Team Leader Handbook
  • Requirements for Becoming a Team Leader
  • Checking References
  • Team Size and Sections
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Acceptable References
  • Staying in Contact
  • GAB's Database
  • Promotions
  • Missing in Action (MIA) or Inactive Members
  • Adding New Members to the Database
  • Phony References
  • Leave of Absence
  • Sending a Welcome Letter
  • Requesting New Members
  • Useful E-mail addresses
  • Guidelines for Sections

    Requirements for Becoming a Team Leader

    In order to become a Team Leader (TL) a GAB member must hold the rank of Vice Admiral, be a member in good standing for a minimum of 6 months and receive a recommendation from his current Team Leader and the Grand Admiral.

    Requests to lead a GAB team should be sent to Grand Admiral Mortal Q:

    Duties and Responsibilities

    The basic duties of a TL include welcoming new members, checking references, record keeping, answering member questions and keeping members informed of GAB policy and procedures.

    GAB's Database

    Once a new TL is assigned to a team he will be given a username and password to GAB's database. The TL is responsible for keeping members' reference files and information updated in the database. No special software is required. The TL may use the database to send out reference checks, track references and send out e-mails to team members. There are standard form letters for the reference check email, welcome letter and promotion notice already in the database, but the TL may use his own form letter if he prefers.

    All TLs are expected to read the database readme file:

    Any questions or problems with the database should be sent to GAB's Webmaster Admiral Yuen:

    Adding New Members to the Database

    Adding new members to the team database is a simple procedure. The TL receives the member's application from the Application Team and adds the member to the team database by copying the application (from the person's name through all the listed references) and pasting it into the "Add New Members" field in the database.

    Sometimes on applications new members will put hyphens in between the name of their reference and the email address like this: Bob and in order for the database to read the email address correctly the TL has to either remove the hyphen or put a space between it and the email address, i.e., Bob Smith- The database will automatically ignore other symbols like < > or [ ], but hyphens are used in some email addresses.

    If there are any changes to the team roster page (the page that is viewable on the GAB website) such as a member promotion, a new member added or a change of alias or email address, the TL must click the "Update htm file" button that is at the top of the Team Edit Page; otherwise any team roster changes will not be displayed properly.

    Sending a Welcome Letter

    A team leader should welcome all new member assigned to his team within 1-3 days of receiving them from the Application Team.

    There is a standard welcome letter already in the database or the TL may write and use his own welcome letter. Custom letters may be added to the e-mail function in the team database for future use.

    The application team informs the new member his application is being processed, but welcoming them and letting them know what team they have been assigned to is the responsibility of the TL. Unfortunately some TLs don't do this and as a result the Application Team receives unnecessary e-mail from people asking what team they are on.

    Checking References

    The most important duty of a TL is to check member references accurately and in a timely manner. TLs should set aside time at least a couple of times a week to do reference checks and update member reference files.

    All replies to reference checks should be read carefully. It shouldn't be assumed a reply will be a positive one. All verified references should be listed as "Confirmed" in the member's database. Problems or complaints about a team member should be followed up.

    Each unconfirmed reference should be checked up to three times. If after the third reference check the reference is still unconfirmed it should be listed as "No Reply". It may be necessary to occasionally send out more than three reference checks, but it shouldn't be routine.

    TLs shouldn't let too much time pass between reference checks. Additional reference checks should be sent after 7-14 days.

    The database automatically "red flags" any unconfirmed reference ten days after the last reference check was sent out. If an unconfirmed reference is highlighted red, this indicates that it needs to be updated. References shouldn't be left indefinitely as unconfirmed.

    If a reference email address bounces back, it should be marked as "Invalid". There are additional options for references in the blue "Other" menu in the member's reference database.

    Keeping member reference files properly updated is essential for running a good team.

    Acceptable References

    A member's references can only come from people he traded with or sold cards to over the internet and the deal must involve CCG, Sports or Non-Sports cards.

    References from card purchases (i.e., the member bought cards from someone else) cannot be used. They can be listed on the member's reference page (as "Cards Bought"), but they will not count towards the member's rank.

    In GAB, the references have to be able to verify that the cards were mailed, packaged properly and were received in the agreed condition (mint, near mint, etc.).

    References from family members and in person trades may not be used.

    Occasionally new members join with references that cannot be verified. If after the third reference check the member still has the rank of Ensign (0 references) he should be contacted and informed his reference(s) couldn't be confirmed. If a member remains an Ensign for more than 30 days after the third ref check was sent out he can be deleted from the team roster. The TL should email the member to let him know he can reapply when he has new trade references.


