Sacks & Interceptions . . .

One thing that has always driven me crazy is the APBA Football Master Game Sack and Interception Finder System.  Not because it isn’t accurate, because it truly is.  No, what has always bothered me is that guys who are not even on the field will get credited for sacks and picks!!

Now, I have tried a number of different ways to address this, with almost no success.  And, even though the game company gives you the option of only using the defensive players on the field in determining the calculation, what a pain it is to have to recalibrate this formula every time you make a substitution.  I can understand why just keeping the entire roster in this formula saves some time.

Until now!

I have created what I hope is a very easy spreadsheet (click on the “Sack and Pick Quotas” attachment below) to account for only those defensive players on the field.  Simply put in their “QS” and “W” numerical ratings and you get a simple dice roll table to determine who gets credit for the sack or the interception.  If you make a substitution, you only have to enter, at most, two new numbers and you will automatically get a new chart.

I will be using this system in my next replay.  But, I would love to get some feedback on this idea.  Look over the spreadsheet and let me know your thoughts . . . . .


Sack and Pick Quotas



Calling all Football Coaches!!

We are looking for Football coaches to play in the third annual APBA Convention Football Tournament in Alpharetta next month. The games will be played during the convention, but will not coincide with the Baseball Tournament, so you can easily participate in both!

The format of the tournament will be single elimination and you can bring any team you wish, so long as it is compatible with the most current version of the game boards (if you’re not sure, ask me!). We will be playing the Basic Football Game, with some modifications to accommodate the longer playing time of football versus baseball.

Each game will start at the beginning of the third quarter with the score tied 10-10. Every team will have game quotas for running backs and receivers.  Because we’re using the Basic game, each contest should last no longer than an hour and a half.

Also, if you’re not familiar with the Basic game, it is very easy to learn.  Even if you’ve never played it before, I promise that it won’t take more than 10-15 minutes to completely grasp how the game is played.

So, if you’re interested, please reach out to me (Ray Dunlap – to reserve your spot.  Once we fill up all the slots, I will get back to each coach with the rules and a timetable of when you can expect to play.  Just send me your name, email address, cell phone number, the team that you’re bringing, and what day and time you’ll be arriving in Alpharetta for the Convention.

TWIA Radio Show

Ray Dunlap

“HOFer” Ray Dunlap

Just as a reminder, site author and Hall of Famer, Ray Dunlap, will be on “This Week in APBA” radio show this evening to discuss the Super Bowl Pre-Plays that were conducted. The show begins at 8 P.M EST.



2018 APBA Convention – Football Tournament!!!

by Ray Dunlap

I know I speak for all of the authors on this site in saying that I really do hope EVERYONE makes it to Alpharetta for the June Convention.  It is hard to put into words how remarkable the experience is of spending time with people who share our hobby and our passion!

I also wanted to let everyone who is planning on coming know about our Football Tournament.  We have tried, over the past few years, to do a tournament and we have had marginal success.  And the problem is really two-fold.

First, the games just take way too much time, especially when you have a coach who is unfamiliar with the Master game rules.  In fact, we had one game last year that lasted over six hours!  and, frankly, that is unacceptable.

The other frustration is that, because of the length of these games, we have had to really limit the participation in the tournament.  We had four people two years ago and eight coaches last year.

We hope to get 16 this year, and we are making a couple of pretty significant changes to try and accommodate that goal.  First, we will NOT be playing the Master Game.  I know that many of you truly LOVE the Master Game for it’s coaching nuances and the great flexibility  and array of coaching strategies it allows.  And, I get it!  But, there are two reasons that the baseball tournament uses the Basic Game only – speed and simplicity!  And, we need to embrace the same concept with Football.

Honestly, if you are not accustomed to playing the Master Game, you will be at such a disadvantage in a head-to-head matchup with someone who is, and, frankly, that is not the spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish.  The Basic Game is simple, but still gives each coach plenty of opportunity to use strategy to out-maneuver their opponent.

I know that I have already lost Greg Wells in this narrative – he is a Football Master Game purist, and I respect that . . . . but, John Herson has charged me with the goal of getting more coaches involved in football and that’s why we’re going to use the Basic Game this year at the Convention.

The other significant change that you will see is that we will shorten the games by 50%.  You will start each game at the beginning of the third quarter with the score tied 10-10.  This should shave about an hour off the playing time and allow us to easily finish the four rounds necessary to get this tournament completed.

The “Super Bowl” will, however, be a full game and, if both coaches wish to, they can use the Master Game at that point.  But all of the elimination games prior to the Championship game will use the Basic Game format and they will be two quarters in length.

