These are the official DCI Sanctioned Tournament rules. These rules were used at Regionals and will be used at Nationals. My ladder runs on these rules also. I got the rules from the WOTC MLB Showdown site.
LEARNING THE ADVANCED GAME
Strategy cards are the most important part of the advanced game. You have a hand of them, like a poker hand, and hang on to them until you want to play them. We'll show you how strategy cards work so you can start playing with them right away. Leave the rest of the rules alone for now. When you don't understand what a strategy card does, look in the advanced rules or the glossary for help.
Each of you takes 1 of the strategy card decks from the Starter Set.
Shuffle your decks. Put your shuffled decks near your teams.
Each of you draws 3 cards now. (Always draw from your own deck-never your opponent's.) You start the game with 3 strategy cards in your hand.
Start a new game, but don't roll the first pitch yet. When a team's turn at the plate starts, each of you draws 1 card. (That's how you get more cards during the game.) Since the visiting team's turn at the plate is starting now, each of you draws 1 card.
There are 3 kinds of strategy cards: offense (red), defense (blue), and utility (white). Sort your hands so that all the cards of each kind are together.
Only the team at the plate can use offense cards, so the home team can't use its offense cards yet. Only the team in the field can use defense cards, so the visiting team can't use its defense cards yet. Both teams can use utility cards. If you have a card you can't use now, save it for later.
Each strategy card tells you when you can play it. (Look under its name.) Look in your hands for a card that says it's played before the pitch.
If you find cards you can play before the pitch, one of you should play 1 of the cards you just found. (Remember that the home team can't play offense cards yet, and the visiting team can't play defense cards yet.) To play a strategy card, put it face up on the table so everyone can see it. Do whatever it says as soon as you can. Usually you'll have to wait to do part of the card. (For example, you have to wait for the pitch before you can add something to it.)
Go ahead and finish the at-bat. If either of you has other strategy cards you can play now, go ahead and play them if you want. Then go on to the next step.
At the end of every at-bat, discard all the strategy cards on the table. The first time you have to discard, start a discard pile. All the cards you discard go in this pile, which is always face up. Each of you has your own discard pile.
Now you know how to play strategy cards, so go ahead and keep playing the game with them. Try to play at least 1 strategy card each inning until you get the hang of them.
Here are a few more details about strategy cards. They cover things that don't come up very often or are probably obvious:
You can play strategy cards only during an at-bat.
You can't play strategy cards between the pitch and the swing.
You can play strategy cards after rolling for the swing but before carrying out the result. (For example, you can play a card to change the result.)
If both of you want to play a card (or are deciding whether to play a card at all), the manager on defense goes first. Whether that manager plays a card or not, the manager on offense then decides to play a card. This goes back and forth until you both pass back-to-back.
If a strategy card changes a player's stats and doesn't say for how long, leave it on that player for as long as he stays in the game. All other strategy cards are discarded at the end of the at-bat.
If your deck ever runs out, you don't get to draw any more cards.
OTHER ADVANCED RULES
Don't read these rules before playing, but add them as you need them for strategy cards. Once you've added a rule, play with it from then on. Don't add the expert rules until you've played with the advanced rules and strategy cards for a few games.
Includes how to fill the positions, what a position of "-" means, and what OF means.
Whenever your team takes the field, you have to be able to fill every position with a player who qualifies there. These positions are C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, and RF. You can find the position where a player qualifies in the upper right corner of his card. A player whose position is OF qualifies at all 3 outfield positions. If a player's only position is "-," he doesn't qualify at any position, so he can't take the field.
If the home team is an American LeagueTM team, both teams get a designated hitter in addition to the positions in the field. The player you're using as your designated hitter bats in place of your pitcher in your lineup. You can use any of your fielders or other hitters as your designated hitter. If the player you're using as designated hitter takes the field, your team loses its designated hitter for the rest of the game. That means your pitchers have to bat in your lineup just like in National LeagueTM games.
