SafeLeagues NFL 2017 Empire Leagues Official Rules

(Updated 6-7-2017)

LEAGUE OVERVIEW
An Empire League is a dynasty-style fantasy football league. In the first year of the league, each owner drafts a roster of 16 players in a snake-style email or live draft. At the end of each season, each owner’s entire 16-player roster transfers to the next season. Each season there will be a rookie/free agent draft, during which any player not already on a roster may be selected, described in more detail below.

Each SafeLeagues Empire league has the following unique distinctions from a “traditional” dynasty league:

  • There is an “Empire Pot,” which is a portion of each season’s prize pool that is rolled over from season-to-season until one franchise wins the league playoff championship in two consecutive seasons.
  • In the event of a back-to-back champion, the entire Empire Pot is awarded to the owner of the franchise that won the playoff championship in two consecutive season.
  • In the event of a back-to-back champion, the league ends.

LEAGUE MANAGEMENT SERVICE
SafeLeagues proudly uses MyFantasyLeague as our game play provider (“MFL” or “Game Play Site”). Owners will receive a link and login information to their MFL league after making payment for their league.

OWNERSHIP

  1. No owner may have a stake in more than one franchise in a SafeLeagues Empire league.
  2. If an owner abandons their franchise (either by declaring that they have given up their team or by failing to pay by the payment deadline for the upcoming season), the owner gives up their claim to any and all prize winnings, as well as any and all entry fees previously contributed to the Empire Pot.
  3. If a franchise is deemed to have been abandoned, the ownership of that franchise reverts to SafeLeagues. SafeLeagues will sell abandoned Empire League franchises to the highest bidder through the SafeLeagues website.
  4. If an owner dies or is otherwise incapacitated, his/her team may be bequeathed in accordance with his/her last will and testament, or if incapacitated, member’s power of attorney. Please see additional details in the section entitled “INHERITANCE.”
  5. If an owner abandons a franchise, that owner may never re-join the same league as an owner or co-owner of a different franchise.
  6. Co-owners are not allowed for the purposes of paying the annual entry fee or receiving prize money. I.e. one owner must pay the entire entry fee, and only one owner will receive winnings due to the franchise. Co-owners are allowed on the Game Play site.

LEAGUE DEADLINES
The following deadlines must be strictly adhered to for all Empire League franchise owners:

League Renewal Deadline: June 15
Each franchise must make their payment for the upcoming season no later than June 15 of the current calendar year. If payment has not been received by June 1, SafeLeagues reserves the right to declare a franchise as abandoned.

Annual Rookie/Free Agent Draft
The annual rookie/free agent draft will be held after all league members have renewed for the upcoming season and/or after all orphaned teams have been sold.

Roster Deadline: Tuesday After the Super Bowl
All franchises must pare their roster to no more than 16 players by 12:00 AM EST on the Tuesday following the Super Bowl.

IMPORTANT: The Roster Deadline includes players on Injured Reserve, meaning franchises must remove or drop players from IR prior to the deadline. If a franchise is in violation of the 16-player rule as of the Roster Deadline, SafeLeagues reserves the right to take whatever action is necessary to rectify the situation, including dropping players from the offending franchise’s IR list.

PAYOUTS
Empire league payouts are as follows:

Napoleon Leagues ($100 entry fee):

  • Saved in Empire Pot: $500
  • Annual playoff champion: $350
  • Annual playoff runner-up: $150

Caesar Leagues ($200 entry fee):

  • Saved in Empire Pot: $1,000
  • Annual playoff champion: $700
  • Annual playoff runner-up: $300

Alexander Leagues ($300 entry fee):

  • Saved in Empire Pot: $1,500
  • Annual playoff champion: $1,050
  • Annual playoff runner-up: $450

Khan Leagues ($400 entry fee):

  • Saved in Empire Pot: $2,000
  • Annual playoff champion: $1,400
  • Annual playoff runner-up: $600

Empire pot payouts will be determined on a year-by-year basis. The entire Empire Pot will be awarded to the owner of the franchise that wins the playoff championship in two consecutive seasons.

