Table of Contents

Conference Structure
Team Roster
Game Strategy
Colleges / Universities (Limits & Restrictions)
Bugs & Irregularities
Game Engine Algorithm Discussion
Glossary of Abbreviations & Statistics


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 red shirted 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.

Nickname: after 6 months of presiding over a team, users are allowed to create their own custom nicknames for their head coach.

Age: indicates how old a coach is.

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 construct an offense and ultimately influence the teams performance on the court.

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

Game Tactics: how well does the coach construct game tactics that counter his opponent and highlight his teams strengths, particularly at the end of games.

Recruiting: how well does the coach recruit players.

Motivation: how well can the coach motivate the team such that and control and cope with swings in game momentum.

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

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

Please note that head coaches will begin to decline between 55-70. Some skills will decline sooner than others.

Assistant Coaches

Each team can have three assistant coaches. Assistant coaches will enhance the skill levels of the head coach. However, the formula does not strictly average in assistant coaches skill levels though as some assistants may be more focused on recruiting and others on offense or defense.

Note: assistant coaches will pursue head coaching jobs when they surpass $1M in salary or 50 years of age.

Replacement Restrictions

In order to prevent stockpiling of the best coaches, only one coach can be hired per calendar day.

Also note: you can only replace assistant coaches before the conference season starts or after the season is over.

Firing Coaches effect on Recruiting

Firing a head coach will have a dramatic effect on prospects you are currently recruiting (not those already committed though). Those prospects have established a relationship with the head coach and that is one of the main reasons they might select your program. If you choose to replace your head coach, be strategic about when you choose to do it.

Replacing assistant coaches can also have a much smaller effect on recruiting, but assistants tend to come and go from programs and aren't the figure head of the basketball program. In some case, replacing an assistant coach can benefit recruiting - if the replacement is a better recruiter than his predecessor.


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.

Nickname: after 6 months of presiding over a team, users are allowed to create their own custom nicknames for their players.

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. Note: a player can only red shirt for one season and only scholarship and non-senior players are edible to red shirt. Also note, the checkbox in the Game Management section needs to be checked at the end of the season for the player to actually be red shirted.

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 / Quickness (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

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.

Note: additional training selection only affects players on the roster, not committed prospects.

- 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.

- Game Management Settings - 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/drives from, but will also have some affect also on his offensive 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.

Also note, that guard and wing players set to play inside, 'I' will tend to drive more and avoid positioning outside the arc.

Playing Time: determines how quickly and often a player will be substituted for. The highest setting means the PT target is roughly 40 minutes for a college game (the entire game, without overtime). The average setting corresponds to 32 minutes and the lowest recommended setting is around 25 minutes. There are a number of much lower settings, but they are not recommended. You can use the no playing time setting ('0') for players you wish to red shirt.

Please note, the minimum playing time setting for a starter will be 15 minutes - anything lower will be increased to that value.

In case of overtime, the playing time limits will be ignored so that all players are essentially available for the extra period(s).

Foul Trouble Hook: determines how quickly a player is substituted for in can of foul trouble.

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 after the player has played in 5 games (the red shirt limit). 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.

- Fatigue

Fatigue occurs during games when a player has played a lot of minutes. Players with higher stamina will experience less fatigue. Fatigue will affect all facets of the game, but some more than others. Levels of fatigue (none, light, moderate or heavy) will be displayed in the box score for each player. Fatigue can also lead to lower defensive energy and effort towards the end of the game.

- 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.

- Red Shirting

What is red shirting? A red shirt season is a season whereby an athlete plays in a limited number of games, either due to injury or to develop his skills, and does not waste a year of eligibility. Typically, a student's athletic eligibility is four seasons. However, in a redshirt year, student athletes may attend classes at the college, practice with the team, but they may compete in only a limited number of games. Using this accommodation, a student athlete has five academic years to use the four years of eligibility, thus becoming what is termed a fifth-year senior (if he chooses to red-shirt). Usually red shirt status it determined at the end of the season when the total games play is finalized.

How to red shirt a player? Within the Game Management settings, there is a Red Shirt check box which is enabled for each eligible player. Check this box by the end of the season and the player will be red shirted during the season flip. If you check the box earlier in the season, the game engine will help to limit the player to a maximum of five games played.

How to affectly limit games played? Perhaps the best way to limit a potential red shirting player to five or fewer games played, is to check the Red Shirt box in the Game Management settings and then remove the player from your default depth chart. Then for a few individual game depth charts, you may wish to add the red shirting player to cover for injuries or get them a limited amount of game experience.


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, High). Interest levels displayed for your recruiting will have more granularity (None, Low, Low+, Low++, Medium, Medium+, Medium++, High, High+, High++, Very High=High+++).

