February 2021


A. The Capital Baseball League (CBL) is made up of 20 teams divided into four divisions of five teams each.

B. All games will be played by computer using the current version of the Strat-O-Matic baseball game. Managers must play games using the league file issued by the CBL statistician.

C. The league will be overseen by a commissioner elected annually by a majority vote of managers. Candidates for the position must declare themselves prior to September 1. The election will be conducted by a noncandidate mutually agreeable to all candidates.

D. League officers will also include a statistician and web site manager. Both positions will be appointed by the commissioner, but any manager may challenge an appointment and require an election similar to that described in Paragraph C above.

E. Teams will play 160 games each season. These will include 1) 5 home and 5 away games against each division team and 2) 4 home and 4 away games against each non-division team. These games will be scheduled in one home and one away series against each team, so that each team will have 19 home and 19 away series.


A. Roster Size. Each team will have 33 players on its roster at the start of a season and is limited to that many going into the free agent and waiver drafts. During the season, only 26 of these players may be active at one time, except for the one exception noted in C below.

B. Roster makeup.

  1. Pitchers: Active rosters must include at least 9 pitchers. There must be 5 pitchers on the active roster eligible to start. To prevent usage of starters in relief by the computer manager, any pitcher who is part of the regular scheduled rotation shall be set as inactive. Before playing a series, the playing manager is authorized to set that inactive designation to conform with this rule requirement for a computer manager that has not already done so.

2. Players: Active rosters must include players for each fielding position, with at least one back up for each position. In meeting this requirement, a player may be counted at no more than 2 positions.

C. Roster moves.

1. A manager may make roster moves between quarters of the CBL season.

2. All players eligible to be active may be activated at any time in the final quarter.

3. Roster changes may not be made midseries, except between home and away games of a split series.

D. Eligibility to be active.

1. Players may be active if they have 125 or more ABs.

2. Pitchers with only starter ratings must have 40 or more IPs to be active. Pitchers with relief ratings must have 35 IP or have appeared in 35 games to be active.


A. Trading periods. Managers may make trades at any time, including during the free agent draft. However, the commissioner will set a trading deadline shortly before each season, prior to the waiver draft. Trades that occur after that date will not be effective until after the season.

B. Free agent draft picks. Managers may trade draft picks for the next free agent draft only. As soon as the free agent draft begins, picks for the subsequent draft may be traded. A manager may trade as many of his draft picks as he wishes, but must have at least six draft picks at all times, two of which must be in the fourth round or higher.

C. Waiver draft picks. Managers may not trade picks for the waiver draft.

D. Reporting trades. Managers must immediately report all trades to the commissioner or designated league official.


A. Draft administration. The league will hold a free agent draft the Sunday that is 11 days prior to Thanksgiving Day. If a manager cannot participate in person or by phone, he must provide a draft list or designate someone to draft for him.

B. Players eligible to be drafted

1.  Players can only be drafted if they had at least 30 innings pitched, pitched in 35 games, or had 50 at bats during the major league season.

2. The commissioner shall designate a manager or managers to issue a list of players eligible to be selected in the free agent draft.  If a player who meets the eligibility requirements is omitted from the list, that player may be added if the commissioner verifies his eligibility and then the player is listed on the league website.  Any player not declared eligible through the list or posting on the website shall be ineligible to be drafted until the next year.   

C. Length of draft. The draft will be 8 rounds.

D. Order of draft. Draft order will be in inverse order of the prior year standings. Ties will be decided by the tied teams' records in the first of the following categories in which the teams' records are not tied: a) games against each other and b) division games. The team with the better record in the applicable category will draft ahead of the team with the poorer record in all rounds. If the teams are tied in both categories, a coin flip be used to determine which team picks first in the first round, and the teams will then alternate positions each round.

E. Draft Lottery. The CBL will hold a draft lottery beginning with the 2011 free agent draft. The teams with the five worst records will be in the lottery to determine their draft picks in the first round only. The lottery shall be weighted as follows: the team with the worst record will have 5 chances, second-worst will have 4 chances, third-worst will have 3 chances, fourth-worst will have 2 chances and fifth-worst will have 1 chance. The lottery shall be an equally weighted random draw. If there is a tie for the fifth worst records, all teams tied for the fifth worst record shall have their draft position in the first round determined in the lottery.

