These playing instructions assume some past experience with tabletop stimulation baseball played with dice and cards. The playing instructions are a reference to better understand how to play the IBL game.
To play The IBL Game, you will need three 10-sided dice of three separate colors. These instructions will assume combinations of A, B, and C for dice rolls read in order (ABC). For example, if you rolled ABC, the result could be read as A - 7, B - 1, C - 4.
You will frequently need to refer to the charts. Some of the charts require the dice read in a certain manner. The A die is often used to indicate location. The B and C dice is often rolled together to generate a two-digit number. You may wish to roll ABC all together, or roll ‘A’ first and then roll ‘B’ and ‘C’ to add more suspense. Grab a score sheet, a pen to get started. Organize the playing cards and announce the starting pitchers and lineups.
Check to see what weather you have. Look on the WEATHER EFFECTS CHART for the stadium’s location. Roll first for temperature (either day or night depending on the scheduled start time of the game) using two dice. Then roll two dice to determine sky conditions. If the result is “Cloudy”, go to the precipitation chart. Finally, roll two dice for wind. Be sure to use the correct month from April through September (March games use April and October games use September weather). A weather effect is found in the KEY and ERROR WILD PLAY CHART.
Note: In draft leagues, it is recommended you use the team’s location to determine weather and the park itself to determine wind. For example, your team is the Orange County Fruits and you play at Fenway Park. You would use Southern California for weather and wind for Boston.
The visiting team’s leadoff batter and the home team’s starting pitcher are the first cards to use. Play begins by rolling all three dice and referring to the batter’s or pitcher’s card. A batter’s card contains two sets of results numbered 0-499 vs. both left and right-handed pitchers, while a pitcher’s card contains results numbered 500-999 vs. both left and right-handed hitters. Above each column of numbers there are a set of numbers separated by slashes (ex. 108/155/214). These are the total hit numbers, on base numbers, and total bases on the card (for pitchers, DF are assumed average conversion rate), and are roughly equivalent to BA/OBP/SLG.
Results will be found on either the batter’s or pitcher’s card. Anytime you roll with three dice 000-499, refer to the batter’s card. If the pitcher is right-handed (found in the upper left corner of the pitcher’s card), scan down the “vs. RH” column until the number or range of numbers containing the die roll is found. Use the “vs. LH” column if the pitcher is left-handed.
Anytime you roll with three dice 500-999, refer to the pitcher’s card. If the batter is batting left-handed (found in the upper left corner of the hitter’s card) scan down the “vs. LH” column until the range of numbers containing the die roll is found. Use the “vs. RH” column if the hitter is batting right-handed. Switch hitters (those with “B”) bat from the opposite side of which the pitcher throws, i.e. left vs. a right-handed pitcher and right vs. a left-handed pitcher.
On the pitching cards some results have two ranges of numbers. The first set, found directly across from the result is the normal set to use. The second set in italics is used only when the pitcher is fatigued. (See Pitcher’s Fatigue section or other special circumstances such as an emergency catcher in the game).
Once you have found the range of numbers containing the dice roll, scan across to the center to read the result. The capitalized center symbol is the result of the play, and is your guide when referring to the SYMBOLS CHART for the specific result of the play. The lower case letters give you the play’s location and who fields the ball.
Here’s an example. Craig Kimbrel is facing Mike Trout. The number rolled is 847. Looking at Rivera’s card (numbers 500-999) and scanning down the “vs. RH” column, you find the range of numbers 651-941 contain the number you just rolled. The result is “SO”, so Trout struck out.
If the number rolled was 115, the result is “1B gcf” vs. RH on Trout. (Use the location indicators to the left of the result for LH pitchers and to the right for RH pitchers). Looking in the SYMBOLS CHART, we find Trout grounded a single into center field. Because the dice roll came up odd, refer to the 1B (SINGLE) chart for base runner advancement. If the dice roll were even, runners on 2nd and 3rd score automatically.
Javier Baez was on second when Trout singled on a 105 roll. You were playing in Great American Ballpark, a slow grass field. On the 1B (SINGLE) advancement chart, we find Baez scores automatically. If we had been playing on turf, the result would have been “1 + choice”. Baez advances one base and may try for another by going to the COACH’S CHOICE CHART using his 3 run rating. To determine Baez’s chance of scoring adjust his 3 base running for outfielder throwing arms, in this case the leftfielder, and other adjustments, such as two outs. If more than one baserunner has “1 + choice”, the offense chooses who will attempt to advance, and the defense chooses who they will attempt to throw out.
