Archived TMFL Rules and League Description

Discussion in 'TMFL' started by Keller, Jun 9, 2011.

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  1. Keller

    Keller The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Apr 14, 2010
    The Tradition Madden Football League is the longest running Xbox Madden league on TSO. We started out as the SMFL then merged with the then current TMFL and kept its name sake. We ran 5 full seasons in Madden 11 and plan on running as many as we possibly can for Madden 12. We will strive to be a full 32 team league with the very best sim, mature gamers on TSO. We are also a full salary cap simulation league which means you better fully read and understand our salary cap rules in order to play in this league. You’re not in Kansas anymore. This isn’t a casual league. This is the TMFL.


    Okay guys, I'm not really going to expect you all to be model citizens but I do expect a few things.

    1. Regular participation on the message boards. Just be involved. Post in conversations or game recaps or make your own weekly threads about MVP races or something. Have fun with it guys.

    2. Recaps. These are 100% required for PvP games. I dont care if you fall behind 1 week and have to catchup the next or anything like that. For PvP games, the recap must be written by the winner. Recaps are not required for CPU games.

    3. Keep up with the advance schedule. We advance every Mon/Wed/Sat. You must be able to keep up with this pace. Most of us play our games between 5pm EST and Midnight EST. If you cannot play the majority of your games in this time frame, you're probably not a good fit for the TMFL.

    4. Sim play. Goes without saying but still.

    5. Schedule your games and don't leave people hanging. If you can't get to your scheduled game time, at least post on the message board or send them an XBL message or ANYTHING. Don't leave people waiting around for you. Send me an email (my contact info can be found here) just do something. You won't find a faster way of ticking me off than leaving other owners hanging.

    6. Manage your roster. I cannot do this for you. Managing your rosters includes keeping up with all of the posts I make in the offseason giving you direction about what to do with your roster. This will include things like doing your re-signings, cutting players you no longer want and making sure you stay within the roster requirements.. If you fail to do this you will be dealt with harshly.

    7.Utilize - All of our stats are also tracked through the website - our draft is even ran through the website. It will be a very large part of what we do so you will be expected to be comfortable using the web interface to manage your team. If you need help, let me know.

    8. Microphones - We are now mandating that ALL owners have Mic's. Not because you need to talk with your opponent but because they are 100% needed for sorting out disputes and disconnect issues etc. Its not up for debate. Either get a 15$ mic or a 100$ mic or leave. If I find out you don't have a mic, you will be removed until you can prove you have one.


    01. General Information
    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 have. 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 used 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. 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 4/5 WR)
    WR (4/5th WR can be a HB)
    OLine can play any OLine position
    Dline can play any Dline position. LB's can be subbed in to play DE but not full time duty. DE's can play OLB.
    Lb's can play any Lb position or either DE spot as a sub, not full time duty.
    SS or FS (are interchangeable)
    CB (FS or SS can be subbed into 4/5th CB spots)
    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 TMFL; 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 15 seconds. 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 - Hot Routes
    We expect users to take advantage of the games hot route and smart route features. We do not expect users to take advantage of the game feature and use it to abuse the same routes over and over again (slants etc). Please be mindful of what hot routes you're using with respect to the "mixing it up" rule. It doesn't matter what the other 3WRs are doing if you're always running a slant to the TE. Also keep in mind that some users may use this tactic as a way of fooling you into thinking they are running/passing.

    Specifically, hot routing any TE or WR to slant towards the sideline is strictly prohibited. This has been found to be an exploit in the game and will not be tolerated at any any level. If you find that your opponent is doing this, please pause the game and ask them directly if they are aware that it is against the rules. If they continue to knowingly break this rule, please contact me immediately.

    03.07 - QB Scrambling
    Unrealistic QB scrambling/sprinting is prohibited in TMFL 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. Do not use your QB’s legs as a weapon. Your thought process should be, Read 1, Read 2, Read 3, Checkdown, Scramble. Or something along those lines. If you’re using your QB’s mobility to get out of trouble, that is fine. If you’re using them as a weapon, you’re abusing the AI.

    03.08 - TEs and Slot WRs
    TE's can be utilized, but the TE and slot WR should not be your main targets. You need to work your outside receivers into your passing game.

    A good reference thread on this can be found here

    03.08 - Running Up the Score
    Good sportsmanship is a major part of TMFL, so running up the score will not be tolerated. Please use good judgment when leading by a large margin.

    03.09 - 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. If I find that the Wildcat to be abusive in short yardage situations, I reserve the right to revoke its use.

    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.

    04.03 - Formations
    The TMFL only allows you to use a base defense of 4-3 or 3-4. We do not allow any 3-3-5 hybrids, 5-2 or 46 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.

    04.03 – Defensive Subs
    Players like DeMarcus Ware and Clay Matthews are moved all over the field in the NFL in order to try and put them in the best situation to get to the QB. You are not permitted to play these types of players permanently at DE but you are permitted to use the subs feature to sub them in occasionally in Dime, Dollar etc. This should be used occasionally and not every snap of every game.

    05. Scheduling
    05.01 - Advance
    We will be advancing three times a week at regularly posted intervals. In general we advance every Mon-Wed-Fri/Sat

    05.02 - How to schedule your game
    You must schedule your weekly games in the scheduling forum. Feel free to use XBL as well but that not as visible as a forum post is. If I cannot see on the forum that owners are making an effort to schedule a game, I will be forced to base any decisions on hearsay.

    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. We expect the same gameplay in these games as if you were playing a regular opponent. Box scores will be examined. Any instances of stat padding, unusual game stats or other possible violations will be noted and penalties may occur.

