I. Governance A. The League shall be governed by the Owners as a democracy, with each franchise Owner having one vote in all league matters.
B. Each franchise shall have only one Owner who is authorized to conduct League business on behalf of the franchise. Any change in the ownership of a franchise must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Owners.
C. On a date to be determined, the Owners shall elect a Commissioner from amongst themselves to preside over the League. Owners wishing to hold the office of Commissioner may be nominated by another Owner, or may nominate themselves. A majority vote of the Owners is required to elect a Commissioner.
D. The Commissioner’s term shall last three years, with each term beginning and ending on July 1.
E. An Owner may be re-elected to the office of Commissioner for an unlimited number of terms.
F. The Commissioner may be removed from office, for any reason, by a two-thirds majority of the Owners. Should the Commissioner be removed from office, or resign, a vote to elect a new Commissioner shall take place at the earliest opportunity, with the winner finishing the previous Commissioner’s term in office.
G. The Commissioner shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the League including, but not limited to, enforcing the Laws contained herein, mediating disputes amongst the Owners, calling for votes of the Owners, collecting and distributing fees and prizes, ensuring that scores are properly tabulated, and tracking all player transactions.
H. The Commissioner shall conduct him or herself at all times in the best interests of the League and shall show no bias towards his/her own franchise or any other franchise. As much as possible, the Commissioner shall attempt to avoid the apperance of impropriety, even to the possible detremint of his/her own franchise.
I. The Commissioner reserves the right to issue executive decisions that he/she feels are in the best interests of the league. All executive decisions rendered by the Commissioner are binding and shall be considered precedent-setting if similar situations arise later. This power shall only be used by the Commissioner to rectify situations that he/she deems detrimental to the league and that are not already covered by these Laws. The Commissioner shall also be permitted to issue executive decisions levying penalties to Owners who act in a manner that the Commissioner deems detrimental to the League. If an executive decision is used specifically to levy a penalty against an Owner for acts detrimental to the League (as opposed to those intended to rectify inconsistencies or loopholes in the Charter, even if those decisions harm an Owner’s franchise), the executive decision must immediately be placed before the Owners, who may overturn the penalty with a simple majority vote. In no event shall the Commissioner issue an executive decision that contradicts an existing Law contained herein. (Law changed by 2/3 vote of the Owners in 2016 Offseason)
J. The Commissioner may appoint other Owners to aid him in his duties. All appointees of the Commissioner shall serve at the Commissioner’s pleasure and may be relieved of their duties by the Commissioner at any time, for any reason.
K. Owners shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with these Laws and shall respect the decision of all votes of the Owners as binding.
II. Structure of the League A. The League shall consist of a number of franchises, numbering no less than six and no more than twelve.
B. Should the League consist of eight or more franchises, the franchises shall be divided into two or more divisions, each containing as equal a number of franchises as is possible. The placement of franchises into divisions shall be determined via a random draw, presided over by the Commissioner and witnessed by at least two other Owners.
C. After a season is complete, a majority of the Owners may vote to re-draw the divisional alignment, for any reason, or to maintain the divisional alignment for the next season. Should a majority vote to re-draw, a new divisional alignment will be determined via a random draw presided over by the Commissioner and witnessed by at least two other Owners.
D. From time to time, the Owners may vote with a two-thirds majority to add new franchises. Should new franchises be added, and the Owners vote to maintain the current divisional alignment, the new franchise(s) will be placed into the existing divisions via a random draw presided over by the Commissioner and witnessed by at least two other owners.
E. The League Calendar shall be broken into three distinct parts: The Regular Season, The Postseason, and The Offseason.
F. The Regular Season shall commence immediately upon the conclusion of the Free Agent Auctions each year and end immediately following the conclusion of the last NFL game of the week coinciding with the last week of the League’s regular season schedule.
G. The Postseason shall commence immediately upon the conclusion of the last NFL game of the week coinciding with the last week of the League’s regular season schedule and end immediately following the conclusion of the last NFL game of the week coinciding with the League’s Championship Game.
H. The Offseason shall commence immediately following the conclusion of the last NFL game of the week coinciding with the League’s Championship Game and end immediately upon the conclusion of the Free Agent Auctions each year.
I. The regular season and playoff structures for each season shall be determined prior to the Free Agent Auctions. A majority vote of the Owners is required to approve the regular season and playoff formats.
J. The League game schedule shall be determined at random using the parameters outlined by the Owners for that season. All games will be played in a head-to-head format, matching two franchises against each other for a given week.
III. The Free Agent Auctions A. Each year, on a date, at a time, and at a place to be determined by the Owners, the Free Agent Auctions will take place. The first of these auctions will be known as the Restricted Free Agent Auction. The second will be known as the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction. Prior to the League’s inaugural season, only the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction will be held. It is not required that both auctions be held on the same date.