The effect a particular ballpark has on performance is taken into consideration on the PARK EFFECTS and HOME RUN EFFECTS CHARTS. A particular stadium will affect range plays, foul balls, and ability to hit a home run. The ability to hit a home run is also affected by weather and fence height.
If “DF” comes up on the pitcher’s card, there is a chance for a home run. Consult the batter’s card. The batter’s home run batting characteristic (Rp, Ro, Rsp, Lp, Lo, Lsp) and power (Ex, Vg, Av, Fr, Pr) is found midway down the right side of the card for vL and vR pitchers. Roll one die to determine which of the ten field locations (ranging from the right field line to the left field line) the ball is hit on the DEEP FLY LOCATION CHART. If the ball is hit down one of the foul lines (rfl, lfl), roll two dice to see if the ball stays fair or hooks foul. If the ball stays fair, determine how far the ball must travel to be a home run by checking the wall distances on the BALL PARK HOME RUN EFFECTS CHART. Note whether the wind is blowing crosswind, calm, or blowing straight. The number listed is the distance the batter must generate on a two dice roll off the DEEP FLY CHART for a home run. If the two dice roll is less than the distance number required on the DEEP FLY CHART, the ball is caught.
Here’s an example. The Nationals are playing in Great American Ballpark with no wind. Adam LaRoche rolls a DF off Mike Leake. Rolling one die for location (1), the Lsp batting LaRoche hits the ball deep to right field. Checking the BALL PARK HOME RUN EFFECTS CHART, you find that the distance to right field is 4 at Great American Ballpark . Checking the DEEP FLY CHART, LaRoche’s Ex power requires a roll of 10 or higher to generate a 4 distance and hit a HR. Rolling two dice, you toss a 14. Scanning down the Ex column, you find LaRoche generated a 4, home run! (If there had been a straight wind at Great American Ballpark, 14 would have been an out, requiring 15 to generate an 5 distance.)
If “HR” comes up the batter’s card, there is a slight chance the home run is robbed. Roll one die and check the DEEP FLY LOCATION CHART to determine where the ball is hit (ignore the 0-30 foul ball roll for rfl and lfl). Using the Fence Height of the stadium and the outfielder’s Range rating found on his card, roll two dice and refer to the AT THE WALL CHART for the result. If one of the numbers listed is rolled, the batter’s home run is robbed.
A player’s error frequency is measured by his Error rating found after the position and under the “E” on the right side of his card. A player with a rating of 9 will make very few errors while a player with a rating of 0 will make many errors. Whenever the symbol “E” appears on a batter’s card, refer to the ERROR CHARTS. Roll one die to determine who fields the ball. If the one die roll is a 0, refer to the ERROR WILD PLAY CHART for the result After determining the fielder: 0 (error wild play), 1 (pitcher), 2 (catcher), 3 (first base), 4 (second base), 5 (third base), 6 (shortstop), 7 (left field), 8 (center field), 9 (right field), and the fielder’s error rating, roll two dice to determine the result of the play.
For example, third base is rolled and Kyle Seager is fielding. The two dice roll is 10. Scanning down the 9 column (Seagers’s Error rating) in the “E 3B” section, Rodriguez commits an error. Checking the ERROR CHART KEY, we find “(1)” is a one-base error. The batter is safe at first and all other runners advance one base.
A player’s ability to take away a hit is measured by the Range rating found on the right side of the card immediately after the Error rating. An A range is amazing; an F range about average and K range is horrible. “IFR” (infield range) or “OFR” (outfield range) symbols on a pitcher’s card mean refer to the appropriate IFR or OFR RANGE CHART. Rolling two dice determines what type of ball is hit based on the current batting characteristic (Rp, Ro, Rsp, Lp, Lo, Lsp) found on the middle right hand section of the batter’s card.
Whether or not the fielder makes the range play is dependent on ballpark surface: surfaces are grass, slow grass, and turf (found on BALL PARK HOME RUN EFFECTS CHART). The type of playing surface determines which INFIELD or OUTFIELD RANGE CHART consulted to resolve range plays.
For example, Mike Trout rolls a 580 which is an “IFR” on clayton Kershaw’s pitching card. The two dice location roll is 25. On the “Rsp” column (Trout Rsp batter for IFR vL pitchers) of the IFR LOCATION CHART, the play is “in the hole” to first base (1b), or Paul Goldschmidt who is a F range. At Great American Ballpark the Slow Grass Surface chart resolves range plays, and the two dice result roll shows a 42. Looking at the “in the hole” section on the INFIELD RANGE CHART, the result is “Diving Stop”. Referring to the INFIELD RANGE FIELDING KEY, Paul Goldschmidt makes the out at first.
