for a successful OBWL general manager. And even if it can be tricky, it is certainly not impossible to learn.

5.1 Salary Cap

The OBWL salary cap is tied to league revenues, the "Basketball Related Income". The total BRI is simply the total of all teams' revenues -- including playoffs, but not including Luxury Tax money.

The cap is set at the start of each off-season at 51 percent of BRI. In practice, this means adding together all revenues and dividing it by 28. For example, in 2010 the BRI was 2071.75 million, which would have set the salary cap at $49.21 million (2071.75*0.51/28).

The salary cap will be set automatically by the application when the off season is initialized and be effective immediately. The salary cap is the same for all teams but, unlike team budgets, it is a soft cap; teams can operate above the cap by using available exceptions.

One important thing to understand about all the exceptions is that even if they allow teams that are over the cap to sign players, all the salaries will count against teams' salary cap just like any other contract immediately after the players have been signed.

5.1.1 Salary Cap Floor

In addition to the maximum a team can spend in player salaries, there's also a minimum amount beginning from season 2012. The minimum is at 75 percent of the cap or 75 percent of team budget, whichever is lower.

If a team does not spend that amount during the regular season, it'll be surcharged as a Cut Player expense at the start of the regular season. This is in place to prevent teams from not using their resources to win games and, at a minimum, makes such attempts less beneficial.

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5.2 Luxury Tax

Teams that have spent more than the Luxury Tax threshold in player salaries during the regular season will have to pay a dollar of Luxury Tax for each dollar they're over the threshold. The tax money goes to Tax Pool, which will be shared equally with all the teams not paying the Luxury Tax.

The tax threshold will be 61 percent the BRI.

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5.3 Player Contracts

All players contracts are fully guaranteed, except for the rookie contracts signed by first-round draft picks, who have team option seasons in their Rookie Scale Contracts.

If a player is released while under contract, the contract continues to count towards the salary cap of the team until either (a) The end of the contract or (b) The player is signed by another team.

If a player retires, his contract will be removed automatically by the application.

A contract year starts at the start of off-season Free Agency period each season.

5.3.1 Contract Terms and Raises and Decreases

The contract term cannot exceed 6 year and yearly yearly changes in value cannot exceed 10.5% of the contract's prior year salary for players with Bird Rights. For players without Bird Rights, maximum term is five seasons and maximum change is 8 percent of the contract's prior year salary.

On the salaries page of the FBB3 GUI, team options are displayed in Green and player options are displayed in Red. Players under contract as first round picks will have team options in seasons 3 and 4. These must be declined by a GM by November 1st of the previous season or they will automatically be accepted. Regular team options must be declined by the end of the season or they will be accepted. A GM will get “in application email” during the season reminding you which players are eligible for which type of extension.

Player options are decided by the player at season end. GMs will get an “in application email” letting them know whether or not the player used his option or not.

5.3.2 Maximum Salaries

No player contract can exceed the maximum salary in the first year of a contract. The application will show you the maximum value but it is roughly based on the following.

0-6 years of experience -- 25.0 percent of cap.

7-9 years of experience -- 30.0 percent of cap.

10+ years of experience -- 35.0 percent of cap.

There is an exception to this rule: a player is able to sign a contract for 105% of his previous contract, even if the new contract is higher than the league limit.

5.3.3 Minimum Salaries

No contract year can be worth less than minimum salary. The maximum and minimum salaries are determined by the application but, a general guideline appears below:

MINIMUM (Years pro -- Salary):

0 -- $350,000

1 -- $510,000

2 -- $590,000

3 -- $610,000

4 -- $640,000

5 -- $700,000

6 -- $760,000

7 -- $820,000

8 -- $890,000

9 -- $1,000,000

10+ -- $1,030,000

5.3.4 Rookie Salary Scale

All players selected in the rookie draft are signed automatically to Rookie Salary Scale contracts. First round contracts are guaranteed for two years and thereafter a team may exercise their option to add up to two additional years to the contract.

The window for exercising an option year is open during the pre-season following the player's second pro season (for 1st round picks) or first pro season (for 2nd round picks). For first round picks, the player will become an Unrestricted Free Agent after the final team option year. If a team does not execute the team option, the player will become an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of that contract year.

