FHL Constitution

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General Rules
1. The Federated Hockey League (FHL) will use the latest version of the Action! PC Hockey and everyone must own a registered copy of the game. The official house organ of the Federated Hockey League is “Gamespeak” and “Gamespeak Online.”
2. The FHL is a keeper league (27 players are protected with the team) and when there is no expansion draft requiring cuts to a certain team size (maximum roster size is 32 + taxi squad (optional) 2 = 34 players).  The minimum roster size is 28 players (not including taxi squad players only active players).
3. Changes to this Constitution may be made by the commissioner when he sees fit for the best interest of the league or when an amendment receives 2/3 majority vote of owners who submit a vote. All constitution change proposals shall be made to the Commissioner at least four weeks before the start of the  draft in an email to the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner.
4. The FHL will consist of 20 teams in 2 Conferences. Each Conference will consist of two divisions. This structure may vary from year to year based on number of owners in the league.
5. The FHL plays an 80 game schedule, with each team responsible for playing their 40 home games. Depending on when the game is released the season will run from September/October to March/April. Regular Season Games are played by the human coach playing at home against the opponent computer programmed coach for the visiting games during the regular season.
6. Playoff Games will be played like the regular season against the visiting COA (see #5 above).  However all teams will have the option to be played “Head-to-Head” using net play feature of Action! PC Hockey.  If teams opt to play some (or all) of the games “Head-to-Head” then this should be done an equal number of times for each team playing at home to be fair.  In the event this is not possible for one of the teams, then games will be resolved as done during the regular season (see #5 above) or resolved through the FHL commissioner’s office having both teams submit COAs.  This will be broadcasted on FHL TV if possible.
7. Team names must stay with each franchise once Gamespeak announces the league alignment after the completion of the Crystal Finals. New owners are allowed a one time opportunity to change the name of their teams at the end of the regular season or playoff run for their respective teams. After this, the name of team remains for the duration of the league.
8. Action PC! Hockey Game settings will be specified just prior to the start of the season in a separate announcement and posting either through Gamespeak or Gamespeak Online.
9. A schedule will be provided by the league office for the entire season. Each season will be composed of Games which will be played in 3-4 week block intervals with submission of played games to be sent to the commissioner’s office by Monday aftrenoon before 6 pm CST or CDST or a date and time to be determined by the commissioner.
10. Suggested Officers of the FHL will consist of a commissioner, an assistant commissioner, a salary capologist, a league statistician and historian, and optionally appointed player personnel coordinator.
11. During cases of ambiguities, computer glitches, etc. the situations will be ruled on a case by case business by the commissioner.

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Rosters
1. Each FHL roster will consist of 32 active players, which may include “zero carded players” (Non-Rated by Action! PC Sports Hockey during that season that did not play in the prior NHL season).  Zero (Uncarded) players does count against the 32 player roster limit.  The FHL roster also includes up to 2 additional OPTIONAL Taxi Squad players  which are in addition to the 32 active players.  They are considered inactive and may not play in the current season (for details on Taxi Squad player please refer to section 13 under drafting section below).
2. Each team’s roster must meet the following requirements. – At end of the waiver wire period each team must have enough GP (games played) to cover an 80 game season for 4 forward lines (consisting of RW, C, LW), 3 defensive pairs (3 lines of 2 defenseman), and minimum 2 goalies and up to 4 goalies maximum.

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Salary Cap -  The league has a salary cap.  The salary cap for each season will be announced as soon as possible when the disk comes out.  The salary cap goes into effect start of the season (when COAs are due).    All player transactions whether trade, claim, or cut will be pro-rated.

The salary cap is based on DKS determined salaries.  Here is an excellent set of articles on the salary cap which will give you a good feel for the Cap. Turn to page 2-6 in first YELLOW italic link below.

