Strat-O-Matic Hockey League Constitution



SOMHL is a 24 team, current season, keeper league using strat-o-matic game engine and cards.

* An Executive Team will be in place consisting of the commissioner and two other members of the league. The role of the executive team is, at the discretion of the commissioner, discuss and make rulings on league matters not covered in rules. This can include but not limited to disputes between league members, incidences that occur outside the covered rules, and other discussions designed to run the league. Note that a ruling may not include a 100% consensus from the executive team, rather the overall intent is to discuss situations in an attempt to have input from multiple points of view before a ruling is made.

Note that for all things that require random draws, the league will use or something similar. This is a chat site that has a built in randomizer function. It allows people in the chat to see what the potential selections are and the final result of the selection. When random selections are needed the commish will announce to the league a day and time it will be done and ask for a minimum of one volunteer to witness the process.

* Rule Changes and Additions: As new rules are needed, the commish may do one of two things. If the commish and/or exec team view such a rule as instrumental to the league than a vote may not be held. If a vote among members is held on a new rule, all that is needed is 51% of the vote. If the vote is 50% the vote of the commish will break the tie. If a vote is to change an existing rule, 67% of vote will be needed.

If Strat-O-Matic provides updates with new optional rules, the commish and/or exec team will decide if it will be brought to vote to use or not.

Note that rules that add to administrative duties and/or change the general feel of the league will likely not be considered. Also, if a rule stands to impact roster makeup and/or player values then it may be implemented but not active until the following year so that no team is adversely affected.

Member Expectations

* Communicate frequently. This means participate in trade discussions, rule discussions, answer questions as they arise. Members are expected to check e-mail on a frequent basis, keep updated, and respond in a timely fashion.

* Be on time. This means if there are deadlines for game plans, games due, playing playoffs, votes, drafts, roster cut downs, etc. Being on time is VERY important. Owners who can not keep up with the league on a frequent basis may be asked to leave.

* Treat everyone with respect. If you have an issue with any league member please address it in a mature matter and refrain from personal attacks, calling people out in group e-mail, etc.

* There is an assumption that we are all capable of making reasonable decisions in terms of how we vote on things and/or run our franchise. The commishs style is not to hand hold or babysit league members in any way, rather request they be diligent with their time and team management.

*Honesty and integrity are important. Manage yourself, your team, and your games accordingly.

*Owners are expected to but good faith efforts into coaching to win every game. This includes but is not limited to; playing your best players accordingly, making an effort to ensure your away CM can be competitive, etc. SOMHL will allow teams that want to rebuild to GM their way to that goal. Meaning things like drafting younger players, trading vets for picks and/or younger players, etc. But intentionally coaching to lose a game will not be permitted and will have penalties that range from having your pick moved down, losing pick, and even being kicked out of the league.  Note that the exec team/commish understands there are some gray areas in terms of what makes a valid or competitive coaching effort, but also understands there are some things that clearly cross those lines and will not be tolerated.

League Structure / Playoffs

SOMHL will consist of 24 teams. Four divisions of 6 teams. Two conferences.

Each year the top 6 teams in each conference will make playoffs. Division winners will get byes. The first round of playoffs will be a best of 5 format (2-2-1). All other rounds will be best of 7 format (2-2-1-1-1)..

Ties will be broken as follows; 1) head to head record among all teams, 2) division record if teams are all in same division, 3) conference record, 4) goal differential overall, 5) goal differential between tied teams, 6) random draw.


A lottery will be held each year including all teams that did not make playoffs. We will use to determine order. The team with best record not making playoffs will get 1 chance, second best record 2 chances, etc. all the way to the worst team having 12 chances. A random draw will determine the top 3 picks, after that the draft order for lottery teams will be reverse of record.

Drafts & Trading

* Rookie/FA drafts will be held each year prior to the season. Draft order will be determined by the lottery system for the top X number of teams (to be voted on). The remainder of the draft order will be in reverse order of record, with the teams in the finals drafting last (Champion) and second to last (runner up). All ties will be determined first by head to head record, then by a random draw.

* All players not saved on rosters and/or that were rookies will be in the Rookie/FA draft. Teams will draft until they get to 28 players. Any player that is rated on the computer game is eligible to be drafted and to play.

