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DSML------Down South Madden League

Commissioners: Bndr1nkin (Jags), lastshot2315 (Bengals), X_Yeah_Dog_X (Cowboys)
Trade Committee: j_bell12 (Chiefs), Tomdaddy80 (Browns), LOOKATMYDITKA (Bears), Discobiscuits (Vikings)
Roster Approval: CrunchyShuffles (Redskins)
This is a mature league with a fun group of Madden nerds that will play year-round until the next game releases. We do not baby-sit the league and respectful discourse is a must in this league, regardless of inevitable disputes and disagreements. Our rulebook is made up of good ideas from many different leagues as well as our own ideas as we’ve become more experienced. If you see similarities with other rulebooks, consider it a compliment because we are constantly striving to form a better sim league.
Sportsmanship
--Everybody knows what should occur in the case of a blowout.  Some of the harshest penalties handed out will be due to running up the score.
***Kneel the ball when it ends the game and defense is waiving the white flag
***Don't get involved in a "turnover fest" at the end of the game in a blowout
***If you are down a ridiculous amount of points, do not continuously blitz, stack the box, run commit, bomb it deep if a comeback in unrealistic.
--We will NOT have specific rules in this category because every case is different on a game by game basis.
League Basics/Settings:

Platform: PlayStation 4
Type: Created Coach only
Team Selection: Team Draft, randomized
Weekly Advances: 72 hours or once all games are played (Playoffs/Offseason TBD - most likely 24-48 hour advance). In most cases these will be “hard” advances as 72 hours is a good amount of time to play one game and we want to encourage users to contact their opponent as soon as possible to schedule their games.  Games played on advance day must be started no later than 9PM CST - we will hard advance at 10:30 PM CST, if you choose to start after 9PM then end of your game may be simmed.
Game Scheduling: Teams are responsible for scheduling their upcoming games, at the latest.  Once new week start you should DM your opponent in Discord and @ them in main chat.  If your opponent doesn’t reply 24 hours after the DM was sent, you will get the option to take a SIM W if you choose.   
Difficulty: All-Pro w/ custom gameplay & XP sliders (sliders can change as commissioners see fit)
Quarter Length: 10 min / 18 sec accelerated play clock. This will give teams 40-45 plays.
Custom Playbooks: Yes
Assists: Ball Hawk / Heat seeker are allowed - this rule can change with prior notice to league - appears for M18 we will allow ball hawk and heat seeker tone turned on. Defensive switch assist is always allowed.
League Communication: The DSML league operates entirely through Discord and Daddyleagues. All league members will be required to join the Daddyleagues site upon entering the league. Users are encouraged to be active in chat, and we especially want to know when things come up and cause people to be away for an extended period of time. We know this is a hobby for everyone and personal emergencies should take priority over chatting with strangers. Just give someone a heads up if something comes up.
Streaming: Required for all games played. While we would prefer that everyone streams all of their games and archives them, the BOTH team is required to stream regardless. Some users may not have the connection to stream, and therefore exceptions can be made. However, video/visual evidence is required if you wish to log a complaint about an opponent’s gameplay.

Gameplay
Starting in Madden 18, the DSML league will be implementing a “Sim Score” system in order to monitor gameplay and provide the most authentic sim league gameplay possible for users seeking a true sim experience. After a h2h game, both users will submit their “sim score” for their opponent on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the worst score possible and 10 being the perfect sim player. At the end of the season, commissioners will average these scores out for each user and present the scores to the league. To give an opponent a score of 7 or less, video/visual evidence must be provided (Streaming via Twitch or YouTube, or saving video on PS4 will accomplish this) along with an explanation of why the low score. This is not a tool not about just punishment, this will be used to help make/keep DSML a strong - sim focused league.
Offense: A player may not call the same play from the same formation until a new set of downs and never back-to-back. For example, if a player converts on 1st down, that player may not call the same play on the next 1st and 10. Do not flip a play prior to getting set at the line, you may instead flip your play after both sides are set or audible to a different play. This prevents quick-snapping, an unfair offensive advantage. You are not allowed to snap the ball while a player is in motion. Everyone must be set at the snap of the ball.
