Welcome to the Wacky World of TBL!
TBL operates as a continuous-ownership, APBA Master Game and Computer Game play-by-mail league. The current size of the league is 24 teams. About half the managers play the board game and the other half prefer the computer game. The league is divided equally into two conferences with three four-team divisions in each conference.
Click here to check out the League's 2017 Constitution. You must have the free Acrobat reader to view the file, but you can print it once you have opened it. The Constitution spells out in detail how we play the games and run the league. In reading the rest of this introduction to the league, it helps if you are familiar with baseball and with the APBA baseball game.
TBL uses APBA Master Game rules except for the following:
Each team (except for expansion teams, when applicable) is limited to 35 roster spots during the season. Teams can carry players uncarded by the APBA Game Company for any season, but each team must have at least two position players for every position (although one player, like a utility infielder, can cover several positions) and 162 starts from its starting pitchers.
Between April 1st and November 20th, each TBL team plays 162 games. Each manager is responsible for playing 81 home games, an average of about 10 games per month. Each team has the opportunity to play every other team in the league. The TBL schedule for all games is distributed to managers before the start of each season. The schedule determines rest requirements for starting and relief pitchers, injury duration, etc.
Before the season begins, each manager is responsible for filing a set of Emergency Instructions with the league. The Emergency Instructions, distributed to every team prior to the season, contain the starting rotation for all 162 games, standard batting lineups, and other standard instructions (e.g., when to steal, hit-and-run, sacrifice, change pitchers, etc.). During the season, managers are encouraged to (but not required to) mail specific instructions for each away series. To view a sample set of Emergency Instructions, click here. You need the free Acrobat reader to view this file.
Each month, managers mail or e-mail their optional road instructions so that the road manager receives them by the 4th of the month. Managers are expected to play all their games (on league-supplied game sheets), compile the series statistics (on league-supplied stat sheets), and mail out the results by the 20th of the month (or emailed by the 22nd of the month). Computer Game players can just print out the series results/stats and mail them.
Playoffs begin in December. The World Series is usually played at the annual Winter Meeting/Rookie Draft, held in early February. This year, three division winners and two wild cards from each conference will make the playoffs.
Every year, all teams participate in a Rookie Draft (either in person, online, by phone), during which all carded but unowned players and pitchers are available to be drafted. The draft order is set by the reverse order of record as of the end of November.
The Winter Meeting/Rookie Draft weekend is full of trades, surprises, and, of course, speculation on the upcoming Major League Baseball season. TBL brings together baseball fans from around the country.
If you are interested in finding out more about TBL or if you are so swayed by this Web Site you want to become a backup manager on our waiting list, write to Ray Murphy, the league's webmaster and commissioner. We promise to answer all queries.
Check out the TBL Constitution or the TBL Ready Reference Card, for which you need the free Acrobat reader.
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