* There will not be a trade committee. Remember, the league views every owner as being a responsible adult capable of managing their team. There will be no requirement to announce a player is available to the league before a trade is made, rather owners are encouraged to communicate privately and/or by using the group email on their own. This does not mean that a trade will not ever be vetoed. But to be considered for veto; 1) multiple owners must complain privately to the exec team and/or commish, 2) the exec team needs to be 100% in consensus that its a vetoable trade. To be vetoed a trade must either have been done with malice (example a team trading a star to another player then leaving the league), or be so obvious that its beyond a reasonable doubt to anyone that such a trade is bad. The league will not step in to veto trades that may simply be "bad" or favor one team. The league will generally not get involved in trying to project future values of players and assume they know everything. Quite frankly if any of us knew that much we would be NHL general managers, not strat general managers.

* No trade that puts a team below the threshold to fill a valid roster for every remaining game will be allowed.

* Trades that are uneven in number of people will be allowed as long as when the deal is done all teams can still fill a valid roster for every remaining game.

* Picks for the next rookie/FA can be traded. Next is defined as follows: Once a draft for a specific year starts, the picks for the following season can be traded.

Teams must always have at least 1 pick in the first 2 rounds and two in the first 4 rounds. This makes sure that no team can be left with cupboards completely empty. Note that if you trade your specific first and second rounder that belongs to your team, but happen to own someone elses pick in either of those rounds, that is fine. As long as every team has at least 1 pick in first 2 rounds and two in the first 4.

* Trade deadline is at game 50 (or the end of block 3, depending on how we do blocks)

* There will be times when trades are not allowed to be announced. Such as during the off season, or right before the league disk is prepared. It does not mean you can not be discussing trades and/or come up with gentlemens agreements to be announced later. However, it needs to be 100% clear that the league will NOT EVER recognize a trade until trading is opened and both parties send e-mails confirming the deal. So if you agree to a gentlemens deal and the other team backs out or quits, etc. the commish/exec team will not hear a complaint.

* Each year teams can protect 14 players. In addition, teams can earn 1 additional keeper for 100% on time performance. Things that are timed during the season; including but not limited to roster cut downs, voting dates, dates for games played and game plans, etc. will be tracked. An owner who is never late will get 1 additional keeper. Note there are NO exceptions to this, however, if the player can prove they indeed met the deadlines and it was an error in record keeping that will be allowed. (IE player sends results but commish misses them, player can re-send by forwarding the original e-mail with date stamp).

Computer Game Settings

SOMHL will play with current NHL rules at all time. Currently this means:

* 5 min overtime 4v4

* 1 point for OT loss

* No Subs allowed on coincedental minors

* End minor penalty on power play goal

* Faceoff after penalty moves to offensive zone

* Shorthanded actions include Action, Skate, Ice, Clear

* 3 cards for offensive line, 4 for defensive

In addition here is the status of max rules

Home Rink Advantage: off

Skater Fatigue: Off

Alternate Passing System: On

Support Low Penalty minutes: on

Use the Enforcer Rule: On

Alternate Penetration System: on

Dont force shorthanded skating breakaway: Off

Player Usage (and penalties) / Line Formations& Changes / Goalie Rules

* Players will be limited to the # of games played in real life. It is up to each coach to manage their team so that no player goes over the games played in real life. It is important to note that if a trade happens, the new owner of the player is responsible for making sure that the player does not exceed games played. If this means they have to sit them, that is part of the assumption made when taking on said player in a trade.

* Note on goalie games played. GP in real life by a goalie represents the maximum number of starts a goalie can have in our season. Goalies can not be replaced unless they are fatigued, and if a goalie comes in for a fatigued goalie, this will not count toward their games played.

* Playoff usage is as follows:

50+ games played = all games allowed in playoffs

41-49 games played = 4 games in a 5 game series, 6 games in a 7 game series

31-40 = 3 games in a 5 game series, 5 games in a 7 game series

21-30 = 2 games in a 5 game series, 3 games in a 7 game series

11-19: 1 game in any series

10 or under: Not eligible for playoffs

* Penalties for over usage will be in place. Note SOMHL views managing usage as a top priority for owners and the commish/exec team does not want to have to try and interpret why a player may have been overused. Thus the rules are clear and punative.

Penalties for Playoff teams

*Any player over used by 1 game will miss game 1 of the first series of the playoffs the team plays.

* Any player over used by 2 games will miss first 2 games of each series of the playoffs

* Any player over used by 3 games will be ineligible for the duration of playoffs

* If a team has more than 3 players over used, the team will not be eligible for playoffs. The next seeded team will enter playoffs but will not lose their lottery spot.

Penalties for Non-Playoff teams

* Any player overused by 1 game will sit 1 additional game the following year. If that player is not on the team, and equivalent player will be determined

*Any player overused by 2 games will sit an additional 4 games the following year. If that players is not on the team, and equivalent player will be deterimined.

