Rules


Table of Contents

Introduction
Conference Structure
Team Roster
Head Coaches
Players
Recruiting
Teams
Games
Game Strategy
Arena
Colleges / Universities (Limits & Restrictions)
Bugs & Irregularities
Cheating
Game Engine Algorithm Discussion
Glossary of Abbreviations & Statistics

Introduction

Hardwood is a college basketball management game. You will take the helm of a college basketball program and will compete to win games and trophies for the school. You will be responsible for hiring & firing the head coach, recruiting players, setting up the depth chart, adjusting individual player controls and determining game tactics. If you do this well, you could win your conference championship or even the national title. Do it poorly and you can be demoted to a lower conference.

Conference Structure

The conference structure is that of a pyramid. There is one top conference, two second level conferences, four third level conferences etc. The top three teams from each conference will be promoted and the bottom six finishers will be demoted. If teams have equal conference records at the end of the season, then point differential will be used to determine who finishes in the higher spot for playoff seeding, promotion and demotion.

Team Roster

Each team is allowed to have up to 13 scholarship players on their roster. In addition, a team will receive a number of walk-on players (non-scholarship players) they can use to fill-in in case of injury or recruiting shortcomings. Each player can play four years for the team (freshman through senior years) before graduating. Additionally, players can also be redshirted for one year to develop without playing.

Head Coaches

Head Coaches have several attributes that effect both players' in-game performance and their development over time. Additionally, coaches can also have a significant effect on recruiting.

Head Coach ID #: unique reference number for the coach.

Name: first and last name. They aren't necessarily unqiue.

Age: indicates how old a coach is. Head Coaches can generally keep working until they are between 65 and 70 years old.

Nationality: where a coach is from.

Experience: approximation of how much total experience a coach has accumulated.

Salary: coach's yearly salary in US dollars. Note, the minimum coach league salary is $500k per season.

Offense: how well does the coach design an offense and ultimately influence the teams performance on the court.

Defense: how well does the coach coach emphasize defense and ultimately influence the teams performance on the court.

Recruiting: how well does the coach recruit players.

Player Development: how well does the coach develop young players.

Reputation: a comment about the coach's approximate skill set.

Players

Players have a number of attributes. Most of the in-game attributes are variable, in that they have a base value and a potential value and the current value is somewhere between then depending on coaching, experience and eventually the effect of aging.

Player ID #: unique reference number for the player.

Name: first and last name. They aren't necessarily unqiue.

Class/Classification: year in school (may include Red Shirt designation).

Red Shirt: player is injured or held out of competitions and focuses on development or recovery. Player does not use up one of his years of eligibility. In order to red shirt, a player must appear in five or fewer games.

Position & Position List: the primary position (the position listed at the top right of the player page or on the left side of the roster page), is the position that a player is most experienced at playing. It's not necessarily the position he would be best suited to play in the long term. The position list (available on lower right side of the player page), lists all the positions that a player is experienced playing (those in upper case have more experience, those in lower case have less experience). A player can gain position experience by playing at that position in any game which over time will result in the position list expanding or changing. Additionally, with sufficient playing time at another position, a player's primary position can change.

Age: indicates how old a player is. All players will age one year during the off-season (there are no in-season birthdays).

Nationality: where a player is from.

Home Town: where a player was born.

High School: the high school a player attended (if applicable).

Shoots: a player's dominant shooting hand, either right or left. There are no ambidextrous players at this time.

Height: simply how tall a player is in feet and inches.

Weight: how heavy a player is in pounds.

Wingspan: measurement of a player from finger tip to finger tip (with arms outstretched) in feet and inches.

Vertical: measurement of how high a player can jump from a running start.

Recruiting Rating: overall players rating as a recruit from zero to five stars.

Recruiting Evaluation: a report with information about the recruit's skill set and ability to improve. Also may include an assessment of the recruit's overall potential.

- Offensive Skills

Inside Shot (IS): inside shooting and post move, required to score near the basket.

Outside Shot (OS): outside jump shooting, required to make shots from mid-range to long distances. Also, instrumental in making free throws.

Range (Rng): ability to make shots from long distances with a high shooting percentage.

Finishing (Fin): ability to finish going to the basketball on a drive or on a fast break.