Important Note: Because you see your interest levels with more clarify than your opponents, it can be difficult to know if you're ahead of an opponent. If your interest level is Medium+ and your opponent's interest level is listed at Medium (which could be Medium, Medium+ or Medium++). You could be ahead, behind or even with your opponent in terms of the prospect's interest level.

- 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 for a particular prospect. For younger prospect, there is a soft cap that reduces the effectiveness of a large number of contacts.

Note: there is a maximum number of unused recruiting points you can accumulate - 45 points.

Note 2: any points above 10 not spent by the final recruiting day will be halved for next season.

- 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. This decision is not as simple as the absolute highest interest level attains the commitment, but rather is a probabilistic calculation where your commitment chance is based on interest level, but not a guarantee. As such, it is important to not put all your eggs in one basket and to have a plan B if your top recruiting targets choose to play elsewhere.

Once committed, the recruit 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.

Note: It is very difficult for Division 2 and 3 teams to recruit 4- and 5-star recruits. Division 2 teams will struggle to capture 5-star prospects. Division 3 teams will struggle to attract 4- and 5-star recruits.

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

Contact Duration: the earlier a prospect is contacted, the more likely he is to committ to that team.

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.

Playing Time: prospects want to play. Colleges that can offer immediate playing time will be more favored by recruits. Prospects will be averse to college teams that have lots of highly rated young players on the roster that will block their chances for immediate playing and starting roles.

Additionally, teams with a history of red shirting highly rated players will also experience diminished recruiting prowess. This is because elite prospects want to play as soon as they arrive on campus and not wait a year to play regularly.

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.

So why did my interest level drop? Two obvious reasons are you demoted to a lower conference level or you fired your head coach that had be recruiting the prospect.

- Recruiting Regions

There recruiting world is broken down into these regions:

USA Arctic: Alaska
USA Caribbean: Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands
USA Central: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio & West Virginia
USA Mid-Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.
USA Midwest: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota & Wisconsin
USA Mountain: Colorado, Montana, Utah & Wyoming
USA New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Vermont
USA Northeast: New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania
USA Northwest: Idaho, Oregon & Washington
USA Pacific: Hawaii
USA Plains: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma & South Dakota
USA South: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi & Tennessee
USA Southeast: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina & South Carolina
USA Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico & Texas
USA West: California & Nevada

Canada Arctic: Northwest Territories & Nunavut
Canada Atlantic: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador & Prince Edward Island
Canada Pacific: British Columbia & Yukon
Canada Prairie: Alberta, Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Canada North: Ontario & Quebec

Africa: All the countries from Africa
Asia: All the countries from Asia
Europe: All the countries from Europe (including Turkey)
Latin America: All the countries from Latin America (including the Bahamas & Jamaica)
Oceania: Australia & New Zealand

in-state - this icon is displayed on the recruiting page to indicate an in-state prospect
in-region - this icon is displayed on the recruiting page to indicate an in-region prospect

- 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.


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.

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.

TPI: the team power index is a weighted average of skill indices of the top 10 players on the team. Note: the top 5 players (potential starters) are weighted twice as much as the other players.

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.

- Hall of Fame

Each team has a Hall of Fame which they can add players to with a small note concerning their contribution to the team. Players will be displayed on the Hall of Fame page with some basketball attributes, their team statistics and this team note. To be eligible for this honor, a player must have played in 90 games or have skill index of 165+ or have been drafted by the pros. There is also a limit to the total number of players that can be placed into the Hall of Fame.

Head coaches can also be added to the Hall of Fame. To qualify, the head coach must have been in charge for 150 games and have a .400 win percentage minimum.


- Game Types

Exhibition Games: pre-season games that are a warm up for the season. They don't count as wins or losses, but due provide minutes towards player development.

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.

Tournament Games: at the end of the season, 64 of the best teams in each division will be chosen to participate in a single-elimination tournament.

Invitational Games: at the end of the season, teams that don't make the tournament are invited to a 16-team exhibition tournament. Champions do receive a small acknowledgement.

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.
- Non-Conference Scheduling Options
Rivalry Games: each team can select four teams that they'd like to schedule a non-conference game with for the upcoming season. If the team is managed, then both schools must list each other for that game day. If the team is unmanaged, then the game is not guaranteed.

Scheduling Mode: a school can toggle through three scheduling mode options. 'Up' mode will target all non-rivalry, non-conference games against upper conference schools. 'Down' mode will focus on lower conference schools. 'Any' has no preference and is the default setting.

- 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 & Divisional Tournaments

At the end of the season, 64 teams per division will be chosen to participate in a six game, single elimination tournament to decide the national champion. There are 3 tournament in total (division 1 include conference level I thru IV, division 2 consists of conference level V and division 3 consists of conference level VI). All conference playoff winners will automatically be invited to their respective tournament. The remaining teams will be selected based on RPI, conference level and ranking within their conference. Seeding in the national tournament is also be based loosely on RPI.

