XBFL Rules

XBFL Official Rules & Guidelines

Last Modified: 2/25/17
© The XBFL 2002-2017, All Rights Reserved

 

Updates for 2017:

  1. -Clarification of illegal playbook (2f)

  2. -Presentation of playbooks being used (2f)

  3. -Negative feedback from members and course of action (9b, 8z)

  4. -Twitch/broadcast account requirements (10b)

  5. -Playoff game broadcast requirements (10b, 9b)

  6. -Weekly league reporting (8z)

  7. -Rule infraction protocols and resolutions (8z)

  8. -GroupMe account requirements(10c2)


  1. -Updates for 2016:

  2. -Rule 2c removed the example of “Peyton Manning” now that he is retired.  Replaced with Cam Newton.

  3. -Rule 4i regarding the filling of vacant teams during the season.

  4. -Rule 8p concerning repetitive play calling.





1A Initial Requirements for Membership


1b.
Age Requirement: The XBFL is open to strict sim-gamers age 21 and older that will adhere to the rules and regulations stated below.

1d.
Console & Time Requirements:  Members must have an Xbox One and a valid Gold account on Xbox Live.  Members must also be able to commit to a one-game-per-week schedule over the course of 17 weeks plus playoffs if applicable for the NFL format league, and two-games-per-week for the Madden Fantasy Football leagues.


1e. Conduct Requirements:  All members are fully expected to abide by all of the rules and guidelines of this league, both explicit and implied with regard to sportsmanlike conduct and sim-gameplay.

1f.
Broadband Requirements: DSL/Fioptics, Cable, T1 Internet service.  DSL modem users must have a minimum speed of 10 Mbps DL/1.5 Mbps UL.  Satellite broadband is not acceptable unless the subscriber can provide a consistent lag-free gaming experience.

1g.
Regional Requirements:  North American residents (U.S. and most of Canada).

1h.
Communication Requirements: All members must be able to respond by email to scheduling requests within 48 hours.



2A General Format Guidelines


Teams (Madden Football): Only the 32 standard NFL teams are permitted.  Only default rosters are allowed (provided through roster updates via Xbox Live).  Teams with custom rosters or altered player attributes are forbidden.

Pre-Season: Time permitting, preseason activity will consist of a four week period prior to each season following the release of a new Madden product.  This will give players an "adjustment period" to the new game, and allow time for any needed rule or game setting changes prior to the regular season.

Players are encouraged to provide feedback to the commissioner regarding game glitches or exploitations that could be abused during regular season play.

If a member of the league fails to play two or more preseason games, they will be removed from the league and the vacant roster spot will be filled by an individual on the standby list.

Regular Season: Each season will be comprised of 16 games with one bye week. Playoffs will follow the format of the NFL with seedings assigned by Madden.  It is important to note that in the past, errors have existed with regard to accurate playoff seedings in Madden titles.  The XBFL cannot override any such errors.

NFL Schedule Requirements:  One game per week.  Schedule advances each Sunday at 1pm EST.

Fantasy Schedule Requirements:  Two games per week.  Schedule advances each Wednesday and Sunday at the times specified each season.

Game Format:  Each and every “NFL format” game will run using 7 minute quarters with the difficulty set to All-Pro.  Playoffs and the SuperBowl will use the same gameplay format as the regular season.

The Madden Fantasy League will also use 7 minute quarters, however CPU difficulty will now be set to “Madden” unless otherwise noted.  This is a change for Madden 2011 as it will hopefully dissuade some gamers from padding their stats and continually running “money plays” against CPU-run teams.

Matchups: Each head-to-head matchup scheduled will be one person vs. one person. Multiple players competing on the same team is not permitted.

Team Distribution: This will be discussed via newsletter to XBFL members prior to Draft Day.

Team Selection:  The draft will take place in five separate sessions using a Random Number Generator program to determine the selection order of each of the following groups: Senior Members (15+ seasons) will select first followed by Veteran Members (10-14 seasons), Tenured Members (5-9 seasons) then Developing Players (1-4 seasons) and finally Rookies (no experience). 

The reasons behind this new drafting process stems from three issues:

1) Many times in the past, unproven rookies have had prime drafting positions but soon afterwards were removed from the league due to rule infractions once competition commenced.

2) Established members, who over time have continually supported this league and proved to be role models of the game are to be rewarded for their loyalty with preferential team selection over lesser experienced (i.e. newer) members.

3) By offering different draft classes, less experienced members will have an incentive to participate regularly and remain loyal to the league.

**Beginning Madden 12**  The fall season XBFL Champion will automatically be placed with the “Senior Members” group in the following fall season’s draft provided they have at least two full seasons worth of experience.  If an
existing Senior Member wins a fall season championship, he will earn the first pick in the team draft the following spring or season (if applicable).**

2b Team Setup for EA's Madden Football: Teams will be made up of the roster set provided to us by EA Sports at the start of each new season.   Substitutions, depth chart changes, and setting audibles are acceptable but it is asked that you respect the time and patience of your competitor.  In other words, substitutions should be made prior to kickoff or as quickly as possible.  Audibles should be set before the first kickoff and changed during halftime if necessary, unless the quick audible feature is utilized where it does not delay the progress of a game.  Again, be considerate of your opponent's time.

While depth chart adjustments may be made, it is required that players remain in their skilled positions.  In other words, a speedster WR or RB may not be placed on defense or in a position offensively that they would not normally be found in real life (e.g. WR as a TE).  A few specific examples worth noting are:

- A full-back can be placed at the half-back position (ex. Le’Ron McClain, Jed Collins, Greg Jones, etc.).
- A half-back
cannot be placed on a team’s roster as a full-back.  Additionally, a half-back cannot be placed at the full-back position at the line of scrimmage unless it is a pre-designed (i.e. default in-game) formation.
- A half-back or full-back cannot take the position as a wide-receiver on team’s
depth chart unless a play calls for them to be in a WR formation (which in shotgun/empty set formations, can be common for some teams).
- A tight-end may play as a wide-receiver but a wide-receiver may not take on the role of a tight-end.
- A tight-end
cannot be placed on a team’s roster as the starting full-back unless the default playbook calls for them to be (e.g. Virgil Green of Denver).  Certain exclusions apply including injury to the starting FB.
- Any player position can be added as a special teams returner.


2c
Player Trading with Madden Football (NFL Format):
While trades are permissible between team owners, there are limitations:  

- Tier 1 players (i.e. franchise players, or players who are "heavily marketed" by their respective real-life NFL teams) cannot be traded.  A few examples would be the likes of Adrian Peterson, Dez Bryant and Cam Newton. The purpose of this rule is to discourage a "fantasy football" environment and to preserve the spirit of the NFL.  The XBFL wants each team to maintain its identity by retaining the stars of each respective team.  Players rated 90 and higher may not be traded or released to free agency unless they are in the final year of their contract or become injured for the duration of a current season (and a second/continuation of the season is planned).

