Solonor's Groovy Computer Baseball League

Avoiding the strike zone... one pitch at a time...

Official Rules

Last Updated: October 13, 2015


SECTION 1: League Overview

1.01 League Description

1.02 Game Engine

1.03 Team Management

1.04 League Communications

1.05 League Organization

1.06 League Commissioner

1.07 Dues and Fees

1.08 Sim Schedule

1.09 Play-offs and Championships

SECTION 2: Rosters and Team Management

2.01 Roster Limits

2.02 Designated Hitter Rule

2.03 line-ups and Pitching Rotations

2.04 Reassigning Players

2.05 Disabled List

2.06 Releasing Players

2.07 Waivers

2.08 Spring Training

2.09 Team Personnel

2.10 Strategy Settings

SECTION 3: Trades

3.01 Trading Deadline

3.02 Considerations Allowed

3.03 Trade Notification

3.04 Trade Protests

3.05 10/5 Rule

SECTION 4: Free Agents

4.01 Free Agent Contracts

4.02 Free Agent Signing Limitations

4.03 Contract Extensions

4.04 Minimum Salary

SECTION 5: Drafts

5.01 Amateur Draft

5.02 Rule 5 Draft

5.03 Expansion Draft


SECTION 6: Team Finances

6.01 Salary and Cash Cap

6.02 Income


SECTION 7: Stadium Renovations

7.01 Remodelling

7.02 New Stadiums

7.03 Features and Prices

7.04 Taxpayer Contribution

7.05 Cost Overruns

7.06 Change of Management

SECTION 8: Player Modification

8.01 Create-a-Player

8.02 Seasonal Bonus Points

8.03 Minor League Development Points

8.04 Reducing Injury Time

8.05 Un-retiring A Player

SECTION 9: Hall of Fame



SECTION 10: Rule Changes

10.01 Rule Review

10.02 Emergency Fixes



Acknowledgements


SECTION 1. League Overview

1.01 League Description

Solonor's Groovy Computer Baseball League (SGCBL) is meant to be a fun simulation of running a professional baseball team. The twist is that the setting for the teams and the names of the players are loosely based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. It sounds strange, but the number one rule is that we have fun. All other rules are subordinate to that.

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1.02 Game Engine

Out of the Park will be used as the game simulation engine. Owning the game is not required, but it is recommended. The game will be updated with any patches as soon as they are tested by the Commissioner. Any major change in version will not be instituted during any season and will only be updated once thoroughly tested during the off-season

All game set-up defaults will be used with the exception of the following::

Global Setup

Use Complete Scouting System: OFF

Player Ratings Scale: 1-100

Player Potential Ratings Scale: 1-100

Coach/Scout Ratings Scale: 1-100


League Setup

Sub League 1 Designated Hitter Rule: ENABLED (see 2.02 Designated Hitter Rule)

Waiver Period Length: 8 DAYS (see 2.07 Waivers)

DFA Period Length: 15 DAYS (see 2.04.02 Designated for Assignment)

Draft Pick Compensation for lost Free Agents: OFF

Salary Cap: $140 MILLION (see 6.01 Salary and Cash Cap)

GM Controls Budget?: NO

Revenue Sharing: NO

Cash Maximum: $300 MILLION

Foreigner Percentage: 75

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1.03 Team Management

  1. Normally, a person is only allowed to manage one team at a time in the league. Special permission may be granted by the Commissioner for a person to manage more than one team due to the temporary lack of a manager. However, if this situation arises, the two teams must be in opposite conferences.

  2. Each player in the league acts as the General Manager (GM) for a team. Each GM is responsible to submit line-ups or a notice of "no changes" at a minimum of every two weeks. It is the GM's responsibility to assure his team is under the salary cap for every simulation date. Any GM who expects to be away, or loses computer and/or Internet access, is expected to contact the Commissioner to apprise him of their current situation. Each GM is responsible to maintain their team and keep in touch with the Commissioner.

  3. An GM may employ an Assistant General Manager and a team Manager to perform any or all of the functions required to run their team. Typically, the GM will make all decisions for a team, but many tasks may be delegated within the game to the Assistant GM or Manager. This does not remove the GM's obligation to submit timely exports or maintain communications with the Commissioner.

