VBA Constitution

Game Rules Screenshot (CLICK HERE)

updated 10.15.22


The Vintage Basketball Association is an internet draft retro basketball league formed in 2014 by Joe Hornback, to provide a means of interesting and competitive recreation for its members and to simulate the problems and pleasures of running a professional basketball franchise within a friendly atmosphere. The list of rules and regulations which follow are provided in order to keep the league as realistic and competitive as possible and to provide coaches with a means of controlling the fates of their franchises. The VBA expanded in 2020 from 16 teams using 18 NBA teams as the draft pool to 20 league teams using all 23 NBA teams’ players.


SECTION 1. The Commissioner may make any changes which he feels beneficial and necessary to the league’s operation.


SECTION 1. The most recent Action PC computer basketball game/update will be used. The initial player files used were from the 1979-80 NBA Season. Each coach must purchase the current retro season database associated with the VBA .

SECTION 2. VBA games are governed by the rules of the corresponding season files from the National Basketball Association (see NBA Rule Changes), the Action PC game and this constitution. This constitution may supersede some rules from the Action PC game.

SECTION 3. All items brought to a vote concerning new league rules and operations must be approved by a 65% majority (13 of the 20 owners must vote YES).


SECTION 1. In the event that the Commissioner feels the league has reached a desirable amount of stability, he may decide to expand the league.


SECTION 1. Each team will play 82 games consisting of 41 home and 41 road games. Each team will play 32 games total within their own division, 30 games total against the other 5 teams in their conference and 20 total games against teams in the other conference.

SECTION 2. The schedule is similar to an actual National Basketball Association schedule. Please note that the schedule is broken down into a calendar format. The season will be broken down into blocks of games with updated player files being released at specified intervals. The dates on the schedule are arbitrary for the schedule and not the actual date the games should be played. The VBA Calendar can be found HERE.

SECTION 3. Teams will play their ROAD games and home court advantage will be turned ON for the home team.


SECTION 1. At the end of the regular season, the 2 division winners in each conference will automatically qualify for the playoffs and receive first round byes. Of the remaining teams, the four teams from each conference with the most wins will make the playoffs. The non-division winning teams will be seeded 3-6 based on their regular season record. Teams with the same number of wins will follow the tie-breaker rules outlined in this constitution.

SECTION 2. In the first round, the #3 seed will host the #6 seed and the #4 seed will host the #5 seed. In the second round, the division winner with the best record will host the round one winner with the worst record and the division winner with the 2nd best record will host the round one winner with the best record.

SECTION 3. The team with the better record will host the Conference Finals.

SECTION 4. The team with the better record will host the VBA Finals.

SECTION 5. All playoffs are a best of seven series, with a 2-2-1-1-1 format. The host team will be home for games 1, 2, 5 and 7 (if necessary). All post-season games should be played head-to-head via Action PC‘s Internet Play or another method such as LogMeIn Hamachi. If the teams cannot play in this manner, the teams should exchange game plans for each team’s first three ROAD games. All playoff games will have home court advantage turned on. If a game 7 is necessary, the Commissioner will sim it using each team’s coach game plan and home court advantage turned on. In case the Commissioner’s team is involved, a non-playoff coach will sim the game using each team’s coach game plan and home court advantage turned on.


SECTION 1. Tie for Division Champion(if one team won’t make playoffs):

  • One game playoff with winner of head-to-head meetings being home team.
  • One game playoff with team with best division record being home team.
  • One game playoff with home team determined by coin flip.

SECTION 2. Two way tie for playoff spot:

  • One game playoff with winner of head-to-head meetings being home team.
  • One game playoff with team with best division record being home team, if in same division.
  • One game playoff with team with best record against other conference being home team.
  • One game playoff with winner with coin flip determining home team.

SECTION 3. Three way tie for playoff spot:

  • If any teams are in same division, apply division champion tie-breaker if applicable.
  • The two teams with lowest win percentage vs other tied teams play one game with Wild Card Tie-breaker rules to determine home team.
  • Third team will then play winner of that game with Wild Card Tie-breaker rules to determine home team.

SECTION 4. Tie for draft order:

  • Tie for Lottery Chances – chances will be divided evenly between tied teams.
  • If any of the above tie-breakers were used, it takes priority with team losing the tie-breaker getting earlier pick.
  • Head to head record – lowest win percentage gets best draft pick.
  • Home record – best win percentage gets best draft pick (since we play road games).
  • Commissioner will flip a coin.
  • When there is a tied overall record, the involved teams will alternate on odd and even rounds.

