UPDATED MAY 24, 2017
Welcome to the OIFL! If you're here, hopefully this is what you're looking for. If you're accidentally stumbling upon this page, hopefully you're interested enough to jump on board and get onto the OIFL waiting list! Feel free to email the OIFL front office (me) at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time if this is confusing or overwhelming. If you couldn't guess, these are the OIFL's rules, broken up into four categories: general rules, the OIFL season, the OIFL offseason, and final notes.
THE GENERAL STUFF
Requirements to Play: To play in the OIFL, you need a working e-mail address and the internet. I would also strongly suggest you have a Facebook account (or AIM, though we don't use that much anymore) for greater workability with other owners, but it's not a requirement.
What is Arena/Indoor Football? Hopefully, wanting to play in an arena/indoor football based league, you would know what Arena and/or Indoor football is. But, if you have any questions, feel free to contact the OIFL Commissioner at email@example.com
Creating a Team's Name: A team's name needs to have the city/region and a mascot. It must be in good taste. You can use real indoor team names, provided that team doesn't play anymore (OIFL's London Monarchs is an example).
Creating a Team's Logo and Uniform: Each team needs a logo and uniform. For the uniform, you can simply describe the colors that the team will be sporting. OIFL Webmaster Robert Cole does an awesome job with logos; we can hook you up with him when you join to get a good one.
Your Team's Home Arena: Every team has its own arena to play in. You get to decide the name of the arena (it can be fictional), and its capacity in five types of seating. Sideline (first few rows, limit of 500 seats), lower (behind the sideline seats), middle (second level), upper (third level), and club seats (the fancy ones with catering and stuff). There is no size limit to your arena, but 70,000 seat places aren't feasible for indoor football.
Will the OIFL be running a team? Only in a pinch.
You Need to Know This Page: http://www.oifl.net/stat/roster.htm - The Roster Page is where most of the damage is done.
THE IN-SEASON STUFF
Personnel Management: Preseason: Before the OIFL season starts, you will have to get a roster put together. The OIFL active roster has a maximum of 28 players, but for financial reasons may be smaller (this hasn't really been the case that teams can't afford a 28 man roster for quite some time; there's plenty of minimum-salary guys on the market). The roster will be fully stocked via free agency, a dispersal draft (if needed) and an annual entry draft. Following is a list of the different ratings a player has. Each of these has a rating between 0-10ish (higher is better, and 10 is not a maximum), with some being above 10 due to training camp:
*Pass Accuracy: How accurate a thrower is he?
*Pass Strength: How strong is his arm?
*Carry: Player's ability to carry and run with the ball. OFFENSIVE RATING
*Speed: How fast is he?
*Receiving: How well can he catch?
*Blocking: Ability to block the other team from getting to your guy?
*Blitzing: Ability to get to the opposing quarterback or runners in the backfield, around blockers.
*Kick Strength: Strength of a kicking leg
*Kick Accuracy: Accuracy of a kicking leg
*Pass Defense: Ability to keep a receiver from getting to the ball (without committing pass interference)
*Tackling: How well can this guy take down a ball carrier?
*Fumble: Player's ability to force others to drop the football, and the ability to pick up loose balls. DEFENSIVE RATING
*Leadership: The gel that holds a team together. A player's ability to lead his teammates, and a player's ability to respond to other leadership forces (practice strategies, other teammates).
Note: Training camp rules allow teams to work on ratings of players that are at 10 or higher, so the 10 is not a maximum. Please note the pass defense ability of Detroit DS Marlo Dadey, which has eclipsed 11.
Check out every player's abilities at the OIFL's roster page, at http://www.oifl.net/stat/roster.htm
OIFL Preseason: Teams will play two preseason games (one home, one away) each year. Teams are given the option to schedule said games. The league will fill any holes. In the preseason, young players (under 2.0 age) that get playing time will be entered into a pool where they may receive a boost in a rating of 0.2. This boost will be in addition to training camp work which will be discussed below.
