Autumn Wind

2021 League Charter


Changes from the 2020 League Charter are highlighted in red



Table of Contents


  1. OCFL

1.1   What is the OCFL?

1.2   Vision Statement

1.3   Mission Statement


  1. Autumn Wind Foundation

2.1   What is Autumn Wind?

2.2   Participation

2.3   Participation Requirements

2.4   Conduct

2.5   League Fees


  1. Infrastructure

3.1   Autumn Wind Administration

3.1.1        CEO          Chief Executive Officer

3.1.2        CIO           Chief Information Officer

3.1.3        CFO          Chief Financial Officer

3.2   Board of Directors

3.3   Rules Committee

3.4   Trade Advisory Board


4.      League Structure

4.1   Conference and Divisional Alignment

4.2   Conference and Divisional Seeding

4.3   Schedule Structure

4.4   Playoffs

4.4.1        Qualification

4.4.2        Seeding

4.4.3        Scheduling

4.4.4        Posting of Playoff Game Numbers

4.5   Awards

4.5.1        The Duke

4.5.2        Medals

4.5.3        Sportsman of the Year


  1. Franchise Stewardship

5.1   Coaching Status

5.2   Franchise Designation

5.3   Team Names


  1. Rosters

6.1   Team Roster Sizes

6.2   Positional Requirements

6.3   Positional Requirement Modifications

6.4   Understanding Special Teams Positional Modifications

6.5   Your Responsibility to Position Your Players Correctly

6.6   Forced Cut Draft Compensation

6.7   Injured Reserve

6.8   2021 Opt-Out Special Exemption List


  1. Depth Charts

7.1   Concept

7.2   Distribution and Responsibility

7.3   Designated Starter Usage Rule


  1. Drafting

8.1   Overview

8.2   Process

8.2.1        Draft Delay Penalty

8.3   Draft Pool Eligibility

8.4   Draft Order

8.4.1        Draft Order Tiebreakers

8.5   Passing a Draft Pick

8.6   Supplemental Draft

8.7   Expansion Draft

8.8   Remaining Free Agent Draft


  1. Trading

9.1   Reporting and Review

9.2   Trade Advisory Board Process

9.3   Components

9.4   Trading Season Dates

9.5   First-Year Restriction

9.6   Post-Supplemental Draft Trading

9.7   Future Draft Pick Restriction

9.8   Trading Cliques


  1. Autumn Wind League Rules

10.1       Defense Cards

10.2       Declarations

10.3       Formations

10.3.1    3-4 or 4-3 Defense – One or the other

10.3.2    Designated Starter Usage Requirement

10.3.3    NT/DT and SC/DB Out of Position Reductions

10.3.4    3-3-5 and 4-2-5 Formation Restriction

10.3.5    FS Blitz Restrictions

10.4        Player Positioning

10.4.1    Left/Right Options (Switchable Positions)

10.4.2    Quarterback Minimum Attempts to Play

10.4.3    Quarterback Starter/Reliever

10.4.4    FB-BB Offense Formation Restriction

10.4.5    Who Can Play Blocking Back?

10.4.6    Halfback Restrictions Playing Blocking Back

10.4.7    TE/BB Can Count as a FB for Roster Purposes

10.4.8    BB and TE/BB Can Play as a FB

10.4.9    Slot Cornerbacks Can only play 5th or 6th DB

10.5       Rental Players

10.5.1    Rental Kick and Punt Returners

10.6       Restriction Violations


  1. Strat-O-Matic Game Rules

11.1       Preset SOM Game Rules

11.2       Game Options Coaches Must Set Before Playing

11.3       Which Strat-O-Matic Optional Game Rules Are Used

11.4       Which Strat-O-Matic Optional Game Rules Are Not Used

11.5       How the Strat-O-Matic Options Screen Should Look


  1. Before, During, and After Game Requirements

12.1       Pre-Game Files

12.2       Game Length

12.3       Spectators

12.4       Post-Game Files


1.   OCFL


1.1                                  What is the OCFL?

The OCFL,  OOPS Computer Football Leagues, is a confederation of separate computer football leagues played over a wide-area network.  Autumn Wind (AW), Battle Royale (BR), Frozen Tundra (FT), Gridiron Gladiators (GG), Spring Fever (SF), and Summer Thunder (ST) currently comprise the OCFL confederation.  Individuals in good standing may participate in any number of the OCFL leagues contingent upon team availability.  Information for each league is kept separately on the OCFL website.  The administration of each league is handled by separate governing bodies.  The information contained herein applies to the Autumn Wind (AW) League only.


1.2                                  Vision Statement

The OCFL shall continue from season-to-season and year-to-year, providing its members with a constantly improving “fraternal” computer football environment.

The proper establishment and maintenance of a website as a public relations tool will display the superior level of enjoyment attained in our league.  The website will be the centerpiece for information and execution of nearly all league functions such as: league membership, league and game rules, expansion, rookie, and supplemental drafts, team rosters and transactions, and posting of stats and correspondence.

Additionally, the league will use a message board for the purpose of posting important league, draft, and team information.  League members are responsible for reading and knowing the content of both the website and the message board.


1.3                                  Mission Statement

The goal of the OCFL is to provide an enjoyable computer football league experience for its members through the use of experienced administration and advanced technology.  This goal is to be achieved through:


2.   Autumn Wind Foundation


2.1                                  What is Autumn Wind?

Autumn Wind, also referred to as AW, is a 30-team draft/keeper league in the OCFL group of leagues.  We draft players and keep them on individually operated rosters from season to season.  AW is one of many leagues within a greater organization called the OCFL.  AW has its own governing body and its own philosophy separate from the other OCFL leagues that each AW league participant is responsible for understanding.  Autumn Wind uses the Strat-O-Matic Computer Football Game to play each season.


2.2                                  Participation

Participation in Autumn Wind is a privilege, not a right.  There is no tenure.  There is no upper class.  All participants are equal, but organization, direction, and authority rest with those best-suited to do it.  At no time will league participation exceed thirty people.  Participation is for the current season only and renews by invitation.  Events that constitute issues of questionable conduct are purely the decision and discretion of the CEO.  The participation privilege is revocable at any time.

Because we cannot be sure that employees of Strat-O-Matic, Strat-O-Matic Football game designers, or members of the play test group do not have “inside game information” not generally available to all league members, such individuals will not be invited to play in Autumn Wind.  A Statement of Affirmation regarding non-employment with Strat-O-Matic and non-affiliation with the Strat-O-Matic Football Play Test Committee will be included in the invitation sent to each prospective coach prior to participating in the upcoming season.


2.3                                  Participation Requirements

Participation in Autumn Wind requires adherence to league and game rules and the purchase of certain game components and technology services.

Autumn Wind league rules are defined throughout this document.  Strict adherence to all league rules and any published addendum is mandatory.  It is each member’s responsibility to know and abide by all league rules.  If you have questions, email the CEO (; it’s his job to help you.

Autumn Wind is played using the most recent version of the Strat-O-Matic computer football game.  To find out which version you are running: start the game, click on Help on the menu bar, then click on About.  You must download the latest game patches.  They can be found in the Patches section on the Strat-O-Matic game site.

Each league member must have their own licensed copy of the game.  This includes season licenses for the current year and the previous year. The need for owning the previous season is due to the fact that we use the previous year punt and kick return cards, referred to as rental cards, to avoid roster deficiencies.  It is strongly recommended that each member purchase the card image viewer option in addition to the computer game.  The game and card image viewer can be purchased at the SOM Football Game Order Page.

At no time may any coach receive any game strategy or tactical play assistance from any other person during an Autumn Wind game.

In addition to owning the game, each member must also have the following technology services at their disposal:

·         Internet access with certain gaming ports (6501) available,

·         a PC meeting the requirements necessary to play the latest version of the Strat-O-Matic game,

·         Slack Team Messaging Software to participate in the drafts


2.4                                  Conduct

            At no time will poor conduct be tolerated.  Poor conduct includes, but is not limited to, swearing, threats, verbal abuse, unethical trading, slow play, intentional illegal player changes, and/or the consistent use of illegal formations during a game.  Conduct issues will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.  We have people waiting to play in this league so we’re not going to tolerate any crap from anyone.  Again, participation in Autumn Wind is a privilege, not a right.  Don’t abuse your privilege.


