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Before the Draft

Scheduling a Live Draft time

The manager who initially creates a Live Draft league sets the start time of the Live Draft.  A Live Draft may be scheduled to start on any day of the week, at any time on the hour or half-hour between 9am and 10pm ET (e.g. 9:00, 9:30, etc.).  It may not be set less than one hour in the future.

The creator of the league may also change the start time of the Live Draft as necessary.  In this event, an email is automatically sent to all members of the league notifying them of the change.

Mock Drafts

At all times, there is a collection of Mock Drafts running, which are Live Drafts that you may hop in and out of at your convenience, in order to get a feel for how the Live Draft works, and to make sure your browser/device can run it.  Each Mock Draft has 12 team spots, runs a full 25 rounds, and then upon completion it discards the results and starts again.  Access to the Mock Drafts is free.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers

The Live Draft has been tested in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 10 and 11, on both Windows and Mac operating systems.  It does not work on Internet Explorer 9 and earlier.

It also works on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch using both the built-in Safari app and the Chrome app - though pay attention to

Cookies must not be blocked

The Live Draft will work on most modern browsers without any configuration, but we've noticed that at least Safari, on Mac OS and the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, might block cookies by default.  If you get a message in the Chat section of the draft that says, "Cookies are required for this chat", change your browser's settings per the instructions below, and then reload the page.

  • Safari, Mac OS - Safari->Preferences->Privacy->Block cookies and other website data: Never
  • Safari, iOS - Settings app->Safari->Block Cookies: Never

Preparing for your Live Draft

- Make sure the browser you intend to use for your draft meets the Technical Requirements above.

- Try out a Mock Draft to familiarize yourself with the draft software, and to make sure your browser/device can run it.

- Familiarize yourself with all the information on this page.


During the Draft

Draft Order

The Live Draft is a "snake" draft, which means the team that picks last in the 1st round, picks first in the 2nd round (and then last again in the 3rd round, etc.).

The Draft Order - the order in which the teams pick in the 1st round and all subsequent odd rounds - is randomly set as soon as the league fills with the last team.

In the Live Draft itself, the Draft Order is depicted as a row of boxes across the top of the page, with each box representing a team.  Your team is colored yellow.  The team whose turn it is to pick a player is colored red.  During the Draft, a green arrow will appear below the current team picking, pointing in the direction in which the current round is moving.

Teams that are currently marked as "Away" are greyed.

Turn Duration

  • If you are present at the Draft, you have 2 minutes (by default) on your turn to make your pick.
    • The creator of a league has the option to make the pick time limit 1:00 (60 secs.), 1:30 (90 secs.), 2:00 (120 secs.), or 2:30 (150 secs.) long.
    • We're working on even more choices for the Turn Duration, including longer ones that make for extended, more casual drafts, when we're able to implement overnight off-hours.
  • If you are not present, or you are present but have your "I'm Away" box checked, your turn lasts 15 seconds, after which the Draft will either pick the top player from your Queue, or another available player that it deems appropriate for your roster.  Note that if you let your time run out on a turn, your "I'm Away" box will automatically be checked and your subsequent turns will last 15 seconds until you make another manual pick or uncheck the "I'm Away" box.

Making a Pick On Your Turn

On your turn, your "DRAFT PLAYER" button will become active.

To make a pick, click on a player's row to highlight it either in the Player Research list or in your Queue, and click the "DRAFT PLAYER" button.

If your time runs out and you haven't made a pick, the Draft will automatically pick:

  • the topmost player from your Queue that you can afford and fit on your roster without violating any of the Roster Requirements, or
  • an available player from the Player Research list that is appropriate for your roster.

Player Research list

The main section on the left of the Live Draft page, shows you all the players that are still available to draft.

  • Use the powerful Search Box above the Player Research list to filter and sort the list by Position, Team, Name, and a whole bunch of assorted stats and ratings.  It's the same Search Box you're used to using to find players when filling out a Salary Cap List Draft list or when looking for Free Agents.
  • Click on a player's row to highlight it and then click the "ADD PLAYER TO QUEUE" button - or simply double-click on the row - to add him to the bottom of your Queue.
  • Click on the small card icon to the left of a player's name to display his Strat-O-Matic card in a new window.
  • Click the "Show drafted players" checkbox to toggle whether to show or hide players that have already been taken in the Draft.

Queue

The Queue serves 2 purposes:

  • to collect a list of players you have an eye on
  • to list players you want the Draft to pick for you in case you step away from your computer for a turn or two.

If your time runs out on your turn, the Draft will pick the topmost player on your Queue that you can afford and fit on your roster without violating any of the Roster Requirements.  If a player on your Queue is taken by any team at any time, he will disappear from your list.

