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You can start playing at any time, but you'll be playing for the sheer fun of it until the next season starts. During this Indie League period, you can switch artists as often as you like, and you can use this time to get used to the game play.

Each week's play begins and ends on Friday at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time. Each week in the 13 week season is numbered. Week 1 has some special deadlines, so pay attention to the list of important dates below.

Seasonally

By noon Pacific Time on Monday of Week 1, all Labels must be finalized for that season's competition. That means if a label you've created isn't finalized, you can't win any prizes, and you forfeit that label's registration fee for that season. IMPORTANT: there is no exception to this rule. You will have all of the Indie League's existence to think and play without penalty, and even in you decide at the last minute you want to participate, you will need to be sure of your choices by the deadline.

If you're in a Private League, and all of your fellow players haven't finalized by the deadline, the Private League's status is changed by the FML Commissioner's office to an Indie League, and the prize packages will be reduced by a proportional amount to the finalized labels. IMPORTANT: there is no exception to this rule. If you've created a Private League, keep careful watch of your players' status. They'll know if they've finalized their Label or not - make sure everyone has, or the prize pool shrinks.

If you're already competing for prizes with your label, and are coming to the end of the game for the prior season, you can keep all your same artists (as long as their aggregate value is less than $70,000,000 - everyone starts all over with $70,000,000 at the beginning of each season) by choosing the Rollover This Label button that will appear on your Label Management screen.

Official Ruling [1/2/05]: The Rules state that throughout the League season, once you sign an Artist and then later switch them for another, that Artist is no longer available to you for re-signing for the remainder of that League Season. You are, however, eligible to re-sign any switched Artists as of Monday noon Pacific Time, one week prior to the commencement of the next season, rendering all Artists available to all players. This ruling assumes that the signing of that Artist would be allowed under all other rules, and is effective for the Spring 2005 Open League Season.


Weekly

By noon Pacific Time on Monday of any week, all Artist Switches must be finalized for that week. Any switches that occur after that time will not go into effect until the following week. Once the Monday deadline passes, all Labels will be locked and Label Performance calculations will be made for the next several days as new eTracks chart data is finalized.

On Friday at 12 Noon Pacific Time, the new NMC eTracks charts will be released simultaneously on the main NetMusicCountdown.com site, as well as on all affiliate sites. Immediately, all Label performance data will be updated, any Artist Switches made after Monday at 12 Noon Pacific Time will go into effect, and any Artists Switches can be made based on the new eTracks charts data.