- Defensive Skills

Rebounding (Reb): capability to grab rebounds on both the offensive and defensive end of the court.

Interior Defense (IDef): defensive skills near the basket.

Perimeter Defense (PDef): defensive skills away from the basket.

- Basketball Skills

Basketball IQ (IQ): the ability to make the right play at the right time.

Passing (Pass): ability to pass the basketball to teammates at the most opportune time and position.

Handle (Hnd): ability to handle and move with the basketball.

Driving (Drv): ability to break down a defense and penetrate to the basket in order to either pass or shoot.

- Physical Skills

Strength (Str): raw strength of a player recruited for blocking out, rebounding, playing defense and for some maneuvers on offense.

Speed (Spd): the speed at which a player moves on offense and reacts on defense. Includes lateral quickness and is more than simply a measure of how fast a player can run up and down the court.

Stamina (Sta): the ability for a player to sustain effort his maximum effort level.

- Overall Skill Measure

Skill Index: a composite of all relevant skills. It's the sum of the all skills, but doesn't include physical attributes (like height, weight, wingspan and vertical) nor position experience/rating.

Potential: a measure of all relevant skill potentials for a prospect. Note: this may include some level of uncertainty.

- Coaching & Experience

Players essentially have two limits on each skill. A base defines the starting point for the skill and a potential defines the maximum to which a skill can increase. For college players, two factors determine where the player's current skill level is: coaching & experience.

Coaching: is primarily gained in the high school and college is especially effective for younger players. Even in the pro ranks, some coaching is gained and a player can develop further. Players will get coaching in all categories, but a team can select a primary and second coaching focus for its players. These categories will receive additional coaching during the update.

Note: coaching updates occurs twice weekly on Thursday & Sunday morning (Pacific Time).

Experience: is gained while playing at all levels, but especially from college upwards. Experience is gained for every minute a player plays in a game, plus there is a base experienced gain for just being on the team and going to practice.

- Player Development

TBD - Blah Blah Blah

There are eight additional training options that you can select. There will provide a small bonus to player development, most improvments will occur across the board and based on position played during games.

Post Moves: additional training for inside scoring and play.

Shooting: additional training for outside shooting especially from longer ranges.

Foul Shooting: additional training for shooting from the foul line.

Ball Handling & Passing: additional training in ball handling and passing.

Video / Film Work: additional training that increase basketball IQ and overall basketball skills.

Defense: additional defensive training.

Fitness: additional training to improve stamina.

Strength Training: additional training to improve strength.

- Aging

Improving Attributes: as younger player age, they will grow from boys to men. As this occurs, their physical attributes (height, wingspan etc.) will increase. This can make recruiting tricky because some players attributes will change considerably over their recruiting period and for their first few seasons in college.

Declining Skills: age is the final factor that effects where a current skill level is. As a player reaches approximately 30 years old, certain skill levels begin to decline. This will generally not affect college players.

- Current Skill Values vs. Potential Skill Limits

A player has a current skill level which dictates how a player will perform in games and is the approximate value displayed for each skill. Then there is a player's potential for each skill which is unknown, but eluded to through the recruiting report. As a player gets more coaching and experience, his current skill level will approach his potential skill limit. Note, some skills will generally start much closer to their potential value than other skills.

- Scouted Skill Values vs. Real Skill Values

So are the skill values displayed for each player accurate? Just as in real basketball, where there is some uncertainty about a player's talent level, in Hardwood there is also built-in uncertainty in displayed skill levels. The visible skill values for each player are an approximation of his current actual skill level and may deviate by up to 20% from it true value for some skills. Additionally, just like in real basketball, as a player plays more games, his displayed skill value will approach his true current skill level. Note, this may result in a player's displayed skill level actually dropping, even though he is receiving regular coaching and playing time. His skill value is not actually dropping, but because his actual skill level is better known now, a more accurate and lower value is now displayed.

- Hidden Values & Skills

So are there hidden skills? No, there are no hidden skills. There aren't any player attributes that can be trained or improved with experience nor that erode with age. There are however fixed player values that affect certain in-game outcomes. There effect is significant, but much smaller than the affect of the relevant skill.