    05.05 - Throwing Games/Seasons
    3 unexplained/unexcused missed games in a row or 5 unexplained/unexcused missed games in a season will result in removal from the TMFL. This rule is to prevent users from intentionally throwing games or the season. I reserve the right to invoke this against a user I suspect may be throwing their games or making up excuses repeatedly as the reason they are not playing their games. This does not apply to teams that are resting players for the playoffs late in the season.

    06. Special Teams
    06.01 - Fake Punt/FG
    Any fake punt or field goal must follow the same rule used when going for it on fourth down. If you are allowed to go for it on 4th down in that situation, you can also fake the punt or field goal. Faking a FG or punt is part of the game and provides "the element of surprise," but please be realistic. These are utilized in the NFL but on a limited basis, so please keep that in mind.

    06.02 – Onside Kick
    Onside kicks are permitted at any time by the losing team in the 4th quarter only. Surprise onside kicks are limited on a league to league basis. The TMFL only permits the use of surprise onside kicks once per season. If you are found to have broken this rule, you will be dealt with harshly.

    07. Disconnects/Lag
    As commissioner I have been given literally no tools to help deal with disconnects. Therefore, we've come to a general consensus upon disconnect procedure. Keep in mind that, as usual, I expect everyone to act like mature adults here. Don't accuse someone of intentionally disconnecting or anything of that nature - it will only start a fight. All of us being mature like we are, those things won't happen. If an owner is doing that, I'm sure their immaturity will manifest in other ways and I will deal with them properly. Regardless, here is our procedure.

    07.01 - If a game being played was disconnected
    1. Restart the game from that point in time in which it was disconnected. If it was 7-7 with 2:05 in the 3rd quarter and you had the ball - start a new game, manually speak with your opponent and work out an easy way to get the game back to that point. Once the game is back to that point, the gloves come off and you may go back to playing as your normally would.
    2. Make sure your roster is up to date - a glitch causes disconnects otherwise.
    3. Remove your router from the equation. Routers are often the culprit of laggy or disconnect issues. If you can directly connect your xbox to the modem, do so.
    4. Schedule your game to be played at another time. Sometimes it is related to server issues or network loads in your city/area - playing at an alternate time (like early evening as opposed to late evening) may do the trick.
    5. Let the game go to simulation OR decide which opponent deserves the right to finish the game against the CPU. If a player has a 21 point lead with 3 minutes to play, for example, the most likely case is that, that player would eventually win anyways. In obvious situations, let the player that deserves the win finish against the CPU.

    07.02 Lag
    1. Remove your router/directly connect Xbox to modem
    2. Offer to restart the game - either from that point, as you would a disconnect - or a new game altogether, if your opponent agrees
    3. Schedule your game to be played at a different time
    4. Deal with the lag
    5. Let your game go to simulation

    08. Trades
    08.01 - 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. 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.

    Always remember that the goal is fairness. We will look at factors such as age, contract, potential and speed among other things. Keep in mind I reserve the right to veto any trade.

    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.

    08.02 - Trade Committee and Process
    The trade committee must receive a PM from the two parties involved in order to start a trade review process. That means one of the owners involved must create a pm and get all of the below committee members involved in the conversation. If you are trading with a CPU, please make that obvious in the trade as well. The trade committee members are as follows.

    Shaun Mason

    You need 3 votes out of 5 to approve. As commissioner I reserve the right to veto a trade committee approved trade but those will be few and far between and only for good reason, with explanation.

    As for the format, when proposing trades to the committee, please title the message as follows:

    Subject: Trade Committee Team X and Team Y Deal

    Please include all of the pertinent details about a trade including but not limited to; player name, age, position, potential and overall - as well as any relevant info about the players best skills like speed or man coverage etc.

    Once the trade is discussed and finalized via PM, the trade is final. Trades may be renegotiated via PM but once agreed upon and approved, there is no backing out of the trade. This is to prevent other owners from "undercutting" rivals or other teams in trades that were previously discussed and approved publicly.

    08.03 - Trade Deadline
    End of Week 9 regular season. All trades will be processed at the start of week 10 and no further trading is allowed.

    09. Offseason and Roster Management
    09.01 - XFN
    We use for ALL roster management. See this thread for an expanded overview of the offseason process.

    09.02 - Cap Penalties
    This is the model used on XFN to calculate cap penalties for teams. Please reference it when making decisions about your teams roster.
    09.03 - Free Agency
    We use the XFN Free Agency console to run this. There will always be a lot of information on the main forum about the offseason process and Free Agency is no different. To give you an idea of how things are typically ran, I will post an overview.
    1)We run a 24 hour bidding period directly after we finish signing rookies.
    2)Use the XFN console to submit your bids on players. The player will tell you how much they want and how long of a contract they will accept. All you control is how much money to give them.
    3)I will specify when the bid period is closing. The XFN console will accept bids up until this time and the exact time is randomized between 5 and 20 minutes, making the last 5-20 minutes an interesting flurry of bids (kind of like ebay).
    4)Players of particular marquee value will have "signing bonus" 40% rules attached to them. This means that if a player's total salary is 20 million their signing bonus must be at least 8 million. Otherwise the bid does not qualify and the player will not be added to the winning bidders team. Marquee players are typically designated as guys who are less than 30 years old and over 84overall.

    *outdated - for record keeping only*
    As these are quite extensive, they will only be linked to, here
    We keep all our salary cap information in spreadsheets, found here

    10. Teams/Owners
    Again, as this is extensive, it will only be linked to, here

    Any/all of above is subject to addition or change at any point in time and you will be notified of the modification.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
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