League Rules S.M.F.L League Rules 01. General Information Welcome to Smashmouth Madden Football League (SMFL). We will strive to be 32 team Online Franchise for Madden 2011. Diversity in gameplan, Moderation of tactics and Respect for your opponent. These are three fundementals I emphasize when it comes to playing your user v user games. It's the heart of why you guys decided to make this place your home. Things will get heated, competition will get the best of us at times, but remember that losing is no shame around here with the level of players we got. Take time and learn, practice and take joy in the little things if your not going to win a division title, because we all won't. And you "experts".. take the time to help a guy who may be struggling.. you never know, he may be the one who knocks off your rival and vaults you into the playoffs. I also believe the commish needs to be a people person willing to put the time in to bring his owners together into a group that you can consider friends more than opponents. If the commish has the trust of everyone, it's much easier to settle disputes and get guys talking objectively about issues and realizing that everyone gets emotional from time to time. There are some rules that we need to go over however... and i know it may seem like alot, but most of it is straight forward stuff you are use to. 02. Pregame / General Options 02.01 - Substitutions Depth chart changes are not permitted before the opening kickoff. Each owner is responsible for setting their depth charts weekly via the webpage. You are permitted, however, to make a depth move during the game if a player is struggling or if you are trying to prevent an injury. Formation subs are permitted before the opening kickoff and are limited to the following: QB (no subs) HB (can sub to 4th/5th WR in a 4/5 WR set) FB (can play FB, HB, or TE) TE (can play any WR) WR (no subs) OLine can play any OLine position Dline can play any Dline position Lb's can play any Lb position SS or FS (are interchangeable) CB (no subs) KR/PR - Any player eligible 02.02 - Audibles When calling an audible, you must allow the defense to adjust and be set for at least one second before snapping the ball. Any attempt to quick snap while the defense is modifying their formation is a rule violation. 02.03 - Controlling Players You cannot pick plays and let the computer run them. In addition, you must control your QB throws and RB/WR movement at all times. (if they have possesion of the ball) 03. Offense 03.01 - Going on 4th Down We encourage straight play in this league, however, we do not want to limit players to the point where they cannot play aggressively. With that in mind, there will be a simple rule on 4th downs: * Whenever you are past the 50 yard line with 1 yard or less to go, you are permitted to go for it on 4th down. * If you are behind by two touchdowns or more in the second half, you can go for it whenever you like. * If you are the losing team in the 4th quarter, you can go for it whenever you like. * If you're going to go for a 4th down conversion in a questionable situation during a PvP game, please attempt to notify your opponent first, if possible. 03.02 - Motioning Motioning by backs and receivers is allowed. If the defense audibles before your motion is complete you must wait for the defense to get reset before snapping the ball, when possible. Otherwise, you are free to snap the ball when the Motion man reaches their spot on the field and the motion is complete. Multiple instances of motion prior to the same snap of the football will be frowned upon if done excessively or in a manner viewed to abuse the AI in the game. 03.03 - Hurry-Up and No Huddle All teams are allowed to run the "hurry up" offense in both two minute drill situations. Any team losing in the 4th quarter is permitted to hurry up as often as they like. When using the hurry up offense, please allow your opponent to set their defense before snapping the ball. Purposely trying to cause offsides penalties is obviously prohibited. 03.04 - Playclock Rule We're all here to play football. Keep in mind we play 9 minute quarters in SMFL; not 15 like the NFL. So please choose your plays as quickly as possible on offense and make every effort to do so before the play clock reaches 15seconds. We do realize, however, that certain situations in the game may require some extra time when choosing a play. Just be aware that we take note of the number of plays in each game, so if you are taking too long to choose your plays, it will be discovered. You may run the game clock with under 4 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, or in the last 2 minutes of the 1st half. 03.05 - Playcalling, Mixing it Up, Play Action Owners are expected to mix up plays on both offense AND defense. If your team falls behind early in the game, it's understandable if you become a one-dimensional offense with your passing game. As long as the game is close, TMFL expects all box scores to reflect a concerted effort at a running game. Also, keep in mind it is unrealistic to call a PA Pass when it is 3rd down and more than 10. You may call a designed PA play and audible your RB to block or go into a pattern to stop the Playaction. Overuse of this or any other plays/patterms will be subject to league penalties. 