SECTION 5. Tie-breaker games:

  • Any player on the 15-man roster can be used during the game(s) as long as they have not been overused for the season.
  • Pre-game injuries are turned off.
  • In-game injuries are turned on.
  • If game is played head-to-head, home court advantage is turned off. If it is simmed, it is turned on.


SECTION 1. After each GAME, the road coach sends an email to the league newsletter that includes at least a sentence or two of the game highlights and an exported statistics file.


SECTION 1. All coaches game plans for the HOME team must be loaded to the FILE AREA of the website by the due date, even if you are planning to play the game head to head. This way, if you can’t get together on a time or something comes up, the league can continue in a timely fashion.

SECTION 2. Please note, when importing a coaches game plan, you MUST DOUBLE-CLICK on the TEAM.coa file for it to import properly. Simply highlighting the profile and clicking OK will NOT import the coaches game plan.


SECTION 1. To keep the league running smoothly, when one week has past since the coaches game plan due date and no game plan has been uploaded, please attempt to contact the HOME coach. If you do not get a response in 3 days, play the game with a computer-generated game plan. DO NOT DO THIS IF THE OPPOSING COACH OR COMMISSIONER NOTIFIES YOU THAT THE GAME PLAN WILL BE LATE AND WHY.


SECTION 1. The initial draft in 2014 included all rated players from the original 18 VBA pool teams put into the draft by the 16 owners. The teams drafted in reverse order on even number rounds in an order pre-determined by a Power Ball lottery. In 2020, we had an expansion draft for 4 new VBA teams from the unowned players from the 1984-85 database.

SECTION 2. The VBA will have an annual rookie/free agent draft. The players included in this draft will consist of all rated players who are not currently owned by a league team.

SECTION 3. The draft lottery will include all non-playoff teams and will be for picks 1-4 of the rookie/free agent draft. The team with the worst record will receive 12 chances, each subsequent team will have less chances according to the chart below. The chances will be randomly assigned to a numbered ball using the Arizona Powerball’s five white balls (range 1-69). There will be one NO WINNER ball. On the designated lottery day, we’ll use the balls in the order they are pulled (VIDEO). If the NO WINNER ball or a duplicate TEAM’s ball is drawn, we’ll use the next ball. If the four lottery teams are NOT determined in the first drawing, we will use subsequent Arizona Powerball drawings until the 4 teams have been determined. The breakdown will be as follows:

  • 12 chances (lowest winning pct)
  • 11 chances
  • 10 chances
  •  9 chances
  •  8 chances
  •  7 chances
  •  6 chances
  •  5 chances (best non-playoff winning pct)

SECTION 4. The remaining 4 non-playoff teams will be assigned picks 5-8 from lowest to highest winning percentage. The 4 first round playoff losers will be assigned picks 9-12 from lowest to highest winning percentage. The 4 second round losers will be assigned picks 13-16 from lowest to highest winning percentage. The 2 Conference Finals runners-up will be assigned picks 17-18 from lowest to highest winning percentage. Pick 19 will be assigned to the VBA Finals runner-up and pick 20 will go to the VBA Champions. The second round of the rookie/free agent will be the exact opposite of round one. The third round order is the same as the first.

SECTION 5. Starting with the 1983-84 season, the VBA implemented a SUPPLEMENTAL Draft. Each team’s unprotected players will go into a pool with the draft order being from the lowest to highest of next year’s salaries per ActionPC’s system. Starting with the 1984-85 season, the supplemental draft was TWO rounds and teams can lose a maximum of 3 players. The draft order is the same for both rounds. All undrafted players will be retained by their previous team.  A team CAN draft their own player, but it doesn’t count as a lost player. Supplemental draft picks CANNOT be traded. For the 1983-84 season only, the supplemental draft was ONE round. Teams could lose a maximum of 2 players in the 1983-84 supplemental draft. Any team that lost at least one player was able to retain one of their non-drafted players after the supplemental draft and before the annual entry draft. The remainder of the non-drafted players who were on NBA pool teams were available in the annual entry draft with the rookies and un-owned pool team players. For the 1983-84 draft, the annual entry draft was reduced to 4 rounds.

SECTION 6. In the event of expansion, the expansion draft will be held prior to the annual draft. The expansion draft order will be determined randomly, with the members alternating odd and even rounds.


SECTION 1. Each team will have a maximum of 15 players on their roster. A minimum of 10 and maximum of 12 players must be dressed for each game.