- Tier 2 and Tier 3 players can be traded freely, and these are generally identified (aside from name recognition) as having an overall player rating of 89 or less.   

- A single team cannot trade more than five (5) players over the course of a single season.  

- No more than three players from a single team may be part of a single transaction.  

- No more than three players may be traded to the same team during a season.

- All trades must FIRST be approved by the Commissioner (or admin staff) via email before the offer is submitted through Madden Online.

2d Trade Center: In 2014, Madden introduced an improved Trade Center that allows for easier trading with human and CPU teams (if applicable).  If a player uses the Trade Center, the aforementioned trading rules of this league will still apply. Additionally, no player/team may incorporate draft picks as part of a trade offering.  Only NFL players may be part of a trade for other players.  Draft picks are NOT to be used.

2e Free Agency Market:
- (1) Free Agency acquisitions may not begin until the start of Week 3 unless a team has encountered a season ending injury to a starter rated 70 or higher.  In this situation, a coach must notify the commissioner of the situation for review, and information regarding the proposed replacement for the injured starting player must be forwarded in a timely manner.  If granted, the injured player may be replaced with a free agent prior to Week 3.

- (2) If an in-game FA player is signed on to a real NFL team and is not reflected in the DL Madden roster update affecting our league - - the appropriate team's coach may acquire that player at any time (if still available).  They will also not be "charged" a FA pick in this specific situation.

**
If a player is acquired through FA by a specific in-game team, but later picked up by a different "real" NFL team, EA's Madden DL updates may or may not affect the previous FA acquisition made in the XBFL/Madden league.  If it is not updated accordingly through a downloadable update, the 1st team to acquire that particular player "owns" the rights to that player. If the DLC does in fact remove the previously acquired player from a different team, that team will earn back one of their five available FA picks (see FA rule #5).

- (3) An announcement will be made near the end of Week 2 to indicate that the free-agency pool will be available to the entire league on a specified date.  No acquisitions may be made beforehand with the exception of the scenario described in FA Rules #1 or #2 above.

- (4) Each team may not acquire more than one free agent in a given week (Monday-Sunday) including injured replacements.

- (5) Each team may not acquire more than five free agents during a season regardless of whether or not they are meant to replace injured starting players ranked 70 or higher.

- (6) Fictitious players (e.g. EA staff developers or celebrities) and NFL legends that are a part of any Madden release may NOT be drafted or acquired through waivers or free agency.  Only current NFL players may be placed and used on a team’s roster.

- (7)
Violations  to FA Rule #4 will result in the following actions:

(a) The team in violation will return the illegally acquired player to the draft pool and re-acquire the player they initially dropped, thus voiding the overall transaction.  The team will still be charged for the add/drop.

(b) A second violation of FA rule #4 will result in the team having to "un-do" their trade as described in the "paragraph (a)" above, but additionally be banned from accessing the FA pool for the remainder of the season.

(c) A third violation of FA rule #4 will result in the team being suspended from the league (i.e. the coach/gamer will be removed from the XBFL).

- (8) Violations by any team with regard to FA rule #5 will have to return any player(s) acquired after their fifth transaction.  Additional violations will lead to expulsion from the league.


2f Team Playbooks: Provided the gaming software does not prohibit playbook switching, team owners are not required to use default team playbooks if other options are made available. For example, the team owner of Arizona may use Minnesota's playbook if so desired.  The only stipulation is that a playbook from one of the standard 32 NFL teams must be used.  Pro-Bowl, All-Madden, multi-formation, vintage and fictional team playbooks are not allowed for regular season gameplay. 

During the head-to-head matchup screen prior to the start of each game (i.e. where team logos are shown and uniforms and playbooks can be selected), each player is required to reveal their playbooks to their opponents. This promotes fair play and deters people from attempting to use custom playbooks during official league play.

2g Madden Coins and Enhancements While it is assumed that Madden Coins (useable to purchase in-game player/team enhancements) will not affect online league operations, under no circumstances are they permitted at any time for use in XBFL league play.  If at some point in the future they do become useable for online league play, anyone caught using player/team enhancements of any kind or by any method will be immediately removed from the league.

2h
Match-ups: Each member of the XBFL will be able to reference their schedule either through the in-game menus or EA Sports’ website (under career connections). In addition to the player contact information provided to each member prior to each new season, XBFL members may choose to use the Xbox Live text or voice mail system. Scheduled match-ups must be played within a seven day time frame, which will be from Sunday 1pm EST to the following Sunday at 12:59pm EST. Sunday afternoons will always kick-off each football week, and the following Sunday morning is the last day that match-ups may be played for that week. This rule allows flexibility for two participants to work around each other's schedule so that they can reach a mutually acceptable time to sit down and compete. If by chance a game is not played between two individuals, both teams will not be awarded for playing (see attendance rules below) unless there is a verifiable and legit reason (e.g. the Xbox Live! server was down for an extended period of time, family emergency, etc.).  Then it will be up to the Commissioner to intervene if applicable.

(Note: the schedule described above only applies to regular season gameplay.  It may NOT apply to pre-season scheduling).

It is the individual team owner's responsibility to contact their opponent each week to schedule the appropriate matchup.  The XBFL and XBFL commissioner do NOT get involved in setting specific matchup times.

Also to note, time zone differences may apply and therefore it is imperative that appropriate planning be made ahead of time, especially between EST and PST members.  While some Eastern Time Zone (ESTZ) members may be able to accommodate PST members' game times late at night, it is not to be assumed that all can.   Many members have work and family obligations - hence the scheduling format the XBFL has created to accommodate various schedules.  The general rule of thumb is that games should be played prior to 10PM EST unless a member is either willing or able to play later than that time.  Pacific Time Zone (PSTZ) members having only late night hours available during the work week are encouraged to get their games in on the weekend and at a reasonable time.  A PSTZ member who only offers late night hours that do not work for Central or Eastern Time Zone members will not be given appropriate credit for "effort" in scheduling their game which may result in the other team earning a walkover win.  This rule also applies to all members regardless of time zone differences.  It is essential that those who enroll and who are existing members be aware of this rule.  New applicants must be certain that they will be able accommodate those who live in the Central and Eastern Time Zone. 

Because there may be some scheduling difficulties due to time zone differences or other variables, ALL SCHEDULING SHOULD BE MADE ON OR BEFORE THE TUESDAY OF THAT PARTICULAR GAMING WEEK. For instance: for a week two match, a set time should be made by the Tuesday of week two.  It is very highly recommended that matches begin to be set up around Thursday or Friday of the prior week to ensure adequate response time to scheduling requests.

All scheduled match times should be reported to the XBFL Commissioner and by both parties.

