SimLeague Football Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
General SimLeague Questions
* I don't have a credit card, can I still play in full-season leagues? * How do I change leagues?
* Can I change my roster after I join a league? * Do I have to draft my entire team at once?
* Do I have to draft at least 1 player at each position? * How do I create a private league for my friends and I?
* How do I join a private league that a friend of mine has created? * How will I know when my league is ready to start?
* Can I play in more than 1 league at once? * What does my rating mean? How is it calculated?
* Where do I find the boxscores to see how my team did? * What's the difference between a "Private" league and a "Theme" league?
Team Management Questions
* How do I remove a team from my team management center after the season is over? * What's the deadline for making coaching moves?
* Are there injuries? * What are the player Ratings?
* How does the Stamina Rating and fatigue work? * How does the depth chart work?
* What happens if a player is passing, rushing, or receiving more than they did in real life? * Can I set up a formation with no RBs to Always Run?
* What happens if I do not set my Depth Chart? * What is Defensive Focus?
* How does weather affect the game? * What happens if I don't make changes at halftime?
* How does the Waiver Wire work? How frequently are players added? * How do I save and load my own Playbooks?

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

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How do I change leagues?
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 customer support request to be moved (make sure to include the league you are in and the league you want to be moved to).

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

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Do I have to draft my entire team at once?
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 (up to 30 days from the date you begin drafting).

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Do I have to draft at least 1 player at each position?
You must draft the minimum number of players for each position. This is displayed on the draft center page, which also indicates which pieces you have left to draft to have a valid team. Take note that in addition to the minimum at each position, there are a number of players you must also draft for the QB, WR, RB, and TE positions, which is also indicated.

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How do I create a private league for my friends and I?
When you finish drafting your team, you'll be asked if you want to either (a.) Join the first available league, (b.) Start a new private league or (c.) 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.

Exhibition leagues always have 6 teams and full-season leagues always have 24 teams. 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 to fill the remaining spots.

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How do I join a private league that a friend of mine has created?
You'll need to know the name of the league that your friend has created. After you've finished 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, you're team will be added to it.

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

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Can I play in more than 1 league at once?
Yes! While each WhatIfSports member may only participate in 1 Exhbition SimLeague within a 30 day period, but you may participate in as many full-season SimLeagues as you wish!

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What does my rating mean? How is it calculated?
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. For example, if the 'Orange Crush' beat the 'High Flyers' 100-90 and the Orange Crush came into the game with a rating of 1480 and the High Flyers came in with a rating of 1420, the new ratings would be:

Orange Crush: 1495 (calculation: 1480 + (100-90) + 15 + (-10) where 15 points are added for the victory and -10 for the handicap)
High Flyers: 1405 (calculation: 1420 + (90-100) - 15 + 10) where 15 points are subtracted for the loss and 10 are added for the handicap)

Handicaps are adjusted based on the differences in ratings between the two teams before the game is played. So if the Fence Crushers had come into the game with an 1800 rating and the Flame Throwers had a 1200 rating, their new ratings would be:

Orange Crush: 1803 (calculation: 1800 + (100-90) + 15 + (-22))
High Flyers: 1197 (calculation: 1200 + (90-100) - 15 + 22)

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 regular-season and post-season wins/losses. Also, your rating is carried with you from team to team, league to league.

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

We have centralized everything you need to know about your league within the Team Management Center. From the Team Management Center, you can manage all of your teams, view the standings for each league you are competing in, view the boxscores for all of your games (see illustration), view the league scoreboard (see illustration), see a preview of who you'll be facing next, adjust your lineup, view your teams offensive and defensive stats, view your opponent's offensive and defensive stats, and view the league leaders in multiple categories.

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What's the difference between a "Private" league and a "Theme" league?
A private league is opened up to the public after 7 days, otherwise it is no different than a normal full-season league. Theme leagues have a specific theme, e.g. only players from the 90's or only players who played at least one season on a New York team (there are some very bizarre themes). In addition, theme leagues can have restrictions such as no waiver wire and or different salary caps (the standard is 60MM, theme leagues can have 60MM or 80MM caps).

Click here for a list of theme leagues

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How do I remove a team from my team management center after the season is over?
Once your season is over, teams will automatically be removed from your team management center within 2 weeks.

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What's the deadline for making coaching moves?
Any coaching decisions must be made by 11:59pm EST for overnight games to ensure that your requested changes are used for the next scheduled game.

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Are there injuries?
Yes, but ONLY in full-season leagues - there are no injuries (or fatigue) in the exhibition season leagues. 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 number of games until he will return. Until he is cleared to return to action, the player will be unavailable to play. Any injuries suffered during pre-season games will be eliminated when the regular season begins.

NOTE: If you have no available healthy quarterbacks or not enough skilled position players, you will forfeit the game. Either call someone up from your practice squad or waive an injured player and pickup a healthy one off the waiver wire.

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What are the player Ratings?
Player Ratings are used to indicate the relative performance of players and team units for various categories. These Ratings will help compare performance between players and team units from different eras. If two players are rated the same in a category, then their performances should be similar. This was done to allow older players to be used with newer players without worrying about the style of play that was used when they played. For this reason, it is suggested that you look at ratings, rather than stats, when comparing players or determining expectated performance.

Durability Rating affects injuries and how many games you should expect that player to participate in. When building your team, make sure you have enough Durability to keep a team fielded all season. Keep in mind that players may become injured even if they do not get their full number of plays in a game. Durability is the key to injuries.

Stamina Ratings affect how many plays a player will typically make in a game.

