Difficulty: All-Pro (with custom sliders)
Quarter Length: 8 min
Clock Rundown: 20 seconds
Advance Schedule: Thursdays and Sundays
This is a sim league, so play realistically. That means dont try to cheat the games AI as a strategy, and if you dont see NFL teams making those types of playcalls, moves or tactics every week then you shouldnt be using them here either. Yes, there are exceptions to almost every rule and certain situations where something out of the ordinary is acceptable, just make sure it is justifiable and doesnt become the norm.
These rules are for games against Humans and the CPU too. If youre looking for a league where you can have 200 receptions with your RB, pad your stats by blowing out the CPU or get 30 sacks by playing your 95 speed S at OLB then this isnt the league for you.
So, now to the rules.
G1. Play realistic football and show respect for your opponents.
G2. ALL Personell moves (Add or Release players, Trades, Resigning, Free Agency, Draft) are only allowed through League Manager.
G3. Games should be scheduled in the Game Scheduling forum. This allows transparency in the case that a match cant be set. It is ok to contact others through PSN, email chat or whatever but make sure you post in the scheduling thread too.
G4. Good Sportsmanship is a MUST! Show respect for your opponent. That means it is not acceptable to run up the score (this is detailed further in rule O8). It also means that you should not quit or forfeit during a game. And a bit of banter in good fun on the forum chat is ok but please don't cross the line and insult people.
G5. Uniforms: Home Team wears Dark colors. Away team wears white.And please no all red uniforms in User-User games. Im red-green colorblind so thats the ultimate camoflauge for me. So just try to be considerate and if you have red jerseys where the white pants with them.
G6. Audibles: When calling an audible, you must allow the defense to adjust and be set for at least one second before snapping the ball.
G7. Mixing up the Playcalling: Varying your playcalling on both offense and defense is a requirement of sim play. On offense, be sure to show your opponent different formations and different plays out of each.
It is understandable (and acceptable) for a team that is down by a lot to become one dimensional, needing to throw the ball. By the same token, a team that is up by a lot is permitted to become one dimensional running the ball to keep the clock running. As long as the game is close, we expect all box scores to reflect a concerted effort at reasonable play calling. This means that no game should end with a run/pass ratio of 75/25 or vice versa.
On defense, be sure to mix up coverages, blitzes, and the like. Showing blitz should be used sparingly, but can be an option to mix it up. Sitting in Cover 3 or DE Contain all game, for example, is prohibited. In addition to making games more sim, mixing up your playcalling makes you a more lethal weapon as a coach. The more versatile you are on either side of the ball, the more you will be able to play mind games and set up plays against your opponent. The only exception to this goes along with offenses becoming one dimensional. If your opponent is forced to become one dimensional due to the score, you will be permitted to do so on defense.
When making adjustments on the field pre-snap, be sure that you are not making the exact same adjustments on every play. Constant press coverage, constant line stunts, shifting the DL and linebackers in the same manner every play and the like falls under the category of not mixing up play calling, and is frowned upon. In addition, moving anyone other than the player you will control is prohibited.
G8. Special Formations
- Goal line offensive formations may be used on inside either 10 yard line.
- Outside the 10 yard lines, you may not use goaline for anything other than short yardage situations on 3rd and 4th down. It must be no more than 3 yards.
- Goal line defense may only be used as follows: defending goal line offense, defensive situations inside your own 10 yard line, and on 3rd or 4th and less than 4.
- Hail Mary formations are to be used for instances requiring a hail mary e.g. limited time on the clock, needing a score to win, tie or to put yourself in position to have a better chance at winning at the end of either half.