When an agreement is reached for a game date, the customary waiting period is 15 minutes from the scheduled time. After 15 minutes, if a member has not logged on, it is up to the discretion of the "host" to wait longer, or log off and attempt to re-schedule. It is highly encouraged that members make all appointments on time. This shows a high-level of sportsmanship and respect for your fellow gamer's time.  If you are aware of the possibility of being late, always notify your opponent in advance.  If an unforeseen emergency prevents you from logging on for a scheduled match, contact your opponent and commissioner as soon after as possible.   



3A
Scheduling Guidelines

3b Inability to Play Scheduled Matches: If two competitors are not able to complete a match during the appropriate scheduled week, both teams are to contact the Commissioner immediately and prior to the day seven deadline.

It is very highly encouraged that players contact the commissioner no later than Wednesday of each football week if their opponent is non-responsive. This will give the commissioner time to intervene and hopefully rectify the matter quickly and efficiently.

If rescheduled matchups are not played within the seven day time period, depending on the circumstances, the Commissioner has the right to disqualify one or both teams for non-compliance of this League's scheduling policy.  If one team has made legitimate attempts to play their scheduled opponent, and the challenger does not comply - the individual making the effort will be given the opportunity to obtain a “walkover victory” as described below:

If a
single gamer is non-responsive to a scheduling request through the fifth day of a given football week (typically Friday), his team will be placed on “Auto-Pilot” (game software permitting) over the weekend and the team who made efforts to get the game scheduled will play his game, but against a CPU-controlled opponent.  In this situation, the game MUST be completed over the weekend.  The non-responsive gamer will earn one strike for missing the week, and will be re-admitted to the league once the scheduled game has been completed.  Please review the rules of attendance for additional details.

If the non-offending party is unable to play the game due to time restrictions, the game will be simmed by the commissioner with a favorable outcome awarded to said individual (per option beginning with Madden 16).

3c
If two competitors mutually cannot agree to a game-time within a given football week, their game will be simmed by the CPU when the schedule advances.  This rule applies to those who cannot connect due to Internet/router issues, or personal family/vacation/work-related reasons.

Please note that proof of attempts in contacting an opponent must be provided to the commissioner for a fair ruling.  The commissioner should be notified of scheduling difficulties no later than the Wednesday of each football week.

3d
Inability to Play Scheduled Matches Due to Hardware Failure: If an XBFL member is unable to play scheduled matches due to hardware failure (e.g. the Xbox 360’s "Ring of Death"), they will be granted a two week leave of absence without penalty.  Average turnaround time for Microsoft to repair a console is about 14 days.  It will be up to the XBFL member to get caught up as quickly as possible (within two weeks upon return).

For leagues that run an auto-scheduling system, teams may have to earn temporary losses until any manual adjustments can be made at the end of the regular season.

If a single gamer is unable to play a scheduled game due to a faulty Xbox console, they must temporarily drop out of the league for the duration of their console repair.  Scheduled games will be played with the CPU acting as the "assistant coach" of the affected team during this time.  The head-coach will be reinstated when his Xbox is operable and game-ready.  No penalties will be issued in this situation.


3e
Inability to Connect With Opponents (Internet Connectivity Issues):  If it is determined that a single gamer is unable to play a scheduled game (or games) due to their own router/Internet setup/Internet service, they will be required to resolve the problem within three weeks time (veterans allowed four weeks).  During the inactive weeks, they must drop from the league so that the CPU "assistant coach" can control their team.  They will be reinstated immediately upon resolution of the problem.

If a rookie team is unable to connect to opponents during the pre-season, they will not be allowed to proceed to the regular season until their problem is resolved.  In this instance, they will lose their roster spot and be placed as a "1st Standby "in the event a team becomes available during the regular season.   All gamers must be able to connect to others in the pre-season league prior to the start of the regular season.

Non-played game strikes will apply to this
specific situation in the following manner:  

Two weeks of un-played games (or two un-played games at any time during season) = 1 strike.
 
Three weeks of un-played games (or three un-played games at any time during season) = 2 strikes for a veteran,  rookies will be removed from regular season and placed on standby list.

Four weeks of un-played games (or four un-played games at any time during season) = veteran will be removed from league until problem is resolved.

**Please note when using the Xbox One console, a router’s NAT Type directly affects connectivity between players online.  Open and Moderate NAT settings provide the greatest level of connectivity while a Strict setting severely limits it.



4A
General Game Settings (when applicable)

4b
Camera Views: Assuming the selection of camera views does not affect both gamers, any view is acceptable. However, if both players are forced to view a selected camera angle, then the "standard" view will be required.

4c
Game Settings:
To be ON:   Fatigue, Advance Line Moves, Injuries, Trades (if available)
To be OFF:  Performance EQ, Coach Mode (if applicable)
Other Settings:  Game Speed set to Normal
Gameplay Sliders:  Gameplay sliders will remain in the neutral position (if applicable)
Accelerated Game Clock: Off
Weather: Random

4e
Friends List: It is required that all XBFL league members' Gamertags be saved on the "Friends List."  This will make it much easier to locate your scheduled opponent on the Xbox Live! network.

4f
Roster Updates: At the beginning of each new season, the latest downloadable roster file will be assigned to that season and "locked" for the duration.  This is by design of EA Sports.

4g
XBox Live Communicator Headset: Due to some issues regarding communication during Season Four, the Xbox Communicator Headset is now required. This doesn't mean members should feel obligated to speak during a match, however, there may come a point during a game where you need to pause the action, or communicate with your opponent.  Most people understand that some people don't like to talk and play at the same time.  Simply stating this before the match is probably the best way go - simply keep your mic on mute until it's necessary to speak again.

If for some reason it seems your headset isn't working (or your opponent's isn't working) once logged into the game and prior to kickoff, verify that the automatic settings did not default to mic-off.  Pause the game, go to Online Options, and check to make sure that your headset is turned on.  In some cases, it may default to "off."

4h
Scoring and Stats Tracking: Numerous scoring and statistical errors have been reported to EA Sports by gamers across the U.S. (Madden ’09 through Madden 15), thus indicating buggy software.  Should XBFL members vote to utilize EA's online franchise mode for the XBFL's official gaming seasons, they will be playing with the knowledge of potential inaccuracies taking place that could affect the outcome of a single game, or worse, their entire season.  Due to very limited Admin Options available in Madden, the commissioner will have no control in altering the outcome or points scored in any games affected by these glitches.

4i
Vacant Teams: If a team becomes vacant (i.e. without coach to due administrative removal from league or coach dropping out), an existing league member will have first right to change teams before individuals from the league standby list are contacted.  The opportunity to switch will be based on a combination of seniority and league record at the time a coaching position becomes vacant (or by the admin group’s choosing).  Existing members will have no more than 24 hours to step forward and express interest in the vacant team otherwise an invitation will be sent to applicants on standby.  If the vacancy is unable to be filled by this method within 48 hours, the opportunity to switch will then be exclusively available to existing coaches with the lowest record at the time.

