RULES

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Gordie Howe Classic League Constitution (Revised 2009)

GHC BOARD: Matt Hotchkiss (Statman), Pat McBride, Jeff Freese, & Don Miron. Responsible for
enforcing the rules detailed below and have the ability to veto any unfair trade (requires unanimous
decision). In addition, any league concerns should be brought to the attention of the GHC board via
email or phone.

STATMAN: Matt Hotchkiss is the Statman; coaches are responsible for sending all game files &
Computer Managers by email to imrahil@comcast.net by the agreed due dates.

FRANCHISE FEE: The fee is eliminated due to switching to the computer game. In the event that the
Statman incurs costs (such as printing and postage) donations will be requested.

LEAGUE STRUCTURE & SCHEDULE: The GHC consists of 16 teams with no divisions or
conferences. However, for purposes of scheduling from season to season “temporary” divisions and
conferences are created from the previous season standings. In order of finish, teams 1-4, 5-8, 9-12 and
13-16 are the divisions and teams 1-8 and 9-16 are the conferences. A team will play 8 games each (4
home & 4 road) against the other 3 teams in their division, 6 games each (3 home & 3 road) against the
other 4 teams in their conference, and 4 games each (2 home & 2 road) against the 8 teams in the other
conference. This makes an 80 game schedule.

PLAYOFFS: The top 8 teams at the end of the regular season will compete for the GHC cup. Every
playoff series is a best of 7 series with the top seed in each pairing having 4 home games (1,2,5, & 7).
The format will be 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5 to start the playoffs and each winning team will be
reseeded after each round.

EQUIPMENT: The GHC uses the latest version of the STRAT-O-MATIC computer game.

RULES CHANGES: Any new rule proposal requires a 66% majority to pass. Any new rule must be
able to be incorporated into the PC game in some way.
Playing Rules & Computer Settings

PLAYER USAGE:
• Injuries are not used.
• Computer only players are treated as No Cards and cannot be used or drafted (see ROSTER
LIMIT below)
• Each player is limited to the number of games he actually played. If a player is overplayed the
following rules apply:

1. if only one player is overplayed and it is only by a limited number of games (less than 5 for
 example) then there is no penalty (mistakes happen).
2. if more than one player is overplayed then the player with the least number of games over
 (again assuming a limited number) is forgiven but any additional players overplayed will be
 suspended.
3. suspensions are 1 game for each game overplayed; to be served in the playoffs if the offending
 team makes the playoffs or the next season if not.
4. if the player to be suspended is traded or cut then an equivalent player will be chosen to serve
 the suspension (the penalty is on the coach after all, not the player).
5. if a coach will have players overplayed due to having games auto-played (see DEADLINES
 below) then the Statman will allow them to create a new CM to avoid the penalty (if possible).
6. coaches who are penalized regularly may be expelled from the league.

PLAYOFF ELIGIBILTY: Skaters must play in 25 games to be eligible for the playoffs. Goaltenders
must play in 20 games to be eligible for the playoffs.

LINE-UPS: A team must dress; 12 forwards, 6 defenseman, and 2 goaltenders. Players may only play
the positions listed on their card. Strat does allow defenseman to play either point position on the Power
Play regardless of position allowed on the card.

PASSING: (We will use the standard passing rules or the MAX rules depending on a vote.)

GOALIE FATIGUE: Goalies become fatigued in these 2 situations:
1. 4 goals in one period.
2. 6 goals allowed in the game.
The road CM of the team you are playing will determine if the road team pulls their goaltender if
fatigued. The home team has the option to pull or not. If not, a “Save/Face-Off •” will result in a goal.

LINE CHANGES:
Regular Season: 4 lines of forwards and 3 pairs of defenseman for periods 1 and 2, with both positions
changing at the same time. Changes occur every 4 cards, the computer game changes after every penalty
so no more than 4 shifts can be listed for a given period (there's no way to force a certain line to end a
period for example). Period 3 drops to 3 forward lines and 2 defensive pairs.
Playoff’s: Same as regular season except for Overtime.

OVERTIME:
Regular Season: 4 on 4 play for five minutes using 3 sets of forwards and 2 defensive pairs, followed if
necessary by a shoot-out (same as the NHL).
Playoff’s: Sudden death playing 20-minute periods, full line changes (4 lines/3 pairs).

PASSING: INSIDE SHOT – ANY PLAYER: Player in control must pass to Highest Offensive Player
on ice. This counts as a shot per the “Any-Player Shot” rule from below.

ANY-PLAYER SHOT: Shot must be taken by the highest offensive-rated player on the ice. If there
are multiple players with the same (highest) rating, the coach can chose any player as long as they all
have same number of Any-player shots. Note: the computer will highlight the shooter it thinks should
take the shot, and it is correct unless there is more than one eligible shooter in the situation.
Example: A team has three 4-rated offense players on the ice at the same time (C, RW, and LD). These
players are eligible to take any player shots. The computer “action deck” gives him an inside shot for
any player, and takes the shot with his RW. Later in the period, he has an outside shot only for any
player, and takes it with the LD. His next any player shot MUST be taken by the C. After each eligible
player has 1 any player shot, he can give the 4th any-player shot opportunity to any of the eligible
players.

REBOUND OPPORTUNITIES – When a rebound opportunity reads “Any #-rated player”, any player
with that # or higher offense can take the shot, and it doesn’t count as an any-player shot like the
example above. If the computer “split deck” reads “Rebound-Offense ANY PLAYER”, that does count
as a rotation in the Any-Player shot listed above. The computer won't allow you to choose ineligible
players (they will be “grayed-out”).