- Punt Block and Punt Return are to block punts and return them, respectively. Under no circumstances should these plays be ran other than for those purposes. The same applies to FG defenses
G9. Position Changes - only the following positions are interchangeable:
Dual Halfback is allowed in Shotgun Formations and Split Formation
OLB-DE Is only allowed for one player per team. This allows an exception for teams that have switched from 4-3 to 3-4 or vice versa recently without potentially abusing a bug in Madden that gives fast OLBs a huge advantage as 4-3 DEs. Your designated OLB-DE "tweener" should be submitted to the trade committee in the thread "Trade Talks">>"DE-OLB Tweeners" if you wish to use one. You can also change these each season. And the thread will be updated with the designated players in the first post.
Changing CBs to other positions is not allowed.
G10. Run/Pass Commit
Madden 13 added this new feature which is generally regarded as unsim. Using Run/Pass Commit feature on defense is not allowed.
G11. Playbooks EDIT:03-19-2014
Custom playbooks are not allowed. Also there are reported problems with the pistol playbook so that will be banned too. You can choose any playbook from any team or other playbooks like 'multiple defense' or 'air raid'. Just no customized playbooks or the pistol playbook. Pistol formation is allowed if its in a playbook like the 49ers or Redskins. Just the playbook named Pistol is not allowed.
O1) 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 not up by more than one score and between your opponents 35 and 50 with less than 5 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.
O2) Motioning: Motioning by backs and receivers is allowed. However manually motioning your WRs before the snap should be kept to a realistic minimum. Snapping the ball when a motioned WR is inside the tackle box is not allowed unless the playart calls for it.
O3) Hurry Up Offense: 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 or taking advantage of defensive AI is not allowed.
O4) Playclock: Were all here to play football. Keep in mind we play anywhere from 8 minute quarters here; 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 gets close to running out. We do realize, however, that certain situations in the game may require some extra time when choosing a play. You may run the game clock with under 3 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Or if you're trying to prevent another possession before the half.
O5) Play Action: 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. Playaction should not be "over utilized" when you have not established the running game. Plain drop backs or shotgun formations should be the main passing formation for throwing the ball. Playaction is used to catch a defense off guard when youve been successful and pounding the rock during the drive or game. Be prudent in its use.
O6) QB Scrambling: Unrealistic QB scrambling/sprinting is frowned upon 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. This does not include designed QB runs or broken/pressured play situations. And please no sprinting back in one direction and throwing back in the other direction. That stuff works in Madden but is impossible in real life.
O7) QB Dropback: Purposefully dropping back 10 yards or more in the pocket during regular passing plays is not allowed. You are NEVER allowed to sprint straight back or out after the snap.
O8) Running Up the Score: Good sportsmanship is mandatory of this league, so running up the score on opponents will not be tolerated. This includes both User and CPU games. Please use good judgment when leading by a large margin. There isnt a reason to see multiple 60 point scoring games.
Another new season and another new reminder about running up the score and stat padding. Since, we have quite a few new members, I would like to remind everyone that this is a SIM league. That means teams should play realistic football and that stats are taken seriously so stat padding and running up the score against human opponents as well as the CPU is unacceptable.
EDIT 01-19-2014: In order to make things as clear as possible we are going to start enforcing a 35 point victory margin cap. If you beat your opponent by more than 35 the first time will be a warning and the second time will be a one game suspension. The reason this is so important is because the wider the win margin, the more often top players will max out XP gains against cpu and players who are not so good can only progress their players at a 'normal' rate. In other words - the top guys' players get even better and the average guys players drop further behind. We want a competitive league and not one where the gap between the top players and the rest grows uncontrollably due to the XP gained in blowouts.
There are things you should do when on the positive end of a blow out. Removing your starters, punting, running the ball and chewing the clock should be staples of your gameplan. Starters should not be scoring when up by four scores. Late scoring will also not be tolerated. When up big, there should not be a reason to score a TD in the closing seconds of the game.
Anyone who scores a TD in the final 1:30 of any game when already leading by 14 or more will automatically be suspended for their next game. If there is only 1:30 left in the game it means you can run out the clock even if they have 2 TOs. So there's absolutely no reason to keep putting points on the board. If you have a breakaway just run out of bounds.