- Player Management - Game Tactics

Each player has a number of parameters that can be changed or adjusted to effect how he plays during a game. There are termed player game tactics and can be modified on the management page. Some dictate how offensive players will behave while others effect defense or playing time.

Green Light: determines how often a player is encouraged to shoot the ball. A green light means he can shoot whenever he wants. Other settings means he's instructed to pass more or never shoot.

Offensive Positioning: determines where a player tends to play on offense. Perimeter positions (PG, SG & SF) with an inside selection will tend to slash to the basket and in some cases post up their defenders. With an outside selection, they will tend to remain on the perimeter and launch long distance shots. An intermediate selection will result in more balanced play with mostly setting up on perimeter, but some forays towards the basket. Similarly, big men (PF & C) with outside selections will tend to favor moving outside of the paint and exercising their jump shot. An intermediate or inside selection will instruct the player to work inside the paint. Please note, these setting will affect where a player gets the ball and shoots from, but will also have some affect also on his rebounding position as well.

One way to use the offensive positioning setting, is to create hybrid positions. For example, the stretch-4 is essentially a power forward playing on the perimeter.

Playing Time: determines how quickly and often a player will be substituted for. The highest setting means the college PT target is roughly 40 minutes for a college game (not overtime). The average setting corresponds to 32 minutes and the lowest setting is roughly 24 minutes of playing time. You can use the no playing time setting ('0') for players you wish to redshirt.

Red Shirt: a checkbox to designate a player for red shirting (not playing). This is essentially the same as setting the playing time selection to zero. Please note, if you designate too many players for red shirting and your team has too many injuries or disqualifications, you may still be forced to insert players with this designation into those games.

- Injuries

Any player that plays in a game can experience an injury. When a starter is injured, then the game engine will select the next player from the depth chart.

Recruiting

Recruiting is the process of encouraging prospects to enroll in your college and play on your basketball team. You can recruit three types of prospects: high school, junior college and international players.

High School: a high school player from North America. You can start recruiting him as a 14 year old freshman in high school and during his senior year he will commit to a college and be a college freshman the next season.

Junior College (Juco): a junior college player from North America. You can start recruiting him as a 18 year old freshman in junior college and during his sophomore year he will commit to a college and be a college junior the following season.

International: an international player from outside North America. You can recruit him for one year as a 17 year old and during that year he will commit to a college and be a college freshman the next season.

A prospect page looks just like the player page, but you'll want to focus on three specific pieces of information:

Recruiting Rating: a zero to five star rating of the player's overall ability.

Recruiting Evaluation: a scouting report that tries to project the kind of college player the prospect will become.

Projected Height: an estimate of a player's eventual height made when the recruiting process begins. Final height may be shorter or taller than projected.

College List: a list of colleges recruiting the prospect and his approximate interest level (None, Low, Medium, and High).

- Contacts

At the beginning of the season, team will each receive a large number of recruiting points that can be converted to prospect contacts. Then each calendar day, prospects (high school seniors, junior college sophomores and international prospects only) will begin to make commitments to teams that have offered them scholarships. Additionally, each day, a small number of additional recruiting points will be allotted to each team. There is no limit to the number of points one can spend on any given day, but there is a cap. Note: points not spent at the end of the season will be lost.

- Scholarship Offers

In order for the prospect to commit to your college, you'll have to make them a scholarship offer. You can only have 13 scholarship players on your roster, so you need to be judicious about who and when you offer scholarships to. Once all your scholarships are assigned for the next season, you will not be able to receive commitments from additional recruits.

- Pulling a Scholarship Offer

Pulling a scholarship offer will reset the ability to further recruit that one player. Be careful about who and when you offer scholarships to, in general, you don't want to be pulling offers as it will be damaging the good will you've built up with the prospect. Also, you can't pull an offer once the player has committed.

- Commitments

Commitments happen in a player's final year before college. At some point during the season, a player will assess his offers and based on his interest level, he will choose to commit to a college. Once committed, he will be assigned a scholarship for next season (limiting other commitments) and all further recruiting contacts will be fruitless. Some high school prospects that do not have acceptable offers will enroll in junior college and be available for recruiting for two more seasons. Other prospects may forgo a scholarship and walk-on somewhere. Still others will end their basketball career and take a job at the local athletic shoe store.