FIELDING AND ARM
Includes how to make Fielding checks.
All position players have a number listed after the positions where they qualify. For positions other than catcher, these numbers are the player's Fielding at those positions. For example, if a player's card says "2B/SS +3," he can play either 2B or SS and has +3 Fielding at either position. Catchers have Arm instead of Fielding. All catchers and pitchers have +0 Fielding.
In the advanced rules, Fielding is used only by strategy cards. Some strategy cards have players make Fielding checks. The defense rolls a die and adds those players' total Fielding to the roll. If the total is 21 or more, the check passes. If the total is 20 or less, the check fails.
Includes what to do on stolen-base attempts and how to roll against Speed.
In the advanced rules, Speed is used only by strategy cards, including cards that let you make stolen-base attempts. A player's Speed is listed as a letter, followed by a number in parentheses. When the defense rolls against a player's Speed, it has to beat that number. Players with similar Speed scores are grouped into Speed A (20), Speed B (15), and Speed C (10). All pitchers are Speed C (10).
Some strategy cards have a runner make a stolen-base attempt. When you play 1 of these cards, you say who's trying to steal and the catcher tries to throw him out. The catcher rolls a die and adds his Arm to the roll. If your runner is trying to steal third, the catcher adds another +5 to his roll. If the total beats the runner's Speed, he's out. If it doesn't, he's safe. You can't try to steal home.
INNINGS PITCHED (IP)
Includes what happens when pitchers get tired.
If a pitcher stays in the game too long, his pitches start getting worse. The number of innings a pitcher can safely pitch in is listed on his card as IP (innings pitched). If he pitches in more innings than that, he's tired, and subtract 1 from every pitch he rolls for each extra inning in which he's pitched. For example, a starter with 6 IP subtracts 3 from every pitch he rolls in the 9th inning. (Being tired just subtracts from the total pitch, not from the pitcher's Control. Pitchers always add their full Control to each pitch, even when they're tired.) You can't take your starter out of the game before the 5th inning unless he's tired.
Includes how to make pitching changes and how to use pinch hitters.
The defense can make a pitching change whenever it takes the field or whenever a batter comes to the plate. Whenever a batter would come to the plate, the offense can send up a pinch hitter instead. In both cases, the new player takes the old one's spot in the batting order, and the old player can't come back into the game. You have to finish making substitutions before anything else happens. (So if anybody wants to make a substitution, nobody can play strategy cards until all substitutions are made.)
If you send in a new pitcher, he has to be a reliever or a closer. (You can't send in another starter.) If you bring in a new pitcher in the middle of an inning, this counts as 1 full inning against his IP, even if there are already 1 or 2 outs.
A pinch hitter doesn't have to qualify at the position the old batter was playing. Just remember that your team still has to fill all the positions the next time it takes the field. If your lineup can't fill all the positions when your turn at the plate is over, you have to make more substitutions until all the positions are filled. (See "Player Positions" for more on filling the positions.)
BATS AND THROWS
Includes rules for switch hitters.
Some strategy cards check to see how a player bats or how a pitcher throws. For a pitcher, LHP means he throws left-handed and RHP means he throws right-handed. For a batter, L means he bats left, R means he bats right, and S means he's a switch hitter. Switch hitters bat left against RHPs and right against LHPs.
For game purposes, all pitchers bat the same way as they throw.
TEAM CONSTRUCTION RULES
Once you've learned how the advanced game works, you can start building your own teams using the players and strategy cards in your collection. This section gives the rules for building teams, building strategy decks, and setting up a game between 2 custom-built teams.
BUILDING YOUR OWN TEAM
Includes how to build your own team and how to use backup players.
When you start collecting more cards, you can build your own team out of the players in your collection. You can build your team however you want as long as you make sure that:
You decide whether you play by American League rules or National League rules when your team is at home. (AL rules let a designated hitter bat for the pitcher.)
Your team has exactly 20 players.
