General Questions
1
What's the difference between a trial league and a full-season league?
2
I don't have a credit card, can I still play in full-season leagues?
3
How do I change leagues?
4
Can I change my roster after I join a league?
5
Do I have to draft my entire team at once?
6
Do I have to draft at least 1 player at each position?
7
How do I create a private league for me and my friends?
8
How do I join a private league that a friend of mine has created?
9
How will I know when my league is ready to start?
10
Can I play in more than 1 league at once?
11
What does my rating mean? How is it calculated?
Team Management Questions
1
How do I remove a team from my team management center after the season is over?
2
Where do I find the boxscores to see how my team did?
3
What's the deadline for making coaching moves?
4
Are there injuries?
5
How does the Waiver Wire work? How frequently are players added?
6
How does fatigue work?
7
What are the advantages of double teaming someone?
8
What are the advantages of up-tempo/half court/slow down styles of play?
9
How does the depth chart work?
10
How do the target minutes work?
11
How do rookies work?
12
How do defensive matchups work?
Player Questions
1
How are defensive ratings calculated?
2
How do defensive ratings affect the SimEngine results?
3
How does position effectiveness work?
4
How are stats calculated for seasons when they were not tracked?

I have a question that I don't see listed here!
General Answers
1
What's the difference between a trial league and a full-season league?
a

Here is a comparison:

FeatureTrial LeagueFull
Games1082
Games Per Day22
Divisions14
PlayoffsNOYES
InjuriesNOYES
Roster Moves1unlimited
RookiesNOYES
League LeadersNOYES
Team RankingsNOYES
Interdivision PlayNOYES
PrizesNOYES
Team Feefree$9.95

2
I don't have a credit card, can I still play in full-season leagues?
a

Yes, you can still play by adding funds to your account by either using PayPal or by mailing a money order.

To add money to your account via PayPal, simply send the payment to website@whatifsports.com. Make sure to include your username. Also note that there is a $1 handling fee for PayPal payments.

To pay via mail, send a check or money order to:

WhatIfSports.com
PO Box 43494
Cincinnati, OH 45243

Click here for a deposit form >>

3
How do I change leagues?
a

We can move you to a different league ONLY if:
1. The team you want to move is a full-season team
2. The league you're in has not had it's games scheduled already
3. There are openings in the league you want to move to

You'll need to fill out a tech support form request to be moved (make sure to select the appropriate team/league and the league you want to be moved to).

4
Can I change my roster after I join a league?
a

No, once you click on 'Create Team', your roster can not be modified until your season starts. Once your season starts, you can use the waiver wire to adjust your lineup.

Allowing owners to adjust their lineups after they click 'Create Team' would give the owners earliest into the league an unfair advantage over the last owners to join the league.

5
Do I have to draft my entire team at once?
a

No. We save your draft picks as you make them so you can come back as many times as you need to complete your team.

6
Do I have to draft at least 1 player at each position?
a

No, you build your team the way you want it. If you want to run and gun and press, then take 12 guards. It's all up to you. Of course, in that scenario, you'll probably get killed on the glass.

Also, players may perform poorly when playing an unfamiliar position so it's best to play them at their natural position or a similar position.

7
How do I create a private league for me and my friends?
a

Before you begin drafting your team, you'll be asked if you want to either (a.) Join the first available league, (b.) Start a new private league (c.) Start a theme league, or (d.)Join an existing league.

If you choose to create your own league, then we will start a new league for you and place your team in it. From the team management center page, you can invite your friends to join your newly created league.

You have 7 days to fill the open spots in your league with your friends. After 7 days, your league will be opened to the public.

8
How do I join a private league that a friend of mine has created?
a

You'll need to know the name of the league that your friend has created. Before you begin drafting your team, choose the option to 'Join an existing league' and type in the league name.

If there are still openings in that league when you have finished drafting, your team will be added to it.

9
How will I know when my league is ready to start?
a

As soon as your league is full, all team owners will receive an email notifying them that league play is ready to begin. Please make sure your email address is correct or you won't receive the notification.

10
Can I play in more than 1 league at once?
a

Absolutely! While each WhatIfSports member may only compete in 1 free SimLeague at a time, you may compete in as many full-season leagues as you wish.

11
What does my rating mean? How is it calculated?
a

Each team owner is given a rating. This rating is based on who you've played, whether you've won or lost and by how much. It is similiar in concept to the RPI ratings used for college basketball or Jeff Sagarin's ratings.