For second round picks, picking up the third year option means the team may gain Bird rights when the player becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of his contract. If a player who has a team option year in his contract is released before the option is exercised, the team option year is waived.

Teams are allowed to pick up the option year regardless of their total salary commitment, salary cap room and budget space for the season of the option. Once the option is picked up, it'll count normally against the team's salary cap and budget.

5.3.5 Contract Extensions

From the start of regular season to the end of playoffs, teams can send contract extension offers to their own players who are in the last year of their contracts -- excluding players on the fourth season of their Rookie Salary Scale contracts (see below).

The salary of the first extension year cannot exceed the maximum salary allowed, based on the player's years of pro experience.

A contract can be extended after three seasons have passed from the signing of their current contract. Which means that only contracts for four seasons or more can be extended. For contracts that have already been extended, it can be extended again.

Minimum and mid-level exceptions are not available for use in extensions and the offered salaries must fit into the off-season cap amounts. However, Bird exceptions do apply.

If a player receives a poor offer they will let it be known and if a player receives too many poor offers the player will no longer wish to negotiate.

5.3.6 Rookie Scale Extensions

If the team option for the fourth season of Rookie Scale Contract has been exercised, the window for extending their contracts is open during the pre-season following the player's third pro season. For such contract extensions, the salary in the first extension year can be as high as the maximum salary.

If the contract of such a player is not extended by the start of the regular season in the player's fourth pro season, he'll become a Restricted Free Agent in the upcoming off-season.

There's no limit to how many Rookie Scale Extensions a team can sign in a season and signing such contract extension does not prevent a team from making any of its contract extension offers during regular season. However, teams may elect to break off negotiations and make themselves eligible for the open market in Free Agency.

5.3.7 Team and Player Option Years

During signing of a player via free agency or extension, the GM may choose the last year to be an option year. Team options give the GM the option to retain the player for that year. Player options give the player the choice of staying that last year. Player option logic is not 100% defined but, suffice to say, a player will likely not stay with a team where he is not being paid appropriate to his contribution or where he is not reaping the success that he desires. Option years must adhere to the rules on percentage change as defined in rule 5.3.1.

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5.4 Salary Cap Exceptions

As mentioned earlier, the league salary cap is a soft cap and it is possible for teams to have payrolls higher than that. Even if a team is without cap space, it can still sign players using various salary cap exceptions. These apply mostly to contracts signed in Off-Season Free Agency.

5.4.1 Bird Exception

Teams can use the Bird Rule Exception on Players with Bird Rights. This rule allows teams to go over the cap to sign their own free agents. Players eligible for Bird Rights have not left one team to sign with another team during the last three years.

Trades do not reset the "bird clock" but if a player is released, his bird years are reset to zero, even if it's the same team that later on picks him up from the Available Players' list.

Also, if a free agent changes teams in a sign-and-trade, it is considered changing teams as a Free Agent and the player's bird years are reset.

The maximum yearly change for Bird Exception contracts are 10.5 percent of the contract's prior year salary and the maximum term is six seasons.

5.4.2 Non-Bird Exception

The non bird exception is no longer available since conversion to Fast Break Basketball 3.

5.4.3 Mid-level and Biannual Exceptions

Each year, teams over the salary cap or within a certain amount below the salary cap are afforded a pool of funds that serve as exceptions to the salary cap. These are mid-level (a.k.a. MLE) or Bi-annual (a.k.a. little) exceptions. A team can exceed the salary cap to sign players using these exceptions. The combined value of these exceptions is presented in the FBB3 GUI and HTML on the website under the “Unused Exceptions” section when the team is over the salary cap. Teams under the salary cap by more than the total exception amount for teams in the off season will not have any exceptions afforded to them.

The mid-level exception is a contract that can be one to five years long. The mid-level exception can also be split and given to multiple players. Even if split, the annual changes in value are fixed at eight percent.

The biannual exception is one to two years long. The second year salary for a two year biannual exception contract is fixed at 8% higher than the first year.