If a team becomes idle after week ten, the second part of the above resolution will apply (existing members with lower winning percentages receiving the first opportunity to manage the vacated team regardless of tenure).  In the event that this is still unsuccessful, a member of the XBFL Admin Group or Commissioner will take over the team for the remainder of the season provided no conflicts of interest exist (e.g. managing two teams that play each other during the season). 

No team shall remain vacant for two consecutive weeks.

This procedure of replacing open teams is subject to change at the discretion of the Commissioner should any special circumstances apply.



5A
Connectivity Resolution Guidelines

5b Loss of Connection: If during a game, you or your opponent's connection is lost at any time, the conditions of the game must be exactly as they were prior to the disconnection.

5b1 Please note the following scenarios:  If the game was disconnected immediately following halftime, the first half score will stand and only a second half will need to be replayed.  

5b2 f a game gets disconnected in the 1st quarter where the difference in score is no greater than seven points, the game must be replayed.  

5b3 If a disconnection takes place in the second quarter, and the score is no greater than seven points, the game must be restarted from the beginning. 

5b4 If a disconnection takes place within the final two minutes of the first half, with no team threatening to score, both parties may agree to simply replay a half, with the pre-disconnection score being carried over.

5b5 If the game is disconnected in the first or second quarter with one team leading by 14 points, the game should be replayed with that score in mind, and the balance of the game being played separately on a restart (rounding to the nearest quarter).   For example, if Team A is winning 24-7 over Team B in the second quarter with 2:56 on the clock before a disconnection takes place, the two teams will play only a half on the restart with the pre-disconnection score being noted.  If the same scoring scenario takes place but with 5:30 on the game clock, then three quarters will be replayed.

5b6 If a disconnection takes place in the third quarter, both teams are required to replay two quarters unless gamer judgment rules otherwise.  For instance, if a game gets disconnected with a minute to go in the third, and neither team is in position to score - both players may agree to write off the remaining portion of the third set and play one final quarter with the pre-disconnections score in effect.

5b7 If a connection is lost during the fourth quarter, the following must take place:

5b7a If a game is disconnected in the 4th quarter with the score being greater than a difference of 18 points, the game will be considered "Final."

5b7b If the game is disconnected in the 4th quarter with the score being 18 points or less, the quarter must be replayed with the difference of score being carried over to the new game.

Example: Team A is beating Team B 14-7 in the fourth quarter when a divergence error disconnects them.  Both players are required to replay one full quarter despite the time remaining in the previous game.  Team B would begin the new quarter with a 7 point disadvantage which he faced prior to the early termination.  The last person possessing the ball at the time of the disconnection will receive the kickoff to start the replayed kickoff.

If a disconnection takes place at any point in the game where one team is leading by 30 points or more, the game will be ruled as “final” regardless of which quarter it takes place in.

Note: When a divergence error occurs, it is advisable that both players turn off their Xboxes for a moment and then reboot before reconnecting to Xbox Live!.

Since The XBFL only recruits and retains top-quality players, it is to be assumed that some sportsmanlike judgment calls will need to be made regarding divergence errors/erroneous disconnections taking place very late in a game.  In other words, if a team is losing by 10 points with under two minutes to go and is on defense when the game cuts out, it may be agreed upon that in this particular situation, the game should legitimately be called "final" and therefore not have to replay the full quarter.  Additionally, if both players agree to play a game from scratch regardless of what point the game was interrupted, or what the scoreboard was, that is perfectly acceptable as well.

Suspicious disconnections (i.e. potentially unsportsmanlike) should be reported to the League Commissioner.


5c
Disconnection/Freezes/Lockups When Playing CPU-Controlled Teams  From time to time, a player may experience a lockup or disconnection when playing a CPU-controlled team.  From the schedule/scores screen on Madden/Xbox Live, the number of rematches can be seen by all league members.  There have been issues in the past where on some occasions, the number of rematches by a single team began to look suspicious.  As a result, the following rules have been put into effect for Season 19 going forward:

If a player encounters a disconnection/freeze/lockup against a CPU-controlled team, they are required to provide a screen shot of the event and email it to the Commissioner (or Vice-Commissioner) immediately.  The picture must include the following information:

     - The screen as it appears on the television or monitor depicting the freeze/lockup or disconnection message.
     - The time remaining on the game clock (should still be present even if a disconnection message appears).
     - The score (should still be present even if a disconnection message appears).

Replay screens are not acceptable as they do not show the information required above.

Failure to provide this information will result in any unauthorized rematches being nullified prior to advancing to the next week and allowing the CPU to simulate the outcome of the game.  If this “reset” feature is not available to admins, the individual may be suspended for one week following the incident.  Frequent abuse of rematches by individuals may result in permanent dismissal from the league.

5d
Inability to Connect: There are some very rare instances where two members are unable to connect due to their network configuration (typically those using Linksys routers).  If this happens, you can try one of the following:

If you send an invite and your opponent accepts, but does not connect, have him try sending you the invite.

Try meeting in the gaming lobby (where one of you creates a public or private game, and the other person joins).
Disable your router or hub and connect your broadband/Ethernet cable directly to your Xbox.

If you are using encounter these problems using a Linksys router, contact the XBFL Commissioner.

If none of these solutions solves your problem, you may want to contact Microsoft Tech Support. If you are unable to complete your game as a result of this problem (or reoccurring divergence errors make a game unplayable), the game will be simmed with a tie being scored if such an override exists.

5e
Divergence Errors/Faulty Xbox:   If it is determined at any point during the season that one member's Xbox is causing divergence errors which are preventing completed matchplay between his team and others, he will begin to take losses until the problem is fixed up until a maximum of three losses, where he will have to be removed from the league until his situation is resolved.

If you are the victim of a divergence error (or similar), remain online and try to contact your opponent to reschedule the game.


6A
Software/In-Game Glitches:

6b Touchdowns/scoring errors:  Twice in Season 25 (2015) using Madden 16 by EA Sports, two rushing touchdowns were made by two different teams during the course of the season, though neither registered as a score - despite an agreement by both coaches that a touchdown was in fact made.  Unfortunately, the outcome of the two games were affected by those points that were not recorded properly. 

Going forward, if a team scores a TD that is not recorded by Madden 16 or future Madden titles and it has a negative effect on the outcome of that particular game, it is the responsibility of the negatively affected individual to capture and submit a replay of the touchdown, clearly showing the play to completion as well as the fact that the score had not changed.  If the admin staff confirms that a glitch took place, and assuming the option is available, the XBFL Commissioner(s) will modify the winner of the game using admin controls.  The team submitting the video complaint must do so no later than 24 hours PRIOR to the schedule’s weekly deadline (in most cases, 1pm EST on Sundays).  Failure of a player to submit their complaint on-time will result in the final score/result being as/is.

6c Taking advantage of A.I. glitches: Individuals reported to be taking advantage of in-game glitches and A.I. issues will be disciplined according to rules 8c or 8y.  Video evidence is critical to support a complaint.  For more information, please read rules 8p, 8q and 8y1.