All league finances will be administered by SafeLeagues through the LeagueSafe website. End-of-season payouts will be allocated in accordance with the Terms of Service.

If, for any reason, SafeLeagues ceases the operation and administration of Empire Leagues, each league member will receive a payout equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of the Empire Pot.

FIRST-YEAR EMPIRE LEAGUE DEPOSIT
All first-year Empire leagues require an advance deposit of one year’s full entry fee (e.g. if you join a $100 Empire League, you will owe $200 plus any commissioner or convenience fees in Year 1). This deposit is non-refundable until the league ends or is disbanded, at which point it will be returned to you provided you are still a member in good standing of the league.

In each subsequent season after Year 1, owners are responsible for paying the yearly entry fee plus any commissioner or convenience fees.

ROSTER REQUIREMENTS
All teams are comprised of 16 players (nine starters and seven bench players), as follows:

  • 1 Quarterback
  • 2 Running Backs
  • 3 Wide Receivers
  • 1 Tight End
  • 1 Flex Player (RB/WR/TE)
  • 1 Kicker
  • 7 Bench Spots

Please note, you are NOT required to fill all starting lineup requirements in the draft/auction (start-up or rookie/FA), but your starting lineup must be filled by the start of Week 1, and you must maintain a valid starting roster, meaning all positional minimums (starting lineup requirements) listed above must be rostered throughout the duration of the season (including the playoffs/championship).

After the season has concluded and going into the offseason, owners will have the ability to drop and trade players (making roster invalid) prior to the Rookie/Free Agent Draft. But again, but your starting lineup must be filled by the start of Week 1, and you must maintain a valid starting roster, meaning all positional minimums (starting lineup requirements) listed above must be rostered throughout the duration of the season (including the playoffs/championship).

 

Roster Lock

Players in your starting lineup will lock at their scheduled kickoff. That means you can add/remove a player from your starting lineup as long as their game hasn’t started.

Injured Reserve

There are up to 16 Injured Reserve (IR) spots for each franchise. A player must be on the official NFL Injured Reserve list to be eligible for IR. This includes the denotation for IR NFI (non-football injury) or PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). In the event that a player is placed on the Injured Reserve – Designated to Return list by their NFL team, that player may be placed on IR. When re-activated by their NFL team, the player must be removed from IR. Anyone with a “(I)” denotation on MFL is eligible to be placed on IR.

Hoarding of injured players will not be tolerated. Therefore, to be eligible for IR, a player must have been on a franchise’s roster prior to the IR denotation by the NFL (and MFL). League members are responsible for self-policing this rule. Any violations of the rule must be reported to SafeLeagues by a league member. In the event this rule is violated, SafeLeagues reserves the right to take any actions necessary to rectify the situation, including reversing the transaction and/or, at SafeLeagues’ sole discretion, removal of the offending owner from the league.

Players with a suspended (S) denotation are not eligible to be placed on IR.

SCORING

SafeLeagues Empire Leagues use a PPR-based scoring system. Full scoring breakdown is as follows:

League Scoring System



CUSTOMIZED SCORING OPTIONS
From time-to-time, SafeLeagues may offer customized scoring options for certain leagues. In such instances, owners should refer to the specific promotions being offered through the SafeLeagues website and/or through communications with SafeLeagues employees. Commonly-used custom scoring leagues may include the following:

Superflex
Superflex leagues are leagues in which owners may choose to play a QB, RB, WR, or TE in their Flex spot. In such leagues, the scoring system will be altered as follows: QB scoring is modified so that QBs receive 1 point for every 40 passing yards (instead of 1 point per 25 passing yards in our standard scoring system). If your league has been designated a Superflex league by SafeLeagues, these custom rules supersede the default roster and scoring options shown above.

PLAYER DISTRIBUTION

SafeLeagues offers Live Drafts, Email Drafts, and Live Auctions for the initial player distribution method.