- Recruiting Calendar

The recruiting calendar is broken into 53 updates (one after each game day). At the beginning of the season you’ll receive a large sum of recruiting points followed by 2 points for every daily update thereafter. You can use recruiting point to contact a prospect and encourage them to come to your school. Starting with the 5th recruiting update, high school seniors will begin committing to schools. Junior college sophomores and international players will start committing later. On update #53, all uncommitted players will either commit to a school (given a valid scholarship offer), proceed to junior college (and continue to be recruited), become a walk-on at some program or leave basketball altogether.

- Recruiting Success Factors

There are a number of factors that go into successfully recruiting a player. Here are some:

Conference Level: colleges in the higher conferences will be more attractive to prospects.

Prestige: colleges that have won more and acquired greater prestige will have a bonus in recruiting.

Coaching: some coaches are better recruiters than others.

Geography: prospects tend to choose schools closer to home. Colleges will receive a recruiting bonus to players in the region and in-state.

Random Factors: when a prospect chooses to commit, there are a number of random factors what can also sway his decision.

Obviously every college wants a handful of 5-star recruits each year. But just recruiting the elite prospects may not be the best strategy. Consider carefully what your realistic chance of signing a players is before you dump all your recruiting points on him. For schools in lower conferences, you may be better off focusing on local players which are a step below elite status.

- Top Prospects versus Hot Prospects

Top prospects are the highest rated prospects based on recruiting star ratings and current skill index (SI). Hot prospects are the most recruited prospects by total number of contacts and total number of schools recruiting them.

- Walk-Ons

Some high school prospects that don't get offers will choose to walk-on at a college. Since they don't receive scholarships, there is no downside to having walk-on players. Walk-on players are usually limited in their skill level and generally don't play in games very much. They are mostly good for practice players and added depth. Note: teams will have no control over which and how many walk-ons they will receive.

Teams

A college (or university) team is the entity that the user controls. The team's roster consists of 13 scholarship players plus some walk-ons. In addition, there is a basketball arena and history/legacy for each team.

- College, Mascot & City

College: The college or university.

Mascot: The college's mascot, like the Wildcats or the Tigers. [can be changed under profile tab].

City: The city where the college team plays (this location will be important in recruiting).

- Depth Chart & Game Plan

Depth Chart: Each team has a depth chart which determines who will start each game and who will fill-in in case of fatigue or injury.

Game Plan: Each team has a default game plan. It will be used if a specific game plan is not set for a game. Additionally, it will be the starting point for any game-specific plan.

- Ratings

Rating: continuously updated estimate of the team's strength based on regular season, playoff and tournament wins.

RPI: rating percentage index - season based rating based upon a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Used to determine which teams make the national tournament.

SOS: strength of schedule - a measure of strength of the teams played during the season.

Prestige: Accumulated prestige from winning conference titles and tournament games.

Fan Mood: A measure of the current fan mood and the likelihood that larger numbers will show up in attendance for home games.

Alumni Mood: A measure of the current alumni mood and the likelihood that the will donate to the college. Also, important in determining weather bots fire an underperforming head coach.

- History

Historical Record of Past Seasons: A record of games won and lost and achievements over the previous seasons.

Trophies: Trophies won from conference championships and the national tournament.

Games

- Game Types

Non-Conference Games: at the beginning of the season, each team will play 10 games against non-conference opponents. These games will not count in the conference standings, but will affect the teams RPI and SOS rating and ultimately if the team is invited to the national tournament.

Conference Games: each team will play 30 conference games, one home and one road game against each of the other conferences teams. These games will be used to determine the conference winner at the end of the season.

Conference Playoff Games: at the end of conference play, there will be a playoff to decide which team gets the conference's automatic bid to the national tournament. There will be a four game, single elimination playoff tournament that determines the playoff winner. The seeding in this tournament will be based on conference finish.

National Tournament Games: at the end of the season, 64 teams will be chosen to participate in a six game, single elimination tournament to decide the national champion. All conference playoff winners will automatically be invited to the tournament. The remaining teams will be selected based on RPI. Seeding in the national tournament is also be based on RPI.

High School, Junior College & International Games: these games are simulated to provide statistics and experience growth for prospects. Games are between randomly selected teams, prospects are not playing with their listed high school or junior college. Statistics are based on games play against only similar type prospects (high school players versus high school players etc.).