7A
Attendance Guidelines

7b
Attendance Rules: It is extremely important that all those who register fully understand how even one missed game can really affect the league and scheduled opponents. Because it is of the utmost importance that each and every game be played, penalties may incur if an individual misses a scheduled game.

Regular Season:
3 missed games with no communication will result in dismissal. 
1 missed game with prior notification (i.e. legitimate scheduling conflicts) will be excused.

Preseason (if applicable):
1 missed game = notification sent
2 missed games = termination of membership

If you don't feel you can completely commit to playing 16 regular season games plus playoffs, then please do NOT register to be in this league. By you joining, it prevents someone else from being a part of the league who may have been able to fully participate. It wouldn't be fair to them, and it wouldn't be fair to the rest of those involved. Make sure you are willing to offer about 60 minutes per week for 16-20 weeks before you register! The Matchup Rules of this league certainly allows flexibility for two individuals to find a time to play over the course of 7 days, thus eliminating most any excuse for not being able to play a scheduled match.

Please note that failure to compete in a week 1 matchup in any given division or season will result in immediate removal from the XBFL.

7c No Shows:  If during a given football week, a team becomes  a "no-show" for a scheduled match time, they may reschedule if time allows.  However, if a team is guilty of not showing twice during a given football week  (with no previous contact being made to announce a change in plans), the non-showing team will receive a warning for one missed game, regardless if they eventually play it or not.  The offending team will also be placed on auto-pilot for that week.

7d
Extension Requests: Unfortunately, this privilege is no longer offered except under special circumstances.  The new flex-schedule should adequately accommodate most everyone's lifestyle.

7e
The Draft: Each and every member of a given division must be present for the draft unless special provisions are made.  Advanced notification is required by the intended absentee (at least 24 hours), and a list of teams in order of preference must be submitted to the Commissioner no later than six hours prior to the draft.

Members who do not show or participate for the draft and do not notify the Commissioner of their intended absence prior to the event will be removed from the league and a "stand-by" will occupy the former member's roster spot.

Please note that different methods of conducting the draft may take place each season.  A detailed description of draft day procedure will be sent at least one week in advance of  the actual event.

7f
Participation in Draft & Week 1:   Failure to participate in the draft (in a timely fashion), or Week 1 of the preseason  (if applicable) or regular season will result in automatic dismissal from the league.



8A
Codes of Conduct

8b
General Rules Regarding Unsportsmanlike Behavior:

A warning will be issued if two or more individuals file a complaint of similar nature against an alleged guilty party.  A simple notice may be issued after only one complaint.

If additional complaints of a similar nature persist (after a warning), the guilty individual will be removed from the league.


8c
Trash Talking and Flaming: Talking smack is one thing, flaming or using defamatory comments is another. This league will NOT tolerate flaming of any kind. If you are reported for flaming another league member during a game or through e-mail, league protocol will ensue and is described in section 8z.

This not only applies to direct communication via headset and email correspondence, but also includes inappropriate usage or language of The XBFL’s GroupMe chat room.

It is important to note that depending on the severity of the verbal offense, the individual guilty of the infraction may be immediately placed on probation or even suspended from the league.  The three steps listed above apply to mild or moderate offenses as noted..

This league is meant to provide a forum where individuals can enjoy playing video-football against "live" opponents - - not to verbally attack them. A very higher level of maturity and gamesmanship is expected here at The XBFL.  Talking smack is a different issue and is not against any codes of conduct for this league.  That said, it is very highly advised that any trash talking not be conducted via email as the tone can often be misinterpreted by the reader.

Post-game commentary via email that is deemed offensive in any manner will be reviewed by XBFL administration.  Messages containing profanity or derogatory remarks (e.g. ethnic slurs, inappropriate sexual content, etc.) may be seen as a moderate or severe offense the first time it is seen.  A second offense of a moderate nature will result in expulsion from the league.  Threats of any kind will result in immediate dismissal and a report submitted to Xbox Live administration.

8d Disconnecting During Gameplay: Purposely disconnecting during a matchup will not be tolerated.  Anyone found to have disconnected out of poor sportsmanship is subject to immediate dismissal from the league. It is understandable if your connection is lost (it happens to all of us on occasion), but disconnecting because you are losing is an act of poor sportsmanship and will not be tolerated. All disconnections will be investigated by the league.  When a connection is lost on Xbox Live!, a message appears to both gamers stating how and why the disconnection took place.   You aren't fooling anyone if you log off in the middle of a matchup!

8d1 ** Penalties for disconnecting in league games versus CPU teams will carry the same punishment as disconnections versus human opponents.  CPU matches must be played through to their entirety on the first time through with no attempt at resetting the game, or exploiting glitches or loopholes in the game.  

8d2
*** See “Disconnection/Freezes/Lockups When Playing CPU-Controlled Teams” for approved protocol when experiencing technical issues that result in erroneous disconnections.  This can be found in the section titled “Connectivity Resolution Guidelines.”

8e
Restarting CPU Games:   Restarting games against CPU teams that doesn’t involve technical difficulties is considered cheating in The XBFL.  Restarts are reported by Madden titles and they are monitored on a weekly basis by XBFL staff.  Any games showing two restarts for a single game must provide an explanation or the results will be thrown out, and the game will be simmed if allowed by the software (1a). In cases where there are valid reasons for the restart (e.g. power outages, EA Server issues, or unexpected Internet disconnects), no warnings or penalties will be incurred.  “Proof” of these instances can be provided with a photo clearly depicting the error message found on-screen.  The photo should show the following information:

1) Error message
2) Score of the game
3) Time remaining on the game clock

8f The Commissioner should be notified immediately if a game is needing to be restarted, with visual evidence if available.  Teams showing a trend of restarts vs CPU teams  (without evidence of a legitimate technology issue) will receive the following disciplinary action:

- 1st restarted game in a season without reporting reason: Warning
- 2nd restarted game in a season without reporting: Probation (permanent and will count towards future seasons)
- 3rd restart in a season without reporting: Dismissal

(1a) This specific sentence has been modified as of 11/2/2015 to reflect an amendment that was made to the league in early October after suspicion of repeated violations.  It will become a permanent fixture to the rulebook without this notation at the conclusion of the 2015 season.  It is important to note that the “Disconnection During Gameplay” supersedes this rule if the reason for disconnection is not technology-related.

8g
Abuse of the Play Clock:  Also known as "killing time." If a player is observed to be running down the play clock to under 15 seconds (or less) where it indicates a normal gaming practice, a warning will be issued.  It is quite possible for a team to burn off an entire quarter or more of idle time by letting huddle animations run, or, simple refusal to choose plays within a reasonable amount of time.  Most plays should be selected with 17 or more seconds remaining on the play clock.

