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Ko-oren
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Postby Ko-oren » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:01 pm

Velestria wrote:A question, in the eyes of the world I am considering restricting my league to add an American-style knockouts tournament at the end of the league, would this be considered a step back in terms of footballing or a step forward in the world’s eyes? And included would the regular season champion or the knockout champion go to UICA Champions Cup?


Not a step back or a step forward imo, it's just another way of approaching your league. Lots of competitions and leagues have a knockouts/playoffs/finals system, and it's not necessarily worse or better. In some, the top several teams to go to the finals get some sort of protected status or a bye, and the bottom several teams are just happy to be there. I'd say the knockout champion is the one qualifying to the CC.
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Nephara
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Postby Nephara » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:20 am

With the announcement of the UICA cutoff, the 24th Transfer Window in its preliminary stage! Put up your players and browse others, and get your spreadsheets out to plan. The Window begins in earnest when the first UICA post is made, and then the actual transfers can commence.

For new players, this is possibly very daunting! It's understandable; there's a lot to absorb, and a lot of new proper nouns to get used to. But don't worry, this isn't some kind of Old Boys' Club that you should feel excluded from - new blood is what keeps the NSS domestic systems afloat, and makes it such a lively scene. I highly recommend reading the FAQ below, whether it's your first time on NSS at all or if you're only just now looking into the domestic game, and I look forward to seeing all of your involvement!
TRANSFER WINDOW FAQ
So, what is the transfer window? The transfer system is how players move from one club to another, and this transfer spreadsheet is how transfers across the multiverse are conducted. North Americans might be more familiar with the term 'trades'. In football, player-for-player exchanges are rare (though not unknown) and players are generally bought for money.

Where to start? Put players you would like to see sold in the Transfer List tab. Put players who are going to be released by their clubs in the Free Transfers tab. You will have to manually approve transfers for people in the Transfer List - Free Transfers are just bought on a first-come, first-served basis.

So someone bid on my player. What now? Look at the bid in the Bids tab. You'll notice there's two different columns - Club and Player accepting the bid. Generally speaking, the Club only cares about the transfer fee and if it meets its valuation. It doesn't matter how good the buying club is - the money's the same to the selling club. The player doesn't care about the money that the selling club gets, they only care about if the selling club is good, and if they meet their expectations. Selling clubs want more money, sold players are looking for clubs with more prestige.

How do I determine what leagues are good? The UICA league rankings determine objective measures of strength. You will also want to consider the strength of the club in its given league - the Nepharim Premiership is (in theory) a stronger league than the Brenecian A-League, but your player may well prefer to go to regular A-League winners Kingsgrove than Premiership strugglers Morningstar. Most players also weigh RP quality of a given league into consideration, though only well-RPed leagues will get to the high ranks anyway.

Can I put just anyone up? A good rule of thumb is to write a description for every player in the far right of the spreadsheet. If the player isn't relevant enough for you to want to write a description for them, they aren't worth putting on the sheet. A placeholder description will do for now, but definitely have a real description up by the time the window actually starts - when the UICA cutoff occurs and Commerce Heights starts to score the international tournaments.

How can I buy players? It's the same in reverse. What players do you want to see in your leagues? If they're on the Transfer List, put a Bid for them in the Bids tab. At minimum, this will probably be their cited Valuation. If the club and the player both agree by putting a Y in the relevant tab, then it's a done deal! The player is yours.

What about players who aren't on the Transfer List? You can bid for them, too! The worst that can happen is that the other person says no.

What about Free Transfers? Just put your club and trigramme in the red New Club columns. It's automatically a done deal.

How should I value my players? And how much can I reasonably bid? Fortunately, the NSS economy is far less stratified than the real-world football economy. Instead of big players changing hands for hundreds of Euro, while most leagues outside Europe will never see a transfer of even one million, there's more parity across UICA and this is reflected in more even results. If it's your first season, your top-half teams might have a full million to spend on a transfer fee, with most of the purchased foreigners being free transfers. Your best player, if they're in the prime of their career (roughly 25-29, but youth adds value, so 24-25 is probably peak value for a player), might fetch one or two million. Other starters on your national team might go for about a million, and ambitious guys in your league hoping to break into your national team will probably fetch like half a million.

Is that a hard and fast rule? No, and there are exceptions. Maybe your league is like the real-life Chinese Super League, a low-prestige league with a lot of money. It's entirely fair to throw a lot of cash around without much prestige, just as long as you're aware of that status. More generally, nobody is going to police you for Doing Things Wrong.