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1.04 League Communications

1.04.01 E-mail

Each team GM will be required to submit a valid e-mail address to the Commissioner for the purpose of receiving league communications. E-mail will be used by the Commissioner to broadcast important messages, such as schedule changes or upcoming deadlines. This address will be available to other team GM's and may be made public (intentionally or not). Players may wish to use a separate address from their normal e-mail account to avoid spam. GM's should make sure that any spam filters do not exclude the receipt of league e-mail messages. The current league e-mail address is solonor@gmail.com

1.04.02 League Web Site

There will be an official league web site to broadcast news, scores, game highlights, current standings, etc. The current site is located at http://solonor.com/baseball/

1.04.03 Online Forms

There will be several e-mail forms available on the league web site for the purpose of making line-up and roster changes, creating players and conducting other league business. GM's are encouraged (but are not required) to use these forms when communicating with the Commissioner whenever possible. Some of these forms may require the use of Open Office, a free office productivity suite that can be downloaded from http://www.openoffice.org/.

1.04.04 Message Forum

There will be a message forum available on the league web site for the purpose of general communications, announcements and other transactions. Each GM will have a unique ID and password. Only registered users will be allowed to post in any topic that involves official league business. The forum may be the required method of communication for certain transactions. The current site is located at http://solonor.com/baseball/forum/

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1.05 League Organization

There will be two conferences in the league with as many divisions as will allow all teams to have a competitive shot at the play-offs No division will have less than four teams in it at any time.

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1.06 League Commissioner

There will be a Commissioner to act as the game master and coordinator for all league activities. The Commissioner must at all times act in the best interest of the league and not any particular team, GM and/or group of GMs. The Commissioner has the following duties:

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1.07 Dues and Fees

There are no fees related to the league.

1.08 Sim Schedule

Games will be simulated each Monday and Thursday night. Seven game days will be processed each session. All roster changes and line-ups must be submitted to the Commissioner no later than 6:00 pm Eastern time on the night of the sim.

1.09 Play-offs and Championships

At the end of the regular season, several play-off series will be held to determine the league Champion. The following assumes a two-conference league with three divisions per conference. This format may be amended at the start of any season in which the league structure differs.

1.09.01 Wild Card Play-offs (Hobbit Series)

  1. Each conference will have two Wild Card teams, which shall be the two teams with the best records that were not the division winners.

  2. The two Wild Card teams will meet in a 3-game play-off series with each team alternating home field advantage. The team with the better record will have the first and last games of the series in their home stadium. If both teams have the same overall record, their head-to-head records will be used to determine the team that gets the advantage. If both teams have the same head-to-head record, the home field advantage will be chosen at random.

  3. If there is a tie for the second play-off spot, those two teams will play a single game to determine the participant in the series. If there is a three-way tie for the Wild Card spots, a composite of the head-to-head records of each team compared to the other two will be used to determine the Wild Card winners. If no clear winner emerges, each team will play the other two teams one game, and the top two teams will be named the Wild Cards.

1.09.02 Divisional Play-offs (Fellowship Series)

  1. Each conference will have two 7-game series to determine the divisional champions. The participants will be the three teams with the best won-lost record in their Division, plus the winner of the Wild Card series. The games will be played in a 2-3-2 format, where the site of the games is moved after the first two games to the home field of the opposite team, then back again for the final two games. The team with the better record overall will have the home field advantage. If both teams have the same record, head-to-head records will be used.

  2. If there is a tie at the top of a division, there will be a 1-game play-off to determine the division winner. This game does count in final won-lost totals for the season and will be used in subsequently determining the wild card team.

  3. If there is a tie for a conference wild card spot, there will be a 1-game play-off to determine the wild card team.

1.09.03 Conference Championships (Two Towers Series)

Each Conference will have a 7-game series between the two divisional play-off winners in the conference. These series will follow the same format as for the divisional play-offs

1.09.04 League Championships (Return of the King Series)

The two conference champions will meet in a 7-game series, following the same format as in the divisional play-offs to determine the league champion. The team representing the conference which won the All-Star Game will have home field advantage in the League Championships.

1.09.05 All-Star Game

  1. The two conferences will meet in an exhibition game at the mid-point of the season.

  2. The computer will choose a list of 25 All-Stars to participate in the game. That list will be amended by the Commissioner to include at least one representative from every team.

  3. The home field advantage for the game will alternate from one conference to the other each season. The site for the game will go to the team that had the best record in the conference in the prior season that has not yet hosted the game. After every team has had a chance to host a game, it will rotate back around again.