The lottery will be conducted in the CBL chat room at a time and date set by the commissioner when the vast majority of the teams in the lottery can be represented.  The lottery will be performed by the commissioner unless the commissioner's team is part of the lottery in which case another manager not involved in the lottery will perform the lottery.  The teams represented in the lottery will agree on a number from one to the number of teams in the lottery in the chat room in a private chat window.  The commissioner will then announce the numbers that he has randomly drawn with no knowledge of which numbers represent which teams.  When a number is called, the team with the corresponding number will announce itself as the team with that pick.


A. Draft administration. A draft of free agents will be held prior to the start of each season. The draft will be conducted by telephone or on line on a pre-announced day. Managers may also participate in the draft via mailed instructions.

B. Players eligible to be drafted. Prior to the draft, each manager must designate a tentative 33man roster of active and inactive players that complies with CBL roster rules. All remaining undrafted players eligible to be active will be eligible for the waiver draft.  The commissioner shall designate a manager or managers to issue a list of players eligible to be selected in the waiver draft. If a player who meets the eligibility requirements is omitted from the list, that player may be added if the commissioner verifies his eligibility and then the player is listed on the league website. Any player not declared eligible through the list or posting on the website shall be ineligible to be drafted until the next year.  In addition, players cut during the waiver draft meeting the minimum requirements to be active during the CBL regular season will be immediately available to be drafted.

C. Draft length and order. The draft will be 2 rounds in inverse order of the prior year's standings.

D. Related roster changes. When making picks, managers must also announce related moves to adjust their roster, including active and inactive players.


A. Use limits.

1. Batter limits. Batters with 450 or more ABs are unlimited. Others are limited to 120% of their PAs.

2. Pitcher limits. Pitchers with 175 or more IPs are unlimited. Others are limited to 120% of their IPs.

B. Eligibility for Starting a game.

1. ABs needed to start. Only batters with 200 or more ABs may start a game, with two exceptions. A batter with 150 or more ABs may start at catcher, and any active batter may start one game in a series. Batters that do not otherwise qualify to start may do so if an injury

occurs and a connection exists between that player and the injury substitution.

2. IPs needed to start. Only pitchers rated as starters with at least 40 IP may start.

C. Batter/fielder limitations.

1. Substitute player limitations. Other than the exceptions in Rule VI.B.1., players with fewer than 200 ABs may serve only as a) pinch hitters, b) injury replacements, c) pinch runners, and d) defensive replacements. Such players entering a game as a pinch hitter, pinch runner, or defensive replacement may not bat in more than 2 innings of a 9-inning game. This limit does not apply in extra-inning games or to players with more than 200 ABs. Injury replacements may replace either an injured player or a regular who moves to the injured player's position; there is no limitation on their ABs once inserted into the game under these conditions.

2. Last player at a position. A manager may not pinch hit or pinch run for the last player eligible to play a position.

3. Outfield defense. Players rated in the outfield may play unrated outfield positions with defense rating adjustment based on SOM rules.

4. Outof position defense. A nonoutfielder may not play in a position for which he is not rated unless dictated by uncontrollable play results.

5. Unrated defensive rating. Defensive ratings at unrated positions will be based on SOM rules.

  1. Stealing home. Delayed steals of home are not allowed.

7. Logical substitution in case of injury during game. If a player is injured, any substitute player rated at that position may take his place.  If no other player is rated at that position, or the position cannot be filled by a rated player at that position, the most logical player must be selected to play the position.  First choice would be someone who has played that position in a past season.  Second choice would be a someone who plays a similar position, such as an infielder playing another infield position.  If neither of these are present, the opposing manager may select the substitute player. 

D. Starting pitcher limitations

1. Number of starts. Pitchers are limited to either 32 starts, or their actual number of starts if more than 32.

  1. Starting pitcher rest. Any asterisk pitcher may start on 3-days rest.  However, any pitcher with less than 240 IP who does so, even once, must remain active for the entire CBL season and may not start more games than he actually started in the past Major League season. A pitcher who is eligible to start on 3-days rest, but does not do so in CBL play, is not restricted by these requirements. All other starting pitchers require 4-days rest between starts. (Also see Rule VI.E.3.)