OIFL Regular Season: The regular season consists of 16 games per team, and it will be played in 17 weeks. We utilize old NFL schedules for the league's 30 teams - for 2017, we are using the 1995 NFL schedule.
In-Game Information: Home field advantage depends on a couple of things. It depends on how good your team has done at its home field in the past. New teams will be given a bit of a reprieve. It also depends on the strength of the team, how well the team looks like it's doing, and the game's attendance itself.
OIFL rules are almost verbatim like the rules of the National Indoor Football League. For that league's rulebook, please visit this site: http://www.oifl.net/stat/2005_NIFLRuleBook.pdf . The OIFL's rule differences are as follows:
*In the OIFL, like the AFL used to be, there are six two-way players. You may sub them out and back in once per each quarter. If you don't use a substitution for one of the WRDBs in a quarter, it does not carry over to the next quarter. Unlike the old AFL rules, there is unlimited substitution for specialists (QB, OS, DS, K).
* We allow defensive stunting
* RB in motion can take handoff in the 'alley' (but if in motion can't be in the alley at the snap)
* C can recover fumbled C/QB exchange - but otherwise the ball must be in possession of another player
* Six players must play both ways.
* An OL wearing an eligible number and not covered up on the line (note: a motion man perpendicular to the line DOES meet the 4-on-the-line requirement but it does NOT cover up a player!) is automatically eligible; he does not have to declare to go out for a pass.
* I don't know if the NIFL says it...two RBs in the backfield = two LBs allowed in the alley. Three RBs in the backfield = three LBs allowed in the alley. 0 RBs in the backfield still = 1 LB allowed in the alley. Unlike the AFL rules, the LBs don't have to be in any certain place (they can't be in the AFL box, but they don't have to line up in the alley, either).
* OIFL overtime is played like NCAA overtime, except that each overtime possession begins with a kickoff (as opposed to placement on the 25-yard line), and onsides kicks are not permitted in overtime.
Your Squad and Lineups: A team's active roster can have up to 28 players on it. The bare minimum is 8 players, but you'd be stupid to try that. Of those players, up to 11 will start. Each team's roster can be viewed at http://www.oifl.net/stats/roster.htm
Practice Squad: The OIFL does not utilize a practice squad. Gameday rosters have 28 players.
Loans: Teams are not permitted to loan players to other teams.
Trading: Teams can trade all they want, with a trading deadline of Week 12 of the OIFL season. If a trade is particularly unethical in nature, the league office reserves the right to refuse it. The league office has done this in the past.
Salary Cap and Luxury Tax: The OIFL has no maximum player or team salary. Teams in the top 25% of salaries (top 8 teams) will be taxed at a rate of $1.50 per $1.00 over the line between the eighth and ninth-highest team salary (including bonuses and cut penalties). This money is allocated to teams in the bottom 25% of annual revenues at a rate consummate to the amount into that bottom 25% the team has spent. The roster page tab 'luxurytax' has a good diagram of where teams stand currently and what they'll owe at year's end.
Tax Allocations: Cut penalties issued to players that have two or three years LEFT on their contracts will be equally allocated over however much time is left for tax purposes (the cash payment goes out immediately), for a maximum of 3 years. For signing bonuses, the bonus is accrued over the first three years (or length of contract if shorter).
Game Strategy: Each week, you are to send me your starting lineup. For general strategies, you need a quarterback, three skill position players (generally a RB/LB and two WR/DBs), three linemen (OL/DL), the offensive specialist, two defensive specialists and a placekicker. The other (up to 15, unless specialists are starting two-way as well) active players are available in case of substitution or injury. You can play unorthodox positions, like using the OS as a fullback in the game and having three WRDBs. The possibilities in OIFL brand football really are endless.