We encourage all users in our league to use coach suggestions as little as possible. We want owners to pick a playbook (or create one) and really explore it during the game. You’d be surprised how many nice plays you miss out on when you run coach suggestions the whole game, and it can lead to very repetitive playcalling. Coach suggestions are not off-limits but also cannot be used as an excuse for play spamming/repetitive playcalling. Essentially, running the same concepts back-to-back is not sim gameplay and coach suggestions can often lead to just that.
Offensive Play Call: Pass/Run ratios must be within the maximum of 70/30 and minimum of 46/54. This reflects the ratios of real life NFL teams.
General Playcall Rules: Users may not call the exact same play out of the exact same formation more than twice per game.
Total number of screens per game is 4 - this includes any and all types of screen plays.
Goal line: Plays from this formation may be used inside your opponent’s 10 yard line.
QB sneak and FB dive: 2 per game in total. i.e. 2 QB sneak or 1 FB dive and 1 QB sneak
Hail Mary Situations: Users may chuck it deep in the Hail Mary formation when there 6 seconds or less left on the clock.
4th Down Rule: You may go for it on 4th down in these scenarios:
4th and 2 or less in the first half, as long as your offense has crossed midfield into opponent’s territory and you are trailing. Should not have owners who are in the lead going for it on 4th down in the first half.
4th and 5  or less in the second half, as long as your offense has crossed midfield into your opponent’s territory.
Down by 3 scores or more (17+ points), any distance
Final 6 minutes to protect a slim lead (7 points or less) or losing by 2 scores (10+).
Overtime, use at your own risk!
No-Huddle Offense: No huddle cannot be ran exclusively in the first half or if you are winning.  No huddle is allowed and can/should be used situationally. if you are losing by 17+ points at any point during the game you are free to go no huddle.  If the defense doesn't match personnel you can run a few plays no huddle to make the defense call time out to etc.  Be realistic when using no huddle- this is sim NFL not NCAA.
Running scores up/Stat Padding: This is a friendly league, so please respect your opponent. This means no running up the score late when the game does not require it (Up 4 + scores with 5 min or less left in the 4th). Try to run the ball and put on chew clock, however if you are going to blitz every play do not expect your opponent to run the ball every play. You can cushion your lead if you have the opportunity, but no stat padding. Also, if your opponent is in an unwinnable situation and is not calling time outs, just take a knee to run the clock out in the final two minutes. If your opponent decides to take time outs while chew clock is on, assume that they are still playing to win and this will not be considered stat padding if you score.
In blowout situations, we would like to see a conscious effort made by users to play more conservatively and use the clock as their ally. This can mean a more run-heavy approach, a short & high-percentage passing game, and also giving playing time to backups.
If you are on the losing end of a blowout situation, don’t get into a “turnover fest” by chucking deep balls and spamming the same plays. Keep playing a sim game and get through the game, and move on.
Hot Routes/Audibles: Users may not make more than two hot routes per play. If it appears that these hot routes are being used to intentionally cheese opposing AI then the user will be warned and possibly penalized/suspended based on the situation. You should also not be doing two hot routes on every play. The same rules apply for audibles; you may audible once both sides are set, but you should not be audibling every play. Breaking the hot route/audible rules will most likely lead to in-game player suspensions.
Cancelling Play Action: Users may use this feature (pressing R2 to break out of play action) in appropriate situations only, and may not excessively use it to gain extra time to read a confused defense that doesn't realize the animation has ended (no abusing AI). You may audible your RB out of PA but this should not happen very often and also counts as one of two hot routes you can do.
In addition to cancelling PA, play action is not allowed on 3rd and 8 or longer. Defenders do not respond well to play action, regardless of their play recognition rating or if the defense pass commits, so this can be seen as cheesing if it's done excessively and can result in owner or in-game player suspensions.
Stat Limits for CPU Games: Offensive stat limits are to be adhered to during User vs. CPU games. Maximum stats for each position are as follows:
QBs: 350 yds and 4 TDs. Can also rush for up to 70 yards and a TD.
RBs/WRs/TEs: 150 yds and 2 TDs
Cumulative stat limits: RBs and WRs may have up to 200 total yards rushing and receiving but still cannot break the aforementioned limits with their primary skill. Example: a RB can rush for 100 and catch 100 yards, or rush for 150 and catch for 50.
The leniency on these limits depends on the game situation. In close games we expect teams to play to win, and therefore the limits will not matter, but in blowouts the limits will be strict and the penalties for breaking them will be swift.