B. Both auctions shall be presided over by the Commissioner, who shall act as auctioneer.
C. In the Restricted Free Agent Auction, only those players who have been designated as Protected are eligible to be placed up for bid.
D. In the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction, any player who is not on a franchise’s roster, nor was bought in the Restricted Free Agent Auction, is eligible to be placed up for bid.
E. No player who has college football eligibility remaining is permitted to be placed up for bid.
F. Prior to the League’s inaugural season, the bidding order for the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction shall be determined via a random draw presided over by the Commissioner and witnessed by at least two other Owners. The order shall reverse for each even-numbered round. In subsequent seasons, the bidding order for both auctions shall be determined by the reverse order of finish of the franchises the previous season and shall not reverse. In determining the bidding order, playoff finish shall take first precedence, with regular season record used to determine the order for those franchises who fail to qualify for the playoffs.
G. When an Owner’s turn in the bidding order comes up, that Owner must place an eligible player up for bid and announce an opening bid on that player. Any Owner may then increase the bid for the player, with each bid acknowledged by the Commissioner, until no higher bids on the player are forthcoming. When no higher bids for the player are forthcoming, the Commissioner shall award the player to the highest bidder in the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction and shall ask the player’s current owner if they wish to match the highest bid in the Restricted Free Agent Auction and retain the player.
H. All bids in both auctions shall be in whole dollars and no Owner may bid more for a player than he has remaining under the salary cap, counting all remaining available roster spots as being worth a minimum of one dollar.
I. Owners may pass on placing a player up for bid in the Restricted Free Agent Auction. Owners may not pass on placing a player up for bid in the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction. (Rule changed by Executive Decision in 2019 offseason)
J. The Restricted Free Agent Auction ends when all available players have either been placed up for bid, or all Owners have consecutively passed on placing a player up for bid. The Unrestricted Free Agent Auction ends when all franchises have eighteen players under contract.
IV. Salary Cap, Contracts, And Rosters
A. Any player signed in either auction is automatically given a three-year contract, with the player’s salary for each year being the amount paid for the player in the auction.
B. Any player signed during the season is under contract only for the remainder of that season.
C. The salary cap for the league shall be $100. At no time shall a franchise’s total player payroll be permitted to exceed the salary cap, excepting a reasonable amount of time to allow an Owner to be in conformance with salary cap rules after making a transaction. Under no circumstances will any franchise’s roster be permitted to not be in compliance with salary cap rules at the time of the kickoff of the first NFL game of the week.
D. Each franchise’s roster shall consist of exactly eighteen players at all times during the Regular Season and Postseason, excepting a reasonable amount of time to allow an Owner to be in conformance with roster rules after making a transaction. Under no circumstances will any franchise’s roster be permitted to not be in compliance with roster rules at the time of the kickoff of the first NFL game of the week.
E. There are no restrictions to the number of players at any one position that a franchise may have on its roster, however, no NFL player may be on more than one League roster at any given time.
F. By August 15 of each year, each Owner must declare in writing to the Commissioner which of their players that they are protecting and making available in the Restricted Free Agent Auction. Any player whose contract expired the previous season is eligible to be protected. Any player whose contract has expired who is not protected shall be made available in the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction. (Changed from July 15 by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2013 offseason)
G. An Owner who protects a player shall not place that player up for bid, nor take part in the bidding for that player in the Restricted Free Agent Auction, but will have the option to match the highest bid for that player and sign the player to a new three-year contract once the bidding for the player concludes. Should a protected player not be placed up for bid in the Restricted Free Agent Auction, the protecting Owner shall be required re-sign the player to a new three-year contract for the amount of $1 per year. (Changed by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2013 offseason)
H. There is no limit to the number of consecutive years that any player may be Protected.
I. A contract year ends on August 15th. (Changed from July 15th by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2013 offseason)
J. There is no penalty for waiving a player prior to the end of his contract.
K. Salary cap dollars themselves may not be traded. However, it is permissible for an Owner to agree to pay all or a portion of the salary of any player involved in a trade. The value of a traded player’s contract that is the responsibility of the trading owner will be filed under “guaranteed contracts” and will continue to count against that franchise’s salary cap for the length of the deal.
L. Traded players salaries become the responsibility of the franchise that they are traded to, excepting situations falling under Article IV. K above.
V. Transactions A. From the end of the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction each season until the kickoff of the first NFL game in week 8, franchises may trade players, with no limit on the number of trades permitted. Trading among franchises may resume upon the completion of the League’s Championship Game and must cease upon the start of the following year’s Restricted Free Agent Auction.
B. No trade shall be considered official until the terms of the deal are entered on the League’s official website by all parties involved.