Every week, along with that lineup, you should send a strategy for that game. It doesn't have to be complex, but it can be. Note: Players CAN switch positions while playing in a game. For example, your backup RB/LB can play on the line if you so desire. The position names both for the roster page and for your strategy submission are nominal. If you get right down to it, there are six two-way players and two offensive and defensive specialists. You may play your quarterback on defense (only Anthony LaPetri, and that was when the league stunk for talent, has ever done this with any regularity; Santiago Guerrero is the only other possibility in that regard). You may play guys listed at "WR/DB" as an OS or a DS. That's perfectly fine.
For the strategy, you can send in a strategy where the team is to "do the same things as last week." It will be processed as such, but it's not going to be as effective as a full-on strategy. But if you're busy, you're busy, and I respect that. According to some owners, I respect that too much, but that's not really a discussion for here. I always promise you'll get what you pay for.
Weekly Practices: Each week, a team has the opportunity to set up a practice session/practice schedule for that week. When setting up a practice, please explain what the practice's focus will be. These practices can be very useful, as they allow the players to work on what the team will focus on in their next game, therefore making your game strategy much more focused. Teams that practice will play better, and it could be the difference between a division title and missing the playoffs altogether.
Film Sessions: Obviously, there is no actual "film" of the OIFL games. However, to imitate the ability to watch film, teams are able to ask me questions about their opponent. Examples include how many players played when, general strategies, and things to that nature.
Injured players: This is football. Injuries happen a whole lot more than we'd ever really want. Each week, there will be a number of injuries equal to half the number of games played that week. Players could miss anywhere from no time up to the entire remainder of a season. All injuries are dissolved once a team's season is over (postseason as well, if applicable). With a 30-team league, there are up to 15 games every week. The OIFL will have 8 injured players per week. The injuries are randomized as to who gets hurt with a slant toward teams with >10 non-ldsp ratings and aging players, and a benefit to teams starting younger players. With this system, out of 160ish die rolls (rounding), no team ever had more than 8 rolls of 160ish (or 180ish when we had 36 teams), and that only happened for one week. The average will be 5, and it will usually roll between 3 and 7. I don't believe 2 nor 8 have ever happened.
Medical Facilities - OIFL teams can spend $250,000 per week per player to earn a 1/6 shot at reducing that player's injury status by a week. Call it "expanded medical facilities" or something.
Fatigue: Playing just the starters all game every game will wear them out during the games, and during the season. This will increase the risk of those injuries coming to haunt your team. Each team has 28 roster spots...it would be a good idea to use a lot of those 28 players in games to make sure your team doesn't get plagued by fatigue.
How games will be decided: Games will be decided upon the stats of the players, as well as age, injury, strategies, etc.
Revenue: After each game, revenue from ticket sales, merchandising, television, etc... will be added to your total profits. Salaries will be taken away from that total profit amount. The home team will receive 80% of revenues from their games, and the away teams in that week will pool together and receive the average of the 20% of away revenue throughout the league.
Concessions: The OIFL has a long list of concessions to make money from. The OIFL has set up sweet deals with the arenas to give the teams 50% of the profits. The set of concessions each team has are on the "team info" tab of the roster page at http://www.oifl.net/stats/roster.htm
Merchandising: The merchandising list includes 10 items. After the original cost of making/selling them, all of the money (80% home share) goes to the team. The merchandise list is also on the roster page on the team info tab, with the concessions.
TV/Radio Revenue: The OIFL has league-wide radio and television contracts with the fictitious "Miller Sports Network." Rights amounts will increase approximately 3% per year, which will be paid out before the preseason begins.
Advertising: Teams may sell advertising to companies for dasherboard ads, end zone ads, "field corner" ads (at the 20 yard lines on each side), at midfield, and on teams' jerseys. The team info tab of the roster page has detail of what teams charge.
Parking: Teams will receive 50% of parking revenue for their games.