Your team has at least 9 fielders and other hitters. You must be able to fill all the positions at once using just these players.
Your team has exactly 4 starters.
You don't have the same player on your team more than once.
Your players have a total point value of 5,000 or less.
If you have more than 9 fielders and other hitters on your team, you can say that some or all of the extra ones are backups. A backup only costs your team one-fifth of his normal point value, but he can't play a whole game. (Relievers and closers don't get this discount since it's already built into their point values.) Before the 7th inning, your team can't take the field if you have any backup players in your lineup. If you have a backup pinch-hit before the bottom of the 6th inning, you have to replace him with a regular player by the time your team comes to the plate again. (The same rule applies to expert substitutions.)
Write down your usual batting order for both AL rules and NL rules so you don't have to do it from scratch every game. Be sure to write down which position each player is playing. If you need to make a batting order in a hurry, you can use the following system. Take the hitter with the highest point value. Decide which position he's playing and have him bat first. Take the player with the next-highest point value, decide where he's playing, and have him bat second. Keep going in order of point value. The first time you come to someone who plays only at positions you've already filled (or who only has "-" as a position), make him your designated hitter if the home team plays by AL rules. If the home team plays by NL rules, have your pitcher bat last.
When you play a series of games, your starters take turns pitching. The order in which they pitch is called your rotation. Write down the order you want your rotation to be in. If you don't have a written rotation, just go in order of point value. If your fourth pitcher starts a game, your first pitcher will start the next game. Relievers and closers can't be in rotations.
Includes deckbuilding rules for strategy decks and sideboards.
When you build your team, build a strategy deck and a sideboard to go with it. Your deck and sideboard can include any set of cards as long as your deck has exactly 60 cards, your sideboard has exactly 15 cards, and you don't have more than 4 cards with the same name in those 75 cards.
Between games in a series, you can swap cards between your deck and your sideboard. (You can't do this before the first game, though.) You can swap any number of cards as long as your sideboard ends up with exactly 15 cards.
FULL GAME SETUP
Includes how to use a starting rotation.
Before you start playing with a new opponent, go through the following steps. If you're playing in a league or tournament, there might be special rules telling you who the home team is, where you are in the rotation, or whether you're playing with a designated hitter.
See who the home team is. If you weren't given rules for this, roll to see whose team is the home team.
See where you are in your rotation. If you weren't given rules for this, the home team rolls a die. On a 1-5, both teams' first starters pitch. On a 6-10, the second starters pitch. On an 11-15, the third starters do, and on a 16-20, the fourth starters.
See whether you're playing by AL rules or NL rules, which tells you whether both teams get a designated hitter. If you weren't given rules for this, use the rules the home team prefers.
Now that you know who the home team is and where you are in your rotations, both of you can change your starting lineups.
Tell your opponent what your starting lineup is. Make sure your opponent's lineup fills all the positions.
If you're playing any game after the first of a series, and you have a sideboard, you may use it now.
Start the game.
EXPERT GAME RULES
The expert rules add to the advanced rules and make the game more realistic. After you've learned the advanced game, you can gradually start introducing the expert rules.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF OUTS
Includes how to attempt double plays.
In the basic and advanced games, all 4 kinds of outs are the same: the batter's out, you turn him face down, and runners don't advance. In the expert rules, fly balls (FB) let runners try for extra bases (see "Expert Advancement" for details) and ground balls (GB) can lead to double plays. Strikeouts (SO) and popups (PU) are still just outs.
If your batter gets a ground ball when first base is empty, he's out. If you have someone on first, the defense gets to make a double-play attempt. The runner who was on first is always out, and the defense rolls to see if the infield can throw out the batter. The defense rolls a die and adds the infielders' total Fielding to the roll. If the total beats the batter's Speed, he's out. Otherwise, he's safe. Runners on second and third always advance on a ground ball.
Includes how to take extra bases on fly balls and hits.