What should my expectations be like for my first season? Modest. Out of a few bids for less prominent players, often in their early- to mid-30s, a few will probably be accepted - and, of course, look through Free Transfers for players who appeal to you. Be realistic, of course - a guy who is like 31 and is still an active international for a strong team is probably not going to join your lower leagues just because he's in the Free Transfers tab - but beyond those obvious cases, you don't need to second-guess yourself.

If I have a free agent player, but I care about their destination, can I put them on the Transfer List anyway? Yes. Any bid for them will be for 0 - there's no club with their contract to take the money - and you are free to accept whatever destination you'd like.

Can I start yet? So far, the window is only open in a preliminary stage. People can put their players and managers up, write rumours, and start declaring interest in players, but the actual Sales and Bids tabs, and the New Club columns of the Free Transfers sheet, are locked for the time being. There's no rush, either - you can still add new characters onto the spreadsheet after the transfer window officially opens, when the first UICA round is posted.

Have other questions, or just want to hang out and chat? Then feel free to join the NS Sport Discord channel!
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Xanneria
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Postby Xanneria » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:38 pm

Hey guys, I'm looking to start attempting to break into to hosting a tournament of sorts. I thought maybe hosting a "Collegiate Association Football Tourniment would be a great place to start, does anyone have any suggestions on getting this off the ground?
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Kita-Hinode
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Postby Kita-Hinode » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:46 am

Xanneria wrote:Hey guys, I'm looking to start attempting to break into to hosting a tournament of sorts. I thought maybe hosting a "Collegiate Association Football Tourniment would be a great place to start, does anyone have any suggestions on getting this off the ground?

We kind of had the same idea, I think. I've been looking towards having some sort of international youth tournament for a while now, one that takes under consideration effort towards the youth leagues and whatnot.

About college leagues, I don't think there's many out there. I have one and... I think PIS did as well, recall playing his champions once, but that's it.
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Champion: WC 75 and 76, CoH 74, U-15 WC 4 and 6, DBC 29 and 41, CE 21 and 24
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Liventia
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Postby Liventia » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:58 am

The last International University Challenge Championship lasted 31 editions (first run on the old Jolt forums as a three-country invitational tournament) and was last run in October 2010 (following the 23rd UICA cycle, or the 26th Champions Cup); I officially killed it off in January 2011. CH then expanded his college/university set-up to take in foreign colleges in a conference system tournament; I don't know if that's still going.
Last edited by Liventia on Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Xanneria
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Postby Xanneria » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:22 am

Kita-Hinode wrote:
Xanneria wrote:Hey guys, I'm looking to start attempting to break into to hosting a tournament of sorts. I thought maybe hosting a "Collegiate Association Football Tourniment would be a great place to start, does anyone have any suggestions on getting this off the ground?

We kind of had the same idea, I think. I've been looking towards having some sort of international youth tournament for a while now, one that takes under consideration effort towards the youth leagues and whatnot.

About college leagues, I don't think there's many out there. I have one and... I think PIS did as well, recall playing his champions once, but that's it.


I don't think having a College league in the domestic thread should be a prerequeset. It was never one for tournaments like the NSCF (Granted this won't be run as a "Season" like NSCF, but it's still a comparable league) so it shouldn't be one here. Especially since few people outside of you and Baker Park have actually said anything about College sports.
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NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: Maroons - Record 58-20-48 (W-D-L) (This may not be 100% accurate)
FIRST CONTEST: Copa Esportiva 23
FIRST GAME: Vangazaland 3-1 Xanneria
FIRST WIN: 5-3 vs Qingland
LARGEST MOV: 5-0 vs Pineapple Porcupines
CHAMPIONSHIPS:Baptism of Fire 69 (Nice!) winner / Group Winner CE24
Non Association Football Stats
NSCF TEAMS: Xannerian Polytechnic
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Squornshelan Remnant States
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Postby Squornshelan Remnant States » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:02 am

I'm wrapping up the current season of my domestic league, and I'm wondering: is there is a Cup Winners Cup that is open to clubs from independent national FAs? I think it's the Cygnus Cup, but I'm having trouble finding information about eligibility, the forum search function is letting me down today.
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Eastfield Lodge
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Postby Eastfield Lodge » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:10 am

Squornshelan Remnant States wrote:I'm wrapping up the current season of my domestic league, and I'm wondering: is there is a Cup Winners Cup that is open to clubs from independent national FAs? I think it's the Cygnus Cup, but I'm having trouble finding information about eligibility, the forum search function is letting me down today.