Please note that this is not a strict rule, but a closely monitored guideline.  Some teams may require more time to choose a play during crucial gaming situations - but for the most part, players should not be running down the clock as part of their
normal gaming, regardless of whether it is intentional or not.  If a team receives two complaints regarding clock usage, they will receive a notice.  If it continues to persist, a warning will be issued, and their membership may be revoked at the conclusion of the season.

8h
Killing the Clock to Preserve a Lead: While this is common in the National Football League in the fourth quarter around the two-minute warning, some gamers tend to start this tactic much earlier. This can be extremely frustrating for the opposing team if they need the ball back to tie or potentially win a game. All we can say is this: Think before you act. Are your actions/strategies sportsmanlike? Do professional teams do this in real life? Would you like this done to you if you were the other team? There is no ruling on this, but we ask that you show some class by not taking down the clock any sooner than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter since we are only playing seven minute quarters. If people complain about individuals who do this on a regular basis, then they may not be invited to return for future XBFL seasons.

8i
4th Down Conversion Attempts: One of the most common complaints by individuals who play football online or just in general terms, is when their opponents consistently go for it on 4th and long.  This is probably the number one complaint people have about others.  Please, if you are the type of individual who feels compelled to go for it on 4th and 5, 4th and 10, or 4th and infinity, this is not the league for you.  Word gets around fast and reputations spread.  If this becomes commonplace for certain individuals, they will not be invited back to participate in future XBFL seasons.

Granted, there is a time and a place for attempting a 4th down conversion (large points differential, short distance to converting, attempting a late game comeback, the ball being placed just outside of field goal range, etc.) - but use judgment when doing so.  The type of gamers the XBFL wishes to recruit are those who want to play "real" or "sim-style" football.   Real football doesn't involve consistent 4th down conversion attempts.  A defense shouldn't feel the need to keep a dime defense out there just in case the other team tries a fake punt (or doesn't attempt to punt at all) in a 4th and long situation.

If a player attempts a 4th down play with poor field position (i.e. inside their own 45 yard line) or in an unlikely scenario, they may receive a conduct warning.

8j
Dropping Back: If you play pickup games online, you have probably seen people take their quarterback and drop back in excess of 10 yards which not only buys them extra time to pass, but it pulls in the opposing DBs and increasing the likelihood of finding an open receiver.  This tactic is nothing more than exploiting a loophole in the game and is considered unsportsmanlike by the XBFL.  Granted, there are some instances where a player must drop back beyond 10 yards to avoid a defensive rush, but most of the time, it's not necessary.  It is difficult to enforce this rule because some members may feel the action is deliberate, while the alleged guilty party disagrees.  Because of this, the ruling is as follows:  If two separate complaints by two different teams are filed against another for dropping back too far, the alleged guilty team will receive an unsportsmanlike conduct warning.  If they get a third complaint, they will get a formal warning for unsportsmanlike conduct. If a fourth instance of this violation is reported, the member guilty of this offense will be removed from the league altogether.

8k
QB Scrambling:  This is another QB-related issue that primarily affects the more athletic QBs in the league such as Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.  QBs are not permitted to scramble intentionally (either laterally or horizontally) on anything other than a designed play from a team's playbook.  The only instance where a QB can justifiably scramble from a non-designed play is in an attempt to avoid being sacked (from a legitimate blitz that penetrated the offensive line or a collapsing pocket).

This rule also applies to tactics where immediately upon receiving a snap, a QB scrambles to the far left or right of the field (well outside of the tackles) when there is no pressure.  This is a tactic designed to pull coverage off the opposite side, and can easily be exploited with certain QBs.  It can also be used to pull DBs away from their assigned coverage caused by inconsistencies with defensive A.I. on either sideline.

Heavy scrutiny will be placed on teams' QBs with more "athletic ability" in order to prevent abuse of in-game exploitations.  Under no circumstances should a quarterback have more rushing attempts than their team’s primary halfback.

This has been one of the more heavily contested rules in The XBFL as many opponents claim that in the NFL, quarterbacks make plays on the run.  That is true, however, this is a video game, and defensive A.I. is not nearly as aware or responsive as humans are in real life, and this lack of artificial awareness can easily be exploited.  Additionally, QB injuries are relatively low in Madden titles, therefore there is little to discourage irresponsible and unrealistic gameplay with regard to consistent scrambling of a quarterback.

8l
Stacking the Line: Another well known and forbidden tactic is one that first gained popularity in NFL2K3 where on FG and punt attempts, the gamer operating his defensive special teams unit is given sufficient time to move most of his front line to one side, thus increasing his chances of penetration to prevent the kick/punt.  Quite simply, this is not allowed in any football game used by The XBFL.  Moving one or two people is acceptable, moving the majority of the line is not.

8m
Defensive Front Four:  The following tactics are not allowed by the XBFL - 1) standing any of your front four in order to get a running start at the offensive line to shoot the gaps.  All linemen must be in a three point stance prior to the snap.  2) Defensive ends may not be moved further outwards from a spread front four alignment (via use of right analog stick).  In a standard or pinched alignment (on field), defensive ends may not be moved out past where the spread alignment would place them.  This rule is firm regardless of whether base, pinch, razor left/right, or fan is selected in the playbook.  3) Manually taking a defensive lineman and dropping him back into coverage.  Moving a DE laterally is acceptable.  4) Moving a defensive lineman (usually a DE) behind or inside a DT in order to have a less obstructed path to the QB.  5) Manually moving a DT outside of a DE.

8n No Huddle Offense:  The no-huddle offense may be used, but sparingly.  It is not recommended during normal gameplay situations where a given team has plenty of time to call plays and is not battling against the clock late in the first quarter or near the end of the game.  Repetitive use of the no-huddle offense will be frowned upon if it is used during the aforementioned "normal gameplay situations" (outside of the two minute warnings with timeouts remaining).  Excessive use of the no-huddle offense will be considered unsportsmanlike. The reason for this guideline is that the no-huddle offense in 2K and EA Sports branded games is literally a "hurry up" offense found in the NFL.  The speed in which players can line up in video games is considerably quicker than in real-life NFL situations, where some substitutions from the sideline could be made swiftly.  In these video games, and in this particular scenario, substitutions cannot be made without the defense burning a time out.  As a result, it puts defenses at a disadvantage unless custom audibles were pre-selected beforehand.

No huddle offenses are considered acceptable inside two minutes of either half.

8o
Quick Snapping:  Quick snapping is when a person on offense hikes the ball immediately after lining up which prevents the defensive gamer from choosing the player he wishes to control, or to either perform a defensive adjustment or call an audible.  In some cases, quick snapping can result in a botched defensive coverages if the defense is repositioning due to an audible.  Quick snapping is frowned upon in the XBFL when it is intentionally performed in order to gain an advantage over an opponent - especially during a defensive adjustment.

With the complicated adjustment menus for both offense and defense, it would be courteous to allow a few seconds for each side of the ball to adjust before the play starts.