In the basic and advanced rules, singles advance runners just 1 base, doubles advance runners just 2 bases, and outs never advance runners. (Triples and homers drive in all runners.) In the expert rules, if a runner would stop at second or third-or stay on 1 of those bases on an OUT(FB)-you may announce that 1 or more of those runners are trying for an extra base. If you do, the outfield tries to throw 1 of those runners out, as follows:
Your opponent chooses 1 runner trying for an extra base.
Take that runner's Speed. If he's trying for home, add +5. If there are 2 outs, add +5. The total is the target the outfield has to beat.
The outfield rolls a die and adds its total Fielding. If the total beats the target, he's out. If not, he's safe! Remember that ties always go to the runner.
If the outfield throws out a runner who was trying for third, and there was also a runner trying for home, the out can't stop the run from scoring.
Example: With 2 outs, Rickey Henderson is on third, Alex Rodriguez is on second, and Edgar Martinez is on first. John Olerud hits a single, so every runner advances 1 base (Rickey scores). You decide to send both runners, and the outfield tries to throw Edgar out. Edgar is Speed B and there are 2 outs, so the outfield's target is 15 + 5 = 20. The die roll is a 16, and the outfield's Fielding happens to be +5. 16 + 5 = 21, which beats the target of 20, so Edgar is out at third, but that doesn't stop A-Rod's run from scoring.
When runners advance on an OUT(GB), this is NOT considered an extra-base attempt, so there is no roll to try to throw them out. (See "Different Kinds of Outs".) Runners never advance if the swing results in the third out.
EXPERT INNINGS PITCHED
Includes how to charge runs, and a penalty for pitchers who give up runs.
In the MLBTM Showdown card game, when a run crosses the plate, the run is charged to whoever was pitching when that player reached base. In the expert rules, for every 3 runs charged to a pitcher, his IP goes down by 1. This penalty applies as soon as the run is charged to him, even though it's the middle of the inning.
In the expert rules, relievers and closers can't pitch every day. If you're playing several games in a row, you have to give them a day off once in a while. If a reliever or closer pitches 2 games in a row, his IP starts at 0 the next game. This means you subtract 1 from his pitches right away. One day of rest is all a reliever or closer needs to get back to his full IP.
EXPERT MANAGERIAL OPTIONS
Includes how to do intentional walks and sacrifice bunts.
After substitutions are over but before you start playing strategy cards, you can call for intentional walks or sacrifice bunts. First the manager on defense decides whether to call for an intentional walk. Then the manager on offense decides whether to call for a sacrifice bunt. If either one is called, there's no pitch and no swing. You can still play strategy cards at the usual times, though.
If the defense calls for an intentional walk, the batter simply walks. This is not a "walk result" for purposes of the strategy cards, but otherwise it works the same way.
If the offense calls for a sacrifice bunt, the batter is out and all runners advance 1 base. You can't sacrifice bunt if you have a runner on third or if the batter was intentionally walked.
Includes how to play first base out of position.
In the expert rules, you can have any of your fielders (or other hitters) play first base, but if that player doesn't qualify there, he'll have terrible fielding. If someone who doesn't qualify at first base plays there, his Fielding is -1 (instead of whatever it says on his card), unless he doesn't qualify at any position, in which case his Fielding is -2.
If you take enough fielders out of the game that the ones you have left can't fill all the positions at once, you have to plug the gaps with emergency fielders. An emergency fielder qualifies at every position, but always has +0 Arm and +0 Fielding. On offense, an emergency fielder never gets the advantage (so skip the pitch when he's at the plate) and is Speed B (15). Even though these players are called emergency fielders, you can use them to pinch-hit or pinch-run.
You can also bring emergency relievers into the game. If you do bring one in, look through both teams' rosters to find the pitcher with the lowest point value (even starters). If there's a tie for the lowest point total, choose 1 of those pitchers. Your emergency reliever is identical to that pitcher, except that he has 0 IP (so he automatically enters the game tired) and 0 Control.
Includes how to use pinch runners and defensive replacements.