Pro Games: these games are just simulated to see how players continue to develop and what kind of players the very best college players become. It has no effect on the college teams.

- Schedule

The schedule consists of 50 games total. At the start of the season in October, each team will play 10 non-conference games followed by a full set of 30 conference games. Following this regular season, the conference playoffs will occur (up to 4 additional games). Finally, the national tournament is played in March which will consists of up to 6 more games for teams selected to the tournament.

- Conference

Each conference contains sixteen teams. Each team will play each of the other teams twice; home and away. At the end of the regular season, there will be a four game conference playoff. All sixteen teams will participate seeded according to their conference record. For conference IV and above, the playoff winner will get an automatic bid into the National Tournament. Winners from conference V and VI will get invitations to the Division 2 and 3 Tournaments. Trophies are distributed for the winner of both the conference regular season and the conference playoffs. Promotion and relegation are determined based on conference regular season record as well.

- National Tournament

National Tournament Games: at the end of the season, there will be national tournaments. All the teams are broken into three divisions, conference levels I through IV form Division I. Conference level V forms Division 2 and conference level VI forms Division 3. 64 teams will be chosen to participate in a six game, single elimination tournament to decide the national champions. All conference playoff winners will automatically be invited to the tournament. The remaining teams will be selected based on RPI. Seeding in the national tournament is also be based on RPI.

Game Strategy

- Game Plan

For each game, a school can have a separate game plan. A game plan consists of a depth chart and a set of game tactics (with potential adjustments). If a specific game does not have a game plan associated with it, then the default plan will be used.

- Setting Up Your Depth Chart

Setup your depth chart by filling in your starting five in the top position and then working your way down filling in several backups for each position. The starters should be unique, but there can be some overlap in backup players (i.e. a wing player backing up both SG and SF). If you run out of players in the depth chart (because of injuries, fatigue or foul problems), then the game engine will fill in the next best player according to its logic. It is not necessary to fill in 4-5 players at each position.

Note: positions will be filled in the following order: PG, C, PF, SF and SG. So if you have one player as the primary backup for both guard spots - if both starters are on the bench, then the backup player will fill in at PG and the game engine will move to the next position on the depth chart to grab a SG.

Point Guard (PG): usually the team's best ball handler and passer. Responsible for breaking down the defense and distributing the ball. Generally not very tall.

Shooting Guard (SG): a wing player that primarily plays on the perimeter.

Small Forward (SF): a wing player that primarily plays on the perimeter. More likely to drive to the basket and contend for rebounds than the Shooting Guard.

Power Forward (PF): Usually the 2nd tallest player on the team is responsible for interior defense and rebounding along with the center. On offense, the power forward traditionally tried to score from close to the basket out to mid-range. Recently, some power forwards play as a 'stretch four', so they play on the perimeter and stretch the opposing defense.

Center (C): plays close to the basket and are usually the tallest player on the floor. On offense, the center usually operates 'in the paint' and tries to score from inside. On defense, he may act as a rim protector and is responsible for blocking out and grabbing rebounds.

- Setting Up Your Game Tactics

Game tactics is what determines how the team plays and what tactics it employs during the game. It can be setup for individual games or as the default game tactics. Additionally, within the set of game tactics is the ability to make a half-time adjustment based on the score or other factors. Depending on the point differential at half-time (or other metric), the coach may want to change what tactics the team utilizes in the 2nd half of the game. Only the first half time adjustment that meets the threshold criteria will be adopted.

The following elements are possible to control from the game plan:
Offensive Game Settings
Pace: How fast the offense will play including capitalizing on transition attempts and how much of the shot clock they will try to use.

Inside Emphasis: degree to which the offense tries to get shot from the inside as opposed to the perimeter.
Defensive Game Settings
Defense Selection: percentage of man-to-man, zone and pressure defense employed.

Defense Extension: degree to which the defense tries to extend to the perimeter versus remain packed around the basket. In basketball, it is natural for the defense to adjust gradually as the opponent has success either from inside the paint or from beyond the arc, however you can set the starting point for the game and reset the value with the half-time adjustment.
Additional Game Settings
Substitution Mode: players may be substituted all at once (mass substitution) or in a more distributed manner (staggered substitution).