SECTION 2. Prior to the Supplemental Draft, teams must protect on their rosters, the following amounts of players. Any undrafted players in the Supplemental Draft will return to their teams.

  • 56+ wins: protect 8 players
  • 26-55 wins: protect 9 players
  •  0-25 wins: protect 10 players

SECTION 3. Both rated and un-rated players count on the 15-man roster. A roster may exceed 15 during the off-season due to trades. A coach may trade or cut both rated and unrated players. Any players who are released and did not end their season on one of the pool teams are out of the league until they return to a pool team.

SECTION 4. A player may only be listed in the rotation grid and depth chart for positions he is rated for. Prior to the start of the season, a coach may petition to add an “adjacent” position (PG-SG-SF-PF-C) to a maximum of 2 players who are rated at one position only. The game automatically assigns the man-defense rating per the player’s other ratings.


SECTION 1. Definition. All rated players who were cut or not drafted and finished the current season on a pool team are called free agents. From the free agent/trade deadline until after the annual entry draft, no free agent signings are allowed.

SECTION 2. Waivers. Free agents recently cut will be acquired on a waiver system. Teams will have approximately 3 days to claim a free agent on waivers. The Commissioner will notify all coaches in an e-mail of the free agent’s availability and specify a beginning and ending date to the waiver period. The waiver period is day to day, with only one waivered free agent picked up per team per day. If two or more teams select the same free agent on the same day, the team with the lowest winning percentage will get that player. After the waiver period ends, it will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.


SECTION 1. A player is limited to the number of games he played in real-life. Since the computer manager likes to play all active players, a player who plays 3:00 or LESS in a HOME game, will not have it count for his season usage.

SECTION 2. In game fatigue will be turned on.

SECTION 3. In case a player receives ratings with more than one NBA team, the VBA will use the SEASON rating, not an individual team rating. All individual team ratings for multiple team players will be deleted from the player files.

SECTION 4. Player usage in the playoffs is determined by the number of real-life games a player was eligible for, using the following chart:

  • 60-82 real life games – 7 games
  • 50-59 real life games – 6 games
  • 41-49 real life games – 5 games
  • 32-40 real life games – 4 games
  • 23-31 real life games – 3 games
  • 14-22 real life games – 2 games
  •   0-13 real life games – 1 game


SECTION 1. Pre-game injuries will be turned off.

SECTION 2. In-game injuries will be turned on. Injuries will not extend beyond the current game being played.

SECTION 3. Injuries will be turned off during playoff games


SECTION 1. Trades will be allowed from after the supplemental draft until the season’s trade deadline. Trades may be of an unequal number of players and/or draft picks. If a team has less than 15 men on the roster during the season as a result of a trade, a free agent can be obtained. If a team has more than 15 men on the roster during the season as a result of a trade, players must be cut to return the roster to 15. Trades during the season will take effect at the beginning of the next round after the next trade deadline. During the season, a coach may trade picks 1-3 for the upcoming annual entry draft only. After the supplemental draft, a coach can trade any pick from the upcoming annual entry draft and picks 1-3 for the following season.

SECTION 2. Supplemental draft picks are NOT tradable.

SECTION 3. Upon making a trade, BOTH coaches must report the trade details to the commissioner. Avoid sending an e-mail that states only “confirmed”. Only the two coaches involved in a trade can contact the commissioner. No third party trade announcements will be accepted!

SECTION 4. Conditional trades or “player to be named later” trades are not allowed.


SECTION 1. According to the preamble, this league is designed to be interesting and competitive recreation. There is no amount of money for the winner, only a trophy in the $10-15 range. Therefore, each coach is responsible for putting as competitive team (as possible) on the court at all times, staying within the games played limitations. Any evidence of unfair winning or losing will result in a severe penalty.


SECTION 1. In efforts to keep the league running smoothly and filled with coaches who want to participate in a timely manner, the penalty will be based on the meeting of league due dates. The penalties will be as follows:

  • One missed deadline – warning issued
  • Two missed deadlines – forfeiture of 3rd round pick
  • Three missed deadlines – forfeiture of 2nd round pick
  • Four missed deadlines – removal from league

SECTION 2. In the event a new coach replaces a coach who has been penalized, he will retain all picks lost in this manner. To put it simply, the penalty is on the coach not the team.

SECTION 3. Player overusage: playoff teams. The overused player will have his number of eligible games reduced by one game for each game he was overused during the season for the FIRST playoff series his team competes in. If gross overusage on a team alters the playoff seedings, games may be forfeited to reseed the teams.