The expert game adds 2 kinds of substitutions: pinch runners and defensive replacements. All substitutions are made at the start of an inning or at the very start of an at-bat. In the expert rules, you can use emergency fielders to fill the positions, so you can take your last player who qualifies at a position out of the game. (You also have emergency relievers, which allow you to take your last pitcher out of the game.)
When you send in a pinch runner, he goes to the base where the old runner was and takes the old runner's spot in the batting order.
When you send in a defensive replacement, he takes the old player's spot in the batting order. He doesn't have to fill the old player's position, though. You can juggle players between positions to make room, and can replace someone with an emergency fielder if necessary. Remember that everyone except pitchers can play first base.
You can combine 2 or more defensive replacements and pitching changes into a single substitution. If you do, the new players can take the old players' batting spots in any order. (For example, if you bring in a new shortstop and a new pitcher at the same time, the new shortstop can take the old pitcher's spot in the order while the new pitcher takes the old shortstop's spot. This is often called a double switch.)
COMPLETE AT-BAT SEQUENCE
The expert game rules and the strategy cards let you do lots of things during an at-bat. If you ever get confused about exactly what you can do when, just follow these steps. When you and the other manager take turns deciding whether to do something, the manager on defense has to decide first. On each step, keep going back and forth until both of you pass back-to-back.
Take turns deciding whether to make any substitutions.
In the expert rules, the defense decides whether to intentionally walk the batter.
In the expert rules, the offense decides whether to sacrifice bunt.
Take turns playing a strategy card or passing. Strategy cards played "before the pitch" are played now.
Roll for the pitch unless there's a pitcher or emergency fielder at the plate. Roll for the swing. Don't carry out the result of the swing until step 7. Skip this step entirely if an intentional walk or sacrifice bunt was called for.
Take turns playing a strategy card or passing. Strategy cards played "on" a certain kind of result are played now.
Carry out the result of the swing, intentional walk, or sacrifice bunt.
Take turns playing a strategy card or passing. Strategy cards played "after" a hit, out, or walk are played now.
In a 1-2-3 inning, only 3 batters come up, and none of them reach base safely. (Innings with double plays don't count as 1-2-3 innings.)
Hits always advance runners. On a single, every runner advances 1 base. On a double, every runner advances 2 bases. Triples and homers drive in all runners. Walks can also force runners to advance. Outs don't advance runners. In the expert game, ground balls advance runners on second and third 1 base. See extra bases.
During an at-bat, the pitch determines whether the pitcher or the batter has the advantage. When the batter rolls the swing, find the result on the chart of the player who has the advantage. See pitch.
A catcher's Arm is listed in the upper right of his card next to his position. A catcher's Arm is added to his roll when he tries to throw out a runner who is attempting to steal.
A batter's turn at the plate is called an at-bat.
When you build a team, you can label some players as backups. A backup can't start a game and can't take the field before the 7th inning. If you bring a backup player in as a pinch hitter or pinch runner before the bottom of the 6th, you must take him out of your lineup by the time your team takes the field again. Only fielders and other hitters can be backups.
The way a player bats is listed in the upper right of his card next to his Speed. Every player bats left, right, or switch. When a switch hitter is at the plate, he bats the opposite of the way the pitcher throws: left against RHPs, right against LHPs. Pitchers bat with the same hand they use to pitch.
During an at-bat, the player at the plate is called the batter.
The order in which your batters come to the plate is called your batting order. When you make a substitution, the new player takes over the old one's spot in the batting order. In the expert rules, you can make more than 1 substitution at once. If you do, the new players can go into your batting order in any order.
Your bench is where you keep your players who haven't entered the game.
Your bullpen is where you keep your pitchers who haven't entered the game.
A pitcher who usually pitches in save situations. Being a closer instead of a reliever matters only for strategy cards. See starter and reliever.
A pitcher's Control is added to his die roll on every pitch. Being tired does not subtract from his Control, just from the total pitch. See IP and pitch.