First-Year Snake Draft
Franchises will select their players in year one via a snake draft. The draft will be held live online or via email. Each franchise will be assigned a draft slot randomly by the commissioner or draft service.

Live Drafts
Live drafts are run on MFL and come complete with an interactive chat room, a timer to keep things moving, and audio announcements of players as they’re picked. If you can’t be at the live draft, you can still make it work by ranking players in advance using MFL’s pre-draft feature, “My Draft List.”

If an owner does not make a pick before the timer expires, the system will automatically pick a player for the owner based on the highest-ranked available player, on the owner’s “My Draft List” player ranking, and then once that list is exhausted, according to rankings displayed on MFL’s ADP page.

If an owner does not make a pick before the timer expires, the system will automatically pick a player for the owner based on the highest-ranked available player, on the owner’s “My Draft List” player ranking, and then once that list is exhausted, according to rankings displayed on MFL’s ADP page. If you allow the timer to expire twice in a row, your next pick will be automatically made the next time you’re on the clock.

If you are late to the draft room, or have to leave and return, be sure to check and see that auto-draft is not enabled. You will know you’re on auto-draft if the “I’m Away” box is checked (located under the Player List).

Prior to the draft, all leagues will have their draft order randomly generated by MFL once the league has completely filled (you may see a draft order on the site when you sign up – this will change once the league has filled and the order is randomized). The draft is comprised of 16 rounds and will be serpentine, meaning the draft order reverses at the end of each round.

Every owner will have 90 seconds to make their selection, and no trades are allowed before or during the draft.

Email Drafts
If you would prefer to a serpentine draft over the course of several days or even weeks, you can partake in an email draft. MFL tracks all the details and sends emails after each pick to update everyone on the draft’s progress.  The draft order is randomized and the draft will begin as soon as the league is full.

The draft timer will be set at four hours per selection, but the clock will be suspended over night from 12 AM EST to 8 AM EST.  In the event an owner allows the time limit to expire, their pick will be automatically made based on MFL’s ADP or the pre-draft function, which allows owners to rank players in their preferred order (to be drafted).

No trades are allowed before or during the draft.

*Because of the varying times picks are made in an email draft, incorrect picks are unlikely to be reverted by the commissioner. Owners are responsible for entering their correct pick, and ensuring it is the player they want before they hit submit. Please use caution! The commissioner will use best judgement.

*NO TRADES ARE ALLOWED FROM 24 HOURS BEFORE A DRAFT OR DURING THE DRAFT

First-Year Live Auction Drafts

Live auction drafts will use an ESPN auction room for the initial player distribution auction, which means every owner is required to have an ESPN account.

Once the auction on ESPN is complete, your SafeLeagues commissioner will import rosters into MyFantasyLeague, which is where the season will be played out.

Upon signing up for a Live Auction Draft league on SafeLeagues, owners will receive three emails:

  1. An invite to join the MFL League
  2. An invite to join the ESPN league for the auction draft
  3. A SafeLeagues Welcome email

Owners are required to join both the ESPN and MFL League using the same email address and team name, so SafeLeagues can quickly and efficiently import rosters once the auction is complete.

As per ESPN’s rules, in order for a SafeLeagues commissioner to be present in the auction room, he must be listed as an owner in the league.  Because ESPN does not allow commissioners to access the auction room without also being an owner of one of the teams in the league, SafeLeagues has the following work-around in place: The first person to register for the league on SafeLeagues (“Owner 1”) will be assigned as a co-owner of the SafeLeague’s commissioner’s team (on ESPN only).

Owner 1 will be entirely responsible for drafting his/her team in the auction. The SafeLeagues commissioner WILL NOT provide any advice or make any bids throughout the auction. The only action the commissioner will take in the auction room is to pause the timer if need be, or retract any bids or purchases made in error.

*Please note any incorrect bid or player purchases must be brought to the commissioner’s attention before the next player is put up for auction. Otherwise, all player sales are final.