Yes, Cygnus Cup (or just generally Cup Winners' Cup). Criteria is pretty simple - champions of national cup (not a playoff).
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Commerce Heights
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Postby Commerce Heights » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:52 am

Liventia wrote:The last International University Challenge Championship lasted 31 editions (first run on the old Jolt forums as a three-country invitational tournament) and was last run in October 2010 (following the 23rd UICA cycle, or the 26th Champions Cup); I officially killed it off in January 2011. CH then expanded his college/university set-up to take in foreign colleges in a conference system tournament; I don't know if that's still going.

The Academy Sporting Association abandoned its international ambitions long ago, and would of course be delighted by an opportunity to continue its run of International University Challenge Championship titles.

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Kita-Hinode
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Postby Kita-Hinode » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:30 pm

Commerce Heights wrote:
Liventia wrote:The last International University Challenge Championship lasted 31 editions (first run on the old Jolt forums as a three-country invitational tournament) and was last run in October 2010 (following the 23rd UICA cycle, or the 26th Champions Cup); I officially killed it off in January 2011. CH then expanded his college/university set-up to take in foreign colleges in a conference system tournament; I don't know if that's still going.

The Academy Sporting Association abandoned its international ambitions long ago, and would of course be delighted by an opportunity to continue its run of International University Challenge Championship titles.

I've talked with Aels via Discord and I've settled to revive the IUCC. I hope it's gonna be as good as it was in the past, expect a post about it in a couple of hours.
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Champion: WC 75 and 76, CoH 74, U-15 WC 4 and 6, DBC 29 and 41, CE 21 and 24
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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:04 pm

Xanneria wrote:
Kita-Hinode wrote:We kind of had the same idea, I think. I've been looking towards having some sort of international youth tournament for a while now, one that takes under consideration effort towards the youth leagues and whatnot.

About college leagues, I don't think there's many out there. I have one and... I think PIS did as well, recall playing his champions once, but that's it.


I don't think having a College league in the domestic thread should be a prerequeset. It was never one for tournaments like the NSCF (Granted this won't be run as a "Season" like NSCF, but it's still a comparable league) so it shouldn't be one here. Especially since few people outside of you and Baker Park have actually said anything about College sports.


As far as collegiate soccer leagues, I have my mens/womens college seasons, which I've never given thought to at all. That's really the only non-professional path of playing the sport in BP.

I would be on board for a tournament like I think you both are talking about. I've not gotten involved in the UICA youth competiton b/c I just don't have that element of my club structure well thought out.
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Savojarna
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Postby Savojarna » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:02 am

I think you could get more attention for the college project if you don't make it explicitly college-based, given that quite some countries (at least in football) may not have a college-based system. For what it's worth, the system is quite uniquely (North?) American in real life. I know Savojarna doesn't and will never employ proper college teams that are more than a bunch of students having fun. Unless things like Akademisk SK and EU Storevik would qualify, but these are normal professional teams that just happen to be associated with universities, their athletes are neither students, particularly young, or amateurs.
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Kita-Hinode
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Postby Kita-Hinode » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:06 am

Savojarna wrote:I think you could get more attention for the college project if you don't make it explicitly college-based, given that quite some countries (at least in football) may not have a college-based system. For what it's worth, the system is quite uniquely (North?) American in real life. I know Savojarna doesn't and will never employ proper college teams that are more than a bunch of students having fun. Unless things like Akademisk SK and EU Storevik would qualify, but these are normal professional teams that just happen to be associated with universities, their athletes are neither students, particularly young, or amateurs.


The tournament is actually meant to only include teams from college leagues. It's fine if they are just a bunch of students having fun. :p
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Savojarna
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Postby Savojarna » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:41 am

Kita-Hinode wrote:
Savojarna wrote:I think you could get more attention for the college project if you don't make it explicitly college-based, given that quite some countries (at least in football) may not have a college-based system. For what it's worth, the system is quite uniquely (North?) American in real life. I know Savojarna doesn't and will never employ proper college teams that are more than a bunch of students having fun. Unless things like Akademisk SK and EU Storevik would qualify, but these are normal professional teams that just happen to be associated with universities, their athletes are neither students, particularly young, or amateurs.


The tournament is actually meant to only include teams from college leagues. It's fine if they are just a bunch of students having fun. :p


Well, if you could agree to give my team a malus to make it unlikely they'd win much, that could be fun :D
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95X
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Re: Domestic Season Playoffs

Postby 95X » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:04 am

Ko-oren wrote:
Velestria wrote:A question, in the eyes of the world I am considering restricting my league to add an American-style knockouts tournament at the end of the league, would this be considered a step back in terms of footballing or a step forward in the world’s eyes? And included would the regular season champion or the knockout champion go to UICA Champions Cup?