Debt: Being in debt carries severe repercussions. For one, teams cannot sign free agents while they are in debt. Two, teams can not add salary in trades while they are in debt. Three, the OIFL will force player moves by teams if they are continually in debt (four weeks - not consecutive - during a season), unless there is a true and concerted effort by the team in debt to fix that problem.
Loans: The OIFL will provide loans for all teams in debt. These loans will be administered during the offseason, and will be at a rate of 1/2% per week of the season. If the team can't seem to make money after being given a loan, the OIFL will help search for alternate methods to reduce debt (such as forced player moves - see the debt note above).
OIFLCup Playoffs: The annual OIFL Championship Game has always been known as The OIFLCup Game. With 30 teams in the OIFL, the playoffs will be single-elimination with four teams earning a bye, so 12 teams will make the OIFL playoffs. Playoff games up to OIFLCup (which is held at a neutral site) will be held at the higher seed's home arena. The division winners of the eight OIFL divisions are guaranteed playoff spots in their respective conference, and can not receive a seed lower than 6 in either conference.
OIFLCup X is to be held at Brinkhaven's Bombing Square, as will every cup number multiplied by 5. This was nearly unanimously voted in by the owners in order to honor one of the original (and now deceased) OIFL franchises, the Brinkhaven Bombers. Hint: You know above where I said "I used to, but not anymore"? That was Brinkhaven. It's my hometown. It's in Ohio. Just go with it.
Playoff Crossover: To ensure there isn't a deserving 7th place team that gets bumped out of a playoff spot, a 7 seed with two more wins than the other conference's 6 seed will earn that seed instead. This has happened numerous times, but only in an era with 36 teams in the league and 16 playoff teams.
Also, playoff games net a fair bonus from the OIFL on top of ticket sales. The OIFL gives a percentage of its funds to teams that make it to each round and win in each round. The finances tab of the roster page gives a breakdown of what teams are looking to receive at any current moment; that number will rise weekly to the OIFLCup Game.
OIFLCup Ticket Prices: The OIFLCup ticket prices will be 150% of the average ticket price at each seating section in the OIFL. OIFLCup is held at a neutral site each year.
OIFLCup I: Cleveland's Gund Arena
OIFLCup II: Dallas' American Airlines Arena
OIFLCup III: New York City's Madison Square Gardens
OIFLCup IV: Denver's PepsiCenter
OIFLCup V: Brinkhaven's Bombing Square
OIFLCup VI: New York City's Madison Square Gardens
OIFLCup VII: Salt Lake City's Delta Center
OIFLCup VIII: Washington, D.C.'s Verizon Wireless Arena
OIFLCup IX: Las Vegas's Thomas & Mack Center
OIFLCup X: Brinkhaven's Bombing Square
OIFLCup XI: Louisville's YUM! Center
OIFLCup XII: Lincoln's Pershing Center
OIFLCup XIII: Orlando's Amway Arena
OIFLCup XIV: The Roost in Detroit
OIFLCup XV: Brinkhaven's Bombing Square
OIFLCup XVI: Dodge City's State Farmers Insurance Arena
OIFLCup XVII and beyond (due to vote): Brinkhaven's Bombing Square
Owner Participation: Team owners are strongly recommended to make a website, etc... to get involved with the game more than just sending lineups in. Press releases do this very well. For weeks you are not available, you can send in a default strategy. These strategies are good for as long as you're gone, but lose effectiveness as time goes on.
If you do not send any updates, lineups, strategies, etc... for an extended period of time (4 weeks), the OIFL will probably take over your squad and you will be given the boot. If you have a legitamate reason to be gone, please tell us, and we'll sit tight with your team, doing whatever you want us to do with it. If you continually miss strategies here and there from year to year, you will also run the risk of getting the dreaded "Thank you for being in the OIFL!" email. And it is dreaded. People have nightmares about it.
Press: Teams can submit press releases about anything, as long as the articles are in good taste. Press releases do have a positive impact on attendance. Teams that submit press often will have better attendance, even if they're not quite so good on the field. There is a special press release section on the OIFL message board.