The random nomination order will be automatically generated before the auction begins, and keep in mind that you can access the auction room 30 minutes before it begins.

For efficiency in creating the ESPN leagues, only the league settings that matter for the auction will be correct (roster size, required starting lineup positions, and league scoring). Please ignore all other settings in your ESPN leagues and refer to the SafeLeagues website and/or your MFL home page for the full set of rules, scoring system, etc.

All owners will start with $100 in auction funds, and the minimum opening bid is $1. All owners MUST fill all required roster spots and starting lineup requirements in the auction.

Owners will have 30 seconds to nominate a player, and each time a new bid is placed, the bid clock will revert to 10 seconds until no more bids are made and the player is purchased.

No trades are allowed before or during the draft.

Live Draft Support
Owners are solely responsible for accessing the live draft room in time for their league’s assigned draft time. SafeLeagues will make a reasonable effort to assist owners in getting into the draft room and making their picks on time, but will not be held responsible for late arrivals, technology failures, slow internet connections, etc.

A SafeLeagues Commissioner will be online monitoring the first round of every live draft. SafeLeagues reserves the right to take any action necessary, including inaction, to pause the draft or modify draft picks in the event of an owner experiencing an unexpected result after making their pick. If owners believe an error has been made, they must notify the commissioner before the next draft pick has been made.

Annual Rookie & Free Agent Draft
Each subsequent year after the first-year snake draft, on or around June 1, a draft will be held to distribute rookies and free agents.

Draft Order
The draft order for the annual rookie & free agent draft will be determined as follows:

  • Pick 1 goes to the non-playoff team with the worst all play winning % as of the end of the regular season (Week 13) the previous year.
  • Pick 2 goes to the non-playoff team with the second-worst all play winning %.
  • Pick 3 goes to the non-playoff team with the third-worst all-play winning %.
  • Pick 4 goes to the non-playoff team with the fourth-worst all-play winning %.
  • Pick 5 goes to the non-playoff team with the fifth-worst all-play winning %.
  • Pick 6 goes to the non-playoff team with the sixth-worst all-play winning %.
  • Pick 7 goes to the worst all-play winning % of Week 14 playoff losers.
  • Pick 8 goes to the best all-play winning % of Week 14 playoff losers.
  • Pick 9 goes to the worst all-play winning % of the Week 15 playoff losers.
  • Pick 10 goes to the best all-play winning % of the Week 15 playoff losers.
  • Pick 11 goes to the 2nd place finisher.
  • Pick 12 goes to the league champion.

The following criteria will be used to break any ties when determining the draft order:

  • Total Points Scored
  • Divisional Winning Percentage
  • Reverse Order of Opponent Total Points Scored

The annual rookie & free agent draft is a straight draft, meaning the draft order will be the same as shown above for all rounds.

AT NO POINT CAN YOUR ROSTER EXCEED 16 PLAYERS. We encourage you to drop as many players as you can (who you don’t plan to keep on roster) before the draft starts, but you will be able to drop a player during the draft (even when on the clock).

PLAYERS WHO ARE DROPPED DURING THE DRAFT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE DRAFTED WITH THE SUBSEQUENT PICKS.

ONCE YOU SKIP YOUR PICK, YOU ARE DONE DRAFTING. You cannot jump back in under any circumstance.

THERE IS NO TRADING DURING THE ROOKIE/FA DRAFT. TRADING ABILITIES WILL BE SUSPENDED 24 HOURS BEFORE YOUR ROOKIE/FA DRAFT IS SET TO BEGIN.

If you allow the timer to expire with a full roster (16 players), you will be considered done drafting and will have all remaining picks skipped.

If you are the last person drafting, you cannot make consecutive picks unless your roster is below 16 players.

*Because of the varying times picks are made in an email draft, incorrect picks cannot be reverted by the commissioner under any circumstance. Owners are solely responsible for entering their correct pick, and ensuring it is the player they want before they hit submit. Please use caution!

