Athletes Unlimited Softball 2020 inaugural season launching this August.

How We Play

How We Play

Athletes Unlimited is changing the game of softball with an alternate scoring system that produces greater team parity and highlights individual parity.

What is Sports Parity?

What is Sports Parity?

Parity is when participating teams have roughly equivalent levels of talent. In such a league, the “best” team is not significantly better than the “worst” team. This leads to more competitive contests where the winner cannot be easily predicted in advance.

Read an in-depth analysis of the impact of Athletes Unlimited’s alternate scoring system on team parity from simulations.

Download Whitepaper

How Traditional Leagues Do It

Traditional scoring systems simply count the number of wins. Thus, they do not distinguish between dominant wins in which the same team won every inning and narrow wins in which the teams traded innings. Traditional professional leagues attempt to address team disparity by offering the worst performing team the highest draft pick, or some random-based variation of that. Nevertheless, perhaps because drafting quality and playing quality both relate to some general quality of a team, there continue to exist numerous dynasties across professional sports.

Our data team applied our scoring to the MLB. Take a look at the in-depth study from simulations.

Download Whitepaper

An alternate scoring system

An alternate scoring system

To address the issue that exists with traditional sports leagues, the Athletes Unlimited team scoring system allocates points to the winner of each inning as well as to the winner of the game overall. The Athletes Unlimited system essentially does away with fixed teams by redrafting every roster every week. But in order to draft players, athletes have to become a team captain. The way to do that? Earn as many points possible.

How We Draft

After the last game of every week, the top four point scorers will be named team captains. Each captain will be assigned to a team color based on their standing.
No. 1: Gold
No. 2: Blue
No. 3: Orange
No. 4: Black

Team captains can consult with anyone they want prior to the opening of the draft, including any Athletes Unlimited staff, former coaches, and teammates.

Each week during the draft every captain will be allowed up to two minutes per pick. Once a player is selected their captain may consult them for further decisions. Once all 56 players have been selected to a team, it will be time to prepare for the upcoming slate of games and get ready to play ball.

Then, an exciting new week of competition will begin.


How We Score

Win Points

Win points are all about the team performance. They accumulate during both individual innings and overall game wins. Each inning is worth +10 points and overall games are worth +50 points.

If an inning is tied, the points roll over to the subsequent inning.


Game MVPs

After each game, the players will vote for three players who they feel had standout performances.

These points will be added to the player’s individual total. Points will be awarded as follows:

MVP 1: +60 points
MVP 2: +40 points
MVP 3: +20 points


Individual Stats

The final component of points is individual stats. Position players and pitchers will earn points based on their performance.

The breakdown for individual points is as follows:

Single: +10 points

Double: +20 points

Triple: +30 points

Home run: +40 points

Stolen base: +10 points

Caught Stealing: -10 points

Base on balls: +10 points

If a batter goes 3-for-5 with two singles and a home run, but is caught stealing, they will be awarded 50 points.

10 (S) + 10 (S) + 40 (HR) – 10 (CS) = 50 points

Pitchers earn +4 points for every out and -10 points for each earned run allowed.

For example, if a pitcher throws 5 2/3 innings and allows two earned runs, they would earn 58 points.

(17 x 4) – (1 ER x 10) = 58 points

A player’s points determine their ranking, which will be used each week for the draft.