  4. The two managers for the game will be from the teams that were in the prior season's Return of the King Series.

  5. The team that belongs to the winning conference from the All-Star Game will have the home field advantage at the next Return of the King Series.

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SECTION 2. Rosters and Team Management

2.01 Roster Limits

  1. Each team’s active roster is limited to 25 players, expanding to 40 players on September 1.

  2. In the post-season, the active roster is again limited to 25 players. To be eligible for the play-off roster, a player must be on the active roster or disabled list on August 31.

  3. During Spring Training, the active roster is expanded to 40 players and remains so until Opening Day of the regular season. Normal roster movement rules apply during this period, including waivers.

  4. Minor league rosters are limited to 30 players in AAA, 30 players in AA and 50 players in A level.

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2.02 Designated Hitter Rule

We will have one conference use the Designated Hitter (DH) rule, and the other will not. If at least 2/3 of the active GMs petition the league for a change, there will be a vote among the members of each conference during the off-season The majority of the GMs in each conference will decide the use of the DH in their conference for the upcoming season.

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2.03 line-ups and Pitching Rotations

2.03.01 Batting line-ups

GMs need to fill out all the line-up options in the game. Options are: vs. left-handed pitcher, vs. left-handed pitcher with DH, vs. right-handed pitcher, and vs. right-handed pitcher with DH.

2.03.02 Pitching Rotations

Pitching rotations may be with 4, 5 or 6 starters. GMs will identify the starting pitchers in the order in which they will appear. Pitchers may be assigned to more than one relief role, but a starter cannot be assigned to the starting rotation and the bullpen at the same time. A team may designate a “spot starter” to start in a specified percentage of games in the place of the last starter in the regular rotation. Three-man pitching rotations will only be allowed in the play-offs

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2.04 Reassigning Players

A team may move its players between the active roster, minor league levels (AAA, AA, A) and the disabled list between simulated weeks, according to the rules. In order to make a roster move, the GM must notify the Commissioner by 6:00 pm Eastern time on the day of the simulation.

2.04.01 Demoting Players to the Minors

  1. After three years as a pro, a player must be protected on a team's 40-man roster, or he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft (see 5.02 Rule 5 Draft). Once he has served those three years, and assuming he is added to the 40-man roster, his club then has what are called "options" on him. When a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the 25-man Major League roster, he is on "optional assignment." (One common misconception about the rules is that a player may only be "optioned out" three times. Actually, each player has three option years, and he can be sent up and down as many times as the club chooses within those three seasons.) When you hear that a player is "out of options," that means he has been on the 40-man roster during three different seasons. Beginning with his fourth, and to be sent down again, he'll have to clear waivers (see 2.07 Waivers).

  2. Players more than 5 years of major league service get the right to refuse assignment to the minors.

  3. Players with 5 or more years of pro service get the right to refuse assignment off of the 40-man roster. In this case, the only alternative is to keep the player on the active roster or release him and pay the remainder of his contract (see 2.06 Releasing Players).

  4. A team’s players may be reassigned between minor league levels at any time without penalty.

  5. A team may only promote a player from the Disabled List or from the minor leagues to the active roster between series during the post-season. Any player so promoted must be eligible for the post season roster (see 2.01 Roster Limits).

  6. Any player with a Major League contract must be on the team's 40-man roster unless he has cleared waivers.

2.04.02 Designated for Assignment

When a player is acquired from another team via waivers or in a trade, his status will be "designated for assignment." This means that the team will have 15 sim days (or 2 sims) to place the player on a roster. If the team does not make a decision about the player's status, the sim cannot proceed. In this case, the Commissioner will immediately place the player as needed. A player who is designated for assignment does not occupy a spot on the 40-man roster. Thus, a team does not have to wait for the player to clear waivers before they may proceed.

For example, if a player is acquired in a trade, he will go on to his new team as "designated for assignment." He does not automatically take up a roster spot on the new team. The GM has 2 sims to decide what to do with the player.

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2.05 Disabled List

There are two disabled lists for the major league level: the 14-day and 60-day. Minor league teams have a 14-day DL. The only real difference between them is that players on the 60-day DL -- sometimes called the Emergency DL -- don't count against a team's 40-man roster. A player on the 14-day Disabled List may be shifted to the 60-day DL at any time, but a player may not be moved from the 60-day DL to the 14-day DL.

If a player gets injured, it is the responsibility of the GM to put them on the DL. If an injury causes a team to be short at a position, the Commissioner will try to fill the gap with players on the team’s roster as best as possible. The injured player will, however, remain on the active roster and will not be moved to the DL until the GM says to do so.