3. Starting rotations. Starting rotations are continuous with no days off between quarters.

4. Relieving a starter. Starting pitchers must remain in the game until one of the following occurs: a) 5 IPs, b) 3 runs allowed, or c) POW reached. These restrictions do not override pitching substitutions made by the computer manager, unless specifically requested by the opposing manager.

5. Do not let HAL remove” button. When setting up a team’s computer manager, a manager is not allowed to check the “Do not let HAL remove” button for any of his pitchers.

E. Relief pitcher limitations

1. Tire Factor for Relievers. Tire factors for relievers will be based on SOM rules. This includes the rule that a pitcher is tired if he relieves two days in a row, but this will not carry over from one series to the next.

2. Eligibility to relieve. During the regular season, pitchers not rated in relief may not relieve, unless the last available pitcher with a relief rating is injured. A pitcher limited by Rule VI.E.3. is considered unavailable. However, a relief pitcher who is tired is considered available.

3. Relieving before/after a start. A pitcher may not relieve 2 days before or 2 days after a start. This rule carries over from one series to the next. It is the opposing manager's responsibility to advise the manager playing games about pitchers affected by this rule who have both starter and reliever ratings. The manager playing the games should ensure adherence to this rule by de-activating the pitcher for the games involved.

4. Closer: All teams must have a closer or closers with a rating of 3 or more (for example, three pitchers with a rating of 1 or 1 pitcher with a rating of 3 or more).

F. Injuries

1. Injury duration. The maximum duration of all injuries is the rest of the game.

2. Limit based on actual games played. A player may not be injured for more games than the number of games he missed in the major league season. Once he reaches this limit, he may only be injured for the remainder of a game.

G. Shortened Major League season. In the event a Major League season is cut short because of, but not limited to, natural disaster, acts of war, or major league strike/lockout, all player requirements (AB or IP) for the league will be adjusted according to the following calculation:

A factor shall be calculated utilizing the fewest games played by any Major League team regardless of league, divided by the total games scheduled for the season. This factor will be applied to all player eligibility requirements including draft (both free agent and waiver drafts in Rules IV.B. and V.B.) and player eligibility limitations (Rule II.D.). Additionally, use limits will also be adjusted using the same factor (Rules VI.A, VI.B., VI.C., and VI.D.).

H. Penalties for Overuse. If a batter or pitcher exceeds the usage thresholds in section by more than five percent, the manager shall be penalized by loss of a fourth round pick in the upcoming free agent draft.

I. Special Provisions for 2021 CBL Season. The provisions of Rule VI.G are modified herein only for the 2021 CBL Season. The “factor” referenced in Rule VI.G shall be three, meaning the following limits shall apply (corresponding rule in parentheses):

1. Each team will have 35 players on its roster at the start of a season and is limited to that many going into the 2021 free agent draft. During the season, only 27 of these players may be active at one time. (Rule II.A)

2. Players may be active if they have 42 at bats. (Rule II.D.1)

3. Pitchers with only starter ratings must have 14 innings to be active. Relievers must have 12 IP or have appeared in 12 games to be active. (Rule II.D.2)

4. Players can be drafted if they had 10 innings pitched, 12 games pitched, or 17 at bats in the 2020 major league season. (Rule IV.B.1)

5. Batters with 150 or more at bats are unlimited. (Rule VI.A.1)

6. Pitchers with 59 or more innings pitched are unlimited. (Rule VI.A.2)

7. Batters with 67 or more at bats may start a game, with two exceptions. A batter with 50 or more at bats more start at catcher, and any active batter may start one game in series. (Rule VI.B.1)

8. Only pitchers with at least 14 innings may start. (Rule VI.B.2)

9. Other than the exceptions in Rule VI.B.1, players with fewer than 67 ABs may serve only as a) pinch hitters, b) injury replacements, c) pinch runners, and d) defensive replacements. (Rule VI.C.1)

