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Rules, etc.

Sections

OOTP Settings
Commissioner
Reserve Clause
Financials
Market Size
Park Factors
Awards Voting
GM Duties
Roster Rules
Rotations
Keepin’ it real

OOTP Settings

SCOUTING SETTINGS
Disabled

PLAYER RATING SCALES
Player Actual Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
Player Potential Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
Other Player Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
Overall Rating: Stars
Potential Rating: Stars
Show Ratings > Max: No, cut off
Show Potential < Actual: No, adjust
Overall ratings based on all players: Disabled

COACHING STAFF SETTINGS
Disabled

PLAYER INJURY, FATIGUE & SUSPENSIONS
Injury Frequency: Normal (OOTP Classic)
Delayed Injury Diagnosis: Never
Position Player Fatigue: Average
Suspension Frequency: Normal

PLAYER PERSONALITY SETTINGS
Use Player Personality Ratings: Enabled
Show & use Player Morale System: Disabled
Show & use Team Chemistry System: Disabled

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT SETTINGS
Batter Aging Speed: 1.100
Batter Dev. Speed: 1.000
Pitcher Aging Speed: 1.200
Pitcher Dev. Speed: 1.000
Talent Change Randomness: 100
Player Development: Enabled
Development for draft-eligible players: Enabled

LEAGUE RULES
Designated Hitter: Not a chance

ROSTER RULES
Note: For details about minor league rules see here.
Active Roster Size: 25 Players
Expanded Roster Size: 40 Players
Roster Expansion Date: September 1
Post-Season Roster Rules: Disabled
Spring Training Roster Size: 40 Players
Injured List Length: 14 Days

Minor League Settings:
Active Roster Player Age Minimums: AA and AAA: None; A: 23; Rookie: 20
Active Roster Player Age Maximums: None
Minor League Option Years: Disabled
Allow incomplete minor league rosters (ghost players): Enabled
Special Rule: Maximum 15 Players in Minor League system

TRADING RULES (See also here.)
Trading Deadline Date: July 31
Trades with other Major Leagues: Enabled
Trading of Recently Drafted Players: Immediate
10/5 Rule: Disabled
Allow trading of injured ( > 7 days) players: Enabled
Allow draft pick trading: Enabled

AMATEUR DRAFT SETTINGS (See also here.)
Amateur Draft Date: November 1
Amateur Draft Number of Rounds: 5
Generate Players for X Rounds: 7
Amateur Draft Pool Reveal Date: 60 days prior to draft
Enable Advanced Draftee Signing (Signing Bonus Negotiations): Disabled

FINANCIAL SETTINGS
Note: The numbers shown below will change from year to year, as the game attempts to match historical trends. (See also here.)
Average Team Revenue: $937,200
Approx. Revenue Range: $634k–$1.7m
Average Budget: $900,500
Average Player Payroll: $387,700
Average Team Expenses (excl. Players): $71,200
Average Profit: $478,300

ATTENDANCE SETTINGS
Attendance Baseline per game: 9697
Ticket Price Baseline: $1.38
Teams may change ticket price: Disabled
Visiting team’s gate share (%): 20

FINANCIAL & FREE AGENCY SETTINGS
Enable Reserve-Clause Era Rules: Enabled (See also here.)
Remaining Salary owed if Player is cut: None
Multi-year Contracts given: None
Guaranteed Contracts given: None
Minimum Days of Service for 1 Service Year: 76

TEAM REVENUE SETTINGS
National Media Contract Baseline: $650
National Media Contract fixed?: Yes, same contract for every team
Local Media Contract Baseline: $420
Merchandising Revenue Baseline: $210
Team Owner controls Budget?: Yes, owner decides over budget
Revenue Sharing: No revenue sharing
Cash Maximum: $26,400

TEAM EXPENSES & SALARY SETTINGS
Player Dev. Budget Baseline: $45,000
Contract Years Maximum: 1 year
Contract Extensions: Prohibited
Team Salary Cap: No Cap

ALL-STAR GAME SETTINGS
Hold All-Star Game: Enabled (see here)
All-Star Game decides home field for final playoff: Hell no

PLAYOFF SETTINGS
Break Ties with tiebreaker games: Enabled
Play-Off Mode: No Wildcards, only Division Winners qualify
Name of Round 1: League Championship Series
Abbr. of Round 1: LCS
Best Of in Round 1: Best of Seven
Name of Round 2: World Series
Abbr. of Round 1: WS
Best Of in Round 2: Best of Seven
Stagger series start dates between Sub Leagues: No, same series start date
Fixed series start dates: No, base on previous series lengths

Further Details

Commissioner

Al Borie is the Commissioner and co-founder of the league.