A player must remain on the DL for a minimum of 14 or 60 days. A player that is healthy and who has served his minimum time on the DL should not remain on the DL for more than two sims. At the Commissioner's discretion, a player may be moved from the DL to the appropriate roster.

A player that is healthy and who has served his minimum time on the DL may be recalled to the major league roster in the middle of a sim, provided the GM gives the Commissioner specific instructions on the appropriate roster moves. The Commissioner will attempt to carry out those instructions, but if they cannot be implemented for one reason or another, the Commissioner has the right to override those instructions to complete the sim.

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2.06 Releasing Players

An GM may release a player from their team by sending notification to the Commissioner. The team is still liable for the remainder of the player’s contract. This is true even if the player is later signed as a free agent by another team. The total remaining value of the contract will be immediately paid to the player from available team funds upon the player's release (see 6.01 Salary and Cash Cap) for exceptions.

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2.07 Waivers

An GM places a player on waivers when he wants to remove him from a roster. It can be when he is just removing him from the 40-man roster, the active roster or the entire roster (by trade). When a player is placed on waivers, he will show up on the Waiver Wire for all to see and claim. He will remain there for 8 game days.

Two things can happen during this time. Either the player will go unclaimed and will clear waivers, or the player will be claimed by some team. When a player clears waivers, the intended transaction goes forward. However, if the player is claimed, one of two things can happen. Assuming the waivers were revocable, the original GM can pull the player off waivers, if the waiver period hasn't expired. If they don't or can't, the player will be signed by the team with the worst record, favoring teams in the original team's own conference. During the first month of the season, the prior year's records are used to determine this.

2.07.01 Waiver Procedure

  1. When a player is placed on waivers, he will remain on the waiver wire for 8 game days. If he is not claimed in time, then he will be considered cleared, and the original team can proceed.

  2. If a player is claimed and the waiver condition is revocable (see 2.07.02 Types of Waivers), then the original team will have until the end of the waiver period to pull him off waivers, or he will go to the claiming team.

  3. No new claims can be made on a player that has only 1 day remaining in his waiver period.

2.07.02 Types of Waivers

There are two types of waivers in the game. The type of waiver that is used is determined by the situation that required the waiver in the first place.

Revocable Waivers: If a player is placed on revocable waivers, the original team can pull him off of waivers before the waiver period ends, even if it is after another team has claimed him.

Irrevocable Waivers: A player placed on irrevocable waivers cannot be removed if another team claims him. If that happens, the original team will lose the player. Please note that you can always remove a player from waivers if the waiver deadline hasn't passed and no team has yet claimed the player.

2.07.03 Waiver Conditions

There are four cases in the game in which waivers are wanted or necessary:

  1. Removing a player from the 40-man roster

  2. Sending a player out of options to the minor leagues

  3. After-deadline trading

  4. Salary dumping/decoy/ etc.

In each case, there is a certain result depending on whether the player clears waivers or not.

Removing a player from the 40-man roster
If an GM wishes to move a player off his 40-man roster without releasing him outright, the player must go through revocable waivers. If the player is claimed, the original team can take him off waivers, but he'll remain on the 40-man roster. Otherwise, the GM can also let him go to the other team, which will clear the roster spot.

Sending a player out of options to the minor leagues
A player starts his career with three option years (see 2.04.01 Demoting Players to the Minors). When the player's options are all used, he must clear irrevocable waivers before being allowed to be moved from the active roster. Once another team claims the player, he will be leaving the original team when the waiver period is up. If, however, the player clears waivers, he may be moved down to the minors and will stay on the 40-man roster.

After-deadline trading

After July 31, there is only one way to trade players. All of the players that are to be traded must clear waivers. Once the sides agree on the players involved, the players must clear waivers. Regardless of roster or contract status, every player involved on either side of the trade has to clear waivers. If any of the players is claimed by any team, the trade will be cancelled, and the players will stay on their respective teams. If the waiver period passes and all players clear, the trade will be processed as planned.

Salary dumping/decoys/etc.