    Number of confirmed references needed for each rank level:

    Ensign 0
    Lieutenant 1-5
    Lt. Commander 6-15
    Commander 16-30
    Captain 31-50
    Vice Admiral, Admiral 51+

    Once the member has the required number of confirmed references for a rank promotion, the TL should send him a congratulatory note.

    Phony References?

    Members may not use their own alternate email addresses as references and will be thrown out of GAB when caught. If a TL suspects a member of using his own email addresses as references he should contact Admiral LasherMTL of Internal Affairs: for advice before contacting the member with concerns about possible phony references.

    All e-mails that seem suspicious or are related to the member in question should be kept.

    TLs should be on the look out for suspicious email addresses that use similar names, words or numbers:


    References that use the same name as the team member may also point to phony or unacceptable references. Sometimes these are the e-mail addresses of family members and they cannot be used as GAB references.

    i.e., member's name Frank Smith:

    Many e-mail servers list the real name in the e-mail header. Sometimes this is a simple way to catch a cheater.

    The TL should also be on the lookout for reference replies that come in one after another. Five replies that come in minutes after each other (especially if they all come from free mail accounts) may indicate a problem. Again if unsure or suspicious, keep all those e-mails in case a report is made to Internal Affairs. Another thing to look out for is responses that all sound alike or use similar grammar, misspellings etc.

    Many traders have Hotmail and AOL addresses, so a large number of those types of email addresses on a member's reference list does not automatically mean the person is trying to fake his references. By being alert to the possibility and asking for advice from more experienced GAB Admirals or Internal Affairs, it is possible to catch the people who are trying to pass in phony references.

    Requesting New Members

    To request new members for a team, the TL should fill out the form at: Up to 10 new members may be requested at one time. If the form doesn't work a TL can contact the leader of the Application Team, Admiral Kristine Kochanski:

    Once new members have been assigned to the team, the TL must wait 30 days before putting in another request for additional members.

    Team Size and Sections

    A team should have a minimum of 25 members. If a team falls below 25 members, the TL is expected to contact Admiral Kristine Kochanski to request additional members.

    A TL may have a Section Leader in his team if certain requirements are fulfilled. The Section Guidelines can be read at:

    Staying in Contact

    Communication between TL and members is important, and a TL can only be effective if he answers member questions within a reasonable amount of time. One of the biggest complaints members have about their TL's is that they never hear from them after they join the team.

    A TL should stay in contact with his members and at least a couple times a year send an e-mail to members to see if their e-mail addresses are still working or if they would like to be removed from the team roster. Team members appreciate hearing from their Team Leader and being kept updated on any changes in the team or in GAB procedure.

    Missing in Action (MIA) or Inactive Members

    As long as a member has a valid email address and at least one confirmed reference, a TL should not delete a member from the team without cause, regardless of the member's level of activity.

    A TL may place inactive members in a section designated as inactive or "missing in action". Before listing a member as inactive, a TL should email the member to try and get in touch with him. Some members only trade infrequently and it's not uncommon for a member to only submit new references once or twice a year.

    If a member has an invalid email address, he should be listed a "MIA". If his email address continues to bounce after 30 days, he can be deleted from the team roster. If a deleted member wishes to be reinstated, his records can be retrieved from the database. The TL should contact GA Mortal Q: to request a deleted record be reinstated.

    Leave of Absence

    If a TL is going to be absent for longer than 1 week he should inform his team members and asked them to hold their references until he's back on active duty.

    If the TL will be away for longer than 3 weeks or needs to take a hiatus from his duties, he should inform GA Mortal Q. If necessary a temporary TL can be assigned to the team to take care of the members during the TL's absence.

    Useful E-mail addresses:

    Grand Admiral Mortal Q -

    Admiral Koshka (Leader of the Hall of Fame Committee) - Heads the committee that evaluates and awards Hall of Fame recognition.

    Admiral LasherMTL (Leader of Internal Affairs) - Investigates GAB members who have been reported as bad traders or have violated the GAB Oath or Code.

    Admiral Butterfree (Leader of Inquisitor team) - Investigates bad trader reports about non-GAB members.

    Admiral Kristine Kochanski (Leader of the Application Team) - Handles new member requests and assignments. Processes and checks new member applications.

    Admiral Yuen (Leader of Web team) - or Webmaster and designer of GAB's database.

    The complete Duty Roster for GAB is at: