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How to Play SmallBall Baseball


This Help page contains a walk-through of all the steps you'll need to take to start managing and training your own new SmallBall team.

If this is your first time using Smallball, we suggest you read the entire page.

Otherwise, please select the topic you wish to read:

Click here

Registering in order to create your NEW team

Changing your Password, and E-mail Settings

Low resolution option

Setting up your team

Skills and Training Potential

Basic training practices

The Passive Training feature

Seasons, Leagues and Games

Team Home pages and Team Standings

Star Ratings and Statistics

Playing an Exhibition or Training Game

Playing a Pro League Game

Reviewing your Games and Watching other teams

Controls while viewing a Game

Registering in order to create your NEW team

Once you've installed SmallBall Baseball and started it for the first time, SmallBall will pop up a Start Screen, similar to the one seen to the right.  Click on Settings at the top of the screen, and then on the menu that drops down select Registration to register your e-mail address, your personal password, and the name you want to us to call you as the "Owner" of your team. Click on the box at the bottom if you want SmallBall to send you an e-mail whenever your team is challenged to a game, and to receive an e-mail of your team's stats when each season ends.

When you're done, press Send. SmallBall will then assign you a new team, and give you a unique SmallBall Owner ID number. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you write down your Password, Owner ID #, and Owner name.  All three are necessary to manage and play your team. Note: If you do forget the password for your team, you can view your password reminder question by clicking on the Change button on the Start screen.

If you want to create a new team at a later date, register exactly the same way you did to get your first team.

If you do own more than one team, to switch from one team to another, you must click on the Login button, and enter the ID # and password for the team you wish to use. By default, the system automatically logins in whichever team was last used.


The SmallBall Start Screen

(the image on the left side changes each season)



Changing your password, and E-mail Settings

By updating your Personal Profile, you can change the E-mail address that SmallBall sends messages to, change the password for your team, change the password reminder, change your "Owner name", or unsubscribe from receiving SmallBall e-mails. To access this screen, click the Change button on the Start Screen (Note: this button replaces the Registration button once you've initially registered a team).

If you own more than one team, remember to login for the appropriate team before changing your profile.

Change Personal Profile Screen


Low resolution option

For those users who intend to run SmallBall on a slow system, and for those who want to run other applications simultaneously with SmallBall, there is a low resolution version of the game. In Low Res mode, SmallBall runs in a much smaller window with smaller characters, and always runs very smoothly.

To access low resolution mode, click on Settings, then select Low resolution.

NOTE: In order to use this feature, you MUST select Low resolution first, prior to going into Training or playing any games.


Setting up your team

To handle most of the tasks with your team you need to go to the SmallBall Trainer Window. To do this, click on Training on the Start Screen. A small practice field and your new team will appear.

To name your team and players, click on the Edit menu on the toolbar then click on the Names button. At the top, type in your team's name, and next to that, type in a one to four letter abbreviation for your team.  Below the team name, you'll see 12 player name slots. Keep in mind that the positions, from 1 to 12 are: P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, and three bench spots.  Remember that you can rename your players whenever you want.  When you are done, Click OK.

To change your team colors, click on Colors from the Edit menu. From this screen you can change the skin tone of the team, change the uniform color, and the hat color. If you click the Apply Button here and view the Training Window, you can view the team colors, before clicking OK to set your color choices.

To change the batting order, substitute active and benched ballplayers, or change field positions of your ballplayers, click on Roster from the Edit Menu. The leftmost window shows the current batting order. To move a player up or down in the order, click on the player and then click the corresponding button below the batting order list. The center window shows the current field positions for your players, and the rightmost window shows players on the bench. To substitute an active player with one on the bench, select the appropriate players in both windows, then press the Rest Button. To switch two active players' positions, sub each player out, then sub him back in where you want him to be.


Skills and Training Potential
Skill icons
After clicking on a ballplayer, the scoreboard will display the statistics for the player.  In addition, on the right side of the board, four icons are displayed which reflect that player's ability in four basic skill areas:
  • Batting: how well, overall, the player hits.
  • Running: how fast the player runs.
  • Throwing: how far and how fast the player throws the ball. 
  • Catching:  how well the player fields balls.
Note: There is also a fifth icon which reports the player's Mood -- this is explained below.

Training Potential
To improve a player's skill, make them perform that skill, while the player has Training Potential remaining.  To view a player's remaining Training Potential (TP), click on the player.  A rotating yellow pie will appear under the player's feet.  The larger the pie, the more energy the player has remaining to train and grow.  If the circle under the player's feet is clear (empty), any further training on that player is wasted. 

TP is replenished each day. 