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This other commentary is from my editorial on page 11 of Gamespeak Vol. 4, No 3.  Read that article too. Click on GREEN italic link below to review:
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Trades
1. Trading is allowed during the season up until the trading deadline (the block prior to the  final block of games of play).
2. Trading isn’t allowed from the last month of play until the end of the Federal Hockey League Crystal Championship.
3. Draft choices may be traded, but only for the upcoming season (at least until the start of the FHL Draft in which case next season draft choices may then be traded).  For example, during the 2010-11 season, only picks in the 2011 draft would be allowed to be traded.  But once the 2011 draft starts you may start to trade the 2012 picks.
4. All trades must be confirmed by both parties via e-mail and posted to the FHL through Yahoo User’s Group and via group email.  The Trade Evaluation Team: (team consists of: the commissioner and assistant commissioner and Player Personnel Director (if one appointed)) will review all trades.
5. A trade may be voided if any member of the FHL Trade Evaluation Team (the commissioner, assistant commissioner, or Player Personnel Director (if appointed)) feel the deal was not done in good faith, any collusion exists in the deal, and/or if the commissioner feels the trade isn’t fair or in the best interest of both teams future. In terms of fair trade value, the spirit of the rule to only stop a trade if the trade value disparity is considered “egregious” and “obvious.” In other words the FHL believes that owner/managers must accept responsibility for their own actions.
6. Teams can make a trade and if both parties agree it will be official.  This still has to be publicly announced (see #4 above).  A spreadsheet is maintained by League Statistician and Historian for all the trades to date since the inception of the league.   This is available for viewing under the FHL Webpage under FHL Transactions.   Trades must occur before the end of the current block to take effect for the next block (this includes the confirmation of the trade by both parties).  Trades after the end of the current block will be reflected in the subsequent block.  A trade is considered official only after it is announced to the FHL by one party AND then confirmed by the other party.  Otherwise a trade does not exist (ex. if one team announces trade but the other team confirmation does not occur until after the trade deadline the trade is null and void).
7. Trades will  be allowed during the  Draft .

8.  Team rosters can have up to 32 active players and up to 2 inactive Taxi Squad players.  They are separate categories and teams can’t go above either. So if you get a 33rd active player, you have to cut another active player, not a Taxi player and vice versa.

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Drafting

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1. The draft order will be determined in reverse order of prior year finish, except for the playoff teams which will be in order of playoff elimination. Tie breakers will be applied as follows (in descending order):

A. Most Wins
B. Best winning PCT.
C. Overall goal differential
D. Road winning PCT.

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If teams are still tied, then coin flip will determine draft order done by the Commissioner or Asst. Commissioner.

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2. Each team will be required to cut down to no more than 27  players after the Crystal Finals and prior to the draft at a date determined by the commissioner. After that date, no more cuts will be allowed.  FHL  requires all teams to announce their roster cut downs to 27 players publically via email and Yahoo User’s Group.

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3. Each team will draft until they have maximum roster of 34 players (a minimum of 7 picks) for 32 active players and taxi squad of 2 players which is optional (see section 13 below for more information on Taxi Squads).  The roster includes both the 32 active players and the 2 inactive Taxi Squad players.  Only 4 goalies can be on a team roster at any time (this includes Taxi Squad which is part of the roster).

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4. Players will be able to trade draft picks for the following season once the current season draft has started (ex. during the 2013 draft a team may trade 2014 picks).

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5. Only players listed on the current season Action! PC player’s disk will be eligible to be drafted. Player positions are accepted “as is” unless DKS makes a change in the position in a subsequent patch or email from DKS verifies error occurred during player rating.

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6. The entire draft will consist of 7  rounds (or possibly more if teams cut below their minimum 27 players they can protect) starting at Round 1 – Round 7.  All players will be eligible to be drafted in all rounds (there is no separate Rookie draft and a Free Agent Draft).

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7. A team may pass in any given round; however, once a team passes, the team may not draft again in subsequent rounds of the draft.

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8. The order of the draft will be determined by the inverse order of the point total from the previous season, playoffs and playoff results will have effect on this order with the winner of “The Crystal” drafting last, and the runner up drafting 2nd from the last spot (barring traded draft picks, etc.).

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9. The draft will be un-timed to start with each FHL team averaging one pick per day per team. If the draft is deemed to be proceeding too slowly by FHL Executive Group, then timed drafts will be instituted with slotted times for picks posted on Gamespeak Online. If teams are late for the designated pick time slot for their given team, then they can “jump in” later on during the draft to make their pick.  The time stamp on the email/group list post will serve as the tie breaker for whose pick came first.  If you cannot be at a draft, then draft lists are acceptable.  However, FHL officers will not accept responsibility for making the pick for you.  You must find a proxy on your own to make the pick for you.  If your list doesn’t cover exactly the player you want, then your pick will be skipped (or at end of the draft auto selected by the APC! Hockey computer draft function). On submitting team draft lists BE SPECIFIC! Communicate exactly who you want to take and plan for a priority listing of multiple alternatives at each spot you want picked in case player isn’t available.

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10. Roster cuts are required of all FHL Teams down to 27 players (i.e. you can protect up to maximum 27 players on your team). You may protect less if you like if you wish to draft
additional rounds. Only 4 goalies can be on a team at any time (to prevent goalie hording). Draft will occur until rosters reach 32 active players and optional 2 taxi squad players. The roster cuts will be due when announced by FHL office.