Performance Ratings affect how well a player or team unit performs. Most perormance Ratings are based on a 1 to 100 scale, with average performances being 50. Ratings above 50 indicate and above average player, and Ratings below 50 inidicate a below average player.

Helpful Hint: When looking at player Ratings for past players, it may be a better indication of expected performance to find a current player with similar ratings and see how he performed, rather than looking at the past player's stats.

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How does the Stamina Rating and fatigue work?
Their are Stamina Ratings for passing, receiving, and rushing. The higher the ratings, the better. These Stamina Ratings determine how much the player can play. For instance, the Pass Stamina Rating determines how many passes a QB can pass in a game, while the Rush Stamina Rating determines how many carries a player can make. If a player is playing more than his Stamina Rating allows, then his performance will begin to drop. This means it is important to draft a team with enough stamina in each category to get you through the season.

Other than the Stamina Ratings, the other thing that affects performance during the game is fatigue. Fatigue only occurs within each game and is accumulated as the player plays. The bigger the play, the more fatigued he will be. Fatigue is recovered by sitting out some plays. Fatigue is not accumulated over the season, so if a player is fatigued in one game, he will be refreshed for the next game.

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How does the depth chart work?
The depth chart allows you to indicate how much action a certain player gets. The SimEngine uses your depth chart to determine who gets on the field for each play. Players at the top of the chart will get into the game in an attempt to get reach their expected number of touches. Players will go out of the game if they are being used more than their Stamina allows or are becoming fatigued from playing. Players lower in the depth chart will come in when the higher depth guys need to come out.

Quarterbacks will typically play the entire game, and if they do need to come out of the game, it will usually be on a drive change.

Also keep in mind that the offensive formation affects which players are in the game as well.

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What happens if a player is passing, rushing, or receiving more than they did in real life?
A player that is passing, rushing, or receiving more during a game than they did in real life will start to degrade in performance, as well as possibly increasing their injury chances. These effects are accumulated throughout the game and as they start to go over their pace. So someone that rushed 10 times in a game will start to feel the effects if they are rush every other play for a sustained period, rather than feeling the effects as soon as they get their 11th carry. This is a gradual decline and not a steep drop off, so you do not have to worry about your starters being useless at the end of the game if they are just barely over their touches.

The "real life" numbers are based on the Stamina Ratings, rather than actual stats. This allows older players that played less than 16 games to be used for a 16 game season. It also may adjust the numbers to today's standards. Looking at modern day players will give you a good idea of what kind of numbers to expect based on Ratings.

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Can I set up a formation with no RBs to Always Run?
Rushing for WRs, TEs, and QBs is determined by the player's Rushing Stamina rather than your playbook. If you have no one on the field that has a high enough Rush Stamina, you will pass regardless of what the playbook says. Occasionally, you will get a WR or TE rushing, but it will be randomly determined based on game situations and your players' Staminas. Having more WRs with higher Rush Stamina will increase the chances and number of WR rushes, but never above 2 or 3 a game.

If you have a player that ran at RB-type levels, like Bobby Mitchell or Charley Taylor, they will participate in rushing plays. So in the case of a no-RB formation with one of these guys on the field, you could set them up to run. However, it will still limit the rushing if they are going over their pace.

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What happens if I do not set my Depth Chart?
If you do not set your depth chart, then players will be picked for each position based on their natural position and salary. It is recommended that you set your depth chart to ensure you get the players you want into the game.

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What is Defensive Focus?
The performance of your defense depends mainly on their historical stats. The Defensive Focus is a way that allows you to bend their performance towards rush or pass for certain circumstances.

The defensive stats are an average over many games and many game situations, so it is not unreasonable to expect them to play tougher against the run, or pass, against some teams or for certain plays. The Defensive Focus settings allows you to say when they should be playing tougher.

Keep in mind, that you can't make a weak defense into a strong defense, and if you play tougher against the run, you will give up some against the pass, and vice versa.

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How does weather affect the game?
Poor weather (e.g. rain, wind) affects the following areas of the game: passing completion percentage, field goal accuracy, and rushing yards will generally decrease depending on the severity of the weather, while interceptions and fumbles will generally increase.

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What happens if I don't make changes at halftime?
Nothing. Your original settings you made for the first half are carried over and used for the second half.

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How does the Waiver Wire work? How frequently are players added?
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 to claim the player.

You are required to maintain a full roster of players so in order to claim someone, you must release an existing player first. 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 Dan Marino, he may be picked up by someone else in another league or by someone in your league and vice versa.

Limitations: 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 Waiver Wire transactions must be completed by the end of the regular season, i.e. you will not be able to waive or claim players after that time.

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How do I save and load my own Playbooks?

On the Offensive Playbook page in the Coach's Office, you will find a Load Playbook section and a Save Playbook section at the bottom of the page. After settings a team's Offensive Playbook for all downs, you can then save that Playbook to one of your three User Playbooks. Enter the name for the Playbook and click the Save Playbook button. Select which of your three Playbooks you want to save using the drop down list. If you do not enter a name, it will take the name of the Playbook you are replacing.

To load a Playbook, select the Playbook you wish to load in the drop down list and click the Load Playbook button. You can choose one of the Standard Playbooks or one of your User Playbooks. Once the Playbook is loaded, you may modify it for that team by changing the plays and clicking the Save First Down Plays (or whichever down you are saving) button.

Note that changing a User Playbook from another source after loading it into a team will not change the team's Playbook. You must load the Playbook again for the team to get the updates.

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