2.5                                  League Fees

Each member must pay their respective league fees in advance of each season to be eligible to participate. Members may pay by PayPal on-line ( or by check mailed directly to the league.  The league mailing address is: P.O. Box 2160, Mission Viejo, CA, 92690.  The Autumn Wind League fee has not changed since our inception in 2004.  It remains $25 USD per season by cash, check, or PayPal.  Canadian coaches must use PayPal.  This is because our US bank charges us $35.00 just to process an out of country check (we all should have been bankers).  To make special league fee arrangements, contact the CEO.  All such requests will be treated with total confidentiality.

In order to trade a draft pick (rounds two through ten) from the next season (one year ahead from the year about to be played), a coach must pay the league fees for that next season prior to completing the trade.


3.   Infrastructure


3.1                                  Autumn Wind Administration

            A certain Steve Sabol/John Facenda narration warns “the Autumn Wind is a pirate…”. Well here it is also an oligarchy, not a democracy.  There is no league-wide voting.  Participants have no authority or power, only responsibility for their actions and commitment to finish what they started.  Again, “Participation is a privilege, not a right.”

This league is directed by nine individuals with over 300 combined years of strategy football gaming experience.  It is administered at an executive level by two very long-time Strat-O-Matic football fanatics with over 80 years of combined experience.  The positions they occupy are:


3.1.1                            CEO - Chief Executive Officer

This is the position of ultimate responsibility in the league.  All administrative decisions are approved here.  Developing marketing plans and their implementation are critical; choosing the right avenues through which to get our story to the outside world.  Advertising, membership, and recruitment are ongoing responsibilities of this position as well.  Research of references and membership application processing is handled here.  Developing the master schedule (Annual Calendar) is also performed by the CEO.

The CEO handles selection and administration of the Trade Advisory Board (TAB).

This position also investigates misbehavior of every form and takes decisive action.  As mentioned before, it is a privilege to participate in Autumn Wind.  Those who abuse the privilege end up looking for other leagues to play in.

Finally, this position takes information from the appropriate executive groups (Rules Committee and Trade Advisory Board), presenting the results to the league through this charter and by email.

Final decision-making and ultimate responsibility for all league administration rests here.


This position is held by Larry Davis


3.1.2                            CIO - Chief Information Officer

This position is responsible for all the statistical duties associated with the league.  All games, stats, rosters, trades, records, league leaders, drafts, and other data are to be managed by this position.  Choosing an appropriate database solution and then creating and maintaining it properly is required.  Posting all this data to the website and doing it in a professional manner so as to give the league a "polished look" is expected.  Pertinent team and game data is also emailed to league members by the CIO.  The CIO publishes game files on a quarterly basis, and league files at their discretion.

The tracking and status of games played and to be played will be handled here.  Games which slip into the second two weeks of each respective schedule quarter without being played, will become subject for review.  The CIO will wield a whip in the form of email and/or telephone calls to keep coaches in communication and get games played on schedule.


This position is held by Paul Mankiewicz


3.1.3                            CFO - Chief Financial Officer

This position is responsible for tracking and reporting all income and expenses associated with the league.  All entry fees, fines, purchases, other financially related data are to be managed by this position.  Choosing an appropriate financial database solution and then creating and maintaining it properly is required.  The sharing of this financial information with the Board of Directors, and with the league in general when directed by the CEO, is also required work for this position.  This position does not execute control over any revenue or expenditures, it only tracks relevant information and presents it to the designated league personnel when required.  This position is responsible for tracking the payment of individual league fees and arranging conditions for payment with all league participants.


This position is held by Garry Nagata


            There are three groups which perform responsibilities vital to league operation.  They are:


3.2                                  Board of Directors

            The Board of Directors consists of eight lifetime members.  These members meet annually (usually in May or June) to decide the structure of the upcoming Autumn Wind league.  By structure we mean, which positions are necessary for the operation of the league and who will occupy those positions.  To become a board member requires a unanimous vote of acceptance by all existing board members.  Removal from the board also requires a unanimous vote of all other board members.

Beginning in 2016, one returning member of the league will be invited to participate in the annual rules meeting as a “Director-at-Large.”  This individual will have full non-voting participatory rights at that rules meeting.  The Board of Directors will convene or communicate prior to the annual rules meeting to select the “Director-at-Large.”


The Board of Directors are: John Baldwin, Rick Byrens, Larry Davis,
Paul Mankiewicz, Garry Nagata, Mike Ramos, Jim Reilly, and Butch Shramek

The 2021 Director-at-Large is Ed Carpenter


3.3                                  Rules Committee

This group meets once annually to address, existing and proposed, league and game rules.  The members of this group are chosen annually by the CEO.  Because some members are not local to the site of the annual rules meeting, teleconferencing may be used to include the remote members.  The opinions of the committee are discussed with the CEO and a decision is made by the CEO regarding a rule addition, change, or deletion.  Coaches are encouraged to submit their ideas for league changes to the CEO for discussion by this committee.


3.4                                  Trade Advisory Board

This ten-member group reviews every proposed trade and provides detailed opinions to the coaches involved in the trade.  The members of this group are chosen annually by the CEO.  The TAB does not approve or reject trades, only the CEO and the trading coaches do that.  Instead, the TAB provides their outspoken opinion about a trade to provide both coaches with an opportunity to read and consider different viewpoints about their proposed trade.  The TAB process is intended to take approximately 48 hours to allow trading coaches a chance to avoid “trader’s remorse”.  Members of the TAB are asked to keep their TAB membership a secret and not disclose it to others.


4.   League Structure


4.1                                  Conference and Divisional Alignment

            The league consists of 30 teams arranged in two conferences, with three divisions in each conference, and five teams in each division.  The structure of the conference, divisions, and team placement is as follows:


Conference I

Division 1

Division 3

Division 6


















Conference II

Division 2

Division 4

Division 5

















4.2                                  Conference and Divisional Seeding

Seeding for conference and divisional alignment is always based on the previous season order of finish and record.  First seed (#1) is the previous year’s OOPer Bowl champion.  Second seed (#2)  is the OOPer Bowl loser.  It is hard to call it “loser” after finishing 2nd out of 30.  Third seed (#3) and all remaining seeds are determined by winning percentage with ties broken by:

1.      Head-to-head record (All tied teams do not have to have played each other)

2.      Schedule difficulty (Harder schedule gets a higher number.  i.e. #7 is higher than #8)

3.      Luck

Expansion franchises obtain seeds based on the average of the projected seeds of the vacated franchises. For example: if franchises ranked 24 and 30 are vacated, the resulting expansion franchises will be seeded before seed 27.  The math: ((24+30)/2=27).

Because the expansion franchises are seeded before the numeric position, they draft after the team seeded at that position in the Supplemental and Remaining draft.  If the expansion team position falls in the middle of a tied draft group, then the expansion team drafts after all teams in the tied group (Supplemental and Remaining Free Agent Drafts only).

As mentioned separately, expansion teams select their rookie draft picks in the expansion draft.  For example, in the expansion draft, an expansion coach may select an available draft pick named "Franchise 22 #1."  They don't select a player, just the draft pick.  The actual player will be selected when the expansion coach exercises the selected draft pick during the Free Agent (aka Rookie) draft.


4.3                                  Schedule Structure

            The 16-game schedule will be divided into four quarters of four games each.  The four quarters are referred to as: Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4.  The schedules for each season are preset.  The current and previous season league and individual team schedules can be found on the website  Each team must play all games of each quarter by the schedule deadline.  Failure to complete a game by the quarter ending date will result in the loss of a future draft pick as a penalty. Determination as to which coach (or both) is responsible for the game failing to be played by the quarter ending date will be determined by the CEO based on email trails of the two coaches. Repeated intentional failure to complete games by the quarter ending date may result in the coach being permanently replaced by another coach.

Over its history, Autumn Wind has used a variety of scheduling methods.  Currently the “Baldwin Straight Sixteen Schedule” is in use.  There are no byes and all teams play four games per quarter.  Each team plays eight divisional games, four conference games, and four cross-conference games.