Draft & Drop

Each time an owner selects a new player in the annual rookie & free agent draft, a roster spot must be made available by dropping a player from the franchise’s current 16-player roster (unless the roster has less than 16 players).

 

LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Each league is divided into two six-team divisions. Owners will play every team in the league at least once and two teams within their division twice. The divisional opponents that are played twice will be selected at random before your league’s draft.  Tie scores are permitted during regular season play.

The regular season begins on Week 1 of the NFL season and will end at the conclusion of Week 13.

LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Six teams qualify for the playoffs, as follows: the winner of each division (highest winning %) and four wild card teams. In the event there is a tie for a divisional title, a divisional winner will be determined by the following tie-breaking criteria:

  • Total Points Scored
  • Divisional Winning Percentage
  • Reverse Order of Opponent Total Points Scored

The four wild card spots will now be decided by all-play winning percentage (regardless of division) not total points scored. Again, that’s ALL-PLAY winning percentage, not just winning-percentage. All-play winning percentage is determined by taking your weekly score and putting it against the scores of every other team (on a weekly basis). So, the best you can do in a week is go 11-0 (1.000% all-play percentage), and the worst you can do is 0-11 (0.000% all-play percentage).   Any ties in wild card seeding will be broken with the following criteria:

  • Total Points Scored
  • Reverse Order of Opponent Total Points Scored

The top two seeds receive a bye in Week 14, while the #3 seed plays the #6 seed, and the #4 seed plays the #5 seed. In the event of a tie score in a playoff game, the following tie-breaking criteria will be utilized to determine a winner:

  • Most total starter combined TDs
  • Highest individual starter score
  • Highest total bench points

SafeLeagues will do its best to monitor for ties, but owners involved in a tied playoff game MUST contact their SafeLeagues commissioner, so he can apply the tiebreaking criteria to the matchup and determine a winner.

Once winners have been determined for the opening round of the playoffs, the #1 seed will face the winner of the #4 and #5 seed game, and the #2 seed will face the winner of the #3 and #6 seed game (in Week 15). The winners of the Week 15 matchups will then compete in the championship game held in Week 16. The losers of the Week 15 matchups will compete in the consolation game for the third-place prize (also in Week 16).

TRADES
Trading is permitted, but all trades must be approved by SafeLeagues, which will act as the governing body for each league. Each trade will be reviewed and analyzed by a SafeLeagues commissioner. All approved trades are final. We understand everyone has their opinions on players and trades, but we can’t make rulings based off if we would personally do a trade or not. We are primarily looking for collusion, and that’s the only reason we will veto a trade. In all instances, SafeLeagues’ ruling is final and cannot be appealed or disputed.

That being said, if an owner immediately contacts us and says a deal was accepted in error (and it’s evident that’s the case), we will veto that trade as well.

Trading of FAAB budget is not allowed.

Trading will be allowed immediately at the conclusion of your league’s draft and up until the trade deadline, which is Wednesday, October 25 (8:00 PM EST).

Draft picks may be traded, but no more than one year into the future (i.e. in the year 2016, you can only trade draft picks for the 2017 season).

If offseason trades are uneven, the owner who traded away more players than they acquired cannot make a free agent pickup and must carry less than the maximum number of players until the annual draft. The owner that acquired more players must immediately drop a player to get to the max roster size.

THE CHAMP NO-TRADE CLAUSE
As an anti-collusion measure, the reigning league champion cannot make trades of any kind in the subsequent calendar year.

In the event that the defending champ abandons his/her team, the new owner will be allowed to trade because he/she will be ineligible to claim the Empire pot (see “Abandoned Teams” below).

TRADE DEADLINES

Weekly Trade Deadline
Prior to Week 1, trades involving players in the Thursday night game must be accepted by Wednesday, September 6 at 8 PM EST. All other trades involving players in the Sunday/Monday games must be accepted by Saturday 12 at 1 PM EST.

After the conclusion of Week 1, trades can be accepted starting on Tuesdays at 12 AM EST. The deadline for accepting deals involving Thursday night players is 8 PM EST on Wednesday every week up until the trade deadline.