Now, you can pick any team you like so long as the player cards are compatible with the current game boards.  So, for instance, if you wished to use the 1976 Steelers, you would have to use the new, reprinted version, not the cards that have been collecting dust in your basement for forty years!

So, if you’re interested, let me know (!  And make sure you tell me which team you are going to coach,  So far we have one taker – not surprisingly – Greg “OGuard62” Barath will be there and he’ll be coaching the powerhouse 1993 Dallas Cowboys!

I really hope to see EVERYONE in Atlanta this June!!

Innovation Friday

A couple of weeks ago, Ray Dunlap and I were chatting about implementing a day where we post an innovation that was either previously posted several years back or a new one fresh off the press. Well as a “hat tip” to my friend, I would like to post Ray Dunlap’s very own “Pass Receiving Quota’s” that he published in the APBA Journal back in October 1989.

Without question, my favorite innovation of all time is my APBA Football brother’s, Mark Zarb, “Yards per Catch” innovation but before this was created I played countless games using Ray’s innovation. I loved it because it’s math-based, player controlled with a built in bonus for throwing to “C” index receivers. However, the best feature is his “Extended Length Passes” (ELP) which does a great job of separating the possession receivers from the either the 7.5 yards per catch running backs or the 20-yard plus deep threats.

Pass Receiving Quotas (Dunlap APBA Journal)



Innovation: Measurement

By Ray Dunlap

Many of you know that I used to be the head statistician for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in the 1980’s.  Well, I will never forget my first game – because I screwed up big time, and I got blasted by Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau for messing up the yardage on certain plays, in particular those right at the first down marker.  Thank goodness it was a pre-season game!

Here’s where I made my mistake – I remember James Wilder, running on a first down play, and gaining enough yards to force a measurement, which came up short by about one inch.  Well, for me, sitting in the press box, since he gained 9 yards and 35 inches, I gave him a 10 yard run.  On the subsequent play, he carried again, and was stopped at the line, causing another measurement, this time the Bucs got the first down by an inch.  So, on this “two-inch” run, I credited Wilder with 0 yards.

Seemed logical to me.

But, the NFL rules are very specific on this point, and Hirdt made me painfully aware of it.  Wilder, by falling short of a first down, even by one inch, is credited with a NINE yard run in that circumstance.  Because, ten yards would have had to result in a first down.  Consequently, his “two-inch” run should have been credited as a one yard run.

So, I have taken this concept and applied it to APBA Football.

But first, a little background on what NOT to do.  When I ran the Suncoast Football League, I implemented a “measurement” rule that was not well thought out.  The rule was this: if the result of the play ended exactly where the first down marker was, then you would roll one die – if the result was “odd” if was a first down, if the result was “even” it was one yard short.

Well, the negative feedback that I received was furious!  And, justifiably so.  It was a completely one-sided rule that only penalized the offense, and we eliminated the measurement rule immediately.

Well, recently, I added it back in . . . but, with a twist that makes it much fairer, and gives as much benefit to the offense as the defense.  Now, when the APBA Football board result either lands exactly on the first down marker or one yard short of the marker, I will apply the same single die roll to see if it is a first down or not – “odd” first down, “even” not.

So, in the James Wilder example above, the result could have been 10 yards on the APBA boards, but an “even” die roll for the measurement would have resulted in the measurement coming up “short,” and, instead of a 10 yard gain, Wilder would be credited with a “9” yard gain.  Then, if his next run resulted in a “0” yard run on the APBA boards, effectively one yard shy of the first down, you would still roll that indicator die, and, if it comes up “odd,” then he would be credited with a one yard gain and a first down.  Exactly what I saw happen in that Pre-season game.

As you can imagine, this adds an extra level of excitement to the game playing experience and can be a lot of fun, especially near the goal line.  I have had some great goal-line drama as a result.

This innovation is very easy to implement and I think is worth considering for your APBA Football gaming experience.

As always, if you have comments, good or bad, about any of the innovations I share on this forum, I would love to hear them!

Innovation: A Better Version of Fletch67?

Dunlap Modified Fletch67 System

I know that there are many Football gamers out there who use the Fletch67 system to determine defensive line settings, but something has always bothered me about it – it seems “one-sided.”  You only take into account the defensive point totals in determining the line setting.

I have taken the basic concept of Fletch67 and modified it so that it also takes into account the offensive point total.  So, in my system, you would COMPARE the defensive point total with the offensive point total before rolling the dice to get your line setting.

Let’s say that the defense has 42 points and the offense has 36.  This is a +6 for the defense.  That means that dice roll result 11-36 would result in the most favorable defensive line setting, 41-56 would be “Standard” and 61-66 would be more favorable to the offense.

I’d love to hear any feedback on this innovation, especially if you have a way that you  get line settings that might be different.

Ray Dunlap