Not a step back or a step forward imo, it's just another way of approaching your league. Lots of competitions and leagues have a knockouts/playoffs/finals system, and it's not necessarily worse or better. In some, the top several teams to go to the finals get some sort of protected status or a bye, and the bottom several teams are just happy to be there. I'd say the knockout champion is the one qualifying to the CC.

If it's not too late to add to this conversation, when I RP'd Soccer League X as my domestic league I did exactly what was in question and the championship game winner qualified for the Champions Cup and was accepted by the UICA. Here's an example from an SLX season that was very memorable for several reasons, and describes exactly what I'm talking about. Bear in mind 95X had two CC entries at the time, and the second entry went to the regular season winner.
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Postby Zwangzug » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:11 pm

Nephara wrote:With the announcement of the UICA cutoff, the 24th Transfer Window in its preliminary stage! Put up your players and browse others, and get your spreadsheets out to plan. The Window begins in earnest when the first UICA post is made, and then the actual transfers can commence.
The spreadsheet is now open for business!
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Nephara
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Postby Nephara » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:12 am

Can confirm! Can also confirm an announcement I meant to make earlier; Nepharim and Brenecian players will be aging up another year between these two cycles - so, two instead of the regular one, to keep in touch with WCC ages. Foreign players in the NPH/BRE leagues will also be regarded as doing so by default unless I'm told not to, preferably on Discord.

The exception is anyone who was playing in Cosumar in the 71 cycle (and Cosumarites in my leagues), and thus was aged up twice then.

Apologies for the inconvenience with book-keeping.
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Xanneria
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Postby Xanneria » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:23 am

Hey guys, I've been wanting to show ya'll some stuff I've been doing in terms of uniforms for my Domestic league

Here are the uniforms of the top-4 teams in my top tier!

Austin City

Reedostown

Capital FC

East End FC
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Teams
NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: Maroons - Record 58-20-48 (W-D-L) (This may not be 100% accurate)
FIRST CONTEST: Copa Esportiva 23
FIRST GAME: Vangazaland 3-1 Xanneria
FIRST WIN: 5-3 vs Qingland
LARGEST MOV: 5-0 vs Pineapple Porcupines
CHAMPIONSHIPS:Baptism of Fire 69 (Nice!) winner / Group Winner CE24
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Postby Eura » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:11 pm

viewtopic.php?p=35300450#p35300450

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:12 pm

how much longer do we have for the transfer window, now that all of the UICA finals have been played?
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Osarius
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Postby Osarius » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:18 am

Commonwealth of Baker Park wrote:how much longer do we have for the transfer window, now that all of the UICA finals have been played?

It's usually about a week, I think.
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Nephara
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Postby Nephara » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:29 pm

Yeah, I'm abroad at the moment and will have things to do as soon as I get home. If things have slowed down to a crawl I'll close it on Tuesday (Monday night US time), otherwise Thursday (Wednesday night) if it looks like there's a point in keeping it alive.
Last edited by Nephara on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nephara
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Postby Nephara » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:52 pm

There was, in fact, a point in keeping it alive! And with that, the 24th Transfer Window slams shut! Hopefully everyone got their business squared away, and with a respectable (and appropriate) 240 transfers, there was certainly a lot done. If there was a placed bid you wanted to accept but juuust missed the deadline on, hit me up on the NSS Discord and I can arrange it for you.

For clarity, just like the RL transfer window, Free Agents and Managers can still be signed and those tabs kept open.

Coming up soon: that domestic league tutorial I've kept hinting at...
Last edited by Nephara on Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nephara
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Postby Nephara » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:25 pm

SO, YOU WANT TO BUILD A LEAGUE...
Making a league can be a daunting prospect. You look at nations currently at the top of the standings, and you see long, sweeping histories, arch-rivalries, silverware. Maybe that seems unachievable - but the only thing separating those leagues from yours is time and effort. Whether you want to be the home of all the world's greatest stars, just want your league to quietly tick over in the background as somewhere to source your international players from, or something in between, this guide is designed to help you get there.

This guide will approach things from an at least mostly realistic standpoint, with at least some amount of interaction with the outside world. Maybe your nation is sufficiently medically advanced that injuries are cured on the spot, or your players are metahumans with long lives who never need to retire. The guide will assume certain things about your league are true, but even if they do not apply, hopefully some aspects of it will still prove useful.

I'll be releasing stages bit-by-bit; we'll be starting with Structure.

STRUCTURE
The first thing to think about is; what form will your league take? This depends on your nation's size, culture and wealth, as well as your level of ambition.

SIZE
How many clubs of note can your nation sustain? How many relevant leagues are you willing to score, and how many sides in each one? Larger, more populated, richer countries that are better at football can sustain more professional sides.