For all other deals involving Sunday/Monday players, the deadline for acceptance is 1 PM EST on Saturday.

Season Trade Deadline
The final trade deadline for all SafeLeagues Empire leagues is Wednesday, October 25, 2016, at 8 PM EST. This is the Wednesday prior to the first Week 8 game.

WAIVERS/FREE AGENTS
All leagues utilize a Free Agents Acquisition Budgets (FAAB) Blind-Bidding waivers system. Each owner begins the season with a $100 FAAB budget to place blind bids on waived players. To pick up a player who is on waivers, a minimum bid of $1 must be made. The owner with the highest bid will acquire the player, and for the exact dollar amount that was bid. Since this is blind-bidding, other owners will not be able to see your bid amount (and for what player) until waiver claims are processed. All bid amounts must be made in $1 increments.

Players who were dropped will not be available for acquisition until the next blind bidding period.

In the event two or more owners bid an equal amount on the same player, the following criteria will be used (in a worst-to-first manner) to break the tie:

  • Overall Winning Percentage
  • Total Points Scored
  • All-Play Winning Percentage

After each waiver claim period is complete, first-come-first-served (FCFS) players will be available for pick up. All FCFS transactions are $0 and nothing will be deducted from your FAAB balance.

Please see below for this season’s blind-bidding and FCFS timelines.

Pre-Season Acquisitions
For leagues drafting prior to August 1, owners may begin submitting blind bids for undrafted free agents on August 1 at 11:00 AM ET. For leagues drafting after August 1, owners may begin submitting blind bids immediately after the conclusion of the draft. For all leagues, the first round of waiver claims will be processed on Wednesday, September 6 at 1:00 PM EST (the day before the NFL season begins).

FCFS players will be available for pick up immediately after the first round of claims are processed and will remain available until kick-off of each player’s respective game in Week 1.

In-Season Acquisitions
After the conclusion of Week 1, the first in-season blind-bidding period will begin on Tuesday at 12:00 AM EST and conclude on Wednesday at 1:00 PM EST. At that point, all waiver claims will be processed, and all unclaimed players will be available on a FCFS basis until their respective game kicks off for that week.

Once a player’s game kicks off, they will be put on waivers until the next bidding period begins on the following Tuesday (at 12:00 AM EST). This schedule/cycle will continue on a weekly basis for the remainder of the fantasy season.

In addition, once a player is acquired (either through blind-bidding or FCFS), that player cannot be dropped for 24 hours.

Conditional Bidding
Conditional bidding allows an owner to bid on player A and if not awarded, then bid on player B. Non-conditional (“regular”) bidding just has an owner bid on player A and then bid on player B. In this latter case, the owner could get both players A and B. In the former, the owner would only get one of the two.

Note that in Conditional Bidding an owner would enter players in multiple groups in order to receive several players, but the Groups are merely placeholders for these bids and have no weighted value. Generally speaking, the easiest way to think about submitting bids is that owners should submit a new bidding group for each player that they want to DROP from their roster.

For a more detailed description of Conditional Bidding, click here.

UNDROPPABLE LIST
As an anti-collusion measure, there will be a list of players deemed “undroppable.” In all instances, SafeLeagues will adhere to the Game Play Site’s preferred “can’t cut” or “undroppable” list.

ROSTER FREEZE

Weekly
All add/drops and lineup changes must be submitted 5 minutes before kickoff for each player involved. This deadline will be strictly enforced on the Game Play Site.

Offseason
*Rosters freeze for all teams after Week 16. The blind bidding process continues during the playoffs in Weeks 14-16, even for teams that have not made the playoffs. (*This rule was amended in Week 15 to allow all owners to submit blind bid requests)

No free agent pickups are allowed between the end of Week 16 and the annual rookie & free agent draft.

All franchises must pare their roster to no more than 16 players by 12:00 AM EST on the Tuesday following the Super Bowl.