- Invitational Games

At the end of the season, all the teams that don't make the tournaments will be selected for invitational games. Teams will be divided into groups of four teams based on their season grade. Each team will play the other three teams in their group. Winners of each group with then play in a 4 team, single elimination competition to determine the invitation game champion (for that particular level).

- Bracket

The bracket arrangement is the same for the conference playoffs and each of the tournament regions. Sixteen teams are seeded from 1 to 16 and progress through the bracket without re-seeding. See the example below. For the tournament, the winners of the four regions play against each other to determine the tournament winner.

sample bracket

From the conference page, you can watch the conference playoffs unfold by clicking on the bracket button.

sample playoff bracket

The tournament is a little bit more compicated because it has 64 teams. From the tournament page, you can see the entire tournament field and the bracket by clicking on the bracket button.

sample tournament bracket

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. A positive value means a faster pace and a negative value means a slower pace.

Inside/Outside Emphasis: degree to which the offense tries to get shot from the inside as opposed to the perimeter. 'I' or 'i' means an inside emphasis while 'O' or 'o' means an outside or perimeter emphasis.
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.

A positive value means the defenese is extended out to the perimeter and a negative value means the defense is consolidated in the paint.
Additional Game Settings
Substitution Mode: players may be substituted all at once (mass substitution) or in a more distributed manner (staggered substitution).

Listed below are the subsitution options and the typical starter rest intervals. Starters rest is also subject to playing time game management setting

Mass Substitution
    All positions: minutes 7-15

Staggered Substitution A (the original)
    C: minutes (remaining in the half) 18-11
    PG & SF: minutes 15-8
    SG & PF: minutes 12-5

Staggered Substitution B (best pattern to have "key" positions filled with optimal players)
    PG & C: minutes 18-11
    SG & PF: minutes 12-5
    SF: minutes 15-8

Staggered Substitution C (shorter bench periods)
    C: minutes 18-15 & 12-9
    PF: minutes 15-12 & 6-3
    SF: minutes 12-6
    SG: minutes 18-15 & 6-3
    PG: minutes 15-12 & 9-6


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 20 days to activate the team. Afterwards, if you are inactive for more than 35 days, you'll be dropped from the team. These limits are necessary so teams don't get too far behind in recruiting.

- 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 teams to any unmanaged teams if you think that would improve your prospects of winning or enjoyment of the game. It is recommended that team changes occur during the off-season to avoid causing too much confusion. Please try to limit team 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.


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.

Commitment to Competitive Play

Every individual is required to try to field a competitive team. Failure to do so can result in losing your team. What exactly does this mean? It primarily exists to promote the integrity of the game. Nobody is saying you can't rebuild a team or play freshman at the end of a season. But it's also important to consider how your actions will affect the other people in the game. Nobody likes the fantasy football owner that trades Peyton Manning for two stiffs because he's out of the playoff hunt and thus tips the competitive balance between two hard working, dedicated owners.

Some examples of anti-competitive activities might be:
  • Throwing games - purposely losing games for any reason is not acceptable. There is not a draft order advantage to finishing last, so all schools should be playing to win. Trying to manipulate the season results by dropping games is unfair to the other presidents in the game who are doing their best to excel.

  • Clearly playing a substandard lineup - playing a team that isn't capable of winning or competing under any circumstances. Keep in mind that other clubs are competing to win and they want the statistics to matter (not be excessively inflated) - so if you put forth a lineup that not viable, it's going to distract from the integrity of the game. It's okay to get your developing players playing time, but please also be aware that there may be a conference title and tournament bids still on the line and be nominally competitive to the end.

  • Releasing coaches for the purpose of claiming them with another team. This is obvious, if you have a 2nd team (either declared or undeclared), you shouldn't be releasing coaches and then hiring them with another team you control. This is also true for a friend's team. In general, you shouldn't be releasing quality coaches - that's quite suspicious.
So does this mean there can't be special themed teams - rebuilders or teams with players only from Kazakhstan for example? No...but if you are operating in that mode, please be mindful of what fielding a team of scrubs will do to the competitive balance.

Gambling & Payments

Gambling, buying or selling players/coaches/wins or exchanging real world currency based on game events and commodities are strictly prohibited and will result in the loss of your team.

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
eFG% or eFGP: effective field goal percentage
PPP: point per possession
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
FD: fouls drawn
PF: personnel fouls
DQ: disqualifications
USG%: usage rate (percentage)
+/-: 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. The PG, SG and SF guard the perimeter of the defense and the PF and C cover the interior.
Pressure Defense: defensive is extended to apply maximum pressure on the offense especially the ball handler.
2nd Chance Defense: defense similar to man-to-man which results from an offensive rebound or other scenario.
Transition Defense: defense utilized against fast breaks.
Intentional Foul: end-of-game defense designed to get possession back either with a quick steal, but more likely by fouling the opposing team.

- 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]