The 2021 tournament will consist of five events and a two round playoff. In the playoff, the top 36 managers will compete in three 12 team leagues. The playoff teams from those three leagues will become eligible for the Championship Finals. The winner from that final league is recognized as the 2021 Tour Champion.
The score for the qualifying events will be the sum of the best four scores out of the five events. This provides several benefits for the members of the tournament:
-If someone misses Event 1, but they still want to join up for Event 2, they can do that, and still have a chance of making the playoffs assuming they do not miss any additional events.
- If someone joins for Event 1, but misses only one of Events 2-5, they are still eligible for the playoffs (assuming they make the cutoff score).
- If someone enters all five events, they benefit from being able to drop their lowest score.
For the 2021 Tour Championship, I will be your commissioner. This year I will also have a board to assist me. The Board members will all be permitted to participate in the tour. I will also be eligible to participate.
As a reminder from JPav’s and keyzick's preambles from previous years: I am not an employee of Strat-O-Matic, and while they are generously kicking in prizes for our informal competition, this has nothing to do with the folks at 365Support. Do not call, write, email, or telegram them to complain about anything that goes on regarding this tournament. This is not “officially sanctioned” if you will, and Strat-O-Matic is not to be held responsible for anything that we voluntarily organize among ourselves.
Secondly, I am a volunteer. I want to do everything possible to see the Tour Championship succeed. I promise to do everything in my power to see that you have not only a fun experience but an absolutely fair experience. But please try to remember that in the end, I’m doing this in my free time and I ask for just a little bit of understanding when it comes to addressing the individual difficulties that will inevitably arise.
Thirdly, and maybe unfortunately, that means you, personally, might have issues with how this year’s tournament is run. That’s because this is where the “no exceptions” problems meet the “just this once” problems. This is where the one loud screeching voice meets the quiet contentedness of the majority. Having participated in a lot of tour events over the years, I have come to recognize that someone needs to lead. It’s just the way it has to be. This is not a democracy and there will be no votes. I sincerely believe that by trying to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody. So know ahead of time, I am perfectly comfortable being blamed for decisions some might perceive as unpopular.
Moving forward, now…
Entering Your Teams
This year we will be entering leagues without league assignments. The initial leagues will open typically on a Saturday and I will open new leagues through roughly an 11 day period. At 6 pm EST on the Wednesday deadline to enter leagues, whatever league is open at that point will be the last league. Generally there will only be one league open at that time. The name of the game is to get your teams in early to avoid getting shut out. It is my expectation that no league assignments will result in leagues filling quicker, less waiting for you and less work for me.
Players are expected to enter one team, and one team only in each event. Each "Event" will have many leagues, to accommodate the large number of players. So Event 1 will have Leagues 1 through XX (typically seven or so). But you only enter JUST ONE team in each “Event” - not one team in each “League”.
Entry deadlines will be strictly imposed as I’ve outlined. I will retain the right to invoke closure on event entries. I intend to avoid fillers as much as possible, although some fillers obviously will be necessary. Leagues will be set-up as private leagues with password protection. To keep things simple and moving along, the passwords will be posted in the discussion thread set up for each league. The main idea is to prevent accidental team entries for players who are not participating in the tournament. If someone has difficulty entering a password protected private league, please send me a PM or post openly in the forum threads and I will find a solution for you that works.
Point System / Tiebreakers
The point system will be identical to last year’s simplified point system. One regular season win equals one point and one post-season win equals one point. There will be no “bonus” points for this season.
1. Championships won
2. Finals made
3. Playoffs made
4. Run differential (four best teams for each manager totaled together)
5. Pick three winner
NOTE: The points accumulated in the semi-finals round will be added to the manager's point total in order to produce the final standings.
A player must not re-use a ballpark. For example, if he used Fenway in Event 1, he may not use Fenway in Events 2-5, nor may he use Fenway in any playoff round.
There can be more than one player using the same ballpark in the same event and/or league. For example, player X and player Y may both use Fenway in Event I, League 1 (In theory, the same ballpark could be used by all 12 teams in any league or event). The prohibition relates to the same player using the same ballpark twice during the Tour Championship.