The strategy cards you haven't drawn yet are kept in your deck. If your deck ever runs out, you can't draw any more cards (so you can't play strategy cards that always have you draw 1 or more cards).
You can use defense cards only when your team is in the field. See strategy cards.
In the expert game, when the other team sends a batter to the plate, or when your team takes the field, you can replace one fielder with another. The new player takes the old one's spot in the batting order. He doesn't have to play the same position as the old one, and you can move other players around to fit the new one in. See double switch.
If you're playing by American League rules, both teams get a designated hitter position, which takes the pitcher's spot in the lineup. Any fielder or other hitter can act as a designated hitter. If you send your designated hitter into the field, your team loses its designated hitter position for the rest of the game. This means your pitchers go into your lineup instead.
Short for Designated Hitter. In the MLBTM Showdown 2000TM card game, players who didn't qualify at any position were given a "DH" instead of a "-." See designated hitter.
Strategy cards are discarded at the end of each at-bat. Cards can also force you or your opponent to discard cards directly from your hand. See strategy cards.
All the strategy cards you discard go into your discard pile, whether you used them or were forced to discard them. Your discard pile is always face up. See deck.
Every runner advances 2 bases, and the batter goes on second. In the expert game, a runner on first can try for an extra base.
In the expert game, if a batter hits a ground ball with a runner on first, the runner is out. The defense tries to throw the batter out also. The defense rolls a die and adds the infield's total Fielding to the roll. If the roll beats the batter's Speed, he's out. Otherwise, he's safe at first. See Speed.
DOUBLE SWITCH You can combine 1 or more defensive replacements and pitching changes into a single substitution. If you do, the new players can take the old ones' spots in the batting order in any order. See defensive replacements and pitching change.
If a rule or a card tells you to draw 1 or more cards, take that many cards off the top of your deck. See deck.
An emergency fielder can play all the positions with +0 Fielding (or Arm). When he's at the plate, he never gets the advantage (so skip the pitch). All emergency fielders are Speed B (15).
When you bring an emergency reliever into the game, look through both teams' rosters to find the pitcher with the lowest point total (including starters). Your reliever is identical to that card, but with 0 IP and 0 Control.
In the expert game, a player who would wind up on second or third after a single, double, or fly ball can try for an extra base. If he does, the outfield rolls a die, adds its total Fielding, subtracts 5 if he's trying for home, and subtracts 5 if there are 2 outs. If the total beats the runner's Speed, he's out. If more than 1 runner tries to advance on a single or a fly ball, the outfield chooses which of them to try to throw out.
A player's Fielding is listed on the upper right of his card next to his position. Fielding is used for making Fielding checks. In the expert game, Fielding is also used for double-play attempts and for extra-base attempts. Catchers, emergency fielders, and pitchers have +0 Fielding.
Strategy cards can have players make a Fielding check. The defense rolls a die and adds those players' total Fielding to the roll. If the total beats a 20, it passes the check.
HOMER, HOME RUN
Every runner scores and so does the batter.
When a team is in the field, infielder means anyone playing first, second, third, or shortstop. Between games, it means anyone who qualifies at any of those positions.
In the expert game, the defense can choose to intentionally walk the batter. There is no pitch or swing. Do everything you'd do for a walk result.
IP, INNINGS PITCHED
A pitcher's IP tells you how many innings he can safely stay in the game. If a pitcher has been in the game too long, his pitches get -1 for each extra inning in which he's pitched. If a pitcher's IP is already 0, it can go below 0, but this doesn't do anything except make it harder to raise his IP back to 1. (For example, a pitcher who's pitching in his third inning and has -2 IP gets -3 to all his pitches, not -5.) In the expert game, a pitcher gets -1 IP for every 3 runs he's given up. If a reliever or closer has pitched in the last 2 games, he comes into the game with 0 IP, so you subtract 1 from his pitches right away. You can't take your starter out of the game before the 5th inning unless he's tired.