Sometimes, a team does not have to put a player on waivers, but may want to put a player on waivers for some other purpose. Waivers can be a good way to get rid of the salary of a high-priced player if you don't want to pay to release him, since the claiming team picks up the tab. This is called "salary dumping." After the trading deadline, you can increase the odds that your players will clear by sending several players (decoys) through waivers in addition to those being traded. Sometimes you just want to see if there is any interest in a player. By putting the player on waivers, you can see if any team would like him. You can take the player off waivers (don't forget to do it before the waiver period runs out!) and then use the information to possibly negotiate a deal with the interested team.

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2.07.04 10/5 Rule

A player with at least 10 years of Major League service who has played for the same team for at least 5 years has the right to refuse to be placed on waivers if he so desires.

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2.08 Spring Training

We will use the Spring Training feature of the game. This process is how a player develops his talent and/or learns a new position. For the duration of Spring Training until Opening Day, the Active Roster is expanded to 40 players. GMs manage their teams during this period as with the regular season. All players on a team's 40-man roster are automatically placed on the Active Roster at the start of Spring Training. In this way, a player who is out of options must go through waivers in order to be retained by the club.

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2.09 Team Personnel

Each Major League team will have a coaching staff that includes a Manager, Bench Coach, Hitting Coach, Pitching Coach and Team Doctor. Each Minor League team will have a Manager, Hitting Coach and Pitching Coach. Each of these staff positions will be filled from available personnel in the game.

Team personnel can be hired in the game by a GM. Offers will be made to an available staff member in a similar fashion as when making offers to free agent players. A team may not offer a job to a coach for a position that is currently filled.

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2.10 Hiring Ex-Players as Staff

  1. When a player retires, the team he is retiring from has until the following January 1 to offer the retiree a job by notifying the Commissioner of their intention via e-mail.

    1. If the team does not make a job offer, the remaining teams may claim the player.

    2. If more than one team wishes to hire the player, he will go to the team for which he played the most number of games.

    3. If one or more teams have an equal claim, the player will be made available in the personnel pool and treated as per general rule 2.09.

  2. Upon successful claim, the Commissioner will create a coach profile for the player using the method provided by the game, and he will be assigned to the claiming team in the position offered.

  3. If no team wishes to offer the retiring player a position by the first Opening Day after he retires, he will be allowed to retire without intervention. The game may itself turn him into a coach later, and he will be treated as per general rule 2.09.

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2.11 Strategy Settings

Strategies may be set by each GM, if desired. These can be changed at any time by e-mailing the Commissioner.

For each category, the GM may select a rating from 1 to 11. 1 means "never" and 11 means "frequently" with the noted exceptions. Each category can have a different setting based upon a combination of Game Time and Game Score. So, you could have "Stealing Bases" set to "Frequently" for Innings 1-3 when leading by 2 runs, and have it set to "Never" for Innings 7 and 8 when losing by 3 runs.

The Game Time options are:

The Game Score options are:

All options will be set to neutral initially by the Commissioner.

2.11.01 Team Settings

Categories that affect the entire team are:

Additionally, there are some Overall Strategy settings:

2.11.02 Individual Player Settings

Additionally, the following settings may be adjusted for each individual player:


For each player, you may also indicate whether to pinch hit for him, if necessary, or to never pinch hit for him. You may also designate that this player never be used as a pinch hitter if tired. For pitchers, you may set a maximum pitch count at which the computer manager should pull the pitcher out of the game.

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SECTION 3. Trades

3.01 Trading Deadline

  1. No trades for major league players will be processed after July 31st of each simulated season unless all players involved have cleared waivers (see 2.07 Waivers).

  2. Players with a minor league contract can be traded at any time.

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3.02 Considerations Allowed

  1. Players, draft picks and cash may be included in any trade.

  2. No trade may result in either team having more than the allowed salary cap, cash, or number of players.

  3. A team may trade draft picks beyond the upcoming draft, but these future picks will be handled outside of the game. Notification of future picks will be made on the forum (see 1.04.04 Message Forum).

  4. Trades that include a “player to be named later” are allowed. Both teams must agree on a specific player before the end of the last game of the regular season. If they do not, the Commissioner will arbitrate the deal and will select the player or players required to complete the trade.

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3.03 Trade Notification

Once a trade is successfully completed, both teams will have until 6:00 pm Eastern time on the day of the simulation to submit modified rosters, line-ups and pitching rotations with the new player or players in place. The trade will not be processed in the game until both teams have done so.