10. No starter can start on 3 days rest in the 2021 CBL season. (Rule VI.D.1 and VI.D.2, Rule IX.G.2)

11. Players will be limited to 25 percent of their MLB ABs/IPs in each playoff series. (Rule IX.F.1)

12. A batter must have at least 67 Major League ABs to start a playoff game, except that a batter with at least 50 Major League ABs may start at catcher. (Rule IX.F.2)


A. General solitaire game instructions. At the start of each season, managers must provide general computer settings and lineups for home games, as well as a tentative season-long pitching rotation for both home and away games. Instructions must reach the commissioner or designated official by the deadline that he sets. When playing solitaire, managers will play their away games, not their home games.

B. League disk. The commissioner will use these instructions to prepare the league disk with a list of anticipated starting pitchers for each game. The league disk will include a schedule identical to the quarterly league schedule. Managers will play off this schedule. Each team's planned starting pitchers for each game will be recorded on the disk. This rotation will be utilized if a manager fails to play games or does not provide an alternative rotation to a manager within prescribed deadlines. Managers may be penalized if this information does not reach the commissioner on time. All computer managers shall be unlocked when sent to the statistician.  If a manager locks his computer manager he will immediately notify the statistician of the password when the CM is sent.

C. Supplements to solitaire series instructions. Managers may, but are not required to, send limited supplemental instructions to opposing managers or submit them for posting on the league web site. These instructions should be limited to pregame computer manager adjustments, preinning lineup changes, or other straightforward instructions that do not interrupt the flow of play on the computer. The commissioner shall rule on any questions concerning the propriety of supplemental instructions. If a manager does not receive supplemental instructions within a week after the series start date, he may play the series based on the general instructions and pitching rotation on the league disk.

D. Reporting series results. Game play and reporting is the responsibility of the visiting manager. Managers are required to submit export files for each series to the league statistician no later than the final day of the quarter in which a series is scheduled. At the same time, the manager playing the games must also forward the export files and box scores to the opposing manager and a brief summary of the series to the league web page manager. The series visiting manager may be penalized if he does not meet the deadline, as explained in Rule X.C.
Regardless of what block in the legal schedule they belong to, all statistics will be imported as soon as they are received.

E. Auto-play when series results not received. The commissioner will authorize games to be auto-played if the league statistician has not received game results by the deadline.

F. Computer play. The following computer options are to be used when playing league games. Using the "SCHEDULED GAME" method, these screens may be accessed by clicking on "UPDATE GAME OPTIONS" after selecting "SCHEDULED GAME."





(a) First Page











(b) Second Page for Maximum Rules

The following maximum rules shall be utilized:

1. Bunt for Base Hit

2. Improve Baserunning Realism

3. Robbing HR Rule

4. Allow More Baserunning Decisions

5. Pitch Around Option

6. Allow Errors on Bunts

7. Allow Errors on Pickoffs

3. Annual Update. The commissioner will appoint a group of managers to review these options before the start of each season and, with other managers' input, this group will determine if SOM game changes require the above options to be revised. Decisions will be reported to all managers at least 10 days before the start of league play. Any manager disagreeing with the group's decisions may contact the commissioner to request further review.

4.  On the Lineups and Usage Options Screen. Check the box "Use actual pitchers batting cards."


A. Selecting a ballpark. Managers may select an actual ballpark or build their own. If building their own, numbers must be at least 4 and no greater than 16. The difference between righties and lefties may be no more than 4. In selecting actual ballparks, more than one manager may choose the same park.

B. Changing ballparks – permanent. Once selecting or building a ballpark, managers must retain them for 3 years. A manager may change his basic ballpark by notifying the commissioner of the new ballpark one CBL season in advance of when it will be used.

C. Changing ballparks – annual. Managers may adjust the L and R single and HR numbers of a ballpark by 2 in any given year. Such changes must be made before the start of the season in accordance with the deadline set by the commissioner. Restrictions contained in Rule VI.A. still apply.

D. Ballparks for new managers. If a franchise changes managers, the new manager will be provided a reasonable time to select a new ballpark.