PULLING THE GOALIE: You may pull your goalie in the following cases:
1. Delayed Penalties (Failed Intimidation chance resulting in a penalty)
2. Team has control of puck in last 2 minutes, and down by 2 goals or less.

EMPTY NET GOALS- Any shot on an empty net that results in a X-Pos, Goal 1-?, GR or GR+ are
considered empty net goals. Shots that result in a “lose-to” are missed shots.

SHIFTS: Shifts are 4 “cards” long or less depending on penalties. The computer controls when line
shifts take place. Players cannot play in consecutive shifts (i.e. 3rd and 4th shifts). In the first and second
periods the same 4 forward lines/3 defensive pairs will play, in period 3 we drop to 3 forward and 2
defensemen (whichever players you want) but the consecutive shifts rule still holds. OT shifts are 3 pairs
of forwards (center position open- centers can play either wing) with 2 pairs of defensemen.

ROSTER LIMIT: Each team has a firm roster limit of 36 active players including non-carded/
computer-only players from the start of the rookie draft and continuing through the end of the regular
season and playoffs. For example, if a team makes a 3-1 trade at the 60 game mark then 2 players must
be cut in order to complete the deal. The roster limit can be exceeded only during the off-season which
is from the end of the playoffs up until the start of the rookie draft.

ROOKIE DRAFT ELIGIBILITY: Every player that receives a card for the first time is eligible for
the rookie draft. Computer-only players are NOT eligible. Any player not selected in his rookie draft
year and gets a card in later years is eligible for the Free Agent Draft. The Rookie Draft is 5 ROUNDS.

DRAFT ORDER AND LOTTERY: Teams draft in reverse order of finish, with the bottom 4 teams
finishing in the lottery (top 4 picks only). The chance of winning the lottery is as follows:
 13th place – 10% Note: the lottery will be conducted by the Statman
 14th place – 20% unless he is in the lottery, in which case another
 15th place – 30% Board member not in the lottery will take over.
 16th place – 40%

TIE BREAKER: For all drafts & playoffs, ties will be broken in the following order:
1. Most Wins
2. Points in head to head play
3. Goal differential (head to head play)
4. Goal differential (League play)

FREE AGENT DRAFT: All players that receive cards without being on a roster, and previously were
eligible for the Rookie Draft, are Free Agents. The Free Agent Draft is 1 ROUND only.

TRADING:
1. The off-season trade period starts after the playoffs have been completed and ends at midnight
the day after the rookie draft, and they take effect immediately for roster and CM purposes.

2. Trades made during the season take affect after game 30. Trades MUST be announced before the
deadline for game #25 (Block 5), and GM’s are responsible for submitting an updated Computer
Manager for the final 10 games with their Block 6 games. Failure to provide updated CMs (or
simple substitutions by e-mail or on the website) can result in the voiding of the trade if the
Board feels the delay was serious enough.

3. Trading of Draft picks:

• Rookie Draft - picks from the upcoming draft through the next draft may be traded, up to
one season in advance maximum. 
Example: Draft picks for the 2010 draft could be traded during the 2009 off-season. But
2011 picks could not be traded at the 2009-10 mid-season trade deadline.

• Free Agent Draft – picks may be traded ONLY in the off-season preceding the draft they
are for. Thus the position of the Free Agent pick must be known for it to be traded.

COMPUTER MANAGERS: Each manager is required to create a Computer Manager (CM) at the
start of the season. They are typically due to the Statman one week after the rookie draft. Items to
consider when making a Computer Manager:

1. Individual skater settings including Penetration instructions, Power Play & Penalty Kill settings.
2. Forward lines, including even strength (4+), 4-man PP (1), PP (2), PK (2), 3-man PK (1), and
Overtime pairs (3)
3. Defensive pairs, including even strength (3+), Power Play (2), Penalty Kill (2).

Note: single * forwards may only play on the second PP pairing (because the program doesn't
substitute after the first use)..

4. Starter and Backup goalies including fatigue instructions (to pull or not)
5. Player Orders- Shot, Possession and Shoot-out.
6. Line Orders (see Shifts above)
7. Team settings for Intimidation, Deflection and defining Lead and Trailing situations.
8. Filling out the Goalie Schedule (if necessary)

NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTION: Every coach is invited to write a league or Strat article to post on
the message board or the website.

DEADLINES: At the beginning of each season deadlines are established. Deadlines include:
 
Initial Computer Manager – usually 1 week after rookie draft
 5 game blocks (must submit in order) – typically every 3 weeks
 Updated CM after trade deadline – due to the Statman at the block 6/game 30 deadline

Coaches have 1 week past the due date for each block to submit their games, after which the games will
be auto-played (at the Statman's discretion). Please inform the Statman as early as possible if you will
miss a deadline and/or when to expect the game files. Note: Consistent failure to meet deadlines may
result in expulsion from the league.

BOX SCORES: Please send the box scores (located in the PRINT folder) to your opponents directly.
Send both the .HTML and .TXT files unless instructed otherwise.

FRANCHISE LOCATION RULES:
1. A manager must be a member of the league for a full year before they are allowed to move a
franchise to a different city.

2. The Statman must be informed of the desire to switch during the off-season, prior to when the
computer game update is made available.

3. Location restrictions – teams may move to cities they have occupied before (as long as they are
current NHL cities) or to NHL cities that have not been used by the GHCL before. This is done
to preserve all-time franchise statistics.

4. Open franchise locations include: Carolina, Columbus*, Florida, Nashville, Ottawa* and
Washington. * Columbus & Ottawa were expansion teams that lasted only one season (02-03). 

 

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