Reserve Clause

For now, we’re using the reserve clause rules from the pre-free agency era, since we started in the 1940s and that’s what they did back then. I’m not wedded to a strict duplication of baseball history, so we may institute modern-style free agency earlier than they did in real life, but we probably won’t do it before the mid-to-late 1960’s.

Financials

We’re currently using the default settings, which we may discover are inadequate for our purposes. If so, expect the settings to change, possibly a lot. I don’t have a lot of experience as Commissioner of leagues with financials enabled. This is going to be a learning process for me.

Market Size

Market size is determined by real life. Teams in smaller cities will have less money to play with than teams in larger cities. It’s a fact of life in real baseball, and it will be the same here. I am open to reducing the large-market teams’ advantages to some degree by instituting measures such as luxury taxes.

None of the teams will be playing in really small markets; as in real life, major league teams play in major cities. But as an added slice of realism, there is a difference between playing in a city of 1 million people and playing in a city of 8 million people.

We’ve discovered that Market Size is fairly irrelevant with our current settings. That will change when we install modern free agency. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do about Market Size when that occurs, I need to some more research to see how things will play out in OOTP.

Park Factors

GMs may design their own parks if they’re into that. Here are the allowable parameters:

  • Overall AVG: max 1.050, min .950; no more than .030 difference between LHB and RHB
  • 2B: max 1.100, min .900
  • 3B: max 1.200, min .800
  • Overall HR: max 1.300, min .700; no more than .300 difference between LHB and RHB

I’ve done a lot of research on real-life park factors, and although the data is sometimes inconsistent from one source to another, I believe I have an understanding of what kind of park factors are realistic both historically and currently. OOTP allows you to input values that are WAY beyond what is realistic, and that’s okay for some leagues, but in this one we’ll stay well within the boundaries that can be found in real professional ballparks.

We may not need rules for how often GMs can change their parks. The Commissioner will probably grow weary of GMs who want to tweak their parks every year, but as long as nobody’s doing that, I don’t think I’ll need to legislate it.

Awards Voting

Hall of Fame: We have a very informal “Hall of Fame Committee”. Basically, whenever it’s time to select new Hall of Famers, everyone in the league who wants to be on the committee gets to be on the committee; we have a discussion about the candidates and about the process if necessary, and then we vote. If the committee is just three people one year, it’s three people. If it’s all twenty the next, it’s all twenty.

All-Star Game: We play a mid-season All-Star Game (NBL All-Stars vs ABL All-Stars). Beginning with the 1957 season we have turned the All-Star Game voting over to the A.I.

End-of-season awards (Most Valuable Player, etc.): Beginning with the 1959 season GMs may vote for all postseason awards (prior to that GMs were limited to voting in their own leagues only).

Voting is not mandatory. People who want to vote can, and those who aren’t that interested need not bother. A deadline will be set and whatever votes are received by that time determine the results. Then we move on.

GM duties

I expect GMs to pay attention to their teams during the season. It’s not absolutely necessary to export after every sim, but if three or four sims go by with no activity from a GM I start to wonder if something has happened to him. To avoid being asked if you’re still alive I recommend making a team export after each sim, or at least every other sim, even if you’re not making any changes to your team. It only takes a few minutes.

If you’re going to be unable to export for an extended period drop me an e-mail or a PM in Slack. I know real life takes priority over a game. But communication is key; taking a few seconds to let me know you're going to be away tells me you’re still with us, whereas no activity and no communication for an extended period tells me it’s time to start looking for your replacement.

See also here.

Roster Rules

Roster limits:


Active Roster Minors
Spring Training 40 15
Opening Day–August 31 25 15
September 1–End of Regular Season 40 15
Postseason–start of Draft 25 15
End of draft–Spring Training 25 20

The only time you may exceed the minor league player limit is when you sign a free agent during a sim. Prior to the next sim you must be in compliance with the limit. Missing a sim does not extend your grace period. If you are unable to sim you may PM me with roster instructions.

Players on the IL do not count against the roster limits. However, you may not use the IL to “hide” players. Once a player is healthy, you must take him off the IL and assign him to either your Active Roster or your Minor Leagues, or release him.

It is possible to be in violation of some roster rules without me noticing for a sim or more, but be aware that as soon as I notice the violation, I will correct it. This may mean releasing someone you would not have released yourself. Simming regularly and following the rules is your protection against this happening.