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11. The Draft will be conducted using email and/or list server (for example: Yahoo User’s Group Messenger). Due to problems encountered with the speed of processing of each pick and the questionable service with Yahoo User’s Group, the Draft will also include direct email notifications.  FHL still uses Yahoo User’s Group.

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12. The FHL draft will be in reverse order of finish from this season. The only caveat is the bottom 4 teams will compete in a draft lottery for seeding in the upcoming draft. The lottery will be weighted to the worse team having a better chance.

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The FHL draft lottery system only applies for the first round.  The 4 worst teams are in the draft lottery (see Drafting #1 for details on determination of worst records). The goals are to make the lottery system to more heavily favor the worst teams allowing them to get the better picks.

The system works as follows.  Consider that there are 4 teams (A, B, C, and D) with team A finishing in last place, B finishing second to last, C finishing third to last, and D with best record of all 4 last place teams.  The probabilities breakdown for the #1, #2, #3, and #4 draft picks are listed in the table 1 below:

Table 1 (left click to enlarge table)

Table 1 Lottery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The first table (table 1) is the overall percentages for each team (column) to get which draft pick (rows). The table content gives the probability in percentages that each team has for each spot in the top 4. T eam A is improved slightly to 54% chance to get the #1 pick, but in part that is because they have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Whereas Team D has only a 6% chance at the #1 pick. In fact, Team D has a 62% chance of keeping the #4 pick, which means a 38% chance of improving because Team D has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Table 2 (left click to enlarge table).

Table 2 Lottery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second table (table 2) above is a layout of draft schedules. These are the 18 possible variations given the potential different combinations for 4 teams. Each schedule also has a percentage probability of occuring. You will note that schedule 1, which is the actual finishing order, has a 25% chance of being the result.  It goes all the way down to schedules 17 & 18 which each have only a 1% chance of being used.

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Team A (which is the team with the worst finishing record in the FHL) would prefer that draft schedules 1-6 be drawn so they could draft the #1 overall draft pick.  Conversely Team D (lottery team with the best record) would prefer draft schedules 15-18 be used.  That means Team D gets to draft #1 overall pick.

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The Table broke the schedules down into smaller blocks, no bigger than 5 at a time. At the same time, the only individual schedule chances are 17 & 18 which only have a 1% chance anyway. So schedules with a 2% chance are next to each other. This creates some randomness while keeping some grouping.

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Another way to think of this is you selecting a random # between 0-99 to select the draft schedule in the following table 3.

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Table 3 (left click to enlarge):

Table 3 Lottery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FHL will be using Massachusetts Lottery to select the random # between 0 – 99.  For example if the random lottery number (roll) is 47, then draft schedule 5 is used.   You refer to table 2, row 5 for the order (in this case the draft order would be Team A, D, B, C  – or Team A would get the first (best) overall pick; Team D would get the 2nd best overall pick; Team B would get the third best overall pick, and Team C would get the fourth best pick overall.  Please note the probability for this schedule outcome is only 2% and is very good news for Team D which has the best record of all 4 last place teams.  Now Team D gets the 2nd best overall pick when in reality the probability for Team D to get the 2nd best overall pick is 10% (see table 1).

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Please note again only the first Round of the FHL Draft is changed based on the lottery results (we do it like the NBA lottery where just the first round is changed and the remaining rounds are based on reverse order W/L in the previous season)! 

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13.   Taxi Squad – A taxi squad will be allowed where 2 extra players can be carried on the roster but will not be allowed to play during the season.  The 2 players will count against the future salary cap since they are part of the roster.  The Taxi squad is in addition to your 32 man active players for a total roster of 34 players maximum per team.  To qualify for the taxi squad a player must have played 9 or fewer games in the NHL season.  This gives teams a chance to pick up more prospects, develop more talent, or protect an injured player whom they believe in.  These players would normally take up a roster spot but have so few games they wouldn’t be able to meaningfully contribute to a team in a given season.  Please note that the GP requirement may change based on Lock out or Strike shortened NHL work stoppages.  The new GP allowances will be announced by the FHL if this should occur.

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You can have up to 32 active players and you can have up to 2 Taxi players for a total roster of 34 players.  They are separate categories and you can’t go above either.  So if you get a 33rd active player, you have to cut another active player, not a Taxi player and vice versa.
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The roster includes both the 32 active players and the 2 Taxi Squad players.  Also only 4 goalies can be on a team roster at any time (to prevent goalie hording).