Your lineup is the list of your players that are currently in the game. If you pinch hit or bring someone in from the bullpen, your new lineup has to be able to fill all the positions at once. In the expert rules, the only time you check to see whether your lineup can fill all the positions is when it's in the field, though anyone who isn't a pitcher can play first base. The expert rules also include emergency fielders who can be used to fill the positions. See emergency fielder, substitutions, and batting order.
You and your opponent are the managers. When cards refer to players, they mean the fielders, other hitters, and pitchers on the 2 teams. See player.
A player who qualifies at OF can play any of the 3 outfield positions: LF, RF, or CF.
You can use offense cards only when your team is at the plate. See strategy cards.
The pitcher rolls against the batter's On-Base to see who has the advantage.
When a batter gets a fly ball, he's out. In the expert game, if a fly ball doesn't make the third out, runners on second and third can try for extra bases. See extra bases.
When a batter gets a ground ball, he's out. In the expert game, if a batter gets a ground ball with a runner on first, the defense gets a double-play attempt. If first base is empty, the batter is just out. A runner on third scores and a runner on second advances to third. See advancement and double play.
OUT OF POSITION
In the expert rules, anyone who isn't a pitcher can play first base, but if 1B isn't listed on his card, he's out of position there. A position player who's playing first out of position has -1 Fielding instead of what it says on his card. A player with no positions listed has -2 Fielding.
When a batter gets a popup, he's out. Runners stay where they are.
When a batter strikes out, he's out. Runners stay where they are.
When a team is in the field, outfielder means anyone playing left, right, or center field. Between games, it means anyone who qualifies at any of those positions.
When you send a batter to the plate, you can send a pinch hitter instead. See substitutions.
When you send a batter to the plate, you may replace 1 or more of your runners with players from your bench. See substitutions.
As part of an at-bat, the pitcher rolls to see who has the advantage. He rolls the die, adds his Control, and compares the total with the batter's On-Base. If the pitcher's total is higher, he has the advantage. If not, the batter has the advantage. If a pitcher's been in the game too long (based on his IP) his pitches get worse. When a pitcher bats, he never has the advantage, so there is no pitch. See innings pitched.
When the other team sends a batter to the plate, or when your team takes the field, you can bring in a new pitcher. If you take your pitcher out of the game when you're at the plate, you must bring a new one in when your team takes the field. The new pitcher has to be a reliever or a closer. You can't take your starter out of the game before the 5th inning unless he's tired. See double switch and substitutions.
When cards refer to players, they mean the hitters and pitchers on the 2 teams. You and your opponent are the managers.
A player's point value matters mainly when you're building your own team. The players on your team have to have a total value of 5,000 points or less. You can also use your players' point values to create a batting order or a starting rotation more quickly.
There are 8 positions on the field: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, RF, and CF. When your team takes the field, it has to fill all 8 field positions and have a pitcher. If you're playing by AL rules, you also have a designated hitter. The designated hitter doesn't take the field. A player can play only at the positions listed on his card. In the expert rules, any fielder or other hitter can also play first base, and you can use emergency fielders to fill the positions. See out of position and emergency fielders.
Someone who qualifies at 1 or more positions in the field. Pitchers, and players who only have "-" for their position, aren't position players.
The positions where a player qualifies are listed on his card. A player can play any position where he qualifies. In the expert rules, anyone except a pitcher can play first base, but he'll have terrible Fielding, and emergency fielders qualify at every position. See out of position.
A pitcher who replaces another pitcher but isn't a closer. Being a reliever instead of a closer matters only for strategy cards. See closer, emergency reliever, and starter.
RESULT When a batter swings, he looks the total up on his or the pitcher's chart. The out, hit, or walk matching the total is called the result. Intentional walks and sacrifice bunts are not results.
When you build your team, you pay for 20 players. These include a rotation of 4 starters, and at least 9 hitters. You may divide the rest between your bench and your bullpen however you like. Some or all of your extra hitters can be backups See backup.