E. Deadline for announcing changes. Except for new managers, selection of a new permanent ballpark must be made before opening day of the season before it will be used. Annual ballpark changes must be made prior to the start of the season by a date determined by the commissioner.


A. Playoff teams. Eight teams will make the playoffs: the four division winners and four wild card teams. The wild card teams will be the four teams with the best records among the 16 teams that did not win a division.

B. Playoff opponents and schedule.

1. Round one. In the initial playoff round, the eight teams will be ranked 1 to 8. The first four will be the division winners, listed from best record down to worst record. The next four will be the wild cards listed in the same manner. In the first round, opposing teams will be 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5, with division winners having home team advantage.

2. Round two. For the second round, teams will be ranked 1 to 4, similar to the manner as explained previously. Opposing teams will be 1-4 and 2-3. Teams 1 and 2 will have home team advantage.

3. Final round. In the final round, the team with the best record will have home team advantage, except that a division winner will always have home team advantage over a wild card team.

4. Series format. All playoff series will be best-of-seven, with a 2-3-2 format.

5. Breaking ties. In case of ties in seeding playoff series, other than the one exception that follows, the team with the best record will be considered to be 1) the team with the best head-to-head record, or if still tied and in the same division, 2) the team with the best division record, or if still tied 3) the team with the best run differential (runs scored minus runs allowed), or of if still tied 4) the team with the most runs scored. However, if 1) teams tie for a division championship with no chance to qualify for a wild card 2) teams tie for the final wild card, will play a best-of-five playoff series.  The home team will be decided by other current tie breaking rules.

Any play-in series is to be treated as a playoff series and not extra regular season games. Player limitations rules for playoffs apply.

  1. For purposes of calculating pitcher rest, the playoffs will operate on a 37-day playoff schedule as shown in the table below.

C. Off days. Off days are scheduled between games 2 and 3 and between games 5 and 6.

D. Team without a manager. A team qualifying for the playoffs without a manager will be disqualified from participating. If the disqualified team is a division winner, the team will be replaced by the league team with the best won-lost record that is not a division winner. If this replacement team had been a wild card team, its wild card position will be taken by the league team with the best won-lost record that is not yet in the playoffs. If the disqualified team is a wild card team, the team will be replaced by the league team with the best won-lost record that is not yet in the playoffs.

E. Rosters. Roster moves involving active and inactive players may be made after the end of the regular season and before the start of the playoffs. Any player who was active for at least 1/2 of the regular season is eligible for the playoffs. A team need only have four rated starting pitchers active in each series.

  1. Player limits.

1. Players will be limited to 10% of their Major League ABs or Ips rounded to the nearest whole number in each playoff series. If a playoff game goes beyond ten innings, innings pitched and at-bats accumulated after the tenth inning will not count toward the 10% usage limit. 

2. A batter must have at least 200 Major League ABs to start a playoff game, except a batter with at least 150 Major League ABs may start at catcher, and any active batter may start one game in a playoff series.

G. Starting pitcher usage limit.

1. Pitchers with fewer than 140 IP for a CBL team in the regular season may start only one game per series

  1. Only starting pitchers who pitched 240 IP for an MLB team may start on three days rest.

H. Using starting pitchers in relief. One pitcher rated only as a starter may be designated for bullpen duty during a series. Their POW will be 3. Once so designated, they may not start in the series. Such designation is only for one series at a time; however, the pitcher must be properly rested to start in a subsequent series on the following schedule: 3 days rest before starting is required if 4 or fewer innings are pitched in relief in the series and 4 days rest if 5 or more innings are pitched. 

I. Injuries. The maximum duration of any injury in the playoffs shall be the rest of the game.

J. Other rules. Where not modified in A to I, all other CBL roster, eligibility, and playing rules apply.

K. Active Management of Playoff Series. Except for good cause and with permission of the Commissioner, all playoff series shall be played face-to-face, via NetPlay, via TeamViewer, or through some similar technology that allows the two managers to actively manage their teams.


A. The commissioner

1. Duties. The league is directed by a commissioner. The commissioner is responsible for seeing that league matters are kept current. This includes:

2. Assistance from managers. When conducting these duties, the commissioner is expected to obtain information from other managers when appropriate and to reasonably consider their input. He is encouraged to assign responsibilities to other managers on a volunteer basis.