Autumn Wind teams are seeded for scheduling purposes by the same method used for divisional seeding.

4.4                                  Playoffs


4.4.1                            Qualification

Each conference will have six playoff seeds.  The six seeds will be awarded based on divisional championship and regular season record.  This means that three division winners in each conference will make the playoffs.  Additionally, three wildcard teams will make the playoffs based on record and possibly certain tie-breaking methods.

The playoff positions are determined by regular season record with ties broken by the two or three team methods defined below:


Two-Team Tiebreakers

1.      Head-to-head record.

2.      Divisional record (used to determine divisional, not wildcard, winners only).

3.      Conference record.

4.      Schedule difficulty (tougher schedule wins the tiebreaker).

5.      Coin toss.


More than Two-Team Tiebreakers

1.      Head-to-head record sweep.  If one team has beaten all other teams in the tied group, they win the tiebreaker.  Likewise, if one team has lost to all other teams in the group, they lose the tiebreaker.  Only remove the tiebreaker sweep loser from the group if there is no sweep winner.  All teams must have played at least one other team in the tied group, or head-to-head is not used as a wildcard tiebreaker.

2.      Head-to-head record percentage.   All teams must have played at least one other team in the tied group, or head-to-head is not used as a wildcard tiebreaker.  There does not need to be an equal number of common games between the tied teams.

3.      Divisional record (used to determine divisional, not wildcard, winners only).

4.      Conference record.

5.      Schedule difficulty (tougher schedule wins the tiebreaker).

6.      Coin toss.

In tiebreaking, after a team is removed from the tied group, if teams are still tied, revert to the appropriate section (two team or more than two team) and apply tiebreakers beginning with item one in each section.


4.4.2                            Seeding

Playoff seeding is based on the final season record of each of the six playoff teams.  Only regular season record determines playoff seeding.  The same tiebreaker methods that are used to break wildcard playoff qualification ties are used to break playoff seeding ties.


4.4.3                            Scheduling

The first playoff week, the first and second seeded teams have a bye while seed 6 plays at seed 3, and seed 5 plays at seed 4.  Week two features the lowest remaining seeded team playing at seed 1 and the second lowest seeded team playing at seed 2.  The conference championship game features the lowest rated remaining seed playing at the highest rated remaining seed.  The conference champions then play each other in the OOPer Bowl game,  played at a neutral site.

All playoff game and OOPer Bowl times will be announced and will be made available for spectators to watch online.

Participating playoff game coaches will not receive pre-game files until their game is scheduled and they have notified the league.


4.4.4                            Posting of Playoff Game Numbers

Playoff game coaches must post the Strat-O-Matic Game connection number in the Autumn Wind Slack General communication channel.


4.5                                  Awards

            A variety of awards are given out for each season.  These awards include the following:


4.5.1                            The Duke

The Autumn Wind Championship Trophy is called “The Duke”.  This is a perpetual award that will attempt to be sent to the league champion but may remain with the CEO if it cannot be shipped and returned safely.  The Duke is displayed online and at the Annual Awards Meeting, if a meeting occurs.  Due to recent custom law changes and associated charges, coaches living outside the United States will not have The Duke shipped to them.  However, they may receive a nice 8x10 glossy showing their name engraved on The Duke.


4.5.2                            Medals

The top four finishing teams in Autumn Wind win medals.  The league champion wins the gold medal, the league runner-up the silver medal, and the two conference championship losing teams each take bronze medals.


4.5.3                            Sportsman of the Year

Sportsman of the Year is presented to the coach who has shown superior sportsmanship throughout the season.  This is truly the most honorable award in Autumn Wind as this is the type of league participant that we desire to have all coaches be.  This award comes with a $50 gift certificate to the Sports gift shop of choice (e.g. NFL Shop).


Awards are presented annually at the Awards Ceremony in August if available in time and if a meeting occurs.


5.   Franchise Stewardship


5.1                                  Coaching Status

            A “tenured” coach is one who has completed the entire immediately previous season (draft through final week of play).  Tenured coaches may trade but may not participate in the expansion draft.

            A “legacy” coach is one who has completed an entire, but not the immediately previous, season and is in good standing.  Legacy coaches may not trade but will participate in the expansion draft if conditions create one.

            An ”interim” coach is one who took over a franchise mid-way through the immediately previous season.  Interim coaches may trade if they retain the previous season team or may voluntarily participate in the expansion draft and not trade that season.

            A “rookie” coach is anyone who does not meet the criteria of the other three coaching statuses.  Rookie coaches may not trade but will participate in the expansion draft or assume a single franchise if only one is available.


5.2                                  Franchise Designation

            Autumn Wind is a draft/keeper league.  You draft players for your team and retain them for the next season if you are invited to return. Tenured coaches who wish to return for the next season automatically return to their franchise after accepting a league invitation.  Interim coaches may return to the franchise they coached in the immediately previous season after accepting a league invitation, or they may voluntarily enter the expansion draft if conditions create one.  If an interim coach enters the expansion draft, they may not trade during that season.  Legacy and rookie coaches automatically enter the expansion draft if conditions create one.  Otherwise they become the steward of a single vacated franchise.

An expansion draft will occur if more than one franchise is “vacated” for the upcoming season.  Vacated means that the previous season’s coach is not returning to the franchise they coached.  If two or more franchises are vacated, then an expansion draft pool consisting of all players and draft picks of the vacated franchises will be created.  The term “expansion coach” will refer to all coaches participating in the expansion draft.  These coaches may be of interim, legacy, or rookie coaching status, but never tenured status.


5.3                                  Team Names

            Members may name their team any name used by the following leagues: NFL (1960-Present), CFL, USFL, WFL, WLAF/NFLEL, XFL, or Arena Football.  NFL names are preferred but team names chosen from the other leagues are acceptable.  Once a member has chosen a team name he automatically retains that team name, if he so chooses, from year-to-year as long as he remains in good standing.  Team names may be requested as soon as a member submits his membership application.  Team names are assured once a member’s league fees are paid (re: when the check clears).  All team name requests must be submitted to the CEO via email for approval.  Coaches who desire a team name currently owned by another franchise should send a request for team name seniority to the CEO.  Once a team name is abandoned, new ownership of that team name will be based on seniority of request.

            New coaches, or coaches changing their team’s name, must submit their new team name prior to each season’s lottery/draft.  Coaches are free to change the name of their team from season to season.  However, once the lottery/draft has started, team names for that season are fixed.  Interim coaches may not change the team name of the franchise they are assuming control of that season.  Coaches desiring a team name that is already taken should send their request to the CEO.  Once the team name becomes available, the right to have it falls to the coach who made the earliest request.


6.   Rosters


6.1                                  Team Roster Sizes

            Team rosters must consist of a minimum of 43 and a maximum of 53 players.  Teams must also conform to individual position and positional group minimum and maximum requirements.  These requirements must be met by the announced league final roster date, and be adhered to throughout the season until completion of the championship game.  Additionally, maximum roster limitations for positions K, P, LK, LP, KR, and PR must be met before the start of the first draft day and adhered to at all times until the completion of the championship game.

Pre-draft trading in excess of positional limitations is allowed.   However, to conduct a pre-draft trade requires payment of the next season’s league fees by both participating teams, and the necessary TAB review to complete the trade.


6.2                                  Positional Requirements

            Non-rated players (except those on the Injured Reserve) do not count for, or against, the minimum or maximum positional requirements, but do count against your 53-player team limit.  All teams must conform to the following minimum and maximum requirements of rated players by position:




Special Teams




























































































The designations DT3 and MLB3 refer to a 3-4 defense while DT4 and MLB4 refer to a 4-3 defense.


Failure to comply with the positional minimums or maximums as of the final roster cut date will result in the loss of a future draft pick as a penalty.  These penalties are cumulative.  On your first offense you lose a future round ten pick.  Your next offense costs you a round nine pick and so on.  Do this right and never lose any picks!  If you have a question, ask the CEO or CIO to help you.