Players placed on the IR the previous season must be removed from your IR (either moved to the active 16-man roster or released) by 12:00 AM EST on the Tuesday following the Super Bowl.

All rosters must have a valid starting lineup on their roster as of the offseason roster deadline. I.e., you must have at least 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, and 1 K on your 16-player roster as of the offseason roster freeze deadline.

ILLEGAL ROSTERS/THROWING GAMES
We are dedicated to ensuring all SafeLeagues are competitive throughout the entire season. The act of “throwing games” (i.e. losing on purpose by submitting a lineup containing injured players, players on bye, or obviously under-performing players) is strictly prohibited. SafeLeagues reserves the right to immediate remove any owner deemed to be deliberately throwing games from the league. Teams that are abandoned in this way will be taken over by SafeLeagues and run as if owned by SafeLeagues for the duration of the season. See the section entitled “Abandoned Teams” for further details.

SafeLeagues reserves the right to take whatever action is deemed necessary, including inaction, to rectify a situation related to throwing games.

If you believe a team in your league is deliberately throwing games, you must notify your SafeLeagues commissioner via email to address the issue. It is solely up to SafeLeagues to determine whether a team is deliberately throwing games, and to determine the appropriate course of action. In a situation where such a determination has not been made until after games have already started for that week (or previous weeks, in the event the tanking owner is not identified until after they have submitted intentionally bad lineups for several weeks), SafeLeagues will retroactively set the tanking owner’s lineup based on the “Expert Consensus Rankings” found on www.fantasypros.com for each week that the owner submitted a deliberately bad lineup. In such a scenario, the overall W-L result for the applicable weeks will never be altered. Note that the “all play winning %” will be effected by such a retroactive scoring change.

ABANDONED TEAMS
When a team has been deemed abandoned, either because of a suspected cheating owner or a non-responsive owner who is no longer actively managing their team, SafeLeagues will assume control of that team. We will do our best to run the team in a fair manner, as to not disrupt the competitive balance of the league.

If needed, the abandoned, SafeLeagues-run team will participate in waiver activity in order to keep a valid, competitive roster, but they will not be involved in any trade activity whatsoever. Abandoned teams that are being managed by SafeLeagues are not eligible to receive prizes.

If a team has been deemed abandoned as a result of not making their entry fee payment prior to the League Renewal Deadline, SafeLeagues will attempt to sell the franchise on the SafeLeagues website and/or via email, social media, or other means.

If the defending champ abandons his/her team, the Empire pot cannot be won in the following year.  In essence, there is no defending champ – the seat is vacated. A new owner may purchase the abandoned (championship) team, but he/she must manage the team for two full seasons in order to be eligible for the Empire pot.

The First-Year Empire League Deposit will not be refunded to members who have abandoned their franchise.

INHERITANCE
If an owner dies or is otherwise incapacitated, his or her franchise may be bequeathed in accordance with his/her last will and testament, or if incapacitated, member’s power of attorney. Inheritance is restricted as follows:

  1. The heir may not be another member of the same league.
  2. No person may be designated heir to more than one franchise in the same league.
  3. If an owner does not have an heir designated in his/her last will and testament, the franchise will be treated as an abandoned franchise. In that event, SafeLeagues will assume ownership of the abandoned franchise and attempt to sell the franchise to a new owner. See section entitled “OWNERSHIP” for more details about abandonment.
  4. The heir must be listed as a co-owner on the Game Play Site.
  5. It is the heir’s sole responsibility to contact SafeLeagues to take claim of a franchise prior to the League Renewal Deadline. SafeLeagues will begin re-selling abandoned franchises after the League Renewal Deadline.

TERMINATION CLAUSE
If, after 20 full seasons, no franchise has won the playoff championship in back-to-back seasons, SafeLeagues will pay out the Empire Pot to each of the 12 franchises in equal proportion, and the league will be terminated.

RULE CHANGES
Only under special conditions (where scoring or standings/playoff seeding aren’t affected), will any rules or settings be changed during the season.