SECTION 3. Player overusage: non-playoff teams. Total games overused:

  • 0-4: No Penalty
  • 5-17: One Lottery Chance
  • 18-30: Two Lottery Chances
  • 31-43: Three Lottery Chances
  • 44-56: Four Lottery Chances
  • 57 or more: Automatically Receive 8th Pick


Saving Schedule To File:

  1. Open Action PC Basketball Game
  3. At far right, under VIEW SCHEDULE, select your team then hit PRINT
  4. Your schedule should appear in a new window
  5. Click on FILE, then click DISK. You will be prompted to choose a location and name to save your team’s schedule. Type in your team’s name, it will save it as TEAM NAME.TXT
  6. When finished, you can hit the X at the top right of the window to close it and repeat to close the ORGANIZE-SCHEDULE window
  7. Now you can browse to the location you saved your schedule and double-click on TEAM NAME.TXT and it will open in Notepad. You can then divide your schedule into months for league purposes.

Creating/Exporting Game Plan:

  1. Click ROSTERS, then double-click on your team
  2. Click ONCE on a player’s name, then RIGHT-CLICK and choose ACTIVE/INACTIVE to toggle his availability for the game plan you are creating
  3. Click ONCE on a player’s name, then click the desired location you want him to appear in the DEPTH CHART and SPECIALTY LINEUPS below and the ROTATION GRID for all 4 periods and OT at the right. Please see the Manual and Strategy Guide located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Basketball20XX for more specific information
  4. At the very top, click COACH and make sure there is NO checkmark in front of “Allow Computer GM To Make Roster Changes” in the dropdown menu.
  5. At the very top, click COACH-GAME PLAN and create team specific strategies by choosing a team in the top left and adding your offensive adjustments, defensive coverages & adjustments as well as player specific guidelines in the grid below
  6. At the very top, click COACH-PLAYER USAGE & AVAILABILITY. Click on a player, then you can change his availability, playing time preferences and offensive shot selection ONLY. You may NOT change his preferred positions. *** It is strongly recommended that you specify the 240 minutes of regulation playing time the way you want them. Apparently, if you have two guys at one position and they played 32 minutes each in real-life, the game will most likely bypass your rotation grid and split their playing time. ***
  7. At the very top, click COACH-EXPORT GAME PLAN. This will create a file named YOURTEAM.COA in the c:\dksports-data\basketball\seasons\VBA8x-8x
  8. Rename the YOURTEAM.COA file to fit your specific needs for the month of games, always adding the month the file is for. some examples: Sun_Valley_NOV_vs_MNM-CCL.coa, Sun_Valley_NOV_vs_all-others.coa, Providence_November.coa. Upload the coach files for the month to the FILE AREA.

Importing Coaches Game Plans:

  1. When you download the HOME team’s game plan, save it to the c:\dksports-data\basketball\seasons\VBA8x-8x folder
  2. Run the Action PC game, at the top menu, choose IMPORT and then choose IMPORT COACHES
  3. VERY IMPORTANT – you MUST (you MUST) DOUBLE-CLICK on the opponent’s appropriate TEAMNAME.COA file to properly import it. It will NOT import properly if you just highlight the name and click OK (you should get a pop-up window that says “TEAM NAME game plan is updated”

Playing and Exporting Games:

  1. Click PLAY at the top, then choose the date of the game to play and change your team to H (human) and the HOME team to C (computer)
  2. At the far left, under SCORE, click to change from UNPLAYED to PLAY NEXT. At top center, choose PLAY and proceed to the end of the game
  3. When the small GAME FINISHED window appears; once you have viewed the boxscore, PBP and/or scoring; choose EXIT. Avoid the EMAIL OPTIONS buttons.
  4. CANCEL out of the schedule window
  5. At the very top, click EXPORT and choose EXPORT GAMES
  6. To the left of the game score, click on the empty box to toggle it to YES
  7. Click BEGIN EXPORT and it will save the file to the VBA8x-8x folder with an extension of .BKX
  8. Say NO when prompted to send to league statistician
  9. Open your email program, send an email to the league newsletter and attach the .BKX file you just created and write an attention-grabbing one or two sentences about the game, preferably with the final score as well.

Importing Game Results:

  1. When you receive your HOME game results, save the .BKX file to the VBA8x-8x folder
  2. Run the Action PC game, at the top menu, choose IMPORT and choose IMPORT GAMES
  3. On the right side, under IMPORT?, toggle it to YES