These limits exist in order to create a fair experience for those that are not playing CPU opponents. Getting extra XP by demolishing the CPU is lame and will be closely monitored (see Communication and Game Scheduling for info on mandatory CPU streaming). Breaking these stat limits will result in the following in-game player suspensions based on severity:
50 yards over or less: 1 game player suspension
51-150 yards over: 2 game player suspension
151 yards or more over: 3 game player suspension
Exceeding the TD limit will result in a player suspension of 1 game per extra TD
For a second offense, an additional 2 games will be added to the existing player suspension.
Defense: Players are encouraged to mix it up on defense. Yes, we know that man defense has become broken in Madden, but this is a sim league and sitting in Cover 3 Sky/Tampa 2 for 95% of the game will be penalized. Manipulating zones by re-zoning (hot routing) is ALLOWED AS LONG AS YOU HAVE 3 RUSHERS.
Pre snap movement: If a user moves a player manually, they must remain on that player until the ball is snapped. You can move a player that you intend on usering during that play. Moving multiple players up to the line of scrimmage manually is not allowed. Moving any player to the line of scrimmage in the attempt to do a “nano” blitz or other method of getting unfair pressure with 3, 4, or 5 rushers is strictly forbidden.
Rushing the Passer: Teams must have 3 in-the-box (d-line, linebackers) players rushing the passer at all times. Interior d-linemen may not be manually dropped into zone coverage, as this creates AI manipulation and unfair pass rush.
“Circling”/Speed Boosts: Players must not be sprinting when the ball is snapped. You may not move your player around in a circle or sprint during the snap to try to get a speed boost. You may be moving slightly but not a full sprint. Also, players should not be trying to “time” the motion auto-snap plays.
**Any users found to be setting up “nano” blitzes, manipulating offensive AI, or attempting to create untouched pressure with a 3, 4, or 5 man rush will be subject to both an owner and in-game player suspension.
Defensive Playcall: As stated before, we want users to mix up their playcall and really explore their playbooks rather than sitting in Cover 3 for 40 plays. In this league, man coverage will be mandatory for 20% of all defensive plays (meaning about 8-9 plays per game). Each player in this league will be held accountable for meeting this requirement, and therefore no owner will be at more of a disadvantage because of it.
Quarters Defense: The Quarters formation may only be used during Hail Mary Situations. There are other packages to use in regular long passing downs. The penalty for breaking this rule will be a 4 game suspension for the top safety on the team.
At no time should there be only 2 down linemen or a 2 man pass rush.  Suspension of lb and dl for 2 games if caught.
Special Teams: Any owners found of attempting to cause a glitch to achieve successful FG blocks or Punt blocks will be subject to suspension.
2 Point Conversions: These are fair game as teams are starting to turn to them in more than just crunch time situations (do your thing, Mike Tomlin).
Kickoffs: Don’t audible your kickoff return every time, it’s annoying and doesn’t really matter.
Onside Kicks: One surprise onside kick may be used per game. Otherwise this is reserved for the 4th quarter when a team is down more than 3 scores or anytime in the final minutes (last 5) of the game and you are trying to stage a comeback.
Fake Punt/Kicks: Like onside kicks you get one surprise fake kick/punt BUT you must be at or past midfield (50 yard line), or can be used only if down by 3 scores (17+ points) or more. Surprise kicks are NOT subject to the 4th down rules. You may NOT do a fake kick when UP by 3 scores or more. In most cases, we would rather see you put your offense out there and go for it as opposed to faking a punt or kick.
Disconnects: Intentionally disconnecting from a game will not be tolerated and will result in removal from the league. The following situations will determine how actual disconnects will be handled:
Disconnect during 1st half: The game will be mocked back to the same quarter, possession, and score.
Disconnect during 2nd half: The game will be mocked back to the same quarter, possession, and score unless the D.C. player is down by a significant deficit (14+ points). In this case, the player with the lead will replay the game and their opponent will be on mandatory CPU controlled autopilot.
Disconnect during final 2 minutes of 4th quarter where game is unwinnable: (Example: Immediately after a game-ending interception, no possession & no timeouts, etc.) This will result in an automatic win for the other player who will replay the CPU in order to progress.
Disconnect in O.T. after loss of first possession: Same as above.
Quitting:
• If a player quits a game which is in progress for any reason, unless it is mutually agreed upon in the 1st quarter of play for instances such as lag, they will be removed from the league.