Granted, when time is running down and the team on offense needs to maximize the time remaining on the clock, then no-huddles/hurry ups/quick snaps would be considered necessary.

8p Money Plays and Repetitious Play Calling: A money play is a specific play that yields an unnaturally high success rate and is often used by unsporting gamers. Nearly every year, one or more “money plays” are discovered that the typical online gamer likes to exploit to gain an unfair advantage over their opponents.  Some money plays take advantage of defensive A.I. deficiencies while others take advantage of game flaws in general.  If an XBFL member is seen using money plays throughout a game, they will be given a warning for unsportsmanlike gameplay.  A second offense will be result in permanent probation (that will carry over to future seasons) while a third offense will lead to dismissal from the league.  Money plays may or may not be announced before or during a season.

The same will hold true for individuals who repeatedly call the same play (regardless of formation) that shows lack of creativity and effort to play a “sim-game.” Multiple complaints will result in warnings and eventually game suspensions if not corrected.  A final course of action will be removal from the league during or after the conclusion of the season.

8q Nano Blitzing: Nano blitzing is any kind of blitz that results in a defender (or defenders) being unabated to the quarterback (or tailback if running), despite offensive line shifts (i.e. pinch, block left, max block, block right) or the use of additional blockers.  It is a blitz that exploits poor offensive A.I. and has an abnormally high success rate despite the aforementioned offensive protection adjustments.  Nano blitzing earned its name because when it was first discovered, it gave quarterbacks almost no time to react.  In earlier versions of Madden on Xbox and Playstation 2, a “nano blitzing defender” would hit the quarterback before he completed a three step drop, or prior to a handoff to the running back!  It was essentially an offensive play-killer and banned in all sim-leagues.  These days, a Nano Blitz is used in a more general sense to describe any kind of blitz that is immune to protection, even if a quarterback has a split second more time to react.

Nano blitizing is considered a “defensive money play” in The XBFL and careful monitoring of this defensive tactic will take place throughout the season. Repeated use of Nano blitzing during a game or throughout a season will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct if proven to take advantage of offensive A.I. deficiencies or exhibit an unnaturally high success rate despite offensive protection changes.  Disciplinary action for repeated use of Nano blitzes is the same as Money Play violations (Rule 7p).

8r Sportsmanlike Conduct with Regard to Consecutive Holding Penalties for XPT and FG Attempts (Madden 10): Due to the propensity of special teams’ offensive linemen to incur consecutive holding penalties resulting in the loss of 20 yards, a new conduct rule has been put in place.  This rule was voted on and accepted by the vast majority of the XBFL roster during the fall season of Madden 2010. 


If a team is attempting either an extra point or field goal, and a special teams’ offensive lineman gets flagged for holding, the defense is to accept the 10 yard penalty as they normally would.  If a SECOND CONSECUTIVE holding penalty is charged to a player on the special teams’ offensive line, the defense is to DECLINE the penalty out of good sportsmanship


This issue has been reported by gamers to the EA Sports technical issue-based online forum, and is widely acknowledged as being too common an occurrence to be considered “realistic.” 


Players who violate this rule will earn a misconduct strike.  If this violation affects the result of a game, they will be removed from the league for a single game to which the CPU will manage the team.  A second offense will result in termination from the league.

** Note: This rule became a non-factor beginning with Madden 11 as this situation no longer existed.



8s
Use of Turbo-Enabled Controllers:  Starting with ESPN 2K5, running backs and receivers now have the ability to break wrap-tackles by rapidly pressing the 'A' button.  Unfortunately, many online gamers have begun to utilize non-standard controllers that feature "turbo" buttons (i.e. auto rapid fire assigned buttons).  Use of such a feature is forbidden by the XBFL. Anyone suspected of using "turbo" or any modded controller that provides an unfair advantage in any video game used by The XBFL will be penalized.  Further offenses will result in removal from the league.  

8t
Pausing the Game: While this is not expected to be a problem in the XBFL, it should be mentioned because it happens when playing "pick-up games" online.  What happens is this:  some people who are losing by a great deal have been known to pause the game and leave their console running, thus leaving the winning player no choice but to disconnect which affects his/her overall ranking.  This is probably one of the most unsportsmanlike tactics a gamer can make, if not THE MOST.  If this happens in the XBFL, the person pausing the game will be automatically disqualified and ejected from the league.

Note: This problem was corrected by Sega/Microsoft on 11/5/02.  Now, if an individual pauses the game for an extended period of time, they will be disconnected resulting in a loss.  However, repeated pausing and un-pausing to play the clock will not be tolerated and is subject to immediate dismissal from the League.

If for some reason, you must pause the game for any amount of time for more than 10-15 seconds (referring to idle time, not when changing an option or depth chart), use your headset to communicate with your opponent.  The Xbox Live Communicator headset is required by this league - so use it.

Needless pausing of games is deemed as unsporting, and depending on the circumstances, may lead to dismissal from the league if determined to be intentional with respect to disrupting the flow of the game.

8u Running up the Score: This is a serious issue and one that should not be taken lightly. It shows no class on behalf of the winning team when they run up the score against another member.  If you have a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter, please be considerate of your opponent by not attempting to lob TD passes in the end zone.  With under a minute to go, you may want to check with your opponent to see if they wish for you to take a knee, or continue moving the ball. 

This also relates to the padding of stats.  If a team shows an overt attempt at padding stats against a human player or CPU opponent, they will receive an unsportsmanlike conduct warning.  Subsequent warnings may result in suspension or removal from the league.  Obvious attempts at padding stats may be discounted in year-end tabulations.

8v
Time Outs: Calling a time out to unnecessarily prolong the game is also considered unsportsmanlike.  An example would be a team who has the game in hand but is calling time outs to pad stats.

8w
Instant Replays: While some great plays are worthy of viewing again, it sometimes can be perceived as "showboating" to the opposing team, or, a general nuisance since it disrupts the flow of gameplay.  Please use discretion when pausing the game and selecting to view an instant replay.  Also, if you choose to view an instant replay, make it as quickly as possible. Some people like to select various camera angles and player perspectives which others (opponents) find annoying.  It is recommended that the automatic instant replay be viewed, and not the manual replay accessible through the pause menu.

8x
Manipulating Connection Quality:  Any person found to be inducing lag, network glitches (e.g. causing a game not to count), or initiating any other negative connectivity occurrences, will be immediately removed from the league without hesitation.  A report will also be filed to Xbox Live detailing the violation of their terms of service agreement.

8y
Other items:  Any tactics not detailed in this rule book that are generally considered "un-sim like," “unsporting,” or display the intent to exploit a glitch in the game will not be tolerated.  The same member warning and termination protocols (or accelerated termination decisions) will apply.  Some of these non-detailed instances may relate to unbalanced gameplay (e.g. grossly unbalanced pass to run ratios, padding of stats to specific players, excessive blitzing when on defense, etc.).  It also includes childish actions such as forcing delay of games in an effort to make an opponent quit or result in the game ending prematurely due to a “grievance” report.