6.3                                  Positional Requirement Modifications

Players may be counted against minimum/maximum requirements at any of the positions for which they are rated.  The following conditions modify how players are rated for certain minimum/maximum requirements:


1.      FB/BB, TE/BB, and BB (Pure Blocking Back) may (at the coaches’ option) be considered either a FB or TE for positional requirements.  In other words, if the player is rated as a FB/BB, TE/BB or purely as a BB, you can roster them as a FB or as a TE within the limitations above.

2.      SE (Split Ends), FL (Flankers), and SE/FL (Split End/Flankers), are all considered WR.  See the League Rules on Wide Receivers to see how these players are assigned for you by the league.

3.      NT (Nose Tackles) are considered a DT.  NTs can play DT at a reduction of –1 to their defender rating and DTs can play NT at the same reduction.  Players rated at both NT and DT do not suffer a reduction.

4.      LILB (Left Inside Linebacker) and RILB (Right Inside Linebacker) are considered a MLB.

5.      LB (Linebackers) are considered a MLB or OLB.

6.      DB (Defensive Backs) are considered a CB or S.

7.      SC (Slot Cornerbacks) are considered a CB for roster purposes only.  For game and depth chart purposes they are nickel and dime back players only.

8.      Players rated at any Special Teams position and non-special teams position count against both the Special Teams position and the non-Special Teams position. 


6.4                                  Understanding Special Teams Positional Modifications

Understanding the requirements of the LK, LP, KR and PR is extremely important.  A player rated as a SE/PR for example, counts against both your minimum and maximum WR and PR requirements.  The same is true of players rated as KR.  If you have questions, consult with the CIO for roster clarification before drafting or trading!

If a requirement is exceeded after the announced league final roster date, the offending team must adjust their roster immediately by cutting players until the proper maximum is reached.  Trades, involving players in excess of positional requirements, negotiated after the condition of excess are void.  K (Kickers), P (Punters), LK (Lone Kick Returners),  LP (Lone Punt Returners), KR (Kick Returners), or PR (Punt Returners), selected during the Draft may require an immediate release of a similarly positioned players to accommodate the draft pick.

            If a team fails to get the minimum necessary players at any of the following positions (K, P, LK, LP, KR, or PR) by the final roster submission date, the worst available player at the respective position from the previous year’s card set will be assigned to the offending team’s roster to play the necessary position.  If the addition of such a player causes the offending team to exceed the 53 player maximum, the offending team will be required to make an immediate cut.

            Beginning in 2017, a team can promote a KR or PR on their roster to an LK or LP respectively by using a current-year draft pick.  Only KRs and PRs who meet the criteria for being a rental player in our draft can be promoted.  If your KR or PR has a touchdown on their card, they can’t be promoted.  Likewise, if the average yardage on their card is better than the best rental player round averages, they can’t be promoted.  The cost to promote is the same as the player’s return average would cost to acquire a rental returner in the rookie draft and promote that return to an LK or LP.  Because the round by round values for rental returners changes from year-to-year, the actual promotion cost will published annually here in the charter.  The costs currently are:



KR Average

PR Average


Less than 19

Less than 5


Less than 18

Less than 4


Less than 17

Less than 3


Less than 16

Less than 2


Less than 15

Less than 1


6.5                                  Your Responsibility to Position your Players Correctly

Each coach is responsible for checking their own team in the league manager file to verify positional assignments.  If a coach has a player out of position in a game, there is a penalty to be exercised immediately and without option:

If an opposing coach notices that you are playing a player out of position or using an illegal formation, you are required to call a timeout and reassign the player to his correct position or choose a correct formation.  The timeout requirement is not optional.  If your opposing coach mentions the error, you must take a timeout.  This is not a situation where your opposing coach has an option either.  This is a league mandated rule.  Your opposing coach is not a "hard ass" for requiring the timeout.  He's not requiring it, the league office is.  If you can't understand how to read your own roster and position your players correctly, get help.  If you don't get help and then get caught with a guy out of position or using an illegal formation, well, suck-it-up and call the timeout.

The major problems in this area rest with three formations.  Avoiding these problems may assist you in not having to burn timeouts needlessly.

The first common formation error is placing the wrong backs in the Pro Set formation.  The Pro Set formation must have a FB and a HB, not two HBs.  Even though the SOM game will let you place two HBs in the backfield in a Pro Set, Autumn Wind rules do not allow this placement.  The only time you may use two HBs in a backfield without a FB is when using a qualified HB to play BB.  See the Autumn Wind Game Rules section for the HB/BB formation rule.

The second common formation error is misuse of the 3-3-5 defense.  There are restrictions on the use of the 3-3-5 defense.  See the Autumn Wind Game Rules section for the 3-3-5 restrictions.

The third common formation error is misuse of the 4-2-5 defense.  The same restrictions apply to the use of the 4-2-5 defense that apply to the use of the 3-3-5 defense.


6.6                                  Forced Cut Draft Compensation

Any team which is forced by roster maximum positional limitations to cut a kicker, punter, kick returner, or punt returner, prior to the draft will receive a compensatory draft pick at the point in which their player is select in the Free Agent draft.  For example, if San Diego is forced to cut a punter before the 2010 Free Agent Draft, and that punter is selected in the fourth round of the 2010 Free Agent Draft by another team at pick 115 overall, San Diego will receive an additional draft pick following pick 115. This technically increases the draft process by one pick.  Thus, the draft may have more than 300 selections in total.  This compensatory draft pick cannot be traded or negotiated in a trade until after the actual selection is made.  Forced cut players selected in the Supplemental Draft do not provide any compensatory draft picks to any team.


Lawyers please note: If the same team who is forced to cut the player prior to the draft, selects him in the Free Agent Draft, no compensatory pick is awarded.


6.7                                  Injured Reserve

            Each team has a non-roster limit of three players they may retain.  The conditions of the Injured Reserve are as follows:

1.      Only non-rated SOM players may be on a team’s IR

2.      No more than three players may ever be on a team’s IR at any time.

3.      Players on the IR may remain there forever as long as they are not “rated” by Strat-O-Matic

4.      Players on the IR cannot be traded or used in any trade capacity (e.g. “…I’ll send you the rights to Derrick Brooks from my IR.”)

6.8                                  2021 Opt-Out Special Exemption List

            Players who opted out of the NFL 2021 season, if not rated by SOM, will be placed on a special exemption list.  The following conditions apply to players on the special exemption list:

1.      They belong to the designated Autumn Wind team specified next to their name on the list

2.      They are not on the 2021 active or injured reserve rosters for their Autumn Wind team.

3.      They cannot be traded or cut off the special exemption list.

4.      They will return to their Autumn Wind team roster following the 2021 AW season.



7.   Depth Charts


7.1                                  Concept

            Over the course of our league existence, it has been noted that some coaches have changed the starting position of switchable players (e.g. LOLB/ROLB, LDT/RDT, FS/DB1, etc.) from game to game.  This is not legal. In an effort to stop this illegal movement, teams will complete a league document known as a “Depth Chart”.


7.2                                  Distribution and Responsibility

The Depth Chart, in the form of an Excel spreadsheet template, will be sent to coaches following roster completion but before the first week of play.  Coaches will return the spreadsheet before a specified date so that the Depth Charts can be posted on the website for all to view.  The Depth Chart spreadsheet contains all possible offensive and defensive formations.  Coaches must assign the starting player at each position for each formation.  These players are just the starters.  A coach may substitute a backup for the starter during the formation selection phase of play (Exception, see 10.3.2).  However, obvious backups may not be designated as the starter in the Depth Chart spreadsheet.


7.3                                  Defense Card Eligibility

The 3-4 and 4-3 formations will be used to determine defensive card eligibility and starting position players.  (See section 10.3.2).


8.   Drafting


8.1                                  Overview

Autumn Wind consists of five drafts every season:

1)      Expansion Draft – Rookie, legacy, and interim coaches (not electing to keep their interim team from the previous season), participate in this draft in August.  Tenured coaches do not participate in this draft.

2)      Free Agent Draft Day One – All coaches (assuming they have draft picks in rounds 1 through 5) participate in this draft.

3)      Free Agent Draft Day Two – All coaches (assuming they have draft picks in rounds 6 through 10) participate in this draft.