Arena

Each arena has a limited seating capacity that restricts the number of paid spectators to the game and therefore the income each game can generate.

Colleges / Universities

It is recommended that you only have one college team so that there are no conflicts of interest between teams and so there are enough teams available for other users.

- Activation & Inactivity

When granted a college team, you will have 25 days to activate the team. Afterwards, if you are inactive for more than 50 days, you may lose your team depending on how active you've been in the past.

- Relocation / Renaming

Colleges/universities are located where they presently reside in the real world. This distribution of schools is important to recruiting accuracy and fairness. As such, relocation of schools is not permitted. Additionally, each school has the mascot and color scheme associated with the real version. Changing these is also not permitted. Can you image the Univ. of Kentucky Bulldogs wearing red jerseys or the UCLA Ducks wearing green?

- Changing Teams

You may change college teams to any unmanaged teams if you think that would improve your prospects of winning or enjoyment of the game. Team changes will be limited to the off-season and the All-Star break to avoid causing too much confusion. Please try to limit teams changes as one of the goals of the game is to build your team into a winner.

- Multiple Owners Sharing A Computer

Just a cautionary note, if you have multiple owners sharing a computer, it would be considerate if you would inform the admin. In general, we try to limit the number of accounts from a single computer to avoid conflicts of interest, abuse and cheating.

Bugs & Irregularities

Please report all bugs or irregularities to the Bug Reports Forum. Although we make every effort to fix bugs and correct game irregularities, it is impossible to go back and re-play specific games or re-run specific game tasks or updates. In short, we apologize for any impairment to your team, but all results are final.

Cheating

If you believe another club is cheating, please PM (private message via BB mail) the admin. We would request that you don't post allegations of cheating or other types of misconduct on the forum.

Game Engine Algorithm Discussion

- Player Substitution

To Do...

- Half Time Adjustment

To Do...

Glossary of Abbreviations & Statistics

- Position Abbreviations

PG: point guard or the "one"
SG: shooting guard (or off-guard) or the "two"
SF: small forward or the "three"
PF: power forward or the "four" (or sometimes the 'stretch four')
C: center or the "five"

Backcourt player: point guard (PG) or shooting guard (SG)
Frountcourt player: small forward (SF), power forward (PF) or center (C)
Wing: small forward (SF) or shooting guard (SG)
Big: power forward (PF) or center (C)

- Basketball Statistics

G: games played
GS: games started
Min: minutes played
FGM: field goals made
FGA: field goals attempted
FG% or FGP: field goal shooting percentage
3PM: three pointers made
3PA: three pointers attempted
3P%: three pointer shooting percentage
FTM: free throws made
FTA: free throws attempted
FT% or FTP: free throw shooting percentage
PTS points score
Off offensive rebounds
Def defensive rebounds
Reb total rebounds
Ast: assists
Stl: steals
Blk: blocks
TO: turnovers
PF: personnel fouls
DQ: disqualifications
+/-: plus minus
POTG: player of the game awards

- Team Statistics

W: wins
L: losses
Pct: winning percentage
PF: point for
PA: point against
DIFF: point differential
GB: games behind
Home: home record
Away: away record
Streak: winning or losing streak
L10: record over last 10 games
RPI: rating percentage index
SOS: strength of schedule

- Tactical Terms

Man-to-Man Defense: each defensive player is given a specific man to cover (although switching can occur).
Zone Defense: each defensive player is given an area known as a "zone" to cover.
Pressure Defense: defensive is extended to apply maximum pressure on the offense especially the ball handler.

- Scheduling Terms

NPY: Not Played Yet

- Awards

National Champion: Player was on a National Championship winning team [National Championship]
Conference Champion: Player was on a Conference winning team [Conference Championship]
Player of the Year: Player of the Year selection [Player of the Year]
All-American: All-American selection [All-American]
Tournament Player of the Tournament: Player of the Tournament selection [Player of the Tournament]
All-Tournament: All-Tournament selection [All-Tournament]
Conference Player of the Year: Player of the Year selection [Conference Player of the Year]
All-Conference: All-Conference selection [All-Conference]
Freshman of the Year: Best freshman in the conference [Rookie of the Year]