Basic training practices


Mood Levels


There are many ways to maximize a player's training.  Here are the most basic ways to increase player skills:

  • Batting: Click and Drag the player to the plate to get batting practice. 
  • Running: Click and Drag the player away from his/her position, forcing the player to run back into position.
  • Throwing and Catching: Click on the player to have nearby players throw the ball to him/her.
Be creative and active during training.  Watch players carefully as they train.  Take advantage of the easy ability to switch player positions during practice by dragging them to new positions (these changes are for training only, and do not effect official positions during the game.  To change official positions, read this).  

In addition to the skills icons, there is a colored display of the player's Mood. The mood of each player is very important, because it directly effects all other skills -- it truly effects how well they play.  To improve a player's mood, simply remember to click on them to interact with them.


The Passive Training feature

In the Trainer Window, under the Training menu, it is possible to activate "Passive Training". When this feature is activated (a check mark appears next to it), your team will use TP to train and learn through their activities in EACH game. When you turn Passive Training off, your team does not train during games, and therefore no TP is used.

Passive Training essentially allows your players to retain some portion of their skills, and possibly increase some skills, without going to the training field. This feature can be useful to increase training on skills that are specific to particular positions on the field. For example, through Passive Training a pitcher on the mound will receive highly concentrated training in pitching, and an outfielder will receive significant training in throwing.

Hint:This feature is useful for keeping your team at least somewhat well-trained when you are not be able to train them regularly for an extended period of time (i.e. While you are on vacation, other teams will actually train your team by challenging them).

Hint: This feature is best used in conjunction with individual ballplayer training, NOT as a replacement for it. Also remember that when Passive Training is on, your players use some of their earned TP during each game, so it is possible that some of players may not have a full pie of TP when you decide to train them yourself.

SmallBall Ad: Have you heard about the Deluxe Trainer, which allows you to create custom, individualized training schedules for each player on your team?


Seasons, Leagues and Games



SmallBall has two separate divisions: the Pro Leagues and the Big League. The new seasons for the Pro Leagues and the Big League start on the same day, and are typically two weeks long.  Teams can be members of both divisions, and will have a unique ranking in each division.

The Big League includes all teams currently in SmallBall Baseball.  It is the free-for-all League where any team can play any other. Big League games are called Public Games.  Wins and losses in these games effect your team's Big League standings ONLY.

Training games can be played against any team.  These games are not recorded in any way, and therefore do not effect any standings. If Passive Training is active, this will also train your team (and use TP as a result).

The Pro Leagues are the highly competitive leagues. When a new team is created in SmallBall, it is not a member of the Pro Leagues. Pro League Games are pre-scheduled by SmallBall at the start of each season. These are games between teams who are in the same Pro League Level.  Wins and losses in these games effect your team's Pro League standings ONLY.  Teams who are at the top slots of their League at the end of the season (slots marked in the standings with a Blue background) will advance into the next higher league level at the start of the next season.  Teams at the bottom of their league (slots with a Red background) will drop down to the next lower league level.  Any team who does not play any games during its season is dropped from the Pro Leagues entirely, and must earn its way back into the Pro Leagues, reentering at the lowest League level.

Entering the Pro Leagues

New teams are only be able to play Exhibition games and Public games until they earn membership into the Pro Leagues. Teams who are not part of the Pro Leagues and wish to earn membership must initiate at least
10 Public Games, and be among the top new teams in the Big league at the end of the current season. 
Teams who accomplish this will earn membership into lowest league level at the start of the next season. If you want to see how your team ranks against other teams attempting to enter the Pro Leagues, check the listing available at the bottom of the Pro League page.


Team Home pages and Team Standings generates a Team Home Page for every team in SmallBall. This single page can be used as the starting location to research any detail about your team, or in fact, any team in Smallball.

At the top of every Team Home page, is the Team name, the team letters, and the team's Star rating (explained below).

On the left side of the page is a listing of recent games and the game results. Clicking on any team name here brings up that team's home page. On the right side of the page are the team's standings in the Big League and Pro leagues. Clicking on "Big League" brings up a listing of the top 100 teams that have initiated at least 10 Public Games in the Big League (any team that has played less than 10 games is not shown). Clicking on "Pro League" brings up a page that lists all the active Pro League levels and a link to the Pro Leagues Qualification list (this list displays the top teams currently competing for entry into the Pro Leagues). Below this, is a listing of a number of teams who have Big League rankings similar to your own. You can click on any team name here to see their home team page.

The bottom of the page contains the complete statistics for every player on your team, including each player's total number of games played, At Bats, Hits, Batting Average, Singles, Doubles, Triples, Homeruns, Runs Batted In, and Strike Outs.

The easiest way to access your team's home page is by simply clicking on at the top of the Smallball Start Screen, and then selecting My Team.

The menu also contains other shortcuts. Clicking on Home brings up the SmallBall Home page, which contains new tips and announcements. News brings up the News page, which is updated regularly with information on the top teams and top games in the league. The Help shortcut brings to you to this help page.