A player who is acting as a "filler" for any particular event and league may use whatever ballpark he wants to use. You cannot impose a “penalty” on a team that does not count in the official standings anyway.
If a player re-uses a ballpark in the qualifying events, there will be a 20 point penalty.
There will be no use of the unleashed player set in any event this year.
The new optional injury system with pitchers also will not be used in any event this year.
There will be an eight pick live draft for the Tour Championship, consisting of seven players and a ballpark, to be done on the forums. The draft will NOT be serpentine for the finals - i.e., the draft order will be repeated in each round. These "seeding" rules for the draft order provide an incentive and a reward for the managers who finish with the highest scores in Events 1-5.
Reference is made to the slight change in the point system, adding points accumulated in the semi-finals round to the manager's points total from the qualifying rounds. This will effect the final overall standings, impacting the order of picks in the live draft for the Champions League.
Salary Dumping: If a manager drops his team salary below 90 percent of the original starting salary, please report this to me immediately. I will ask 365Support to return the team to its previous state above 90 percent and lock the manager out. If this situation occurs with the same manager twice, that manager will be disqualified and prohibited from participating in any future 2021 Tour events.
Once official play begins, failure to observe the rules against re-using ballparks in the playoffs will result in disqualification from the tournament. However, if the error is detected early enough to be corrected by 365Support before the beginning of official play, then the manager will not be disqualified. He may, however, be publicly shamed and/or ridiculed.
There is no "super reliever" penalty. For those new to the tour, there was a time when we imposed a 200 inning maximum on any relief pitcher. That penalty is no longer pertinent.
Most of our communication, signups, etc. will be held on the Players Championship forum, and by occasional private messages. For transparency on overall league matters, let’s discuss things in the forums. For matters pertaining to an individual situation, question, or problem, please use the PM button (personal message).
The only monetary requirement for the 2021 Tour Championship is to purchase your required number of teams (no fewer than four, no more than possibly seven). Buying the five-pack option would be a good value purchase.
Use of Fillers
Some qualifying leagues for an event will need "fillers" due to the fact that we won't have an even numbered membership (divisible by 12) and we will probably have some "dropouts" during the season. "Fillers" are generally non-tournament players who will play in the qualifying leagues solely for the experience of playing against tour-level competition. "Fillers" can also be tournament players who will play in an extra league just to fill out the league, but whose score for that league will not count toward their official tournament standings. For such filler managers, only their first team entered in an event will count for points. I intend to NOT use tour participants as fillers, if at all possible.
In Event One, "Fillers" are actually "replacement managers". Anybody who has a team in Event One is entitled to the points they earn, even the replacements. They are now part of the tour and may continue to play as if they entered via the sign up page, although they are not obligated to continue (as in fact, no one actually is). The risk of entering as a filler is that if all managers who signed up would have entered their teams on time, the managers acting as fillers would not be eligible to be put into a league and would miss out on that event. However, if they get their team entered when requested, they are now for all intents and purposes, tour participants.
The same situation is basically in effect for Event Two. I will simply replace the missing managers names on the sign up sheet with the replacement managers, and I will recruit a new batch of "fillers". I will run the randomizer and make league assignments, and any no-show managers will again be replaced, and any replacements then become eligible tour participants.
After Event Two, because you need scores from four qualifying events to advance to the semis, any "fillers" who are participating for the first time are true "fillers" only and are not eligible to reach the semi-finals.
There is always a bit of attrition during the course of the tour. There will not always be a number of managers cleanly divisible by 12. The league has to be filled somehow, so in the end, yes, a manager with no ability to reach the Tour playoffs can siphon off wins from the qualified managers. However, that doesn't prevent any manager from the opportunity to notch his own wins.
I have no control over who wants to be a filler and my singular goal is simply to see the leagues filled in a timely fashion.
In the event there is some malfunction with the game, the official Strat-O-Matic 365 results will be final. If 365Support remedies a situation with some sort of re-play, again, the official Strat-O-Matic 365 results will be final.