AFTER THE SEASON - AND OIFL ROSTER MOVE RULES
Resigning players: OIFL football players are professional athletes. That means they want their money. That said, if a player's been overpaid for awhile, he will usually be willing to get a long-term deal at a lesser salary. Anything in terms of contracts is basically allowed in the OIFL, including any sort of incentive. There are a few issues that players may have when it's resigning time (though usually players will resign):
*Arguments on contract size/length
*Desire to leave a city
*Incentives (players will haggle those, too)
Do note, OIFL players will not hold out. They will honor their contracts, though you may hear grumblings.
OIFL Owners Meetings: The OIFL holds owners meetings after each season to discuss rule changes. The OIFL's owners (within reason) can change rules around to make the OIFL a more competitive league. If the Commissioner deems a topic potentially useful and worth discussion, it will be discussed and voted on by the league. They usually last around two weeks. And sometimes, if it's extra special, I might even update this rules page afterwards...
Personnel Movement: Except in the Free Agency Free-For-All (FAFFA), players will be signed from free agency via a waiver system. After FAFFA ends, players are generally first-come-first-serve, though some FA players may have "special" demands as to where they want to play, or what type of team.
Trading is also an important piece of putting an OIFLCup caliber team together. Teams are always (sometimes too) willing to trade for picks, players, cash, or whatever else. BOTH TEAMS must submit trades to the league office when one is consummated. The OIFL's trade deadline is after Week 12 of the Regular season. Teams may complete trades after that, but they will not be processed until the offseason.
FAFFA: The biggest free-for-all in fantasy sports, FAFFA is where players that didn't get resigned by their teams, or expired contract players that were on now-defunct teams, get their cash. And do they get paid. FAFFA has two rounds. Round one, all players are included, and teams email the league with their bids. Round two, the top three "or so" bidding owners are emailed with a second opportunity to bid. The player will take the best bid, based on his circumstances (many times money, but not always).
OIFL DRAFT RULES AND PROCEDURES
*All trades involving OIFL draft picks must be processed to the league office.
*Trades must be approved by the OIFL.
*MAKE SURE YOU OWN THE PICKS YOU'RE DEALING! The roster page is very clear now on what picks teams own.
*There are FIVE or SIX rounds of the OIFL Entry Draft. The first five are common to every draft; the sixth round is for compensatory picks in the case of an expansion draft or prior year passed picks.
OIFL Entry Draft: There are at least five rounds in the OIFL Entry Draft. Each team will get one pick in each round, and that pick will be placed by the team's standing in the previous season (as in the NFL). Each draft will have sleeper players; players that look like their ratings stink but turn out to be potential superstars. There will be four sleepers in each OIFL Entry Draft (though that number could be subject to change). The sleeper players are picked before the draft, so in theory one team could pick all of them. The 2006 and 2007 OIFL Entry Drafts both had four sleepers. The sleepers will be announced at the end of the OIFL Entry Draft.
Cut Penalty: Any player that is dropped from his contract before the total length of it has been served must pay that player 1/5 (20%) of what he was entitled to. There are two exceptions, including:
*Players with one-year contracts (YC, not YL on the roster page); this cut is free in the offseason, unless the contract stipulates otherwise.
*Players whose contracts were made fully guaranteed, or fully nonguaranteed.
Offseason Roster Limit - In the offseason, OIFL teams have no roster size limit. Limits start in the preseason. The preseason limits are 40 players for Pre-1 and 35 players for Pre-2. The in-season roster limit is 26 players.
Relocation & Expansion: The league currently is good at 30 teams. So, if the league loses owners from that current crop, I'll pull from the waiting list (if we have one) to fill those holes. As for relocation, all relocations must be approved at the OIFL's league meetings.