How many leagues you scorinate most likely depends on whether or not you have promotion or relegation. If there's no pro/rel, you probably only have the one league of any relevance - that's no shade on you, it's just there's going to be limited interest in the tiers below. Assuming you do have promotion and relegation, you'll want to score at least two leagues, but I'd advise no more than four at first. Don't worry, though - you're only expected to RP significant detail into your top league, and RP for your second tier is a bonus. Especially early on, don't sweat it.

Larger/richer countries can also sustain more clubs in each league. A country with a small population (or one that doesn't care much about football) isn't going to have more than 10-12 sides in their top flight, because there isn't the interest (and most likely finance) to sustain more. A bigger country, meanwhile, might well have 16-20 cities (or regions within cities) that can draw appreciable fanbases and deserve stadiums. From an OOC perspective, a smaller league has fewer matches and is easier to RP. Anywhere from 8-24 is realistic; my personal advice would be between 10 and 20.

Keep in mind as well that beneath the leagues you scorinate will be immeasurable small, grassroots sides. It would be impossible and unproductive to score every match of football that happens in your nation.

CUP
Something you want to take into account is your Cup. Not that you have to have a Cup, but most leagues do, in order to give lower-league sides a shot at beating larger ones. For convenience's sake, it helps to structure it so that it cleanly divides into eight quarterfinalists, four semifinalists, two finalists and, of course, a champion. If the structure you come off with does not, consider a staggered entry - this is probably ideal, if generally more annoying to count up - in which stronger sides skip the early stages. If your nation has a colony or something (but not a UICA puppet itself!), their sides could also be entered to bulk up the numbers, like France's main Cup IRL.

For example; Nephara, a large country with many giant leagues, has a staggered entry; the two Conferences (2x20) and Third Division (24) enter in the first round, the First and Second Division sides (2x24) enter in the second, and the Premiership sides (24) enter in the third. More simply, Brenecia has four professional/semi-professional leagues of 16 that all enter in the first round.

As far as rankings go, it's much easier to just rank every club within a league the same. Maybe having a slight difference for the best sides in the top tier, but you do still want to spread the glory around. It's the Cup, after all, where dreams are allegedly made of.

In Nephara, Premiership teams are given a rating of 100, First Division 75, 2Div 50, 3Div 25 and Conference 0. There are generally a couple upsets a round, but by the quarterfinals, there's never more than two sides out of eight outside the top flight, but rarely are there none. A First Division side has made it to the final once out of over 20 editions, but one usually goes get fairly far. In the Brenecian Cup (which isn't staggered) the A-League's roughly top-half clubs have a ranking of 100, its weaker clubs 90, B-League sides get 60, C- 30, D- 0. The Nepharim system is more even than the Brenecian pyramid - First Division sides are very credible opposition, B-League sides generally (but not always!) wilt before top-flight ones.

CLUBS vs. FRANCHISES
These are not synonyms, nor is it just a case of regional dialect. Whether your league runs with clubs or franchises reflects the culture of sport in your country.

A club system (or an open league) is a brutal meritocracy with a pyramid structure. The strongest survive, the weakest few (almost always one to four) get relegated. Regulation tends to be lax, and the sides with the biggest fanbases and budgets are free to dominate. They tend to come from the big cities, as a result. Clubs are formed organically from communities. Most football leagues IRL and on NS are club systems.

A pyramid system works when every league is connected. At the end of the season, the bottom 1-4 sides are 'relegated', and replaced with the best sides from the league below. This means that things change and remain exciting, and that success is rewarded and failure punished. To win the top league in the country is the ultimate honour, and given enough time to earn enough promotions, theoretically any side could win it.

A franchise system (or a closed league) is a planned, structural league. A franchise cannot be relegated; it has a license to stay in the league it's in, and will only be stripped of it on financial grounds. Sides tend to be evenly spaced from population centres around the country, avoiding oversaturation to try and have as large an overall catchment as possible. Franchises are made by board-rooms who feel like the league needs to expand into a new market, and creates an identity around that. Almost all North American leagues IRL of any sport are franchise systems.

Franchised systems also have lower tiers, but they're generally less popular than club-system equivalents. A side from the second tier can never make it to the first tier, at least not from their results on the pitch alone. The weakest sides often get compensated with things like draft picks to make them more competitive, and avoid having one team be terrible for its entire history - unlike under an open system, where a bad team will simply drop down as low as they have to until they reach a level they can compete at.

If there is no promotion/relegation system, then it's almost necessary to have a finals series/playoffs to keep things interesting, drawn from your best teams (generally around the top half of the league, often staggered in a way that favours the best ones). This way, if one team dominates the league and has it sewn up ten matches in advance, there's still something to fight over. If you have a finals series, the team that wins the league will generally not be considered the 'champions' - that's the playoff winners - but given another title, like 'premiers'. There's still prestige and a trophy in that, and they will probably have your second-highest UICA slot, with your highest going to your finals champions.