03.06 - QB Scrambling Unrealistic QB scrambling/sprinting is prohibited in SMFL on pass plays, including screens. Constantly dancing from sideline to sideline, running straight backwards or well behind the line of scrimmage without being under pressure is not realistic. The QB rushing maximum is set at 10; not including QB kneels. I would prefer people not even approach that number.. this is not the NCAA and this will be monitored under a stricter standard in the SMFL. 03.07 - Running Up the Score Good sportsmanship is a major part of SMFL, so running up the score will not be tolerated. Please use good judgment when leading by a large margin. 03.08 - Wildcat-style offense The Wildcat (or other team specific variants) are allowed but should not be used more than 2 plays in a row. You cannot audible out of a Wildcat formation. 04. Defense 04.01 - Moving Players Before the Snap On defense, shifting linebackers and the defensive line is permitted. You may move players on defense but not in a way that is exploiting AI. The best example I can give is move a LB slightly to play a slightly different zone on the field. If this is abused, it will be revoked. Let it be known now that if you're moving multiple players around before every snap that you're probably going to be called out on it and I'm not going to have a whole lot of sympathy for you. You do so at your own risk. You cannot manually move a DE before the snap but you may move DT's as long as they are between your DE's. Constantly spreading or pinching your DL or LBs falls under the rules for mixing up your playcalling. The same goes for bump and run and bringing the safeties down to the line of scrimmage. 04.02 - Bump-and-Run and Blitzing While blitzing is certainly a part of the game, please be realistic when doing so, and do not use it excessively. Any attempt to confuse the AI when blitzing is prohibited (ie. spreading your defensive line then shifting your LB's to create AI holes -glitch blitzes). This also falls under the rules for mixing up playcalling. 04.02 - Formations The SMFL only allowes you to use a base defense of 4-3, 3-4 or 4-6. We do not allow any 3-3-5 hybrids as your main formation selection. You can utilize the restricted formations in a realistic manner when down and distance dictates, but you should stick to your base set for the majority of 1st and 2nd down scenarios unless the offensive formation is dictating otherwise. 05. Scheduling 05.01 - Advance (To be added soon.) I will gauge member interest as far as this goes. 05.02 - How to schedule your game You must schedule your weekly games in the scheduling forum and preferrably an XBL message. 05.03 - Scheduling Conflicts Owners are expected to act like adults and be respectful of their opponents time. If an owner can't make a game, he should notify his opponent. The opponent can request to play the CPU, which would result in the commish removing the owner temporarily and re-inviting him once the game has been played. Owners will not be penalized if they make this arrangement. 05.04 - Playing the CPU There may be instances where teams play the CPU (open team or as a 'sub' for an owner). We expect the same gameplay in these games as if you were playing a regular opponent. You will be allowed to start the game no more than 3 times once you are approved to play the CPU. Box scores will be examined. Any instances of stat padding, unusual game stats or other possible violations will be noted and penalties may occur. 06. - This is OUR league Remember, this is not just my league it is our league. Rules WILL change when needed. I'd like to say now that if you have a problem with something or a suggestion that will help the league then speak up. Contact me and we'll discuss. 06.01 - CPU Balance As another way to differentiate our league from others, I will be installing a rigorous trade review process to allow, yes I said allow, CPU/Human trades. I feel like it will allow you to truly take advantage of the draft and pick the B.P.A. when you cannot fill a position of need then possibly find a partner after the draft. I haven't completely thought out of the system but essentially it will go through an eye ball check, a non-biased peer review process and finally submission to me for final review. Due to the nature of the draft, I don't see a way of allowing draft pick trades for the CPU. The CPU doesn't know as much about prospects as we do so I don't see how we could possibly make it fair but if anyone has ideas go for it. Trade Review Board: mkeller25 dresmithjr stlmang jsw930 geiger52 Always remember that the goal is fairness. We will look at factors such as age, contract, potential and speed among other things. In the end the trade better favor the CPU else your trade will not be approved by me. In addition, in order to keep our CPU teams somewhat competitive, I will be balancing those teams to the best of my ability in the offseason. If anyone would like to help, that would be great as well. Essentially I will make moves for the CPU that make sense in order to trade away depth for a position of need (among CPU teams,) where I deem it necessary. **These are subject to addition or change at any point in time and you will be notified of the modification.