3. Election of the commissioner. The commissioner will be elected by a majority vote of managers. All candidates must declare themselves by September 1. The election will be conducted by a noncandidate mutually agreeable to all candidates. The league member conducting the election will establish rules for distributing candidates, platforms to the league membership in a fair manner; he will distribute and count ballots and disclose the final vote. The new commissioner will assume office immediately after the free agent draft.

4. Best Interest of the League Committee: A five-man committee will handle all matters not otherwise covered in the Constitution.  This committee will handle grievances against a particular manager and any other matters the commissioner deems necessary.


This committee should consist of 1. CBL Commissioner, 2.  CBL Statistician, 3. CBL Rules Committee Chairman, and two other members selected by the Commissioner.  Each division must have representation on the committee.  If necessary, the commissioner may add members to the committee to accomplish this objective. In selecting the remaining slots, the commissioner should take into consideration tenure in the league, past Commissioners, and league diversity (i.e,. geographic and friendship/family ties).


If a grievance involves a member of the committee, that member should be replaced for that issue by a selection from the highest remaining rank stated above, using the criteria set forth above. 


The committee can vote to bring up a manager's expulsion up for league vote for any reason.  This would require a majority vote in Committee and a 2/3 vote of league managers - not including the manager in question.

The committee shall be able to penalize a manager draft picks in the upcoming rookie draft should an infraction be deemed punishable.  The committee will discuss the infraction and render a decision within two weeks of a grievance being reported.  The decision of the committee is final but can be appealed by the offending manager by means of an email to all committee members.  These members will discuss the penalty, impose the penalty, and adjust if the appeal is reasonable.  The decision of this committee will be enforced in the subsequent rookie draft in November.

B. League Statistician. A centralized league statistician will keep all stats.

1. Reporting series to the statistician. Each manager must download the export files to the statistician after they play each series via PKZIP and the Internet. Those without computers should promptly forward stats by mail, and those without Internet should send them via floppy disk.

2. Notification of upcoming deadlines. Between one and two weeks prior to the end of each quarter, the statistician will notify all managers of any and all series scheduled during the quarter for which he has not received results.

3. Auto play of late games. Two days after a quarter has ended, the statistician will notify the commissioner of all scheduled games for which he has not received results. The commissioner or his designee will then auto play all late games. These games will be completed promptly, to allow the statistician to e-mail updated league statistics to managers within one week after the end of each quarter.

C. The Season Schedule. With appropriate input from managers, the commissioner will draw up and announce the league schedule each season. The schedule will designate both 1) series dates shown in the computer schedule and 2) deadlines for series to be reported. The statistician will create the league schedule so that all games are scheduled within the same time period the games are to be played by managers. For example, if the second block of series is to be played between May 1 and June 15, the games in those series will be scheduled between May 1 and June 15 in the computer.

D. Penalties for late game play and reporting

1. Responsible managers. As stated in Rule VII.D., visiting managers are responsible for game play in accordance with schedule deadlines. They may be penalized if they do not meet schedule deadlines, which includes forwarding game files and box scores to their opponent for the series reported to the league statistician. Penalties also will be assessed for turning in computer manager and pitching instructions late.

2. Penalties. Penalties will normally be in the form of draft pick fines, per the following schedule:

1st offense

6th round pick

2nd offense

5th round pick

3rd offense

4th round pick league

4th offense

vote for expulsion

3. Waiver or reduction of penalties. The commissioner may waive or reduce penalties in the best interests of the league or if the manager explains to the commissioner's satisfaction that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the manager involved.

E. Rule changes.

1. Managers will be provided an opportunity to change CBL rules once a year. The commissioner will call for rule change proposals by August 31. He will allow each manager to comment on proposals and provide these comments and a ballot to each manager.

2. Unless the rule change proposal includes a provision specifying when it goes into effect, all changes to the rules take effect after the next free agent draft and before the next CBL season.

3. A proposal will pass if 60% of eligible league managers votefor it; any manager not returning his ballot will be assumed to have voted with the majority. All rule change proposals should be voted on before the free agent draft.