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Post Draft (Undrafted Free Agent Claim and Cut Period):

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After the draft there will be a FHL Undrafted Free Agent claim and cut period that commences over a 3-5 day period post draft as designated by the FHL Exec Group (usually within a week of the end of the draft). This officially opens the only period where a team may claim an undrafted Free Agent and retain his rights. All Claims must be sent via Yahoo User’s Group (fhlapchockey@yahoogroups.com) and cc all the owners of the FHL (usually included in the cc of the group email announcing the Claim and Cut period). Players will be awarded to teams on a first come, first serve basis. The time stamp on the emails when sent out will become the “official” time and will be used to determine which teams prevail when they make claims on the same players. Owner/Managers are urged to watch what other teams are doing so they won’t claim a player that has already been taken!

Owners that are unavailable to pick during this time period may submit their lists to the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner (or the FHL designee). FHL will then help make the pick but cannot guarantee this will be done in a timely manner. In other words if owner/managers want to get their post up quickly then they need to do it themselves!!! Important notes: 1. Since all teams will be at their 32 player roster limit at the end of the draft, teams that make a claim must include a cut to make room for the new player. This must be announced (the claim and the cut) on your email post for this to be official to both the FHL Yahoo User’s Group and cc all the other owner emails (usually done under the cc of the group email announcement). This will ensure all posts arrive in a timely manner! 2. Teams can  start trading next year’s draft picks after the official start of the FHL draft.

Please note that any Free Agent (FA) pick ups after this post draft period when the regular season starts will only be rental players and at the end of the regular season (or playoffs if the team makes it that far) will be returned back to the FA pool to start next season!

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Game Play

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1. Only the current version of Action PC Hockey software may be used to play your games. Only the master FHL league file may be used (as sent to you by the commissioner each week) to play your games.
2. All games are to be played as the home team (total 40 games) with the visiting games being played by the opponent programmed computer manager. Head-to-Head netplay is encouraged by not required.
3. The game settings to be used in the APC! Sports Hockey game will be announced in Gamespeak prior to the start of the Regular Season and start of the playoffs.
4. Owner/Managers will be required to upload their team Road Coaching Profile (otherwise known as COAs) as designated by the block schedule deadlines released in Gamespeak or Gamespeak Online or posted on the FHL Webpage or FHL FB.
5. FHL will release league file for the respective block with all the road coaches received updated in the new league file for the next block.
6. Owner/Managers are responsible for uploading their exported game files for the block by the end of block deadline (no exceptions). Any teams that have not uploaded their exported game file by the deadline will have their games simulated by FHL Executive Group.
To Play A League Game
1. You must be sure to create a subdirectory under your main Action PC game directory. (Ex: c:\dks-sports\hockey\seasons\FHL2011).
2. At the end of each block, usually every 4-5 weeks, the commissioner (or assistant commissioner) will send you a new FHL League file called FHLPlanningBlock#LeagueFile.zip. Extract the contents of this file into your FHL subdirectory for the current season (overwrite when asked). This will allow you to program you new Road Coaching Profile. All Road Coaching Profiles must be sent to the commissioner’s email (and assistant commissioner’s duplicate email) by the schedule deadline as shown on FHL Block Schedule.
3. The Road Coaching Profiles are then used to create a new FHLBlock#LeagueFile.zip that is sent out to all the owner/managers to start the next block.
4. Extract the contents of this file into your FHL subdirectory for the current season (overwrite when asked).
5. You must update your FHL League subdirectory EVERY new block with the new FHL League File that will be sent to you.
6. FHL League files for the new block will be sent according to pre released schedule and all games must be turned in by deadline on the pre-released schedule.
Player Usage
In FHL all injuries are “turned off” in the Action PC! Hockey.  Player usage is tracked through GP.  The games played limitation will be the actual games played except in the event of a shortened season when an adjustment needs to be made.  Tracking player usage is the responsibility of the coach, and is easy to monitor during the season with the computer Team reports and clicking on the <status> tab in the team roster. Overuse of players will result in penalties. Team penalties will be determined by the FHL Executive Group on a case by case basis.

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Playoffs

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1. All division winners qualify and each conference will have FOUR wild card teams. Any ties for playoff spots will be broken according to tie breaking procedures listed below.
2. The TWO division winners and FOUR non-division wild card winners with best records (based on points) in each conference (Republic and National) will make it into the playoffs. Tiebreakers are as follows:

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A. Most Wins
B. Best winning PCT.
C. Overall goal differential
D. Road winning PCT.