C. Any trade may be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote of the Owners in circumstances where there exists evidence of collusion among the Owners involved in the trade. It must be noted that in a “keeper” league, seemingly uneven trades will occur from time to time in the interests of stategy as it relates to the salary cap for future seasons. A seemingly uneven trade alone is not sufficient evidence of collusion.
D. During the Regular Season and Postseason, Owners may sign players who are not on any other franchise’s roster on a first-come, first served basis for $1 beginning at 4:00 pm on Tuesday of each week. Each Tuesday, owners may submit sealed bids to the Commissioner for free agents. At 4:00 pm each Tuesday, the Commissioner shall open the bids and award free agents to the highest bidding owner with a salary equivalent to the bid. Player signings are not considered official until the Owner enters the signing on the League’s official website. (Format changed by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2012 offseason)
E. At the conclusion of the Regular Season, all franchises who fail to qualify for the playoffs shall have their rosters frozen, and are not permitted to make any player transactions until the conclusion of the League’s Championship Game. Franchises who qualify for the playoffs, and are subsequently eliminated, shall have their rosters frozen immediately upon elimination from the playoffs.
F. No player shall be permitted to be re-acquired by a franchise that has traded the player in any manner until the next offseason begins. Players who are released may be reacquired by a franchise that released them, however, within the rules for player transactions outlined herein.
G. An Owner may release players as they see fit, within the rules outlined herein, for any reason. No franchise may reacquire a player that it has released in any manner until a full week has passed since said player was released.
VI. Starting Lineups A. Each week, each Owner shall enter a starting lineup into the official league website. Players may be changed until the kickoff of an individual player's game for that week. The starting lineup shall consist of the following: 1 Quarterback 1 or 2 Running Backs 3 or 4 Wide Receivers 1 or 2 Tight Ends (Changed from 1 Tight End by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2014 offseason) Note: Only four possible formations regarding Running Backs, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends shall be legal: 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE OR 1 RB, 4 WRs, 1 TE OR 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 2 TEsOR 1 RB, 3 WRs, 2 TEs (Confirmed via a unanimous vote of League owners during 2014 regular season) 1 Kicker 1 Defense/Special Teams Note: The Defense/Special Teams position will be filled by an entire NFL team B. Players are eligible to start only at those positions for which they are listed on the statistics service used by the League.
VII. Scoring A. The following scoring system shall be used in the League: Touchdown (Rushing, Receiving or Returning): 6 points Touchdown (Passing) 4 points Two-Point Conversion (Passing, Rushing or Receiving): 2 points Interception Thrown: -2 points Fumbles Lost: -2 points Each Full 20 Yards Passing: 1 point Each Full 10 Yards Rushing or Receiving: 1 point Successful Field Goal (0-39 yards): 3 points Successful Field Goal (40-49 yards): 4 points Successful Field Goal (50+ yards): 5 points Missed Field Goal: -1 point Successful Point After Touchdown: 1 point Missed Point After Touchdown: -1 point Sack: 1 point Interception: 2 points Fumble Recovery (Defense/Special Teams only): 2 points Safety: 2 points Blocked Punt, Blocked Field Goal, Blocked P.A.T.: 2 points (Added by 2/3 vote of the Owners in 2015 offseason) Defensive Point After Touchdown Return: 4 points (Added by 2/3 vote of the Owners in 2016 offseason) 0 points allowed by Defense/Special Teams: 20 points 1-6 points allowed by Defense/Special Teams: 12 points 7-13 points allowed: 9 points 14-21 points allowed: 6 points 22-27 points allowed: 3 points 28-34 points allowed: 0 points 35-45 points allowed: -3 points46+ points allowed: -6 points (Sliding scale for points allowed changed by 2/3 vote of the Owners in 2015 offseason)
B. Points After Touchdown and Two-Point Conversions surrendered by a Defense/Special Teams player count as points against for scoring purposes, even if the preceding touchdown was scored via an offensive turnover.
C. For playoff games, the higher-seeded franchise will be designated as the home team and will receive a 6-point bonus for home-field advantage. There shall be no home-field advantage in the League's Championship game (Rule changed by 2/3 majority of Owners in 2017 offseason).
D. The team with the highest total score after all NFL games have been completed for the week shall be declared the winner of each game.
E. Should a regular season game end in a tie, a tied result will be reflected in the standings. (Format changed by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2013 offseason)
F. In the event of a tied playoff game, the franchise with the better record season for that season shall advance.
G. The League’s official website will serve as the official scorekeeper for all games. It is not out of the ordinary for scores to change after all NFL games have been completed and official statistics have been reviewed and revised as necessary. No League game is considered to be official until the kickoff of the first NFL game the following week. If an official statistics change occurs after the kickoff of the first NFL game the following week, no change shall be made to a game’s score.