Player Aging: Each season, a player will age by the roll of a 10-sided die, divided by 10. All rookies begin at the age of 0. Players will age on a schedule determined by rolls of the die, but averaging a loss of the following ratings on an annual basis (actual ratings loss is based on a six-sided die roll for each rating on a player):
*Age between 5-5.9: 2%
*Age between 6-6.9: 4%
*Age between 7-7.9: 6%
*Age 8+: 8%
Pass accuracy and kick accuracy will atrophy at half the usual prescribed rate. 20% of all ratings drops (rounded to the nearest 0.1 rating point) will also be added to the player's leadership rating, which does NOT get reduced with aging.
Kickers won't start the aging process until age 6. Basically, they're 1.0 "age" behind other players in aging.
OIFL MVP: The owners vote on the OIFL's MVP award after the season. The player with the highest vote is voted OIFL MVP. Past OIFL MVP winners:
2001: OL/DL Gary Boddy, Fort McMurray Fatmen
2002: WR/DB Perry Tuttle, Lexington Knights
2003: RB/LB Grayson Norman, Wichita Warlords
2004: RB/LB Kevin Mintz, Detroit Gargoyles
2005: QB Brice Pennington, Mobile Seamen
2006: RB/LB John Avery, Memphis Crusaders
2007: QB Matt Sauk, Vancouver Island Vengeance
2008: RB/LB Marlin Otis, Arkansas Outlaws
2009: QB Montrel Dilworth, Tampa Bay Marauders
2010: RB/LB Marlin Otis, Kansas City Tigers
2011: RB/LB Roland Young, Cedar Valley Phantoms
2012: RB/LB Royce Buchanan, Vancouver Island Blitz
2013: RB/LB Markelle Cox, Texas Terrors
2014: QB Chris Berkstead, Ohio Commanders
2015: QB Kidd Gunn, London Monarchs
Training Camp: Before preseason games are played, teams are able to get their players together for offseason training camp. This is a great way to get the team acclimated to one another, as the OIFL seems to have a pretty good player turnover rate in places not named Evansville. Each player on a roster is given 10 attempts to improve any rating in multiples of 5 attempts. Five players on each team are given 20. To determine what chance there is of that occuring, use the following formula: 12 + rating - leadership (leadership over 12 counts as 12). The rounded whole number is the lowest hit number for the rating improvement by using a 20-sided die. Each hit also has a 15% chance of being worth an 0.2 upgrade and 10% chance of being an 0.3 upgrade. Players can also be grouped together by relevant ratings to average out hit numbers and add 20% more attempts to whatever was allocated. Don't worry, I'll send a detailed email every year when camp time shows up.
Scrimmages: Teams may schedule two inter- or intra-squad scrimmages, or one of each, or one, or none.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat: After camp and scrimmages comes the OIFL Preseason and its two games. After that, it's the Race to the next OIFLCup Game! If you've made it through, congratulations! Now go back and do it again!
Got a question? Good. We're here to help. If there's any trouble understanding any of these rules, feel free to contact the OIFL at firstname.lastname@example.org. That's what we're here for.
Authority: The OIFL Commissioner has the final authority over all matters pertaining to the OIFL. This rule will not be changed, ever. If you have a legitimate question or beef about a rule, please contact the OIFL office at email@example.com, and we will figure something out. If you just want to complain about everything, go play Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.
The OIFL is a fantasy league. That means it's totally fake. Yeah, there are real player names. Two ways this can happen: One, guys created in 2001 and 2002 were created by team owners, so there will be real names (see: Tennessee Valley Vipers and Los Angeles Xtreme). Two, I use a combination of phone books and owner suggestions to create entry draft names. My wife's boss is a former third-string OIFL quarterback that just got retired. Met the man. Didn't play a lick of sports in his life, guaranteed. If you really have a problem with a fake league where I spend $60 a year for this website using your name, let me know (and yes, it's happened before; Matt Sauk emailed me asking what a Fatmen was and why he was on their roster). Otherwise, come on. This is a fantasy league.