*Any player overused by 3 games will sit an additional 9 games the following year. If that player is not on the team, and equivalent player will be determined.

*If a team has more than 3 players overused, the team will forfeit their first round pick.

Also note that in the event a lottery team does not return, the new owner will not have to suffer the penalties.

Free Agent Pickups

During the season, a team may have up to 2 FA pickups (players not on rosters). Teams place a claim on a first come, first served basis and the FA will be added the following block. To claim a FA, an existing player has to be dropped. Neither the player dropped nor the FA claim are eligible to be kept the following year. The purpose is to help teams meet minimum games needed, but not provide additional talented players to the roster.


 Playoff Teams

Any playoff team that has 3 or more players over used, or a total of 5+ overused games will forfeit right to playoffs. In that instance all other teams move up one spot in the playoff seedings and the first team out of playoffs will be added to playoffs. Note that team will still maintain right to be in the lottery and all other draft positions will fall where they normally would have.

Any player overused by 1 game must miss 1 additional game (in addition to normal usage rules above) in the teams first playoff round.

Any player overused by 2 games must miss 1 additional game (in addition to normal usage rules above) in EVERY playoff round.

Any player overused by 3 or more games is ineligible for playoffs

Lottery Teams

Any lottery team that has 3 or more players overused or a total of 5+ overused games will forfiet right to participate in lottery and will instead be placed in the draft in the last spot before playoff teams.

Any player overused by 1 game must sit 1 additional game the following year in addition to normal usage. If said player is not on roster, commish will assign a player currently on roster with approximate similar value to serve penalty.

Any player overused by 2 games must sit 4 additional game the following year in addition to normal usage. If said player is not on roster, commish will assign a player currently on roster with approximate similar value to serve penalty.

Any player overused by 3/4 games must sit 6 /8 additional game the following year in addition to normal usage. If said player is not on roster, commish will assign a player currently on roster with approximate similar value to serve penalty.

Any player overused by 5+ games is ineligible to be kept the following year.

Lineups: All teams will dress 12 forwards and 6 defensemen and 2 goalies. In playoffs the 20 man roster can be changed between games.

Positions: Players may only play positions listed on card with the following exceptions; 1) defensemen can play either point position on the power play, 2) Single * forwards may only be assigned on the second power play pairing, 3) Double ** forwards can be assigned to either power play pairing but not both, 4) centers can play either LF or RF on the 4 man PK and/or 4 man power play.

In addition, during the offseason, before keepers are announced, each team can switch the defensive position of one defender.

Goalie Usage: They are limited to the number of games played in real life. In playoffs, any goalie who has a fatigue of 5 or higher can play all playoff games. In playoffs goalies with a 1 fatigue are not eligible, goalies with 2, 3, 4 fatigue may play that # of games only in a playoff series.

Goalies are not to be pulled unless fatigued.

Line Formations and Rules: Each team must fill out 4 forward lines, and 3 defensive lines- all having different players. In addition each team should fill out valid lines for 3 man PK, 4 man PP, two PK lines with no player repeated, two PP lines with no player repeated.

Note that on the PP lines any player with an * may appear on the 2nd PP line defense, any player with a ** can appear on either (but not both) PP line defense. Additionally, a minimum of one player rated on defense must be on each line.

Also, you may create up to 3 lines to be used for OT. If FWD OT lines are not created, the game will use your top 3 lines minus center. If you want your C to be used in any of the top 3 lines (they can play LF or RF) you must manually create these additional lines.

Lines must be changed every 3 action cards for offense, every 4 action cards for defense.

In regular season all teams must use 4 offensive lines and 3 defensive lines during all 3 periods of all games. In overtime teams can either use 4 offensive and 3 defensive or go to 3 offensive and 3 defensive lines.

In the playoffs, teams must use 4 offensive lines and 3 defensive lines during the first two periods, then can use 3 offensive lines and 3 defensive in the third period and overtime.

At no time (including OT) is any team allowed to just use 2 offensive or defensive lines.

Player shot order: The game engine automatically will give the ANY SHOT selection to the highest rated player on ice that has taken the lowest number of any shots during the game. Ties are decided by the shot order list in the CM.

When you are the home manager you MUST follow this same methodology in your game play. However, when possession is called for any player you do not have to follow any set pattern and can instead choose the player.

Remember, any shots are tracked and reported in the game and can be checked. Owners who violate will be warned and penalized from picks to expulsion from the league depending on the severity of the offense.