4)      Supplemental Draft – Only coaches whose teams have positions that do not meet the minimum roster requirements participate in this draft.  Eligible teams may only draft players at the positions where they are below the minimum requirements.  Eligible teams may only draft the number of players to bring them to the minimum requirement.

5)      Remaining Draft – All coaches may participate in this draft at their option.


8.2                                  Process

All teams will be invited to join a Slack Team room on the mornings of the draft.  The chatroom will be a broadcast source only, not a dialogue location.  Communication between drafting coaches and the CEO must occur in a secondary chat room or telephone in the event of a Slack failure.  Do not try to communicate in the primary draft chat room!  The primary draft chat room is for the selection of players by team only – not for dialogue.  Confirmation of each pick is not official until the CEO or Draft Coordinator announces “the next team on the clock is…”.

Each 1st round draft selection will have five minutes to be made.  Each 2nd round draft pick will have 90 seconds to be made. The idea is for coaches to have more time to discuss trade considerations with other coaches via IM during their first and second round selections.  Only rounds one and two have additional time allotted per pick.  In rounds 3 through 10, each coach will have one minute (that’s 1 minute!) to make their selection.

If a team fails to make a selection within the allotted time (and technology failure is not to blame), the CEO or timekeeper will announce “the next team on the clock is…”, and at that point the next team may make a selection.

A team should never announce a draft selection until they are put “on the clock.”

Trades may be executed during the draft, but only negotiated in the secondary chat room or separately.  When a trade is announced, it must be done at the draft pick to be traded.  If no draft pick is traded, the trade must wait to be announced until after the draft.  When announcing a trade at a draft pick, it should be announced in a fashion like this: “TRADE - The Green Bay Packers trade their 1st round choice (12th Overall) to the Shreveport Steamer for …”. 

Each team must furnish a phone number they can be reached at during the draft.  If technical difficulties occur during a draft, all drafting may pause until the error is corrected or disconnected user is re-connected.  Such a condition will be broadcast on the drafting chat room screen.

The Free Agent Draft, also called “Rookie Draft” will consist of two days of five rounds of drafting.  The two Free Agent Draft days are the Saturday before Labor Day and the Saturday two weeks following.  Please check the Autumn Wind Draft Workbook or Autumn Wind Calendar on our website ( for the exact draft dates and start times.

If a team has failed to make a draft pick by the end of a draft (not each round), there will be a five-minute period at the end of that draft day draft for the team to select an eligible player.


8.2.1                            Draft Delay Penalty

If, during either of the Free Agent Draft (Rookie Draft) days, a team attempts to draft a player who is not in the Free Agent Draft Pool, or attempts to draft a player who has already been selected in either day of the Free Agent Draft, there is a one pick delay assessed.  This means if you make this mistake, you have to wait until the next team on the clock has made their selection before you can make your corrected selection.  Naturally, another error means you wait again.  Pay attention to the draft as it happens.  Remove selected players from your draft lists.


8.3                                  Draft Pool Eligibility

The Autumn Wind Free Agent Drafts consist of a total of 10 rounds of 30 teams, or until all un-owned, rated, Strat-O-Matic players have been selected, if that number is less than 300.  This might be an uneven distribution (Total number of SOM rated players / 30) of picks; we know that.  But the draft order is in reverse order of how teams finished the season before, so only the poorer teams by record can improve by the uneven number of players relative to the draft.  We like it that way.

Exception: Not all players will be drafted. Because of positional limitations, there will be 2 kickers, 2 punters, and possibly some other players not drafted at the conclusion of Free Agent Draft Day Two.

Any excess rated players not selected by the end of round ten will be placed in the Supplemental Draft Pool.  If not selected in the Supplemental Draft, any excess rated players will be placed in the Remaining Free Agent Draft Pool.


8.4                                  Draft Order

Draft order will be determined in the following way:




Draft Positions


Non-playoff teams



Wildcard Weekend losers



Divisional Playoff losers



Conference Championship losers



OOPER Bowl teams



Team placement within each group will be handled in reverse order of win-loss percentage from the previous year with ties broken by:


8.4.1                            Draft Order Tiebreakers

1.      Head-to-head record

2.      Schedule difficulty (Easier schedule drafts higher)

3.      Luck


            The head-to-head tie-breaker will only be used if all tied teams played at least one other team in the tied group.  Tied teams within a group rotate from round to round in a “one-step-up” per round order with the highest team dropping to the bottom of the tied group in the next round.

Expansion teams select their Free Agent Draft picks in the expansion draft (See 8.6).  For example, in the expansion draft, an expansion coach may select an available draft pick named "Franchise 22 #1."  They don't select a player, just the draft pick.  The actual player will be selected when the expansion coach exercises the selected draft pick during the Free Agent Draft.


8.5                                  Passing a Draft Pick

            Coaches may elect to “pass” on a draft pick.  However, at the end of rounds 5 and 10, any unselected draft picks are lost.  This avoids the problem of giving an advantage to teams selecting near the end of round five on the first draft day.  It is recommended that no team pass a draft pick.  Think of it this way, you may be satisfied with your roster, but what happens if someone else has that team next year.  Pick as many players as you can.


8.6                                  Supplemental Draft

            After teams have been initially reduced to 53 man rosters less players necessary to meet roster minimums, there will be a “Supplemental Draft” consisting of the remaining free agents.  The time and date of this draft will be announced to the league.  This draft is conducted by the CEO.  Each team wishing to participate, and qualifying to participate, sends a list of players in order of preference (derived from the Supplemental Draft Pool) to the CEO via email.  Only teams who have minimum positional requirements to meet may participate in the Supplemental Draft.  Participating teams may only select players at the positions where they require players to meet minimum roster requirements.  Once a team has met its minimum requirements at a position, they may not select more players at that position in the Supplemental Draft.  Each team will be capped at a maximum of 53 SOM-rated players or less depending on positional distribution.

Because expansion franchises are seeded before the average numeric position of ranked vacated teams, they draft after the team seeded at that position in the Supplemental Draft.   If the expansion seed position falls in the middle of a tied draft group, then the expansion teams draft after all teams in the tied group.

Once the Supplemental Draft is complete, a list of players selected in the draft will be added to the applicable team rosters and published to the league.

            The purpose of the Supplemental Draft is to allow teams to select players to help meet minimum roster requirements only – not to improve the quality of a team roster.  Therefore, no players may be cut from a roster to create a deficit and thus allow a team to participate in the Supplemental Draft.

Supplemental Draft picks cannot be traded and players acquired in the Supplemental Draft may not be traded during the season in which they are acquired.

            Multi-position players may be selected as long as one of their positions is required to meet deficit positional minimums.

Players with special teams ratings may never be selected by a team if the selection exceeds any special teams maximum.


8.7                                  Expansion Draft

An expansion draft will permit coaches designated as “expansion coaches” to select players and associated draft picks from the expansion draft pool.  The order of expansion draft selection will be serpentine (e.g. 123-321-123-3.., etc.) .  The assignment of expansion draft order position will be done by lottery.  Lottery  numbers are from 1-100.  Lottery numbers are determined by some form of random decimal creation.  This might be the roll of percentile dice, the selection of a particular stock and it’s sale of stock in thousands, etc.  At the time of the lottery, the coach with the lowest lottery number chooses their draft position first.  Coaches choose each available draft position until all draft positions are chosen.

The date and time of the expansion draft will be announced on the website.  To participate in the expansion draft, each coach must have paid his entry fee for the upcoming season.


8.8                                  Remaining Free Agent Draft

After the Supplemental draft, a draft comprised of all remaining free agent players will be held.  This draft will be an on-line chat room style draft.  All teams will be allowed to participate in this draft.  The order for this draft will be the same as the order for the Free Agent (Rookie) draft.  This draft will be known as the “Remaining Free Agent Draft.”  The date and time of the Remaining Free Agent Draft will be announced on the website.  To participate in the Remaining Free Agent Draft, each coach must have paid his entry fee for the upcoming season.  Like the Supplemental Draft, Remaining Free Agent Draft picks may not be traded.  Players selected in the Remaining Free Agent Draft may not be traded or cut during the season they are drafted.  Players who are cut as a result of roster restrictions during the RFAD draft, may not be selected in the draft by other teams.