Now, these are very simplified explanations, and you can pick and mix parts as you want. The Australian A-League in RL started off as a franchised league to ensure financial and political stability, but many of its sides are clubs that predate the league, there is no draft, and promotion/relegation is likely to be added within the next 20 years, as soon as the infrastructure can be built. Similarly, many club leagues across Europe 'split' their leagues near the end-point, inspired by finals. It's your show; run it the way you want.

PROFESSIONALISM
This is another simplification, but clubs and players are either amateur, semi-professional or professional.

Amateur players are not paid, train once or twice a week and if they can't make it, the worst that happens is they get dropped from the team. This reflects their performances. Any amateur side would realistically get hammered by most any full-time side they face, especially in UICA where they face the best the rest of the world has to offer.

Semi-professional or part-time players do make money from football, but not enough for it to be a full-time career; they generally have another job, or study. Often, there are semi-professional players who could step up to the professional game, but just make more in their current arrangement. Semi-professionals can go toe-to-toe with professional players, on a good day, but it's still a huge step up in quality. But compared to ordinary people (like most amateurs), they are untouchable on the pitch.

Professionals make a full-time wage from football, though all but the best will still need to find another career after football. They train hard and often, and are expected to devote themselves to maximising performance. Your best league is probably professional. Your second league probably should be as well, either initially or after a couple of seasons; the step up in quality between professional and semi-professional football is massive.

EXAMPLES
Are you someone who likes having examples? Good news! I'll try and pimp out an abandoned puppet's league, and take you through the thought process, step-by-step. Our example will be the Ceyne Isles - in the interests of full disclosure, the nation was a collaborative work between myself and the now-retired Anglatia. I've had his blessing to take over.

The Ceyne Isles are a relic of when Nephara was really good at subjugating nearby islands. As a result, they have a lot of the post-colonial hangups, though at least the Nepharim have been fairly remorseful over it. They sought, and received, independence, and with it also sought stimulus from Anglatian businesses. It didn't end well. Ceynes survived a lot of talk about a brave new world and all they got was this stupid star on their flag.

A lot of the population lives on the coast, with Falston the main mainland city of the western isle (and the overall capital) and Roschester the largest in the east. Culturally, they share Nepharim respect for hard graft and a strong sense of self. The temperature is too damn hot.

Important things to consider:
+ Smallish population (probably not many clubs)
+ Football only relevant sport (but not THAT small)
+ Pretty poor (not very good initially, not a high ceiling)
+ Hot (a lot of night games, league probably won't go through summer)
+ NW Esportivan, ties with Nephara (many foreign players will come in from Nephara/Brenecia)
+ Two major cities, population fairly dispersed (probably not more than 2-3 sides in Falston/Roschester, not more than 1 anywhere else)
+ Nepharim influences (league will be open system, league style likely to be physical and athletic)

Other examples;
The Askari Union is a small and insignificant country on an island somewhere. It is communist, and reflects this in its structure, using a closed system with a salary cap. The Legaskari is a single professional league which started out with ten clubs, before expanding to twelve a couple of years into its existence. Then, underperforming Gaillard had its license removed, and it was replaced by Sainati Bohemien. The top six compete in the finals at the end of the season.

Brenecia is a smallish, somewhat poor Esportivan nation struggling in the post-industrial era, but football is its primary sport and a national obsession. It sustains 48 sides of relevance - four leagues of sixteen sides. The top two are professional, the others semi-professional. It uses an open club system, and most of its best sides tend to be in the northern hub of North Hall or the southern hub of Rozelle.

Nephara is a large developed country in the footballing hotbed of Southeast Rushmore. Football is by far the most important sport in the country. Nephara has four (expanded from three) professional leagues of 24 sides, which makes for a gruelling 46-match season, and regional, semi-professional Conferences, West and East (it's a large country) of 20 apiece. There are also semi-professional and amateur state leagues beneath that, but they aren't scorinated and their sides don't participate in the Cup, because I don't want to go insane of financial and logistical reasons.
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Postby Nephara » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:09 pm

IDENTITY
The most important thing writing a league is to establish clear and vibrant identities. You will always have a very good idea of who your clubs and players are in your head, but realistically, none of your readership will share in that knowledge. Every club has to have a reason to exist, both IC and OOC, and you should go to every effort possible to establish their brand.

You probably already have some idea of at least a few clubs, if you've focused on your national team first and have described some of your players as coming from those clubs. But you'll still need to build on those names, and are likely to need to bulk out your league with new creations, to say nothing of lower leagues.