For games played in certain stadiums there is a specific ballpark adjustment to OFR or IFR plays to account for outlier park effects. Refer to the PARK EFFECTS CHART for any special stadium effects. On an IFR “Replay” result, the play is made at the lead base if a force available, or if the infield is in. Otherwise the play is at first base. Roll one die to determine who is ejected for arguing with the umpire.
Pivot ratings (+, -, or none) are found after the Range rating and affect CLOSE PLAY results on the INFIELD RANGE CHART KEY. Pivot rating also effect RG+ results on the SYMBOLS chart.
Playing the infield in - The defensive manager can bring his infield in by making an announcement that he is doing so before the dice are rolled. He can bring in any or all his infielders. Fielders playing in (excluding the pitcher and catcher) have their Range ratings reduced by 3 grades on IFR and OFR blooper plays (but not IFR “slow roller” or “high chopper”). A middle infielder who is in cannot pivot to complete a HG or RG+ double play. Be sure to use the “Infielder In” results on the SYMBOLS CHART if that infielder is positioned in. Hard grounders (HG) to infielders playing in need to be specially resolved on the SYMBOLS chart, with a two dice roll to determine a single, an IFR in the hole using adjusted range, or a HG. On bunts see the specific adjustments in the BUNTING CHARTS when fielders are playing in.
Playing the outfield in - The defensive manager can bring his outfield in by making an announcement before the dice are rolled. This strategy can only be used by the visiting team in the bottom of an inning from the ninth on, and only when the home team has the winning run on third base. Consider all OFR results “over the head” and “in the gap” to be game winning singles. Consider OFR “bloopers” and “looping liners” to be caught with all runners holding. A OFR “down the line” play becomes a HF if caught and the runner on third may try to score.
Guarding the lines - You may choose to guard the lines with your first baseman, third baseman, or both. On IFR plays hit “down the line” a fielder range rating adjusts upward by 2 grades. On IFR plays hit “in the hole”, a fielder range rating reduces by 3 grades.
Effect of base runners - There is adjustments to IFR ratings based upon whether a fielder is covering second on certain rolls and whether he is holding a runner on others. Refer to the IFR adjustment section at the bottom right corner of INFIELD RANGE CHART.
A player’s ability to steal bases is measured by his Stealing Rating. A stealing rating of 11 or better is considered a Terror on the base paths, while an 8 is average and players 5 or below are slower.
To steal announce your intent before three dice are rolled. To resolve a steal attempt if the runner is held by the first base man, go to the JUMP CHART and use the runner’s Jump rating and the pitcher’s Hold rating.
Let’s say Ian Kinsler is on first and attempts to steal second on David Price. Using two dice, you roll a 95 attempting to get the jump. Matching up “Av” (Price’s hold) with 0 (Kinsler’s jump) with the roll, Kinsler gets the jump and must now attempt to steal using the STEALING CHART. On a steal attempt, the baserunner’s stealing rating is reduced or increased by the number following the pitcher’s Hold rating (+/-) and the catcher’s throwing arm (ignore the catcher’s arm on steals of home).
For example, Miguel Montero’s 0 catching throwing arm would keep Kinsler stealing rating at 10, and Price’s Hold rating of +1 would increase it to 11. You roll a 49 with two dice. Matching the 9 stealing rating with 49, we find Kinsler steals 2nd base.
Delayed Steal of Home - The offensive manager may call for a delayed steal of home if there are runners on 1st and 3rd only. If the runner on 1st gets the jump, the defense has the option of attempting to throw him out or hold the ball. If they hold the ball, the runner is safe at 2nd with a stolen base and the play is over. If the defense elects to throw the ball, the offensive manager may elect to send the runner home from third without rolling on the JUMP CHART. If the runner from third attempts to score, the defense may elect to let the throw go to 2nd or cut the throw off and throw home. If stealing home, don’t use the pitcher’s hold rating, but use the catcher’s arm. Assume any out at second base occurred prior to the runner scoring from third.
Stealing Notes: If the first baseman does not hold the runner on first no jump is required. The runner’s stealing rating increases by 2 and baserunning rating by 1. If the runner is held, reduce the first baseman’s Range rating by 2 grades on IFR plays “in the hole”. A runner may be held at 2nd by the second baseman or the shortstop; if held reduce the runner’s Jump rating by 2. Reduce the middle infielder’s Range rating by 2 grades on IFR plays “in the hole” and increase their Range rating by 1 grade on IFR plays “up the middle.” Runners on 3rd have their Jump reduced by 4 at all times, and may only attempt stealing home with a non-negative (adjusted) jump rating.