9.   Trading


9.1                                  Reporting and Review

All trades must be reported to the CEO by the teams involved in the trade.  Only the coaches of the teams involved in a trade may submit a trade.  No coach may submit or approve a trade for another coach at any time.  All trades will be reviewed by the Trade Advisory Board (TAB) for recommendation, CEO for ethical content, and the CIO for roster conformance.  Only players and draft picks from the current and next scheduled seasons are negotiable instruments in a trade.  To trade a draft pick (rounds two through ten) from the next scheduled season, a coach must pay that next season’s entry fee in advance.


9.2                                  Trade Advisory Board Process

            The Trade Advisory Board (TAB) has been established to provide a completely objective opinion from at least five experienced Autumn Wind/SOM coaches about a given trade.  The point of the TAB is not to make any judgment about the motives or behavior of coaches participating in a trade.  Rather, to provide an objective opinion about the components of the trade and how the trade in question may affect the participating teams and league in general.  The TAB does NOT perform an approval process.  That is done by the CEO after TAB review.  After the opinions of the TAB are provided to both coaches, the coaches may continue or stop a trade by their choice.  A continued trade is then submitted to the CEO for final approval, and finally confirmed by both trading coaches to become official.


9.3                                  Components

            Trades may only be conducted for players and draft picks.  No contingencies may be included in a trade (i.e. a first round pick if a player is rated a “6” next year, 3rd round pick if the player is a “4”).  No “players to be named later” may be included in a trade.  No “future considerations” may be included in a trade.


9.4                                  Trading Season Dates

The trading season opens when the Autumn Wind CIO releases the current season Draft Workbook.  The trading deadline is two days after the Remaining Free Agent Draft.  The trading deadline will be posted on the website and/or sent to coaches by email.  No trading in advance of the opening of the trading season or after the trading deadline will be honored.


9.5                                  First Year Restriction

            Rookie, legacy, and interim (participating in the expansion draft) coaches may not make trades during their first season.


9.6                                  Rookie Roster Augmentation

The league may place NFL players who are non-rostered as of August 15th, and who are free agents in Autumn Wind Free Agent Draft, and who have the minimum rating at their position, on rookie coach rosters to assist in freeing up draft picks.  This process is referred to as “Rookie Roster Augmentation.”


9.7                                  Post-Supplemental Draft Trading

            Teams wishing to trade any player after the Supplemental Draft must first submit their 53-player team roster to the CEO and CIO.  Then, any players to be traded must be from that 53-player roster.  In this way, no players intended to be cut can be involved in a trade.  This is done to maintain equitable value between both teams in a trade.  Remember, players selected in the Supplemental Draft and the Remaining Free Agent Draft cannot be traded at any time that season.


9.8                                  Future Draft Pick Restriction

            Teams may not trade their first round draft pick of the following season. However, picks for rounds two through ten of the following season may be traded.  For purposes of this rule, a new season is considered to begin with the release of the SOM Pro Football Guide.


9.9                                  Trading Cliques

            In an effort to avoid the formation of trading cliques (groups of coaches trading only within themselves), teams may only trade with any other team twice in a single season.  The effort here is to see coaches opening up channels of communication with all coaches in an effort to meet team trading needs.  The CEO will monitor trades closely to see that abuses using intercessory coaches to transfer players between teams is avoided.


10.                     Autumn Wind League Rules


10.1                              Defense Cards

Autumn Wind uses the multiple defense cards provided in the SOM Computer Football Game.  There are two sets of defense cards, run and pass.  Each set is divided into five card types: Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Very Poor.

Teams "qualify" for a particular type of card based on the combined numeric defense rating of certain players. Deciding which Run Card set type to use is based on the ratings of defensive lineman, linebackers, and safeties. Pass Card set types are based on the ratings of defensive backs and linebackers. At the start of the season each team must declare their intention to use either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense (See Declarations 9.2). This declaration determines which players will be used all season for defense card type qualification.  Players listed in the team Depth Charts for the 3-4 and 4-3 formations are used for Defense Card Eligibility.  The following formulas are used to determine the run and pass ratings for a team:


4-3 Run Defense = Total the ratings of the four defensive linemen, add ½ of the run defense ratings of the combined total of the three linebackers, and add 75% of the run rating of the Strong Safety and 25% of the run rating of the Free Safety.

4-3 Pass Defense = Total the ratings of the two cornerbacks, add the pass defense ratings of the safeties and ½ of the pass defense ratings of the combined total of the three linebackers.

3-4 Run Defense = Total the ratings of the three defensive linemen add ¾ of the run defense ratings of the combined total of the two inside linebackers, ½ of the run defense ratings of the combined total of the two outside linebackers, and add 75% of the run rating of the Strong Safety and 25% of the run rating of the Free Safety.

3-4 Pass Defense = Total the ratings of the two cornerbacks, add the pass defense ratings of the safeties and ¼ of the pass defense ratings of the combined total of the two inside linebackers and ½ of the pass defense ratings of the combined total of the two outside linebackers.


Each of the different card types has a different value or threshold to achieve:


For Run Defense Card Purposes:

Excellent is a combined rating value of 33.5 or better. (>=33.5)

Good is a combined rating value of 30.5 or better but less than 33.5. (>=30.5)

Average is a combined rating value of 27.5 or better but less than 30.5. (>=27.5)

Poor is a combined rating value of 24.5 or better but less than 27.5. (>=24.5)

Very Poor is a combined rating value of less than 24.5. (<24.5)


For Pass Defense Card Purposes:

Excellent is a combined rating value of 29 or better. (>=29)

Good is a combined rating value of 26 or better but less than 29. (>=26)

Average is a combined rating value of 23 or better but less than 26. (>=23)

Poor is a combined rating value of 20 or better but less than 23. (>=20)

Very Poor is a combined rating value of less than 20. (<20)


These values are the same for run and pass card thresholds.


There is no rounding; all decimal values are truncated.  If you have a 20.75 run rating, that’s a 20, not a 21.


10.2                              Declarations

            At the beginning of each season, teams must make certain declarations: Type of defense (3-4 or 4-3), and Left/Right Player options (See Left/Right Options below).


10.3                              Formations

10.3.1                        3-4 or 4-3 Defense – One or the Other

A team which declares use of the 4-3 defense cards may never switch to a 3-4 alignment at any time during the regular or post season.  Similarly, a team which declares use of the 3-4 defense cards may never switch to a 4-3 alignment during the regular or post season.  Declaration of the intent to use a 3-4 or 4-3 defense must be made before the Supplemental Draft as shown on the League Calendar.


10.3.2                        Designated Starter Usage Requirement

When using either the 3-4 or 4-3 defensive formations, defensive substitutes for depth chart starters may enter the game only when the defense is permitted to use the 3-3-5 and 4-2-5 defenses or when the ball is within the defense’s 10 yard line.


10.3.3                        NT/DT and SC/DB Out of Position Reductions

Teams choosing to use a player rated only as a LDT, RDT, or DT, at NT (Nose Tackle), suffer a  –1 reduction in the defense rating of the specified player.  If the player is a natural “3” (called a 0 by Strat-O-Matic), the rating is reduced to a “2” rating for defense card qualification purposes.

            Teams choosing to use a player rated only as a NT (Nose Tackle), at LDT or RDT, suffer a  –1 reduction in the defense rating of the specified player.  If the player is a natural “3” (called a 0 by Strat-O-Matic), the rating is reduced to a “2” rating for defense card qualification purposes.

            Teams choosing to use a player rated as an SC (Slot Cornerback) or DB (Defensive Back), at LCB or RCB, may suffer a reduction in the defense rating of the specified player based on the player’s SC/DB rating.  Players rated as SC/DB 6 or 5 suffer a -2 reduction to their defense rating when playing LCB or RCB.  Players rated as a SC/DB 4 suffer a -1 reduction to their defense rating when playing LCB or RCB, while players rated as a SC/DB 3 (called 0 in SOM terminology) suffer no reduction to their defense rating when playing LCB or RCB.

These rating reductions apply to individual player defense ratings and defense card qualification purposes.

Unlike the NT/DT reductions mentioned above, no SC or DB can be reduced to a value of less than 3 for defense card qualification purposes.