E. Coin Flip

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 3. Each division winner gets a bye for the first round.  The remaining wild card teams are seeded #1-4 by order of finish in each conference. In each conference, wild card Team #1 will host Team #4; wild card Team #2 will host wild card Team #3 for the first round of the playoffs. The wild card winning teams of the first round of playoffs will then play the division winners in the Conference Semi Finals.  The worst record wild card team will play the division winner with the best record with tie breaker system as noted in section 2 above.  The second worst wild card team will play the other divisional team.  The winners of the Conference Semi Finals will advance to the Conference Finals.  The Conference Final winners will play for the Crystal in the FHL Finals.
4. All playoffs will be best of 7. Each series will be best of 7 formats (2-2-1-1-1). OT will be continuous 20 min periods 5 on 5 sudden death goal as the winner determinant.
5. In FHL Crystal Finals, National Conference Finalist will play the Republic Conference Finalist. The team with best record will be the home team with the extra home game in best of 7 format.
6. Players with more than 62 games played will be eligible to play all playoff games. Less than 62 games played they will be eligible to play 40% of their actual games played with fractions rounded up (FRU). So for example say defenseman who played 58 games in NHL, can play FHL post season 58×0.40 = 22.2. With FRU = 23 games. So if you were a wild card team and had to play all the games in the  best of 7 for all 4 rounds of all post season games (Round 1 games, Conference Semi Finals, Conference Finals, and Crystal Finals) then he will only have to sit out 5 games (28-23=5). There is one exception to this rule; if you exceed GP allowance, in regular season, with your player then he will be excluded from playoffs. This is to be a deterrent to people from using players excessively just to get into playoffs (in addition to the other penalties for exceeding GP).  As you can see winning the division is a huge advantage since you get a full round of rest prior to having to play (i.e. you won’t burn up GP for your players in the first round).

7.  All Playoff games  will be played like the regular season against the visiting COA.  However all teams will have the option to be played “Head-to-Head” using net play feature of Action! PC Hockey.  If teams opt to play some (or all) of the games “Head-to-Head” then this should be done an equal number of times for each team playing at home to be fair.  In the event this is not possible for one of the teams, then games will be resolved as done during the regular season or resolved through the FHL commissioner’s office having both teams submit COAs.  This will be broadcasted on FHL TV if possible..  In the event of crash in the middle of a H2H online game, the <resume game> function in the <play> menu will be engaged by the hosting computer and the calling computer to reconnect to attempt to complete the game H2H.  In the event the game still cannot be completed, then the home team will complete the game against the visiting team COA.  In the event the hosting computer is not the home team, then the hosting computer will send the requisite files (HAL file) to the home team to complete the game.

8.  In event Playoff game is not played  due to computer glitch, then commissioner may mandate a replay of the game under proper conditions H2H, home team against Road COA, or game is simmed by the commissioner.

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Powers of the Commissioner:

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1. RESOLUTION OF CONFLICTS: The commissioner will resolve any conflicts that arise that he determines are not practical for a league vote. Any ruling by the commissioner may be overturned by a league wide veto of at least 75% of the votes within two weeks of the commissioner’s decision. Protests are excluded from this.

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2. LEAGUE MANAGEMENT: The FHL Executive Group shall manage league affairs such as the draft, schedules, newsletters & stat reports, backup coaches, expansion, administration of rules and the general operation of the FHL. The commissioner may delegate any of these duties to league members who volunteer as he sees fit.

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3. DISMISSAL OF MEMBERS: The commissioner may dismiss any league member for not following league rules, for excessive lateness, or for operating in a manner, in his opinion, that is not in the league’s best interest.

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4. PROTESTS: Coaches may protest any game that resulted in a loss that may have been reasonably due to the running coach’s failure to follow written instructions or line-ups for that game. Failure to follow league rules or use of an illegal player is admissible grounds also. A written report must be sent to both the accused coach and commissioner (who will serve as arbiter) within one week of receiving game results. He must list his reasons supporting his protest. The accused coach then has 3 days to respond. He must do so in writing to both the commissioner and opposing coach. The arbiter will then render his decision which is final. The arbiter will uphold the protest only if in his opinion the decisions made by the defendant might have reasonably affected the outcome of the game. Any upheld protested games must be made up before the playoffs begin. Any protests involving the commissioner will be arbitrated by the assistant commissioner.

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5. MISCELLANEOUS RULINGS: The commissioner shall rule on anything not specifically covered in this constitution as the need arises.  The commissioner may rule on any issue he deems are not in the best interest of the FHL.