If a runner fails to get the jump, no further play (such as the hit and run or sacrifice) may be put on until the next batter comes to the plate. If a straight double steal is attempted, only the lead runner must get the jump. The defensive manager may always choose which (if any) runner he will attempt to throw out. Pitcher’s Jump ratings are always 0. When the batter is batting left handed the shortstop covers throws on attempted steals of second base and when the batter is batting right-handed the second baseman covers.
A player’s overall baserunning ability is measured by his “Runs” rating found on the right side of the batter cards. Ian Kinsler has a 5 and is considered fast, while Alex Avila’s -2 rating is considered slow. A Baserunning rating is most often used on the COACH’S CHOICE CHART, which handles runners attempting to take an extra base. When directed to the COACH'S CHOICE CHART make sure to factor in all appropriate adjustments, such as +/- outfield throwing arms before making your decisions.
First the offense must declare its advancement decisions. If more than one runner has a “+ choice” option the offense chooses whether any or all will attempt to advance. The offense may also announce a “safety advance”, which means that all runners who are not advancing will remain anchored to their base, negating the defensive CUTOFF play as well as forfeiting possible advancement on the SAFE+/OUT+ plays.
After the offense has declared its intentions the defense has three options. The defense may attempt to throw out a baserunner who is advancing, with the others advancing automatically. If the offense did not choose a “safety advance” the defense may concede advancement and choose the CUTOFF option, which could result in the trailing runner being caught off base. Finally, the defense can simply choose to concede all advancement and throw the ball back to the infield.
A player’s bunting ability is measured by the Bunting (InPlay/Bunts/Runs) ratings found on the right side of the batter card. The “InPlay” rating is a percentile value measuring the ability to place the bunt in fair territory. The “Bunts” rating indicates the skill of placing the bunt and may be Ex (Excellent), Vg (Very Good), Av (Average), Fr (Fair) or Pr (Poor). The “Runs” rating is the bunter’s runner rating used to resolve close plays at first.
The offensive manager may inform the defense a bunt is possible before the dice roll, or surprise announce a bunt as dice are rolled. The defensive manager may play his infield in or at the corners, but must do this before the dice roll. See the BUNTING CHARTS for fielder and batter adjustments. With runners on base the offensive manager must declare whether the batter is attempting to sacrifice or bunt for a base hit. A batter who is sacrificing receives a +20 bonus to his “InPlay” rating at the expense of a -2 adjustment to his runner rating.
A bunt is considered a suicide squeeze with a runner on third. With runners on the corners, the offensive manager may attempt to bunt the runner on first to second (consider him to be the lead runner) while holding the runner at third. If a wild throw occurs, the runner on third advances home on the error.
For example, Jose Reyes (bunt ratings 64/Ex/1) is at the plate with Charlie Blackmon (3 baserunning) on first base. The defense is at normal depth when the offensive team announces that Reyes is attempting a sacrifice bunt. You first roll two dice (51) and determine that Reyes is able to bunt fair (less than his InPlay rating +20 for sacrificing). The you roll one die for location (2) and two dice for the result (79) which is a Close Play at first base for the third baseman. You would roll 1 die (0) to see if Reyes can beat out the throw. Because Reyes was sacrificing the -2 adjustment to his bunt running rating means that he cannot beat out the throw. However, if he was attempting to bunt for a hit and there were no other adjustments then the 0 would be less than Reyes' running rating and he would reach safely with a bunt single. If the bunt result instead had been LB? then there would be a possible play on Blackmon at 2nd base. The defense would have the option to retire Reyes at 1st or attempt to force out Blackmon at 2nd.
A pitcher’s wild pitch frequency is measured by his Wild Pitch Rating, which are: Rare, Unlikely, Normal, Fair or Prone. A catcher’s passed ball frequency is measured by his Passed Ball Rating, which are: Ex, Vg, Av, Fr, or Pr.
When the symbol “WP&PB” is the pitcher’s card result, refer to the WP&PB CHARTS. When no one is on base, refer to the BASES EMPTY chart using the stadium’s Foul? Territory rating (found on the BALL PARK HOME RUN EFFECTS CHART). With men on base, use the RUNNER(S) ON BASE CHART which checks the pitcher’s Wild Pitch and catcher’s Passed Ball ratings.