SCs playing 5th or 6th defensive back and DBs playing SS, FS, 5th, or 6th defensive back are not affected by this rule.


10.3.4                        3-3-5 and 4-2-5 Formation Restrictions

            The 3-3-5 and 4-2-5 defenses may only be used under any of the following game conditions:

1.      If the offensive formation consists of 3 or 4 WRs and only 1 RB or

2.      If the down is 3rd or 4th or

3.      If 2 minutes or less remain in either half or

4.      If the current period is overtime


10.3.5                        FS Blitz Restrictions

The FS Blitz box may only be checked under any of the following game conditions:

1.       If the down is 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, or

2.       If 2 minutes or less remain in either half


10.4                              Player Positioning

10.4.1                        Left/Right Option (Switchable Positions)

            Autumn Wind uses the Left/Right option provided in version 5 and later of the Strat-O-Matic game.  This means that certain positions are interchangeable at the start of the season.  At the beginning of the season you will select which of your switch-able players will play each switch-able position. For example, you will select your starting offensive LT and RT. They will remain in these positions for the entire season.  However, these position changes may only be declared at the start of the season and do remain permanent throughout the season.  The positions that can use the Left/Right option in Autumn Wind are:  LG/RG, LT/RT, LDT/RDT, LDE/RDE, LILB/RILB, LOLB/ROLB, and LCB/RCB.


SS/FS, though not a left/right option, is also a required declaration at the start of the season.  Starting in 2007, FS may declare to play SS but SS may not declare to play FS.  This is because the addition of 6-rated Strong Safeties to play in the Long Pass Zone will reduce the success of the Long Pass passing game significantly.  However, allowing 6-rated Free Safeties to play Strong Safety will not have the same affect on the Short Passing game.


            Though acceptable in the Strat-O-Matic game, the following Left/Right changes are not allowed in Autumn Wind:  HB/FB, TE/BB, and SE/FL.  This means FB can play BB.  Beginning in 2018, BB can also play FB.  This means your FB/BB, TE/BB, or pure BB can play in the FB box of any formation that uses a FB.  Of course, only a player with a rushing card can carry the ball.  Pure TE cannot play FB.


You can draft any combination of players within the limits of a switch-able position. This means if the League Charter limit on offensive tackles is 5, you can have any combination of LTs, RTs, and OTs not exceeding a maximum of 5. This rule is the same for all switch-able positions.  This means you could have as many as five players rated as TE/BB on your roster (2 as BB rated as FB and 3 as BB rated as TE).

Switchable players may never be moved to another position during a game, or during the season.  BB and TE/BB are exceptions.  BB can play BB or FB at any time.  Likewise, TE/BB can play TE, BB, or FB at any time.        

This means, you may not move your starting LCB, RCB, SS, or FS, to DB1 or DB2.  So, if your defensive formation is a 3-3-5 or 4-2-5, the nickel back position (DB1) on the field may not be occupied by your starting LCB, RCB, SS, or FS.  Likewise in any 6 defensive back formation, the nickel back (DB1) or dime back (DB2) positions may not be occupied by your starting LCB, RCB, SS, or FS.


This is a clarification of an existing rule, not a new rule.  It is understandable that there may have been confusion regarding this concept due to the fact that in the AW Draft Workbook, the "Who Can Play" tab specifies that 1st Defensive Back and 2nd Defensive Back positions can be played by LCB, RCB, SS, FS, CB, S, DB.  These positional specifications are meant to be non-starting positional specifications.  In other words, if you have a rated RCB on your roster who is not being used as your starting RCB or LCB, he can be used as Defensive Back 1 or Defensive Back 2.


Wide receivers work a little bit differently. By “wide receivers”, we mean SE, FL, and WR. You may draft any combination of these players within the limits of the League Charter.  However, after the draft, your wide receivers will be dedicated to the positions of starting SE, starting FL, 3rd WR, 4th WR, and 5th WR by the league CIO based on the total yardage on the receiver’s card. If a tie between receivers occurs, total combinations on the card will break the tie.

This means that your best card yardage wide receiver will play SE, your second best card yardage will play FL.  Players with lower card yardage than the top two will be classified as WR and may be the 3rd or 4th WR at each coaches’ option. These players may never be moved to another position during a game or during the season.


10.4.2                        Quarterback Minimum Passing Attempts to Play

            To qualify as a starting or relieving QB, a player must have thrown a minimum of 100 passes in the NFL season that the current card set is based on.  Quarterbacks that had fewer than 100 pass attempts in the NFL season that the card set is based on may not play in any game at any time.

If there are less than 40 qualifying carded quarterbacks in a season, the number of passing attempts to determine qualification will drop to a minimum attempt number determining 40 eligible quarterbacks.  For example, if SOM only creates 38 quarterback cards where the number of passing attempts equals 100 or greater, then the number of minimum attempts may drop to say 87 for example (if 87 attempts establishes 40 quarterbacks who then qualify to be used in Autumn Wind).


10.4.3                        Quarterback Starter/Reliever Rule

It has been a long standing problem that Strat-O-Matic game mechanics allowed teams to use a seldom-played, Flat Pass-rich QB, on third down and short, and then return him to the bench in favor of a real NFL starter. With this issue in mind, we introduce the "QB Starter/Reliever Rule":  Once your starting QB is relieved by another QB, your starter may not return to the game. If your first relief QB is relieved by another QB, your first relief QB may not return to the game.


10.4.4                        FB-BB Offense Formation Restriction

            If a team has only one player who can play FB and no additional players who can play BB, then the FB-BB offensive formation choice cannot be used.


10.4.5                        Who Can Play Blocking Back?

            The following players can play Blocking Back in Autumn Wind:

1.      Any Fullback or Halfback with a 4 run block rating or higher. (FB, FB/HB, HB/FB, HB).

2.      Any Tight End who is also rated by SOM as a Blocking Back.

3.      Fullbacks who are rated with a 3 run block rating may not play BB.

4.      Any player rated as just a BB.

5.      Halfbacks who qualify to play BB may now also play FB.


10.4.6                        HB Restrictions While Playing Blocking Back

            Pure halfbacks (HB) with a run block rating of 4 or better may now be used as a blocking back (BB).  Blocking backs may never carry the ball.  This is the only time that two pure halfbacks may actually be in the backfield without the use of a fullback as well.  Pure halfbacks who qualify to play BB can now play FB as well.  Thus, there is a possibility that a pure HB could play FB, and carry the ball from that position, if he qualifies as a BB.


10.4.7                        TE/BB Can Count as a FB for Roster Purposes

TE/BB can now play FB, and thus, count as a FB for roster purposes.  This player can only count for roster purposes as either a FB or TE, not both.


10.4.8                        BB and TE/BB Can Play as a FB

Players rated as BB or TE/BB can now play FB.  The SOM game will not allow these players to carry the ball while playing FB.


10.4.9                        Slot Cornerbacks can only play 5th and 6th DB

Players rated as SC (Slot Cornerback) can only play 5th defensive back or 6th defensive back.  These players cannot play LCB or RCB at any time.  The position of CB can play LCB or RCB.  Only players rated as SC cannot play LCB or RCB. 


10.5                              Rental Players

10.5.1                        Rental Kick and Punt Returners

            Due to the fact that SOM rates certain kick and punt returners at other positions, there is a lack of kick and punt returners available in a 30 team league.   To ease this problem, we introduce the “Autumn Wind Kick and Punt Returner Rental System”.  This system provides un-named kick and punt return cards from the previous season’s SOM card set.  These cards are purposely medium and low-quality caliber.  Each rental card has a draft expiration round.  They are added to the game not to provide a team with an opportunity to create a quality kick/punt return group, but rather to allow teams to add necessary additional kick and punt returners without having to pay exorbitant trade costs.

            Some of the rental kick and punt returners may also have rushing, receiving, and/or defensive back values from the previous season that are unintentionally useable in the actual SOM game.  Despite this, rental kick and punt returners may never be used at these other positions.  If a rental player is used accidentally at one of the other positions, the offending team will be penalized a future draft pick for the mistake.  If in the opinion of the CEO, the offending coach used the player deliberately out of position, the coach will be removed from AW and replaced by another coach.  Know your AW players and where they can legitimately play.