These are the core factors to take into account when you are constructing a club. These are presented in a particular order, but your actual thought process may well shuffle them around.

NAME / LOCATION
This is probably the part you thought of first, and already had down on paper. Most club names consist of a location and, usually, a title. Think of real-life examples - Manchester (loc) United (title); Real (title) Madrid (loc); Sydney (loc) FC (title); Kerala (loc) Blasters (title); Bayern (loc - region) Munich (loc - city); Liverpool (loc; no title).

Try to have some variety, both in terms of location and name. Obviously there's IC caveats here - maybe your country has one huge capital city and everything else is an afterthought. But even then, don't just have Capital City, Capital FC, Capital United, AFC Capital and South Capital. A few of those are fine, but you can still name others after regions of the city, or other things.

A name can tell you a lot about a club. To go back to RL examples, think about Real Madrid (aka 'royal Madrid', big and prestigious) vs. Atletico Madrid (aka 'athletic Madrid', which conjures up a more physical, workmanlike image) vs. Rayo Vallecano (a much smaller Madrid side, named for the neighbourhood of Vallecas). Similarly, looking to the MLS - from the name alone, compare the loud, brash Los Angeles Galaxy (as in 'of stars') who revel in their American identity and go out to buy stars to the more low-key, grassroots, Europhile Los Angeles FC, with their more 'traditional' European title.

We'll be keeping on with our example of the Ceynes Super League, and looking at three clubs in particular. Imperial Falston sound big and impressive, and name-drop Falston, one of the two relevant cities in the Isles. They're probably going to be big, flashy heavy-hitters, especially as they've provided a few players for the Ceyne Isles national team. Roschester Pride represent the smaller of the two relevant sides - they have a less 'prestigious' title, but a loud, flashy one. And not every side is going to be good - it is clear just from the name that AFC Mosstown are a pack of bland bottom-feeders, struggling to survive.

COLOURS
In many real-life leagues, England being especially guilty of this, 80% of the clubs wear primarily red, white and/or blue. And, okay, these are nice colours. But it gets a bit dull. While club colours in real life are generally just an accident of tradition, you have the luxury as an NSS RPer of constructing a varied palette.

If you're using any kind of graphics, it also helps to use different shades. Instead of all your red sides having that classic 200/0/0 RGB red, give one a slightly more orange tint, and another a darker, more royal shade. Also, you can mix and match using stripes, hoops, chevrons or sashes to switch things up a bit. If you want to, you can use various graphic design programs to make it so that their kits and/or crests can be viewed by others. This is something I would probably not worry about for at least another couple of cycles, and you don't have to do it at all. But visual identity can still be conveyed even just by writing what colours they are.

Imperial Falston wear all-white with purple trim, very regal colours, very Anglatian colours, reflecting that identity.
Roschester Pride wear purple - a more vibrant shade than Imperial's trim.
AFC Mosstown wear apple green, reflecting ennui.

POWER LEVEL
How strong is the club? Strength obviously fluctuates year-by-year, as players arrive and depart, but power tends to stick. Good players would rather join a successful club, which begets more success. There's a correlation with a club's size, as well - it's a lot easier to be good if you have a huge swathe of a capital metropolis to recruit locals from and sixty thousand fans through the gates every week - but money is the main factor. RL is filled with examples of obscure sides in the middle of nowhere - Basiksehir in Turkey, Hoffenheim in Germany, Ludogorets in Bulgaria - bankrolled to relevance despite a tiny fanbase and no real history of success.

This is a lot less true in salary-capped, franchised leagues. When a powerful team wins the league, players will come looking for bigger contracts - and suddenly the same side no longer fits under the cap, and some are squeezed out. I don't actually recommend simulating a salary cap or keeping track of contracts unless you really like numbers, but it's just an example. Even then, though, there will still be sides that are more consistently successful, and certainly more famous.

In any case, you probably have some idea of what the big clubs are, and what the strong clubs are - which isn't a 1:1 deal, but most big clubs will be strong. Also, don't feel shackled to the whole concept of it being your first year in UICA. Your nation didn't start playing football the moment when they joined the Baptism of Fire, did they? And footballers need clubs. It can be useful in your RPs to talk about 'modern era' records, aka your first UICA-submitted league, but you can still make reference to sides being far, far older.