5.4.4 Minimum Salary Exception

Teams can sign players to league minimum contracts regardless of cap situation. Unlike the exceptions mentioned above, this exception is available also outside the off-season free agency. If a player without OBWL contract is picked up from the available players list, he's always signed to a one-year minimum salary deal.

5.4.5 Rookie Exception

Drafted rookies are automatically signed to contracts at the start of off-season. Their contracts are defined by the rookie salary scale with the 1st overall pick in round 1 having the largest salary. The scale changes depending upon the number of teams in the league. Second round picks receive 2 year minimum salary contracts.

All drafted rookies can and will be signed to contracts regardless of the team's cap and budget situation.

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5.5 Off-Season Free Agency

Once a player's contract ends, he becomes a free agent and he'll be available for all teams to sign in the off-season. Players available for off-season FA bids are listed on the OBWL website on the free agency preview list and in the FBB3 GUI.

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5.6 In-Season Free Agency & Waivers

The players who weren't signed in off-season free agency will be placed on the available players list and may be signed by a team using any available cap space or salary cap exceptions it has remaining, including the minimum salary exception.

Players cut while under contract will be placed on waivers and their former team will be charged the full remaining value of the player's contract. This value is listed as "Cut Salary" in the FBB3 application. Cut players will remain on the waiver wire for 9 game days (typically 2 sim "days"), where they may be claimed by a team that has enough available cap space to absorb the player's existing contract. If a player's contract is claimed off of waivers. his former team is not charged for his contract.

A player who clears waivers without being claimed goes on the available player list and may be signed by any team using the minimum salary exception. The player's former team will be charged the remaining value of his contract (minus the minimum salary paid by the new team) in "Cut Salary" as described above.

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5.7 Trades

Players can be traded at all times except from the Trade Deadline Thursday of the 16th week to the start of preseason with a few excpetions. All teams involved must confirm a trade before it can be run. The confirmation must be submitted in writing to the Commissioner.

The rules do not recognize such thing as "future considerations" in any trades and it is strongly recommended that GMs complete all transactions at once. Each transaction will be reviewed for legality on its own merit. Lopsided trades are subject to veto even if they are “two partner” trades or three way trades. Each transaction must have its own merits and will be reviewed as such.

Most importantly, no transaction is official until all teams have submitted it properly to the Commissioner and the Commissioner has reviewed and confirmed it. Confirmation will arrive in the form of a “Trade Good” response to both trade partners along with any embellishment necessary. In principle, from the Commissioner's and the rule book's point of view, no deal exists until all of that has taken place.

5.7.1 Trade Submission Process

  • The trade must be submitted via email to the Commissioner's email address.
  • The confirmation must be submitted via email to the Commissioner's email address.
  • All teams involved must confirm a trade before it will be reviewed.
  • The confirmation must be submitted via email to the Commissioner's email address.
  • Trade email subject should read TEAM1 <> TEAM2 TRADE. This helps eliminate delay from the trading GMs due to subject lines that cause confusion.
  • The commissioner will respond to all saying "Trade Good" or "Trade No Good"
  • Assets will move after the sim is complete for the day.
  • GMs are responsible for cutting excess players and ensuring the active players are appropriate set.
  • GMs who fail to cut or manage their roster after a trade will have appropriate cuts made at the best discretion of the commissioner so the sim is not delayed.

5.7.2 Commissioner Review

All trades must be submitted in writing to the Commissioner. Trades submitted via the tools FBB3 provides but not sent through the commissioner will result in the trade being voided. Also, because of the need for corrective effort for not submitted to the Commissioner, additional action may be taken such as fines to teams, relegation of the offending GM(s), or outright dismissal from the league.

All trades are be subject to commissioner oversight and the commissioner will move assets between teams. Upon approval, assets will move after games or other league activities are complete for the day (ex. games first, then trade gets processed in a sim day).

Rookie GMs are subject to trade restrictions as detailed in section 5.7.2 (see below).

Veteran GMs will largely be allowed to make their own decisions; however, trades from GMs that are deemed disproportionately bad may require additional rationale as requested by the Commissioner. This does not mean that bad deals will be completely prevented but trades found to be too lopsided will be scrutinized for evidence of collusion or other malfeasance. Should the GM submit a request to a GM's email address of on record, a response will be required prior to processing the trade. If a GM is unresponsive to the Commissioner's request, it will delay the completing the trade transaction.

