New Rule Alert!!! If a 43 or 46 roll results in a turnover, also record an offensive foul on the player turning the ball over. This study shows that (not counting steals) a total of 28.7% of all other turnovers were the result of an offensive foul, and this adjustment reflects that frequency for most players. We reordered the instructions just slightly so that all you need to do the play the Value Add Basketball game is get the 4 dice pictures, then print the first four images in this blog and start playing. You can also watch this video.
Setup step 1 of 4 - print out the next 2 images to play the two top teams in our all-time tournament - Bill Walton's UCLA and Michael Jordan's UNC. You can print this pdf to choose from 100 teams from 2020 or 97 all-time great teams from 1943 to 2019.
Setup step 2 of 4 - get these dice; an 8-sided die; two 6-sided die to give a roll of 11-66; and a 20-sided die.
Setup Step 3 of 4 - print a Scoresheets. It likely works best to click on it, then click to open in a new window, then set up to print LANDSCAPE. I've printed at hotels as well as home and it seems to work fine.
Setup Step 4 of 4 - Print this chart to keep out to look up the 11-66 roll on each possession. You roll all 4 dice on every possession and attempt to shoot again after an offensive rebound. The only times you roll fewer are for a free throw (only 20-sided die) or on shaded possessions on the Scoresheets when you roll the 20-sided dies and one of the 6-side die to see who gets the rebound on the rebound chart in the bottom right of the Scoresheet (the defense always gets the rebound on the possessions that are not shaded.
You can literally play the game without going past this line on the blog. However, here is everything else in the blog, starting with my home favorite cards for my alma mater's Marquette 2020 team featuring Markus Howard.
Setting Up The Score Sheet to Play the Game
Once you printed the components of the game above, you can start to fill in your score sheet to prepare to play the game.
As shown in the score sheet below, we wrote the two teams pictured at the top of this blog, and then look at their dunk ranges.
The UNC 1982 players all have a dunk range of 51-55, which we find on the left column of the chart above. We then cross reference that with UCLA adjust dunk range of a negative 7 (-7). On the chart that results in a red range of 51-53 above. When the range is in red, that means that any time UNC has the ball a roll of 51-53 occurs on the two 6-sided dice, the result of the roll will be a STOP, meaning the shot is missed and whoever is defending the player with the ball gets a defensive rebound.
We right, "51-53 = STOP" by UNC to remember that is always the result.
Moving to UCLA, they have a 51-61 dunk range and UNC has a minus 8 (-8). On the chart that results in a 51-53 - the same range - but in green. Because it is in green, every time UCLA has the ball and a 51-53 roll the result is a DUNK for 2-points. We write "51-53 = DUNK" by UCLA.
Next we write in the line-ups on the score sheet. The top column of five players are the recommended starters which would be written in the top five spots on the score sheet as well. On UNC's side we write Black, Jordan, Doherty, Worthy, then Perkins. On UCLA's side we write Lee, Bibby, Farmer, Wilkes, then Walton. These appear in the order of Point guard (PG on the playing card), Shooting Guard (SG), Small Forward (SF), Power Forward (PF) and Center (C).
The last thing we need to write down before starting the game is the possessions each player will play. The game will start on possession 44 and end on possession 1. You can determine the possessions based on the suggestions by Playtime on the top of the player card, or by doing you math using the number of possessions the player would average under "Stamina."
In the case of UNC, four of five players can play all 44 possessions so we write 44-1 by their names. The only one who cannot is Michael Jordan, who can play 41 of 44 possessions. We actually want starters to FINISH the game rather than start it, so we write "41-1" by Jordan and then the one sub we need is Brust to play just the first three possessions, so we write "44-42" by him.
The UCLA team played before minutes were recorded, so for them all five starters have a Stamina of 37, so they will all play possessions 37-1 and all five reserves will play 44-38.
Note that the score sheet starts with a 20-20 score (we play that 22 possessions - possessions 66-45 - were already played. Note that each player starts with 2 points and some other stats. However, because UNC only plans to use 6 players, we need to give the 8 points and 4 rebounds that would have gone to the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th players to players that will be used in the game, so we added 2 points and one rebound to Black, Jordan, Worthy and Perkins.
At this point, our score sheet is filled out and we are ready to start the game. Here is what it looks like following everything written in this section.
Rolling the Dice to Start the Game
In addition to these games, you can click on the detailed instructions or click here for both this blog and the detailed blog combined into one google doc with page numbers.
For background, the Value Add Basketball Game grew out of the college basketball rankings of thousands of players each season developed by John Pudner and featured in these stories in , , , Fox Sports and many others.