When you build a team, you have to include 4 starters in a specified order to serve as your rotation. Only starters can be in your rotation. When you play a multiple-game series, you use a different starter every game.
In the expert rules, when you send a batter to the plate you can call for a sacrifice bunt. There is no pitch or swing. Your batter is out, but all runners advance 1 base. You can't sacrifice bunt if someone's on third or if your batter was intentionally walked.
Runners on second and third are in scoring position.
When you build your team you should also build a 60-card strategy deck and a 15-card sideboard. Between games, you can swap any number of cards between your deck and your sideboard as long as your sideboard ends up with exactly 15 cards.
Every runner advances 1 base, and the batter goes on first. In the expert game, runners on first and second can try for extra bases on a single.
A single+ is a single that gives the batter an extra chance to steal second. All rules for singles apply to single+ results as well. Every runner advances 1 base, and the batter goes on first. If second base is open after runners have advanced, the batter steals it without a throw. In the expert game, runners on first and second can try for extra bases on a single+.
A player's Speed is written as a letter, followed by a number in parentheses. A roll against that player's Speed has to beat that number. Players with similar Speed are grouped into the same letter; this matters only for strategy cards. All pitchers are Speed C (10). Emergency fielders are Speed B (15). In the expert game, Speed is also used for extra-base and double-play attempts. See extra bases, Out(GB), and steal.
A pitcher who starts ball games. Only starters can be in a rotation, and you can't use starters to replace other pitchers. See closer, reliever, and rotation.
STEAL, STOLEN-BASE ATTEMPT
Some strategy cards allow a player to try to steal. After the offense announces who's trying to steal, the catcher rolls the die, adds his Arm, and tries to beat the runner's Speed. If the runner is trying to steal third, the catcher adds +5 to his roll. If the total beats the runner's Speed, he's out. Stealing home isn't allowed. Also, if a batter gets a single+ result and second is open (after all advancement and extra bases), he steals it without a throw. See single+.
You play strategy cards to change what happens in the game. You can play strategy cards only during an at-bat, but not between the rolls for the pitch and the swing. If anyone wants to make substitutions, wait for all those before playing any strategy cards. When you play a strategy card, put it on the table and do everything it says to do. (You might have to wait to do part of it.) At the end of the at-bat, discard the card unless it changes a player's stats and doesn't say for how long. In the expert game, you have to wait to see if there's an intentional walk or sacrifice bunt before you play strategy cards.
Substitutions include bringing in new pitchers and pinch hitters. Substitutions have to be made at the start of an at-bat, before anything else happens. In the expert game, they also include defensive replacements and pinch runners. You can't make a substitution if the new lineup wouldn't fill all the positions at once. In the expert rules, anyone who isn't a pitcher can play first base, and the requirement of filling all the positions doesn't apply when your team is at the plate. In the expert rules, you can also bring in emergency fielders to pinch hit, to pinch run, and to help fill the positions on the field. See backup and emergency fielders.
As part of an at-bat, the batter rolls and looks on the chart of whoever has the advantage. Roll for the pitch before the swing. If strategy cards made the swing more than 20, look up what happens on a 20. If strategy cards made the swing less than 1, look up what happens on a 1.
Every pitcher throws either left-handed (LHP) or right-handed (RHP).
A pitcher who stays in the game for too many innings gets tired and takes a penalty on every pitch. See IP.
Every runner scores, and the batter goes on third.
TRY FOR AN EXTRA BASE
After a single, double, or OUT(FB), runners who would otherwise stop (or stay) at second and third may try for extra bases. See extra bases.
TURN AT THE PLATE
During an inning, both teams take their turns at the plate. An individual batter's appearance at the plate is called an at-bat.
You can use utility cards at any time. See strategy cards.
The batter goes on first. If you already had a runner on first, this forces him to second. If you also had someone on second, this forces him to third. If you also had someone on third, he scores.