If the symbol “!” appears on the hitter’s card (0-010), go to the WILD PLAY CHART and roll three dice to find the result. If the roll is 000-200, refer to batter’s and pitcher’s card for notes under ‘Special”. Some players have an increased chance of being involved in these “wild” plays and have appropriate “Special” or “!” symbols on their cards. If no special symbols re-roll three dice. In some cases, the play is ignored and the same batter is at the plate. Roll three dice again and return to normal play sequences on the batter’s or pitcher’s card.
A player’s injury tendency is measured by the “Inj” rating. A player rated Major often makes the disabled list, while a player rated Iron rarely goes down. The WILD PLAY CHART often asks to check for injuries. Roll three dice on the INJURY CHART and use the player’s Injury rating (Iron, Normal, Minor, Freq, Major) to determine injury and for how many days.
To hit and run, announce you are doing so before the roll of the dice. During normal play sequence, check the SYMBOLS and IFR CHARTS for special results. For ODD dice rolls on 1B results runners automatically advance 2 bases. On EVEN dice rolls on 1B results runners advance 1 base and have an opportunity to advance an extra base. On the COACH’S CHOICE CHART add 3 to the baserunning rating in addition to any other adjustments. The hit and run play cannot be used with two outs, loaded bases, or with runners on 2nd and 3rd.
Notes: On IFR plays “in the hole” to a fielder covering second base, they are considered a 1B glf/grf. On IFR plays “up the middle” to the fielder covering are resolved as hard grounders ‘HG’ without hit and run modifications. On ODD walk (BB) rolls during a hit and run play the ball is fouled off. No further plays (such as steal, bunt, or additional hit & run) may be put on until the next batter comes to the plate. On a strikeout ‘SO’ the baserunner must steal with a -3 penalty in addition to normal adjustments. On a batter ‘HR’ the batter swings and misses, and the runner must steal with a -3 penalty in addition to normal adjustments. On a lineout ‘L’ an automatic double play occurs.
The point at which a pitcher begins to tire or lose effectiveness is indicated by his Fatigue rating. Each pitcher receives an individualized fatigue rating for starting (BF SP) and relieving (BF RP). This is the number of batters a pitcher may face in a single appearance before becoming fatigued, e.g. a reliever with “BF RP” of 7 will fatigue after the 7th batter he faces. Once a pitcher reaches this point and anytime afterwards, he must use the second range of italic numbers instead of the top range of numbers for the lower results (2B, DF, SO, BB, HG) on his card. If a pitcher gives up six or more earned runs, he must use the second italic range no matter how many batters faced. The SYMBOLS CHART contains fatigue adjustments for ‘L’ and ‘WP&PB’ results. Fielders range decrease by one for each new inning started by a fatigued pitcher.
Each pitcher also receives an individualized rest chart. The number listed after BF is the maximum number of batters that can be faced for the corresponding amount of rest. Zero days rest means that the pitcher can pitch on consecutive days. BF totals are cumulative over consecutive days pitched without rest. For example a pitcher with “9/11/13/15” rest ratings, could face 4 batters on day 1, 4 batters on day 2 (8 cumulative), and 3 batters on day 3 (11 cumulative) before requiring 1 day of rest. If he faced 4 batters on day 3 he would then require 2 days of rest.
The IBL has adopted several rules covering special situations which are not normally covered. You may use these rules at your own discretion.
Players Out of Position
A player may only play a position not shown on his card in a desperation move. A desperation move occurs when tied or losing in the 9th inning, when due to injury, ejection, pinch-hitting, or pinch-running, no player is available on the bench who is eligible to play the position in question.
Players playing out of position use the following defensive ratings (players rated at a position listed in parentheses use the first rating, otherwise they must use the “others” rating):
Pitchers' Out of Role
A pitcher not rated as a reliever may pitch in relief as a Long reliever. The pitcher will use the relief rest chart after an appearance as a reliever, except that he will require as many days of rest as required by the STARTERS' rest chart before making a start following a relief appearance. A pitcher not rated as a starter may start in the event that due to game weather postponements, no other rated starter is available to pitch. The pitcher must start with fatigue numbers and when fatigued must use the emergency pitcher card. The pitcher is a “5” starter for determining fatigue.
Pitchers' Rest and Fatigue
A pitcher must use the appropriate rest chart based on the pitcher's previous role (starter or reliever), except prior to appearing as a starter, a pitcher must rest one day even if not otherwise required by the rest chart.
Pitchers bat using the Pitcher’s Batting Cards found with the set. To be used as a pinch-hitter, a pitcher must have at least 50 AB in the prior major league season.
2006 The Internet Baseball League