The following would be the results of some sample dice rolls in a UCLA vs. UNC game using the cards at the top of the blog, and showing what the dice roll was and then what would be written on the bottom part of the score sheet in addition to recording how many points, rebounds, steals, blocks and fouls by each player:
One note on the last entry, it refers to the dunk range being 51-54, but it actually is 51-53 as noted above.
The results are recorded in this manner from the 44th to the 10th possession - the first 3 columns.
The Last 9 Possessions
Note that the final 9 possessions have a diagonal line through each possession for each team.
Normally you only use the top left section of each possession.
However, in the following scenarios, you will also use the bottom right section for an extra possession:
1. If either team is fouled during the possession, then both teams get an extra possession so use the bottom section below the diagonal for both teams.
The team that is losing can choose to go for the "turnover or intentional foul" to get the extra possession. If this option is used, then do not roll the 20-sided die. If the result of the 11-66 roll is a turnover or a steal, then use that result, but if not then the result is a foul and two shots. In any case, an extra possession is created. Keep in mind this should only be used on the top portion of the last nine possessions - never use it during the roll for the bottom half possessions since that does not create and extra possession.
2. If either of the two guards steals the ball during a possession, or if either forward steals the ball on an odd roll (11, 13, 15 or 31) then the team has the option of running a fast break. The advantage of a fast break is that the 20-sided die roll is lowered by one. If either team chooses a fast break then use the bottom possession for both teams. (A team that is ahead may choose not to run a fast break so that the extra possession is not used.
Because any, all or none of the last 9 possessions could create an extra possession, a game could be considered to have as many as 75 possessions (or as few as 66 possessions, though either title includes the 22 possessions we do not really play out that results in the 20-20 game start).
At the end of the last possession, the game is over unless the score is tied.
If the score is tied, the game goes to overtime, and 9 more possessions are played using the same rules as the last nine possessions or regulation You may want to write them off to the right of those possessions.
End of Instructions - The following is some additional information and links to advanced rules.
All of player cards can now be printed at once, one team to a page, by clicking here. We are leaving the following links to old cards in case you prefer the bigger cards, however all of the cards in all of these links are now in the one link.
· click here for the 100 teams of 2020 that were projected to make the NIT or NCAA tournament - these are in visual files 3 pages to a team, and you can first look at the list on the link to see which 3 pages print out which teams (12 cards to a team).
· Or if you would prefer to play with any of the 96 all-time great teams, they are available on google doc pdfs:
Kansas 1957 to LSU 2006 Google Doc Version or just print this blog
Marquette 1977 to Notre Dame 1970 Google Doc Version or just print this blog
Ohio State 1960 to Purdue 2018 Google Doc Version or just print this blog
San Diego State 2011 to Texas Western (UTEP) 1966 Google Doc Version or just print this blog
Note that while we included only the five starters for UNC and UCLA in the instructions, the player cards above include reserves.
The information above includes everything you need to play basic games, the following is additional detail with a Table of Contents to show you where to find information or clarify any part of the game you find confusing.
Starting to play the Value Add Basketball Game In VABG, each player card is carefully calibrated to measure his ability to score, draw fouls, rebound, avoid turnovers and committing fouls, block shots, and steal the ball. This yields a player card that provides accurate chances to be successful in each of these areas against a standard level of competition (e.g. a player with the exact same stats playing against high-level defenses will have a card that accurately reflects how much better he would be than a player who put together the exact same stats facing much weaker defenses.)
We have played off an entire tournament of the 96 all-time great teams from the 1940s through UVa’s 2019 champions and the 2020 tournament that was canceled in real life. Results and updates are posted at and these games were used to find and adjust any inaccuracies or items that made the game more difficult to play.
The Addendums referenced in these instructions appear at , but due to perfecting the game with various updates since the introduction in February 2019 we were asked to produce a clean copy in PDF form with chronological instructions.
The following is the table of contents to find any aspect of the game that does not make sense or simply to clarify a result that may be confusing in the Addendums.
Simply click here to access the entire google doc including all of the topics outlined below or click here for the blog with the detailed instructions for everything in the Table of Contents.
To access all items in the Table of Contents listed above, you can click on the detailed instructions that are one of three options for following the directions to play the Value Add Basketball Game. The most popular instructions are these Quick Start instructions used by more than 30,000 as of April 2020 are the blog you now have open as you read this. If you use google docs, you can click here to access the combined instructions that contain both the Quick Start instructions you are reading now and the detailed instructions from the link above. That last option is a google doc which makes it much easier to find specific items because the pages are numbered to correspond with the numbers on the Table of Contents below, however because some people do not use google docs we provide the other two options in these blogs.