If I receive complaints of running up the score against humans or if something seems suspect in the stats of games against CPU that could be regarded as running up the score then you may also be suspended.
O9) Spreading the Ball Around: WRs should be the main target for passing plays. HBs should be checkdown receivers and not primary targets. HB receptions should not get out of hand or be a primary aspect of an offensive gameplan.
O10) Excessive offensive audibles and hot routes (changing formations): Calling audibles at the line of scrimmage is commonplace in every level of football. However, these audibles are almost always to plays in the same formation, or to flip the side of the play. Audibles to a completely different formation should rarely be seen outside of no-huddle periods. Audibles to a different play in the same formation, or to flip the personnel to the other side of the field to run the same play is permitted. Calling an audible to change the formation circumvents personnel rules (I.E. WR at TE, WR at FB, HB at FB), and is not allowed.
D1) Moving Players: On defense, shifting linebackers, defensive backs and the defensive line is permitted. However, if you move a individual defensive player manually before the snap you must control that player at the snap of the ball. This includes moving a player to cover an assignment.
You are NOT allowed to move a DL or LBer far outside the tackle box for blitzing purposes.
Constantly spreading or pinching your DL or LBs and showing blitz falls under the rules for mixing up your playcalling. If for some reason one of your players doesnt line up correctly, you can move him to where he needs to be and make an additional switch and move. This is easy to spot from the offenses point of view and rarely happens (maybe once in every couple games).
D2) 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 LBs to create AI holes). This also falls under the rules for mixing up playcalling.
D3) Defensive Playcalling: Please call realistic defensive plays for the proper situation. There are formations in these games that allow for unrealistic results. Using the 3-3-5 or 1-5-5 as your base defense, however effective it may be, will not be tolerated. There are OL AI problems with these formations that make them super-effective against heavy run sets.
D4) Playing the Position: Safeties do not normally play close to the line of scrimmage. Defensive linemen do not play in the secondary. Regardless of what player you are controlling, make sure you are playing that position. Controlling a safety and crashing him straight towards the line of scrimmage is not sim. A safetys first step is NEVER towards the line of scrimmage, unless blitzing. Note that nickel DBs and SS (rovers) in a 4-2-5 can also be easily abused. Use sim judgment in the way you control players on defense.
S1) Fake Punts and FGs: 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. You are only allowed one fake punt or fg per game.
S2) Onside Kicks: Onside kicks are permitted at any time by the losing team in the 4th quarter only.
S3) Punt & Kickoff Returns: No manually moving an extra blocker in place. In other words no dropping back (manually) an extra player on punt returns and no controlling an up man on the kickoff and moving him back as a lead blocker. Doing so creates easy special teams TD’s and is cheesy.
S4) Pooch Punts: Pooch punting, or intentionally punting the ball short, is only allowed in situations inside the 50 where you angle the kick towards the sidelines because a full powered punt would likely be a touchback. However lowering the trajectory of your punt is NOT allowed under any circumstance. Lowering the arrow before a punt causes a glitch in Madden where the camera does not track the ball making it impossible for your opponent to field the punt.
WG1) Pausing: Madden allows a limited number of pauses during the game, so please keep that in mind. If its ever necessary to pause the game, please provide a quick explanation to your opponent if your not utilizing your headset at that time. Pausing the game to show poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated. Please do not start a game if you know something will interfere with your playing time.
Most games pauses operate on a timer. If you select Resume it will put your opponent on a timer before it auto resumes the game. Please take note that if you do not see a timer on your screen, your opponent has not selected Resume.
WG2) Disconnects: Games will disconnect from time to time for various reasons (and usually have nothing to do with either users setup). Although it does not happen often, it is possible that you or your user opponent may be disconnected from the game or the internet entirely before your match is finished. In the case that one team is clearly winning then they should have the chance to play the CPU in a restart so that they have a chance to get the win they were on their way to before the DC. Below are the situations that can be defined as "clearly winning":
DC in first half with one team is winning by 28 or more.