8y1
Admin Discretion: LeIt is important to note that different offenses sometimes carry different weight, and the Admin Staff (Commissioner(s)) may defer to a single warning at their discretion, followed by expulsion if a participant in this league is found to be repeatedly violating of codes of conduct and/or sportsmanship either across multiple games or a single game.

8z Gameplay and Code of Conduct Protocols: Failure to comply with the aforementioned expectations of sim-gameplay, conduct and fair play will result in warnings and/or termination

1 Mild Incident: Warning
2 Mild Incidents: Probation (may affect playoff eligibility)
3 Mild Incidents: Termination from league.

1 Moderate Offense: Probation (may affect playoff eligibility)
2 Moderate Offenses: Termination from league.

1 Severe Offense or compounded infractions within a short time period that clearly reveal a “gamer type” that is not desired within The XFBL (i.e. not sim gameplay, childish retaliation during games through constant messaging, pausing the game, forcing delay of games, etc.): Termination from league.

Up until 2017, The XBFL has followed the above disciplinary outline, and for years gaming conduct had not been much of an issue.  Recently however, within the past few years, the turnover rate within the league (from newcomers) has become exceedingly high.  As a result, The XBFL has developed a very low tolerance for those who disrespect league rules and guidelines, and veteran league members.  The XBFL reserves the right to pass swift judgement on any gamer not deemed a good fit for the league through their conduct and/or gameplay.  Players may be removed from the league without explanation if the infractions are serious or include multiple violations within a short time period.  Any and all infractions will be noted in the weekly progress reports that are distributed to all league members.  These reports will include details on any unplayed games, unauthorized restarts and any rule/conduct infractions.


9A
Filing Complaints

9b Filing a Complaint: If you feel the need to file a grievance against another individual, DO NOT e-mail them your complaint. You are to e-mail the Commissioner of the League who will investigate your claims. This must be done within 48 hours from the incident in question. When filing a complaint, you must give the username of the individual in question and the conduct or actions you are protesting. Include the text "XBFL Member Complaint" in the subject heading of your e-mail and the matchup date you are referring to.  Be as detailed as possible in the body of your email.  Your letter will be reviewed within 48 hours and the other party will be contacted to obtain their side of the story. It is expected that resolution to any such incident will be between 3 to 4 days. Because there may be protests involving incidents which occur during a game, it may be advantageous to play scheduled match-ups earlier in the week than waiting until the last few days.  Once a new week begins, past week protests may not be investigated.

** Since Madden 2009, one can capture video highlights of their games.  If the complaint in question can be captured in a replay, it is highly recommended to use this as evidence. **

If the commissioners feel there is reason to investigate further, a future opponent of the individual in question may be contacted and requested to broadcast their game.  This way, administration will be able to observe the individual who is allegedly not complying with league rules, and a decision on the course of resolution can be made based on visual evidence.


10A Miscellaneous Items

10b Twitch and Beam Broadcasting/Live Streaming:  Twitch and Beam are  exciting features on Xbox One that allows games to be broadcast “live” over Xbox Live.  All regular season XBFL games are eligible to be streamed to viewers at the team owners’ discretion, however all XBFL Playoff and Championship games are required to be broadcast via Twitch or Beam and is the host team’s responsibility to do so.  All league members are required to be registered with Twitch (or Beam) prior to the start of the regular season.

10c Mass e-Mailings and GroupMe Message Board (XBFL) Posting:  Mass mailings by any member is prohibited regardless of the subject matter unless approval is given by the Commissioner.  Any GroupMe message board and chat features of this Website are meant to convey relevant topical information between members and guests to this league.  Profanity, derogatory remarks, or political views are NOT to be posted to these forums.  Members caught violating this rule will be removed from the League.

10c2 GroupMe: The XBFL utilizes GroupMe for league discussion.  It is a requirement that all league members use GroupMe.  Screen names should be a member’s Gamertag plus their team name. 
Example:
JonDoeRules (New England) 

10d
Message Board (EA/2K) Usage and Posting Guidelines (if applicable):
Members are encouraged to write pre and post-game analysis of their matchups when participating in EA and 2K Sports-branded football.  They are however, expected to uphold the highest sportsmanlike conduct in doing so.  Members are expected to treat their fellow league members with respect, and not to post defamatory comments or use abusive language.  Political statements are also forbidden.  The XBFL/Madden/2K Sports online league functions are to be focused on football and actual league operations, not off-topic items unless an approved forum is specifically created for this purpose.

10e
League Entry Fee : The XBFL does not charge an entry fee for regular (Fall) season activity.  However beginning 2010, there will be an entry fee required for participation in the XBFL Fantasy Madden League.  The purpose of membership dues serve the following purposes:

- Fund prize distribution at the conclusion of each fantasy season (champion and runner-up).

- To act as motivator to keep teams on schedule throughout each fantasy season and to deter interest from unsporting gamers wanting admission into the league.

- Maintenance of this league’s operations.

Please note that:

10f - Only veterans with two or more seasons of experience will have access to the Fantasy League, or new members that come highly recommended by a 5+ year veteran member.  Generally speaking, new recruits will not qualify for admission to participate in XBFL Madden Fantasy Leagues.

10g - Members will forfeit their entry fee  (if applicable) if they break any of the guidelines noted within the League Rules, including gross acts of poor sportsmanship, un-sim like gameplay, or any other violation of the stated expectations with regard to overall conduct.

10h - The total deposit to fund the XBFL Fantasy League (if applicable) will not equal the total withdrawal for prize disbursement.  Prize disbursements will equal total donations minus PayPal fees and expenses associated with prize disbursement (e.g. postage).

10i - Fantasy football dues (if applicable) may vary from season to season.  Current fees will always be posted on the registration page when applications are being accepted.

10j - If a member is removed from the league due to rule violations or issues surrounding poor conduct, any newcomer filling the vacated spot will be required to pay a minimum entry fee (if applicable) of at least one-half of the original amount (but never exceeding the initial amount).

10k - All membership dues (if applicable) for the XBFL Madden Fantasy League are non-refundable once teams are created, regardless of any circumstances.  All rules of fair gameplay outlined in this rule book will apply to the fantasy league.  Fantasy gamers may be suspended for violating the rules outlined on this Web page, and will not be issued refunds.  The fantasy league is meant to be a fun and exciting extension to the regular Fall season, and all codes of conduct and rules of this league are to be honored during the course of each season.


11A
Summary

11b If you register to join this league, you are indicating that you have read the above and agree to comply with all the rules, guidelines, and values this league holds. If this is true, and you are ready to face some of the highest quality competition available, then head on over to the XBFL Registration page and sign up! We look forward to seeing you on the field!






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