Star Ratings and Statistics

The Star Ratings are a simplified skills ranking system that allows you to roughly judge your team's collective skills compared to other teams. Only your 9 man roster is considered in your star rating. Players on the bench are not considered for the star rating. This rating only judges the skills of the team, not how intelligently the team has been managed by its owner to ensure that each player is strongest in the skills he needs most to play his position well, and help his team win. Thus, although two teams may have identical Star Ratings, one team may consistently beat the other -- the better team's players may be assigned to field positions that better match their abilities, or they may have a smarter batting lineup.

For example, if two Team Owner's have identical teams and identical star ratings, but only Owner #1 takes the time to discover which player on his team learns and retains pitching skill the best and assigns that player to be the pitcher, while Owner #2 puts that same player as the catcher, then Owner #1 is very likely to win every game against Owner #2. Another example is to imagine 2 new teams, one that has been trained SOLELY on running skills for 5 days, and another team that has been trained equally on all skills for those same days. Even though both teams may have equal training time (and same star ratings), the first team has NO skills in catching or hitting, and although they may run MUCH faster than the second team, its very unlikely they'd win any games against the other team. You can view your team's Star Rating by viewing your team's home page. It is located to the right of your team name.

Playing an Exhibition or Training Game   

To play an Exhibition game or a Training game, click on the corresponding button on the SmallBall Start Screen.  This will bring up the SmallBall Challenge window seen on the right.

Enter the team's name, letters, or Owner ID number into the appropriate field.  Press Search (Note: if you attempt to enter partial team names, only the first team name which matches will be offered), and then press OK to challenge the team shown.

Hint: Play an Exhibition game against another team to see if your team can beat them! Once you feel confident that you can win, play an official Public game to get the recorded win!

Remember, you can find teams that are close to your ranking by looking at your Team's Home Page.

For an Exhibition or Training game
___Search by Team Name, Team letters, or Owner ID#
Playing a Pro League Game  

To play a Pro League game, select that choice from the SmallBall Start Screen.  This will bring up a list of your team's scheduled games.  You can only initiate the play of games where you are the Away team.  The opposing teams must initiate the games where you are the Home team, otherwise they forfeit those games at the end of the season.

Select one of your scheduled Pro Leagues season "Away" games

Reviewing your Games and Watching other teams

It is possible to watch games currently in progress, or past games, by selecting Review Game from the SmallBall Start Screen. This feature can be used to review any game, including games between two teams not your own.

To review a game when another team challenges yours, you will need to know the Game ID#.  When your team is challenged, SmallBall sends you an e-mail informing you who has challenged you, and what the Game ID# is for that game.  Enter this Game ID# in the Game To Review window to watch the game.  Depending on whether the game has been completed yet or not, you will either see the current inning of the in Live Game mode, or you will see the start of the first inning in Review Game mode.

To review past games of a rival team, do a search on that team to bring up their Team page. At the top left corner of their Team Page, you can view which teams they have played against recently, and also see the outcome of those games.

To watch any game currently in progress, go to the Live Games link on the Big League page.  A web page will appear showing live games in progress, and the corresponding Game ID numbers to use. Additionally, the Recent Games link will show a list of all the games that have just been completed.

 Game to Review Window
Can be used to watch your games or to spy on other teams
Controls while viewing a Game

When you review a game, the Game window may be in Live Game mode or Review Game mode. The controls available to you are different in each mode.


Live Game mode

When you initiate a game with another team, or when the game you want to view is currently in progress, the Game Window opens in Live Game mode. A flashing message, "LIVE", appears in the lower left corner of the Game screen when it is in Live Game mode.

In this mode there are two icons available in the lower left corner of the screen:

  • Speakers: This controls the volume of the game. 
  • Chat: This icon located to the right of the Volume icon, opens a window that allows you to type mesages to the opposing team's owner, if they are on-line at that time

There's a special level of excitement in watching games LIVE!

Review Game mode

If the game you want to watch has finished, then the game will be shown is Review Game mode.

If the game you are watching is in Live Game mode, you can choose to close the Game Window and return to SmallBall after it is completed to watch it in Review Game mode.  The advantage of doing this is having access to six additional VCR-type icons, which allow you to quickly jump to any point in the game:

  • Back one inning: Jump back an inning.
  • Forward one inning: Jump ahead one inning.
  • Pause: Pause the game.
  • Play: Unpause the game, or to reset the game speed to normal.
  • Faster: Similar to Fast Forwarding.  May be pressed multiple times to increase the game's speed further. 
    Slower: Similar to Slow Motion or Frame-by-Frame.  May be pressed multiple times to decrease the game's speed further.

User controls during Review Game mode -- the power of a VCR!

Still Have Questions?
Try our
SmallBall Baseball Tutorial!

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