Once you have more than 1 player on your Queue, you may re-order them at any time by dragging-and-dropping them into your desired order (or by clicking on the up/down arrow-heads).  Click the trash can icon on the right of the row to remove a player from your Queue.

Draft History

Under the tab labeled "History", you can view the pick-by-pick results of the Draft so far.  You can click on a team's abbreviation in this view to load up that team in the Team Rosters section.

Positional Grid

The "Grid" section of the page is a table that simply lists the number of players each team has drafted at each position.  You can use this table to quickly determine which positions are still in demand.  Note that a player is counted only at his primary position (the position that is listed first on his card).

Chat

You can chat real-time with everyone else present at the Draft.  The system will also post a message into the chat for each pick that is made.

There are sound effects that play with each message posted to the chat, which you can turn on and off by clicking the speaker icon at the bottom left of the chat section.

Salary Cap

For the first time, Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online's Live Draft will incorporate the Salary Cap.  This means that for each pick you make, you have to keep in mind that ultimately you'll need to be able to fit all 25 players under the Salary Cap for your particular league.  Note that the Draft will not let you pick a player that would leave you with less than enough cash to afford a minimum-salaried player at each of your remaining roster spots.  The cheapest a player can be is $500,000 ($.50M) in all player sets except the Mystery Card sets, where the minimum salary is $750,000 ($.75M).

There is also the option to play with up to a $999,000,000 salary cap, which is accepted to mean "unlimited".

Multiple cards per player in the All-Time Greats player set

While any given individual player may have multiple cards available in the All-Time Greats player sets - for example, Babe Ruth's 1920, 1921, and 1927 cards are available, each with its own price - only one card for each player may be owned in a given league at any time.  In the Live Draft, you have the option to draft any specific one of a player's cards, and when you do, all other cards for that player will disappear from the Player Research list and Queue.

Commissioner

The creator of a league automatically has the role of Commissioner, which gives him special powers.

  • Before the draft, he has the ability to change the start time of the draft as necessary.  When a change is made, an email is automatically sent to all members of the league notifying them of the change.
  • Before the draft, he may change the Turn Duration setting.
  • During the draft, the Commissioner has the ability to Pause and Unpause the draft, and also to Rewind the draft to any pick in the past.  This would allow him to resolve any issues, either technical, or at his discretion (e.g. if someone made a pick that violates the league's custom rules).

Troubleshooting

The Chat window says, "Cookies are required for this chat."

  • Change your browser's settings per the instructions below, and then reload the page.
    • Safari, Mac OS - Safari->Preferences->Privacy->Block cookies and other website data: Never
    • Safari, iOS - Settings app->Safari->Block Cookies: Never

The clock stops running/gets stuck, or the draft is generally unresponsive.

  • Make sure your browser is among the recommended browsers listed here.
  • Try reloading the page.

After the Draft

Draft Results

At any time after the draft is completed, you may view a full pick-by-pick log of the draft while logged in to your team back on the main SOM Baseball Online site by clicking on Your League -> Live Draft Log.

Setting Your Ballpark

In a Live Draft league, you choose your home ballpark after the draft, at any time before 11:59pm ET on Sunday night, the night before your season starts on Monday night.  If you haven't chosen a ballpark before that deadline, a random one will be assigned to you.

As always, you are guaranteed to receive your ballpark choice, and there may be multiple teams with the same ballpark in the same league.

Waivers

Just like Auto List Draft leagues, you have a choice between using the standard Waivers system or skipping it (i.e. "Frenzy") when creating a new Live Draft league.  The Waivers system works exactly like it always does - all teams have a chance to submit Waiver claims on undrafted players which get processed at the Waivers deadline - except the Waiver order is set to be the reverse of the Draft Order.

For Live Draft leagues, the option is set to use the standard Waivers system by default for the sake of consistency and simplicity, even though the Live Draft by nature lessens the need for it.  If you'd like to skip straight to the first-come, first-served free agent "Frenzy" after your Live Draft, simply change this setting when creating your league.

Future improvements

Although we are proud of having designed and built this new Live Draft from the ground up, we realize that it has the potential to be even better.  We've already surpassed the experience of the previous incarnation of our Live Draft, with a much improved interface tailor-made for SOM Baseball Online.  But we do have plans to improve it even further, including giving the Commissioner more customization options, expanding the Queue system, and allowing for more casual drafts.

Suggestions are always welcome! Let us know what ideas you have for improving the Live Draft by sending us an email at onlinegamesupport@strat-o-matic.com.

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