VIII. Tiebreakers A. Should two or more franchises finish the regular season with equal records, the following tiebreakers shall be used to determine place of finish: NOTE: In all cases, a tie to determine a division’s champion shall be broken first, as division champions are not included in cross-divisional ties. After a tie for the division championship is broken, the team(s) who lose the tiebreaker shall revert to the first tiebreaker in the applicable list below to break further ties, if necessary. Note: At the conclusion of the regular season, each seed shall be determined in order starting with #1 as an independent event. As such, if a tiebreaker is used to determine a seed, that tiebreaker shall determine a winner who takes the next highest seed available and the remaining teams in the tie shall start over at the beginning of the appropriate tiebreaker list to determine the next seed in order.
TWO TEAMS – 1. Better Head-to-Head Winning Percentage 2. Higher Total Points Scored 3. “Mercator” Projection (Better record if team played every other team every week) 4. Higher Point Difference (points scored minus points allowed) 5. Coin Toss
THREE OR MORE TEAMS – 1. Better Head-to-Head Winning Percentage Among Teams in the Tie (Best winning percentage in games among the teams in the tie wins the tiebreaker) 2. Highest Total Points Scored (should one team have scored more total points than all other teams in the tie, that team wins the tiebreaker) 3. “Mercator” Projection (Better record if team played every other team every week – Best record among all of the teams in the tie wins the tiebreaker) 4. Higher Point Difference (points scored minus points allowed – team with highest total wins the tiebreaker) 5. Drawing of Lots (The names of all teams in the tie are placed in a hat by the Commissioner, with the first team drawn being declared the winner of the tiebreaker). Once only two teams remain in the tie, those teams shall revert to the first tiebreaker under “Two Teams” above and continue with those tiebreakers until the tie is broken. (Tiebreakers changed by executive decision in 2019 offseason)
B. The above tiebreakers shall also be used to determine the bidding order for the following season for those franchises that fail to qualify for the playoffs.
IX. Amendments A. These Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Owners at any time during the offseason. A unanimous vote of the Owners is required to amend these Laws during the Regular Season or Postseason.
I. If an Owner fails to start a player at any of the required positions in a given week, the Owner shall receive -10 points for that position that week. (Executive Decision in 2012)
II. If an Owner starts a player whose team is on its bye week, the Owner shall receive -10 points for that position that week. (Executive Decision in 2012)
III. Owners shall not be permitted to make any roster transactions during the time period beginning 48 hours prior to the announced time of the Auctions until such time as the Commissioner announces that all rosters have been updated on the league's official website following the Auctions. The Commissioner shall announce to all Owners the time that the transactions must cease. (Rule added by 2/3 majority vote of League owners in 2013 offseason)
IV. A franchise may designate one player whose contract is expiring per year as a “franchise player.” A player designated as a franchise player shall have one additional year added to his contract with a salary equivalent to the average salaries of the top five players at his position as of the conclusion of week 8 of the preceding season, rounded up, or a 10% increase in his previous salary, rounded up, whichever is higher. Players who are signed in sealed bidding prior to the conclusion of week 8 during the preceding season whose salaries exceed $9 shall not be included when calculating the franchise player value for the next season. Franchise players must be announced at the same time as protected players each year (August 15th). At the conclusion of a player’s “franchise year”, an Owner may not protect the player or designate the player as a “franchise player” until that player has passed through the Unrestricted Free Agent Auction. An Owner may not release a player designated as a “franchise player” until the following Offseason. This Law shall not be in effect until the 2017 offseason.
V. Hardship Waiver Rule (Exception to Roster Freeze Rule V.E.): To qualify for a Hardship Waiver, an Owner whose roster has been frozen must send a request to the Commissioner, who will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis. A Hardship Waiver will only be granted by the Commissioner if the Owner requesting the waiver had more than enough players healthy and eligible to play at the particular position the waiver is requested for during the week prior to the Owner’s roster being frozen. In no circumstance will a Hardship Waiver be granted if any player meeting positional requirements is rostered and not listed as OUT, SUSPENDED, or has been released prior to the kickoff of that player’s game that week. A Hardship Waiver will also not be granted for any Owner who is not participating in either the Toilet Bowl Classic or the 3rd-Place Game. If a Hardship Waiver is granted, the Owner granted the waiver shall not be allowed to participate in sealed bidding, but would be permitted to sign a player at the necessary position during the first-come, first-served portion of free agency. Further, the player released to make room for the added player must be one of the players who could fill the same positional requirements who is not able to play that week. The added player may not be protected the following season by the Owner granted the waiver and the player released to make room for the added player may not be signed by any Owner until the following season’s Unrestricted Free Agent Auction.