A team over budget is subject to rule 4.6.1 Team Budgets. In specific, a team may not execute a trade that puts them over their hard cap (i.e. budget). In addition, a team over budget may only execute trades that reduce their payroll. The Commissioner may request additional explanation of a trade that includes an over budget team.

This is a human league and humans make good and bad decisions. GMs will have deal with the good and bad choices they make with whatever grace they can muster.

5.7.3 Rookie GM Trade Restrictions

The following trade restrictions apply to rookie GMs for the duration of their first season with their new team.

  1. Rookie GMs will not be allowed to trade first round picks under any circumstances. This restriction is in place in order to protect both the newcomer and the league's continuity.
  2. Rookie GMs will not be allowed to trade any player on their roster until 60 game days have passed since assuming control of their new team. For rookie GMs hired during the offseason, in practice this means they cannot trade any players until game day December 15th, a.k.a. "Moving Day." This restriction is in place in order to force rookie GMs to become familiar with their new players as well as focusing on other aspects of a General Manager's responsibilities (particularly game planning, finances, and learning the simulation itself) before attempting to make changes to the make-up of the team.
  3. Even after the probationary period described above has passed any proposed trade of a player by a rookie GM will be closely scrutinized by both the rookie GM's Veteran Mentor and by the Commissioner. Both the Mentor and the Commissioner have the authority to veto a proposed trade by the rookie GM, and will do so in order to protect the best interests (present and future) of the rookie GM, the rookie GM's franchise, and the league itself. In such situations both the Mentor and the Commissioner should exercise critical judgment and choose to err on the side of conservatism and caution. This restriction is in place to ensure that a rookie GM is provided with both with a measure of protection as well as instruction and constructive feedback from experienced General Managers before committing to a transaction.
  4. Returning GMs with previous OBWL experience will also be subject to trade restrictions as described above until they've been back in a GM position for a full season. Such GMs may or may not (Commissioner's discretion) be assigned a Veteran Mentor. In any event, such a returning GM is considered a "rookie GM" for the intents of these trade restrictions unless special dispensation is requested of the Commissioner and granted.

Veteran General Managers who change teams with no interruption, i.e. veteran GMs who "switch" teams to fill a vacancy, are not subject to these restrictions.

5.7.4 Trading First Round Picks

The teams cannot trade away first round picks in future drafts in consecutive seasons. A pick in the upcoming draft is not considered a future pick, though, meaning that a team must have a first round pick in second or third draft.

Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be their own pick, so if a team acquires a first-rounder from another team in the second draft, they can trade their own pick even if they don't have a first-round pick in the third draft.

In a nutshell, this means all teams must own at least one first round pick in second or third draft at all times.

5.7.5 Factoring Salaries in Trades

The salaries are factored in trades. If a team is over the salary cap, it cannot acquire more than 125 percent plus 0.1 million of the salaries it is sending away.

Minimum salary players can be traded without regard to the salary cap and salary matching. Minimum salary players are not included in incoming salaries in trades, but they are included in outgoing salary when traded away.

5.7.6 60-Day Rule

A player who is traded during off-season, pre-season or regular season must stay on his new team's roster for 60 game days before he can be traded again.

The 60-day rule also restricts trading of all pre-season and regular season free agent signings (including teams' "own FAs"). Drafted rookies can be traded at the draft before the off-season trade freeze is on and again immediately training camps.

5.7.7 Reacquiring Traded Players

When a team trades a player, it is not allowed to re-acquire him by any means (including trade, in-season free agency, and waivers) until the start of next Off-Season Free Agency period.