Conceding: Conceding will not be tolerated in this league unless the game meets the following conditions:
Game is in 4th Quarter
Team is losing by 21+ points
Both owners agree to the concede.
We expect owners to get through any game they start with the exceptions of disconnects and personal emergencies. However, if your opponent is fine with letting you concede in a true blowout situation then it will be allowed.
Roster Management: A safe rule of thumb when it comes to roster management is to always seek commissioner approval. You will see this as a rule with almost all aspects of roster building and it can save a lot of arguments from happening if permission is gained beforehand. Do NOT change any player position without prior approval from commish committee - doing so will result in that player being suspended 8 games and reset back to his original position.  We will allow certain player position changes with approval.
Free Agency
Cutting Players: Notify a commissioner before making any cuts to players with an 82+ OVR rating. A waiver system will determine who signs recently released free agents. Teams with the worst records will have first dibs similar to the waiver system in real life. Never cut a player during the season with the intention of resigning them to a cheaper one year contract. This must be done during the offseason to allow other teams to realistically bid on their services.
In-Season Free Agency: A manually created waiver system will be implemented during the season to handle big name FAs and recently cut players. Waiver order is determined by taking the inverse of the league standings. Owners will submit waiver claims to a commish and the team with the lowest record that makes a claim will get the player.
Offseason Free Agency: If you are found to be abusing the free agency process in any way at all, you will be subject to removal from the league. Other punishments can include owner suspension and/or player suspension. As with any other rule or roster building decision, ask a commissioner or experienced user if you are unsure of the legitimacy of something.
Visual evidence will be required for any player that signs a 5-year, 6-year, or 7-year deal. This evidence must show that this player legitimately asked for this contract. You are allowed to offer less years than what a player asks for, but cannot offer more. This applies to offseason free agents AND re-signing players during the season.
Owners are not allowed to “overload” bonus money towards the end of the franchise. This means that you must keep offers realistic even when we know that the franchise is almost finished for the year. In general, make realistic offers to free agents.
Bidding wars in offseason free agency will be monitored. We all know how bad the bidding system can be at times, but the commishes will step in and end a bidding war if we feel that it is getting out of hand and/or unrealistic. For massive bidding wars, be prepared to take screenshots of your offer to show the commishes before advance time.
We have 53 roster spots available for our team, and you are required to carry 53 players on your team at all times! Listed are the minimum required at every position which EQUALS 43 PLAYERS, fill in the rest how you so choose to get to 53 players.
***NO EXCEPTIONS...every NFL team carries 53, and so will we
***Obviously...the Offseason is the only time we are allowed to go under 53

QB - 2
HB - 3
WR - 4 (RBK 65 and under)
FB/TE - 3
*MUST have a minimum of 8 OL
*MUST have a minimum of 6 DL
MLB - 2
OLB - 3
*MUST have a minimum of 6 LB
CB - 4
FS - 1
SS - 1
*MUST have a minimum of 4 SAFETIES
K - 1 (Cannot have OVER 1 K either)
P – 1 (Cannot have OVER 1 P either)
Player Depth Chart/Substitutions
On Depth chart/in game substitutions and/or formation packages, the following players can ONLY play the following positions. This also applies to injuries, it's your fault if you don’t have enough players to cover the DC/Sub requirements. If an audible or anything else puts the wrong player in a wrong spot, this is an illegal play and punishable.
Example:
Free Safety:  FS, SS
***that means only FS's and SS's can be in the FS slots on your Depth Chart.
Cornerback:  CB, FS, SS
***that means only CB's, FS's and SS's can be in the CB slots on your Depth Chart.
Quarterback : QB unless it's Wild Cat play
Halfback : HB or FB unless it's Wild Cat Play
Fullback : FB, TE (dual HB is allowed if in Shotgun/Pistol formation only)Fb#3 anything
Wide Receiver :  WR, (TE/HB if #4 or #5 on Depth Chart only)
Tight End : TE, (FB and LT,RT allowed only for #3 slots - or if subbed in must be in 3 TE formation)
*The formations or automatic sub packages that ALLOW FB/OL to play the 2nd TE ARE ALLOWED, but you can only MANUALLY SUB them in if it's a 3 TE Set
*OL Rules ONLY apply to STARTER SLOTS.  Backups can be any position mix.