Each team owner is given a initial rating of 1400. This rating is adjusted after each league game, based on the final score and the rating of the opposing team owner.

The formula for the winner is:
Previous Rating + Current Game Final Margin + 15

The formula for the loser is:
Previous Rating - Current Game Final Margin - 15

Also added to each formula is a handicap based on the differences in ratings between the two teams before the game is played. So if the favored team wins, there is less benefit than if the underdog wins. And vice versa, if the favored team loses, there is a bigger penalty than if an underdog loses.

As you may have deduced from the rating formula, you are rewarded for beating good competition and likewise, you gain very little by beating weaker teams. In addition to regular season wins/losses, you will receive additional bonuses to your owner rating by performing well in the playoffs.

Playoff Level Owner Bonus
Advancing to the 3rd round +20
Advancing to the Finals +40
League Champion +60

NOTE: ratings are only adjusted for full-season wins/losses. Also, your rating is carried with you from team to team, league to league.

Team Management Answers
1
How do I remove a team from my team management center after the season is over?
a

Teams will automatically be removed from your team center within 2 weeks of the end of the league.

2
Where do I find the boxscores to see how my team did?
a

We have centralized everything you need to know about your league within the Team Center. From the Team Center, you can manage all of your teams. From there you can access the league page which includes the schedule.

You may view boxscores by clicking game scores in the schedule or by clicking the date in the schedule you may view results for the entire league on that day.

3
What's the deadline for making coaching moves?
a

Any coaching decisions must be made by 11:59pm EST for overnight games and 11:59am EST for afternoon games to ensure that your requested changes are used for the next scheduled game.

4
Are there injuries?
a

Yes, but ONLY in full-season leagues - there are no injuries in the exhibition season games. Guys can go down for a play and come right back or be out for 1 or more games.

If a player is injured in the game, it will be highlighted in RED in the play by play.

If he can not return to action in the current game, his injury status will be displayed in your coach's office next to his name. In addition to the injury, you'll also see the expected return date. Until he is cleared to return to action, the player will be unavailable to play.

Injuries are based on how many total minutes the player played in real life. If you draft players that played lots of minutes in real life, the odds of them getting injured are very small and if they do get injured, it won't be for very long. If you draft players that only played limited minutes then they will suffer more injuries and for longer amounts of time.

If you do not have 5 healthy players at tipoff, you will forfeit that game. At any time during a game, if you can not produce 5 healthy players, you will also forfeit.

5
How does the Waiver Wire work? How frequently are players added?
a

The Waiver Wire can be found by clicking on GM's Office. The Waiver Wire shows players that are available to be claimed. You may claim a player if you don't already have that player on your roster (the same player from the same year can not be on your roster twice) and you have enough available cash to afford the player.

You are required to maintain a full roster of 12 players so in order to claim someone, you must release an existing player. The salary freed up by releasing a player combined with any available cash you had after your draft equals your buying power - the maximum you can spend to claim a player on waivers.

Players are claimed and released constantly as the same Waiver Wire is used by all leagues. So if you release Joe Dumars, he may be picked up by someone else in another league or by someone in your league and vice versa.

Limitations: Exhibition league teams are eligible to make 1 roster move using the waiver wire. For both types of leagues, you must pay a 10% transaction charge for each player that you claim. For example, if you want to claim a 1 million player, you'll need to give up 1.1 million.

All rosters must be final by the 66th game of your season, i.e. you will not be able to waive or claim players after that time.

6
How does fatigue work?
a

The Coach's Office displays each player's condition from 0% to 100% where 100% is no fatigue and 0% is completely exhausted.

If a player is fatigued you may want to rest him for a few games. The amount of rest needed depends on the player and what condition he is in.

A player's condition is calculated by comparing total real life minutes to the total SimLeague minutes based on the current minutes per game projected to 82 games.

Make sure to take total minutes into account when drafting. Note: for seasons where teams played fewer than 82 games, players are given credit for total minutes prorated to 82 games. So a player who played 20 minutes every game in an 82 game season is equal to a player who played 20 minutes every game in a 50 game season.

7
What are the advantages of double teaming someone?
a

Double teaming can affect a player's FG%, but at the same time, you are leaving someone open which increases the other players' FG%.

The effect of a double team on a particular player depends on the player. For example, a star player who was likely double teamed in real life (e.g. Michael Jordan) may still perform close to his real life numbers even when double teamed. But if you choose not to double team him, he may perform even better than his real life numbers.

On the other hand, a player who was likely not double teamed in real life would probably produce less than his real life numbers if he were double teamed, but probably wouldn't much exceed his real life numbers even if not double teamed.