5.7.8 Trading Impending Free Agents

Trading an impending free agents can be conducted via a process commonly called "Sign and Trade" can happen between two GMs. The Fast Break Basketball 3 User Interface does not allow for this to be done directly but our league does have this option available. In order to legally execute a sign and trade, the following process must be followed:

  1. Both teams must confirm their intent to complete a sign and trade prior to the upload deadline and submit that to the commissioner via email. This confirmation must include what assets are being transferred to the team in exchange for the bird rights to their impending free agent.
  2. The team trading for a free agent's rights will then have that the bird exception made available to them in the usual order of operations (i.e. processed after the sim run for the day). The original team will no longer have the bird exception available.
  3. If the free agent signs with a team other than the two trade partners, the signage will happen normally and no assets will be exchanged between trade partners (effectively, that breaks the deal).
  4. GM's involved in the trade must comply with salary matching and budget rules where applicable. A sign and trade will not permit a team to go over budget just as a normal trade would not.
  5. Sign-and-trade contracts must be for at least three seasons (not including any option year).

5.7.9 Trading Players on One-Year Contracts

If a player is on a one-year contract and would have Bird rights at the end of season, he loses his Bird rights and is considered a Non-Bird Free Agent in the following Free Agency.

5.7.10 Trading Injured Players

It is permitted to trade an injured player even though the FBB3 application will show that asset as untradable. Trades must still be submitted via the normal method detailed above.

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6 Miscellaneous

6.1 Team Logos/Name

Team logos and names can be changed, but there are a few guidelines you should bear in mind when considering a logo change.

  1. You cannot change logo every season, not every other season, or even every three seasons. As always, we like continuity in the OBWL, but there are also practical reasons behind this restriction. Each time there's a logo change, it means that League Officials must redo some other stuff beginning from -- but not ending with -- team uniforms and so on. And logo changes should take place in offseason, not in the middle of the season and will cost one participation point to effect.
  2. Original artwork is preferred, if not required. Taking a real life sports team logo, changing its texts and colors is not original.
  3. Changing the color scheme is not allowed. You must use current team colors in your new logo, too.
  4. To effect a logo change, earn a point and then engage the Director of Media Relations for the league to create a new logo. Finally, submit the request in writing via email to the commissioner.

Also, when you design your logo, make sure that it looks good in smaller size, too. It'll be 90 x 90 pixels in online use.

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6.2 Team Depth Rating

Depth only tells you if you have a legal lineup or not so it will only say OK or Fix.

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6.3 Team Talent Rating

Talent looks at overall talent but it won't know that you have nobody who can shoot for instance. Basically that falls under “the team that plays the best isn't always the one with the best players.”

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6.4 GM Preferred Skills

Each GM can influence how they perceive the league by selecting preferred attributes as a GM. Options include:

  • Inside Scoring
  • Jumpshot
  • 3PT Shooting
  • Handling
  • Passing
  • O.Rebounding
  • Post Defense
  • Perimeter Defense
  • Stealing
  • Shot Blocking
  • D. Rebounding

Each GM gets to pick three skills that they deem important to their team. This will cause players who rate high in the attributes that you prefer to stand out in terms of color grade both in free agency and draft order.

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6.5 Changing Teams

Occasionally a professional team may become vacant due to GM retirement or relegation. The League Office will fill the vacancy in order of preference as follows but is ultimately subject to Commissioner approval:

  1. A current professional GM from another franchise. Pro GMs interested in moving to another franchise must indicate their intention in writing via email and have been at their current position for more than three complete seasons. The League Office will set a deadline for applicants if necessary. In the case of more than one application for the open franchise, the League Offices will review the careers of the applicants and make its decision.
  2. A current Development League GM who has been properly vetted and demonstrated the minimum requirements for professional team assignment. See section 2.3.1 Affiliate General Managers for more details on requirements.
  3. A responsive but unvetted applicant to the league. These GMs will be assigned to the team under rookie restrictions and must demonstrate the minimum requirements for professional team assignment or be relegated to a Development League affiliate at the end of the season.
  4. A "bot" created expressly for the purpose of enabling the League Offices to guide the franchise until such a time as a suitable professional level GM can be located.

All assignments and criterion are ultimately subject to the oversight of the League Offices and Commissioner.

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6.6 FBB3 Application Support

Questions that are not answered here may be answered at the FBB Games FAQ forum. This is intended as a quick crash course to get new (and old) owners quickly up to speed with interpreting the FBB HTML output and understanding the way the game works.

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