Defensive Tackle: DT, 3-4 LE, 3-4 RE (4-3 LE and 4-3 RE are allowed if used only in a passing situations and in certain sub packages such as NASCAR)
Defensive End: LE, RE, DT
Outside Linebacker: LOLB, ROLB, MLB
Middle Linebacker: MLB, LOLB, ROLB
Cornerback : CB, FS, SS
Free Safety : FS, SS
Strong Safety : SS, FS
Kicker : K
Punter : P
***Defensive players are NOT allowed to be subbed in on Offense for any reason, at any time!!!!
The ONLY situation where this is OK is where the formation has a defensive player in there in a "DEFAULT PACKAGE" fashion....for example:  The 49ers "I Form Heavy" Formation.
Although we do see Defensive players being subbed on Offense in real life...it opens up a can of worms that a "Video Game" just cannot handle
*****These depth chart rules are very strict and will be followed closely.  The only way to get around the above limitations is to Request a "Player Position Change" during the offseason which has its own dedicated thread.
Position Change Requests
--In-Season you are allowed to make those "Symetrical Changes" that the game allows you to.  For example moving a LG to RG or a LOLB to ROLB.
***If you are found however to be doing this in order to manipulate the XP system then you will be severely punished
***If a guy is starting for you at one position and you DO have the ability to change him to that position in-season, then you MUST do so.
***Going forward we will allow OL to change positions and be in other positions on the depth chart than their listed position.
***OLB position change request will need to be submitted on the Daddy League forum and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  The threshold is easy...if the OLB has played DE in the NFL we will allow the move.  When you submit this request please provide your proof at the same time.
***OLBs are not to be in the DE position on your depth chart nor subbed in during the game at DE.
***No other positions will be allowed to be changed.***

Trading
All Trades are to be sent to the commissioners/trade committee for approval. There will be a revolving trade committee throughout the franchise made up of the 3 commissioners and 2 at-large users. Users with a sim score of less than 6 will not be eligible for the trade committee. The following rules apply to trading in the league:
Absolutely no CPU trading at any time.
When a trade is agreed upon, both users should submit the details of the trade (player, age, development trait, cap hit) to the commissioners for review.
Both sides should bring perspective to the trade committee when agreeing to a trade. We want to hear from you how it will make football sense for your team to make this trade.
New users must play a minimum of FOUR user games before making a trade of any kind. Games in which the user was allowed to play the CPU-controlled autopilot opponent count towards the total as well. This rule exists to keep rosters from being dismantled by a new user who may not be interested in staying in the league.
Never offer the trade “in-game” until it is first approved by the committee.
Trade deadline will always follow the real-life deadline. Owners should know about the trade deadline in advance.
Draft pick Trading:
Owners may not trade all of their draft picks away as a team-building method. There must never be a 3-round gap or greater between picks, and owners are not allowed to consistently trade away picks from rounds 5-7 in order to avoid rookie contracts and cap penalties for cutting bad rookie players.
Teams may have a maximum of 12 draft picks for any given draft.
Owners may trade draft picks during the draft itself but cannot trade players at this time.
Draft night trades can be tough to monitor, and therefore these trades will be critically evaluated AFTER the draft is completed. Don’t try to take advantage of users, as suspensions can be handed out after these trades are evaluated. However, anytime a 1st round pick is traded, prior approval is needed from a trade committee member.
Scouting: There aren’t really any rules regarding scouting for CFM. If users wish to use websites to help scout then fair game. All users will start as a created coach, and therefore nobody will get a scouting discount on any position group that comes with being an owner.
Team Blogging
As a group, we strive to have the most active league possible and to get as much investment as we can from league members to make it fun. As a result, we encourage users to keep a team blog of their games via the Daddyleague website (i.e. in the style of a local beat reporter doing game previews/recaps). Examples of these blogs can be shown to any prospective member and, while it is not a requirement, this can be a fun way to increase league activity and hype up big games.

We encourage fun and fair game play without interfering with a particular player’s style. We welcome any questions a prospective or current owner may have regarding the league or its rules. Respect comes first in this league, and regardless of your league standing, the harshest penalties we give will come as the result of issues involving disrespect. We are aware of the difference between trash talk and disrespect and if this is a line you cannot help but cross then you will not be welcome in the league. Good luck and have fun!