Rental players may only be used as LKs, LPs, KRs or PRs.


            Rental kick and punt returners are for the current season only and do not return next season.  Based on the value of a rental kick/punt return card, there is a draft expiration round on each rental card.


            Rental Kick and Punt Returners cannot be traded.

            Any rental returner may be selected two rounds before his designation and play as a lone-back returner.  This is a bit tricky, so here’s the explanation by example:

            KR_6A is a rental KR (Kick Returner) with a sixth-round expiration.  He can be selected as an LK in the fourth round, but no later than the 4th round and still be an LK.  He can also be selected as just a KR up to the end of the sixth round.  This same concept applies to PRs.  There is no such thing as a rental KR/PR, only a rental KR or rental PR who can be upgraded to LK or LP by being selected two rounds before their assignment.

The better rental cards expire in draft rounds six and seven, with the poorer cards expiring in later rounds.  All rental cards have an expiration round in the draft.  A rental card can be selected by only one team.  This is why the cards are initially named KR_6A, PR_7B, etc.  No rental card will ever have a Touchdown result; these rental system cards are medium to low caliber.  Rental cards can be selected at any time ahead of their expiration round.


Restrictions on Rental Return Specialists Include:

1.      They are used for the current season only.

2.      They occupy a roster spot thus allowing one less real NFL player to be selected.

3.      They do not have touchdowns.

4.      They can only be LKs, LPs, KRs or PRs.

5.      Their cards are of limited value, like those usually found in draft rounds six through ten.


These specialist return cards are slotted in rounds six through ten of the draft based on their average yardage.  A chart has been provided below showing the breakdown of averages to draft round availability.  Once a draft round  is completed, the rental returners in that round are no longer available for drafting.



KR Average

PR Average


Less than 22

Less than 5


Less than 21

Less than 4


Less than 20

Less than 3


Less than 19

Less than 2


Less than 18

Less than 1


The rental cards will be available for your review in the annual Draft Workbook on the website.


Once you select a rental returner, you will later be required to associate a named player from your roster with the rental player.  This is for roster and league manager file requirements.  The player positions you can associate with a rental returner are: HB, FB, WR, SS, FS, LCB, RCB, CB, and DB.  So for example, if you select KR_7A, later you will assign a name from your roster to him (like Champ Bailey or something).  The only restrictions here are the name you assign must be from the afore mentioned positions and cannot already be a specialist (LK,LP,KR,PR)


10.6                              Restriction Violations

If the defense violates any of the above restrictions, they must take an immediate timeout during the defensive play selection phase (the timeout check box is provided in that screen).  If they have no timeouts remaining, they must take a timeout in the next immediate period (2nd half if done in the 1st half, overtime if done in the 2nd half).  If the game ends without the timeout being assessed (last play of the game, etc.), the occurrence must be reported to the league office for conduct review.



11.                    Strat-O-Matic Game Rules   

11.1                              Preset Strat-O-Matic Game Rules

Strat-O-Matic Game Rules are defined in each pre-game file and may not be changed by individual coaches.  Consult the Strat-O-Matic Game Rules for details on how each rule works.


11.2                              Game Options Coaches Must Set Before Playing

            Certain Game Option variables need to be set to play the game optimally.  Perform the following steps to ensure proper configuration:

1.      You must play the current Strat-O-Matic game version

2.      Choose Game from the Menu

3.      Choose Options

                        The following options are mandatory and must be checked:

3.1   No play animation (Ask your opponent first)

3.2   Show board game details

3.3   Auto Save after Each Play

3.4   Do not allow play animation replay

3.5   Show “Other Highlights” On Boxscore

3.6   Use Strat-O-Matic terminology for plays


11.3                              Which Strat-O-Matic Optional Game Rules are Used?

            Autumn Wind uses all regular game rules as defined in the Strat-O-Matic game rules including the following rules:

Quarterback End Run Limits

Running Back Fatigue

Home Field Advantage

Linebacker Run Containment

Individualized Fumble Ratings

Do Not Allow Exceeding Longest Run

Do Not Allow Exceeding Longest Reception, except for WR

Updated Sack Rule

Emphasize 6-rated Linebackers

Looser Substitution Restrictions

Empty Flat Pass = Guessed Wrong

Variable FG Rule

Use Custom Rules

                        Low-Usage Runningback Containment

                        Split Defense Ratings for Linebackers and Safeties



11.4                              Which Strat-O-Matic Optional Game Rules are not Used


                        Dump-Off Rule

                        Player Overusage

                        QB Overusage

                        In-Game Rest System

Great Player Impact Rule


                        QB Starter File

                        Exhausted RBs will get Injured

                        Don’t Allow QBs to get Injured

                        Use Actual Team Interception Returns

                        Use Historical Team Pace

                        Flat Pass as Runs

                        Yards after Catch



11.5                              How the Strat-O-Matic Options Screen Should Look

Make Sure the options checked below (with the exception of Grass) are also checked in your Game options screen



                        Be sure to uncheck the Scroll play by play text output.  This is critical because SOM bugs exist that break the game.


12.                    Before, During, and After Game Requirements


12.1                              Pre-Game Files

            Pre-game files are created and distributed at the beginning of each scheduled league quarter (i.e. Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4).  Playoff and OOPer Bowl pre-game files are sent to the participating coaches and made available to others so they can watch the game.


12.2                              Game Length

            This game normally takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes to play – for novice coaches 120 minutes.  120 minutes is 2 hours.  Once you know the game, if you can’t complete the game in 2 hours, you shouldn’t be playing in this league.  Regular failure to play games in the expected time frame is a conduct issue.

Exception:  During the Q1 and Q2 portions of each season new coaches will be given latitude to learn rules, ask questions, and generally get familiar with the Autumn Wind game.  This may cause some games to go over 2 hours.  This is expected behavior.  By Q3 all coaches are expected to be able to complete their games in 2 hours or less.


12.3                              Spectators

            No spectators are allowed during an Autumn Wind regular season game - not even by the agreement of both coaches.  However, spectators are encouraged during playoff and Ooper Bowl games.  Playoff and Ooper Bowl coaches should allow approximately five minutes after scheduled game start for spectators to connect before starting the playoff or Ooper Bowl game.


12.4                              Post-Game Files  (Which files do you send to the CEO after your game?)

            At the conclusion of each game, both teams must separately mail their boxscore file, ball possession file, post file, and all log files to the administrative office mailbox (  A copy must also be sent to the CIO at (  Please specify which team hosted the game.

Both coaches regardless of winner must send these files.  Failure to do so in a timely manner becomes a conduct matter for the league administration.

            The boxscore file can be found in the following path: C:\Program Files\ Strat-O-Matic\Strat-O-Matic Football\Leagues\LEAGUE”x”\Week”x”\Reports – where LEAGUE”x” is the league number and where Week”x” is the week of the schedule this game is due to be played.  The game file name will be in the format: 2003visitor_AT_2003home.html – where visitor is a 3 character acronym for the visiting team and home is a 3 character acronym for the home team (e.g. FTW is the Fort Worth Cavalry).

            The ball possession file is in the same path and folder as the boxscore file.  The file name is the same too except that the suffix “BallPoss” has been added to the file name.

            The post file can be found in the following path: C:\Program Files\ Strat-O-Matic\Strat-O-Matic Football\Leagues\LEAGUE”x”\Week”x”\POST – where LEAGUE”x” is the league number and where Week”x” is the week of the schedule this game is due to be played.  The game file name will be in the format: 2007visitor_AT_2007home.POST – where visitor is a 3 character acronym for the visiting team and home is a 3 character acronym for the home team (e.g. SCS is the Southern California Sun).

The log file(s) can be found in the following path: C:\Program Files\Strat-O-Matic\Strat-O-Matic Football\Leagues\LEAGUE”x”\Logs - where “x” is an incremental number assigned to each league as it is created.  The log file name will be in the format: 2003visitor_AT_2003home.log – where visitor is a 3 character acronym for the visiting team and home is a 3 character acronym for the home team (e.g. SDC is the San Diego Chargers).