Imperial Falston are the powerhouses of the CYI League. It's a young league (in IC terms), so they aren't old as such, but they have a huge fanbase, a lot of money and an expectation of success.
Roschester Pride are probably not a title challenger, but they're still a respectably strong team that prides itself on bringing through youth. They're something of a selling club, though - Imperial often buys the best players that Pride bring through, securing Imperial's dominance and Pride's finances. They're a midtable club, but a particularly good batch of them could aim for the UICA places, and they're probably safe from relegation barring a freak result.
AFC Mosstown, meanwhile, are a small, derelict club from the middle of nowhere. Success, for them, will be escaping relegation.

STYLE
Including, but not only, the style mod. How does your team play? What is the game-plan? What formation does their strongest XI come out in against a standard opponent? These are of course subject to change year by year, especially with a change of managers. But it's good to keep a common thread between seasons and managers, and try and keep a core identity intact.

You don't have to publicise the style modifier, and it's a bit of an immersion-breaker. Nobody in real life looks at clubs and rates them on a scale of -5 to +5. My personal advice - though this is very subjective - is that, at least with NSFS style mods, it's best to stick to a range of -2 to +3. I haven't crunched the numbers, but I feel like an average of +1 will get you around a 2.8 goal per game average.

Imperial Falston are influenced by the attack-minded Anglatian style of play, and combined with their financial might, they aim to dominate the rest of the league both on the scoreboard and in terms of possession stats. Unlike some possession-heavy styles, they are actually trying to get the ball moving forward, though. They spend most of their money on forwards and creative midfielders. They will use a +2 modifier, and play in a 4-3-3 formation.

Roschester Pride are fun to watch as well, though they don't have Imperial's financial clout. They rely more on pace and power going forward, favouring a young and impetuous side, pressing high up the pitch and sometimes neglecting defensive signings. They will also use a +2 modifier, despite their different style of play to Imperial, but their more fast-paced, physical game lends itself more to a 4-4-2. This also contrasts against their more dour, defensive rivals, City.

AFC Mosstown do not have the budget to buy standout creative players, and if they somehow had one, they'd probably sell them to bulk up the spine of the team. They respect hard work and discipline, and consider any away point a good result, no matter how ugly it is. They get their goals by playing direct, route-one football, and have a good understanding of set pieces. Mosstown will play a dour 4-5-1 formation, and have a -1 modifier.

RIVALS
An easy way to add spice to your league is to add rivalries. Most of these in real life stem from proximity, 'derby' matches between clubs in the same city. But there's plenty of reasons for two clubs to hate each other. Often if there are two traditional giants of a league, their match will be something of a 'classic', and there may also be other political factors driving clubs against one another. Matches between rivals are instantly more important, generally more violent, and they'll only rarely (if ever) transfer players between each other. Expect someone who does make the switch to be called a snake or a Judas by their old fans, and perhaps not even accepted by the new - all great RP fodder.

For a real life example, take Barcelona against Real Madrid. This is a rivalry so fundamental it seems like it must have been created by an RPer allergic to subtlety - Real wear all-white, Barcelona wear a cacophony of primary colours. Real are from the capital, Barcelona from a fiercely independent state. Real's identity is based around buying stars and winning at all costs, Barcelona's around a holistic, youth-based approach and winning with style. Real were the fascist General Franco's favoured club; Franco was known for repressing the Catalan region that Barcelona is a part of. They are chalk and cheese that just so happen to be the two most powerful clubs in Spain, and probably the world. No wonder they hate each other!

Imperial Falston is pretty much just disliked by everyone outside of their fanbase, as money-hungry giants unwilling to break their stranglehold on the league. Anyone in Ceynes tends to support their local club first and whoever's playing against Imperial second.
Roschester has two major clubs, Pride and City - who are a more traditional, conservative outfit than the energetic, grassroots-based Pride. The Roschester derby is known for flamboyant displays of banners and pyro, and only the occasional street riot.
Nobody really cares about AFC Mosstown enough to hate them.

SUMMARY
The main guiding principle in all of this is contrast. Trying to get people to remember every club you have is... hard. Can you honestly name every club in every league you semi-follow? So all you can do is make it as easy for your readers as possible, and that means making memorable, distinct identities based around core things. Just to get your foot in the door. I've put all these reasons above for why X is Y, but with our examples, what will really stick around is:

Imperial Falston: Big, rich, marquee focus, hated by everyone, strong Anglatian identity.
Roschester Pride: Decent, youth-based, attacking football, flamboyant fans, hates City.
AFC Mosstown: Small-town, struggling, poor, based around hard work and physicality.

Everything else is built on these foundations. That shouldn't discourage you writing long histories on what each club means, if that's what you're into - these are genuinely a joy to read. But that's a lot of information to absorb, and there's... a lot of leagues for people to keep track of. Find your core principles and reinforce them constantly.

But who plays for these clubs? And how Next time, we look at ROSTERS.
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