DC in 3rd Quarter with one team up by 21 or more.
DC in 4th Quarter with one team winning by 14 or more
DC with less than 5 minutes with one team up by 10 or more and has the ball
DC with less than 3 minutes and one team winning by 10 or more
DC with less than 2 minutes and up by 8 or more
DC with less than 2 minutes and one team winning by any margin and possession of the ball
If the winning team does not get disconnected and the game matches one of these situations then he is allowed to finish the game against the CPU if possible. In any case please immediately notify your opponent so that he knows you are going to finish or that he should exit the league momentarily so that you can play against the CPU. After coming to an agreement please also notify the commisioner. After the match is done and your opponent had to exit the league please notify the commissioner so that your opponent can be re-invited to join the league.
And there is a lot of gray area between these rules so if your situation doesnt 100% match one of the ones posted above get in touch with your opponent first to see if you can come to an agreement. If that doesnt work notify the commissioner immediately.
if it is not a clear win as stated above both teams should use the first possessions of the restarted game to get the lead back the way it was before the disconnect. So if one team is leading 17-7 before a dc then the first two series both users should work to allow the person who was winning before to gain a 10-0 lead.
Also this should be done as fast as possible, ie no running the clock down to gain more of an advantage. After the margin is back to where it was then both teams should go back to playing as normal. This should also be done without unecessarily padding the stats of one or two players, use different players to move the ball and get the score back the way it was. On the losing end instead of trying to throw ints just punt it short on first.
WG3) Quitting a Game: Please do not start a game if theres a chance you will not be able to finish it. In the case of an emergency situation where you are forced to leave the game, an agreement should be made between both players as to whether the game will be replayed from the start, finished against the CPU or simulated in the opposing teams favor.
WG4) Scheduling: We all have busy lives and missing games may be necessary at times. I simply asks that you make every effort to schedule and play your own games by utilizing the message boards. ALL GAMES MUST BE SCHEDULED ON THE FORUM under the thread "Game Scheduling". If a problem arises with your game and it is not scheduled between both parties on the forums, it will result in a sim. If one party attempts to schedule a game and his opponent doesnt respond then the opponent will be booted from the franchise to allow a game versus the CPU. In the unfortunate event that you are unable to schedule a game, we ask that you do the following:
-- Notify your opponent via the forum as early in the week as possible.
-- Notify the commissioner that your opponent will need to play the CPU or that your CPU game will need to be simmed.
The first failure to follow these guidelines will result in a Warning.
After 2 failures without an excuse you could be booted permanently.
WG5) Restarts: There will be NO restarts for user vs. cpu games. In the unlikely event that you experience a problem/emergency during your game, notify the commissioner immediately. Failure to instantly notify the commissioner will result in a sim. If restarts become a trend you will be dismissed from the franchise.
WG6) Preseason Playing Time: Starters should play no longer than two quarters per game in the preseason. We allow that since its possible that you may only get one offensive drive in the first quarter. However, you are on the much safer side if you just let the CPU do its thing and play with the backups in quarters 2-4 because if you are playing a human opponent its annoying when someone goes in and resets their depth charts for minutes at a time. And if you're playing the CPU they will be using backups so its also not a true test of your new players.
Every pre-season some people try and abuse the system and get their starters on the field too much to bump up XP. Do not attempt this. Set your depth charts correctly and allow the back-ups to play.
If anyone is deemed to abuse the system in any way they will receive an AUTOMATIC one game ban. (Reg season week 1)There will be no excuses about 'injuries' or 'i messed up my depth' - so stay sim, and you're good.
Also, nobody who is not away for a prolonged time will be put on Autopilot for Pre-Season Games. No exceptions. Do not ask me to do it. Do not ask your opponent to do it. Injuries will be disabled so no stars will be lost in simmed Pre-Season Games.