Trades

The process for making a trade is as follows:

  1. After agreeing to the trade, one of the trade participants must post the details of the trade in the #confirmed_trades channel in Slack.
  2. The other must confirm it.
  3. Both GMs must inform the commissioner (in a PM or in the #confirmed_trades channel) what level and what role (rotation, starting lineup, etc.) to assign their new player(s), and to make sure they export with space for the new players. Trades are processed before each sim. Traded players are available to to their new teams right away, but I don’t want to have to guess what you want me to do with them, or who you want me to release or send down if you haven’t made room for the new players. You need to tell me, right after making the trade.

Draft picks may be traded, but only draft picks for the current draft (if the trade is made during the draft), or for the very next draft (if the trade is made at any other time).

Rotations

GMs may adjust the size of their rotations throughout the season to account for doubleheaders and days off, but:

  • GMs must always attempt to give pitchers at least three days of rest between starts. (Sometimes OOTP goes off the rails and starts a pitcher on short rest even though the GM did not instruct it to do so. In most cases it’s very easy to determine whether this was an OOTP glitch or if the GM intended to circumvent the rules.)
  • A four-man rotation is permissible during certain stretches of the season (especially in April and most of May, and usually in late September), but during much of the season doubleheaders are common, and at those times teams will generally need to switch to at least a five-man rotation and sometimes even a six-man rotation for brief stretches. The size of the rotation is not really the issue; the issue is the number of days off each pitcher gets between starts. It should never be less than three, unless it is clear that OOTP is messing up.
  • If you tend to miss a lot of exports during the season, you should probably set your rotation to a six-man, Always Start Highest Rested and leave it. Not exporting is not an acceptable excuse for breaking the three-days-off rule.

See also here.

Keepin’ it real

Before a GM commits to this league, it’s best that he’s aware that I prefer as realistic a simulation as OOTP is able to deliver. Thanks to its many variable options, OOTP can be pushed and prodded into producing a highly realistic simulation of real baseball, and in this league, we will always seek realistic results, unless there is a compelling reason not to (and it’s got to be a very compelling reason).

I have found that when I advocate for things to be “realistic”, sometimes people think I mean “exactly like real life”. This is a fictional league; fiction, by definition, is not exactly like real life. So when I say “let’s make this league as realistic as possible”, I’m not saying “let’s duplicate every single aspect of Major League Baseball down to the tiniest detail.” Say you’re channel-surfing on TV, and on one channel there’s a gritty police drama, and on another there’s something with dragons and wizards and other supernatural goings-on. They’re both fiction, but if someone asked you which one was “more like real life,” would you have difficulty answering the question? When I use the word “realistic” as it pertains to OOTP, I don’t mean exactly like reality, I just mean something that at least strongly resembles reality.

My concept of what is realistic may be different than yours, and it’s okay if we don’t agree on every single nuance. Feel free to tell me when you think I’m wrong, and why; you may change my mind. You’re probably not going to wholeheartedly agree with every decision I make, but as long as you’re on board with my “realism first” dictum, you should fit in well. If you’re not, it may be best for you to find a different league. There are oodles of OOTP leagues out there; it’s a waste of time and energy to attempt to conform a league to each individual member’s tastes. This league is either for you, or it’s not.

Like any other game, OOTP has flaws, and GMs that are aware of some of the cracks in the system can exploit them. Some actions that would not work well, or at all, in real baseball might work quite well in OOTP. Intentionally exploiting a flaw in the game that allows a GM an advantage that doesn’t exist in real life will be considered cheating in this league. We may not have a specific rule about every potential exploit, but the “spirit of our rules” should make it clear what’s cool and what isn’t: if you’re doing something that only works in the game and not in real baseball, it ain’t cool. That being said, I’m not looking to axe anybody after one minor infraction; I am aware of the potential for some of these “cheats” to occur innocently or otherwise without malicious intent.

I don’t like dictating strategic/managerial options to GMs; I would much prefer a scenario in which the game were designed in such a way that nothing a GM could do could cause the game to simulate baseball unrealistically. Unfortunately, the game designers—intentionally or as the result of oversight—have left options on the table that allow GMs to do exactly that, willingly or unwillingly.

It’s a computer program; sometimes computer programs go off the rails a bit. I can’t anticipate every OOTP issue that might come up, but if I see something that needs to be corrected “on the fly,” I will correct it. The program exists to serve us, not the other way around. I will make every effort not to make changes in mid-season that might impact one team more than another, but realism is the ultimate master here, and realism may at times be served over fairness.