8
What are the advantages up-tempo/half court/slow down styles of play?
a

On offense, the different styles have the following effects:

  • Halfcourt - no adjustments
  • Uptempo - shorter possessions, more easy shots, more turnovers
  • Slow Down - longer possessions, tougher shots, fewer turnovers

On defense, the different styles have the following effects:

  • Halfcourt - no adjustments
  • Press - more turnovers/steals, more fouls, gives up more easy shots

9
How does the depth chart work?
a

The depth chart allows you to specify who should be subsituted and in what order during a game. You can set four levels of players at each position (PG, SG, SF, PF, C). The players set at depth level 1 will be the starters in the game.

For each slot in the depth chart, you may also set Target Minutes, which is just a range of minutes that you would like that player to play per game at that position. If you set a player to 0 target minutes he will be likely to play only if no one else is available or if the game is a blowout.

During a substitution situation the SimEngine will rank each available player at each position by factoring in depth chart, minutes played compared to target minutes, natural position, and foul trouble. Then a large number of possible lineup combinations are considered to find the best possible 5 players to play at that point.

NOTE: You are only required to have depth level 1 set for each position

10
How do the target minutes work?
a

The target minutes option allows you to set a minute value for each player to indicate how much you want them to play per game at that position. In a normal game with realistic settings each player should play within a few minutes of the target setting. However, many factors can cause a player to play more or less minutes than you specify. These factors include foul trouble, injuries, etc.

Also keep in mind that in a regulation game there are 240 total minutes to be played (5 players X 48 minutes), so if your total target minutes exceed 240 then some players may play less than their target range. Also, if your total target minutes are less than 240 then some players may play more than their target range.

11
How do rookies work?
a

Rookies are fictional players created for each team. Three rookies will be created for each team and will have an Offense, Defense, Rebounding, Stamina, and Durability rating. The Stamina rating indicates how long a player can play before becoming fatigued. The Durability rating indicates how injury prone a player is.

Initially rookies will be placed on the Inactive List located in the GM's Office. Once the season starts owners may activate players at any time with no limitations. To activate a rookie you must deactivate another player, so there must always be three players on the Inactive List. Players on the Inactive List will not play in games until they are activated.

NOTE: Rookies are only generated for full-season leagues. For theme leagues, the founder may set an option to not allow rookies.

12
How do defensive matchups work?
a

Defensive matchups allow you specify which positions each player on your team may defend. You can check the box next to each position that you want the player to potentially defend in a game. A player will always be eligible to defend their current offensive position by default. The settings grid shows each player's adjusted defensive rating at each position. This adjustment is based on the player's effectiveness at that position, but is not strictly effectiveness multiplied by defensive rating.

The SimEngine will automatically optimize your team's defensive matchups based on the offensive players, the defensive ratings of your players, and the positions you allow each player to defend. Offensive players are evaluated based on shooting efficiency and number of touches.

NOTE: You may also elect to turn off the matchups, in which case your players would just defend their current offensive position.

Player Answers
1
How are defensive ratings calculated?
a

The defensive rating is based on what we call stop percentage, which is a statistical approximation of the percentage of defensive possessions where the player helps create a turnover, missed field goal, or missed free throw. This approximation is based on certain player stats (minutes, steals, fouls, rebounds and blocks), the player's position, certain team statistics (for and against), and a factor for league averages for that season.

We have also incorporated NBA and ABA All-Defensive team selections as a bonus for those players.

2
How do defensive ratings affect the SimEngine results?
a

The defensive rating of a particular player impacts the FG% of the player he is guarding as well as a lesser effect on the FG% of the other 4 offensive players, which simulates help defense.

3
How does position effectiveness work?
a

The position effectiveness gives each player a percentage of performance at each position. This percentage is based on statistical analysis of each player's actual stats as well as listed position and height/weight. If a player is less than 100% at a position, he will be penalized in all areas by the specified percentage while playing that position.

4
How are stats calculated for seasons when they were not tracked?
a

In order to use players from seasons where not all statistics where tracked, we estimate what those numbers would have been. These estimates are based on statistical analysis which attempts to approximate those missing numbers by comparing a player to statistically similar players throughout history.

The following numbers are estimated:

  • turnovers prior to 1977-78 (excluding ABA players)
  • offensive rebounds prior to 1973-74
  • steals prior to 1973-74
  • blocks prior to 1973-74
  • 3pt shots prior to 1979-80 (excluding ABA players)