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3.04 Trade Protests

  1. The Commissioner will decide whether or not a trade will unfairly affect the competitiveness of the league.

  2. If at least five GMs e-mail the Commissioner with a protest to a specific trade, it will be considered protested.

    1. Notification will be made via e-mail to all GMs.

    2. Each GM will be requested to vote on whether to reject the trade via private e-mail to the Commissioner.

    3. If 50% or more of the GMs vote to protest the trade, it will be considered for rejection by the Commissioner.

    4. Both parties involved in the trade will be allowed to present their case on the league forum (see 1.04.04 Message Forum), and the Commissioner will rule to accept or reject the trade.

    5. A protested trade may be considered for as long as necessary, but never beyond the end of the current regular season.

    6. If the Commissioner is acting on behalf of one of the teams involved in the trade, a majority vote of the remaining GMs will be used in place of the Commissioner's power to rule on the protest.

  3. Trades will be processed immediately upon agreement by both parties, and the players may play for their new teams until such time as they are rejected by the Commissioner.

  4. If a trade is subsequently rejected, the Commissioner will return the players involved to their original teams. If cash is involved, the Commissioner will restore to each team’s cash balance the amount traded. If draft picks or other future considerations are involved, they will be considered null and void.

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3.05 10/5 Rule

A player with at least 10 years of Major League service who has played for the same team for at least 5 years has the right to refuse to be traded if he so desires.

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SECTION 4. Free Agents

4.01 Free Agent Contracts

GMs may make bids for players remaining in the Free Agent Pool. A team may send a bid to the Commissioner via e-mail or through the game. Included in this message must be the player name, position, maximum annual salary, length of contract and any bonuses or incentives.

  1. Each player can be offered a Major League contract or a Minor League contract. A Minor League contract is, in effect, a free contract that does not count against a team's salary cap. However, a player with a Minor League contract cannot be placed on the active roster. Major League contracts consist of a length (number of years), yearly salary, and optional bonuses and incentives. Each year of the contract can have a different salary amount, but it must be "balanced" or the player will not accept it. (For example, you cannot have a 3-year contract where the player gets $1 million in the first year and nothing for the next two years.)

  2. Contract length can be from 1 to 10 years.

  3. Additional contract options may include:

  1. "No-Trade Clause" - the player has the right to refuse any trade in which he is involved

  2. Minimum Innings / Plate Appearances bonus

  3. Bonus for winning the league pitching or hitting award

  1. GMs who offer contracts to players will receive notification from the player as to whether they accept the offer or would like to negotiate a different deal.

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4.02 Free Agent Signing Limitations

  1. During the season, a team may not contract with a player for more cash than it has available within the salary cap (see 6.01 Salary and Cash Cap). If a team holds the high bid on a player and cannot sign him due to this or roster limitations, the contract will be voided.

  2. During the off-season, teams may acquire players and agree to salaries that total more than the cap, but all teams must cut or trade players until it is below the salary cap on Opening Day. If a team releases a player for this purpose, it may pay half the remaining salary by notifying the Commissioner of the transaction.

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4.03 Contract Extensions

  1. Players in the last year of their contract are eligible to be signed to a contract extension before the contract runs out at the end of the season. Contract extensions typically include an increase in annual salary and/or number of years.

  2. Upon request, the Commissioner will provide a GM with a report of the desired contract changes for each eligible player.

  3. To make an offer, a team must notify the Commissioner via e-mail of the player name, annual salary and length of contract offered.

  4. If a player does not sign an extension, he will become a Free Agent during the winter before the next season.

  5. If a player gets injured during a sim immediately after accepting a contract extension offer that was made just prior to that sim, the GM may choose to rescind the offer and allow the player to become a free agent at the end of the season or to have the extension reduced by an amount equal to the lost playing time caused by the injury. For example, if the extension were for 2 years at $10 million per year, and the player suffered a 6-month injury immediately prior to signing the contract, the GM could void the contract or it would be edited to be 2 years at $7.5 million per year [(($20 million / 24 months) x (24 months - 6 months)) / 2 years].

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4.04 Minimum Salary

The minimum annual salary for a major league contract is $502,000.

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SECTION 5. Drafts

5.01 Amateur Draft

  1. There will be a draft of new players called the "First-Year Player Draft" or “Amateur Draft” on June 15 of each season. This date may be modified by a majority vote of the GMs.

  2. The Amateur Draft will last for a minimum of 5 rounds. This can vary from season-to-season depending on the number of available players in the amateur draft pool desired.

  3. The draft order will be from the team finishing with the worst record in the previous season to the team with the best. Ties will be broken first by head-to-head record, then by the team position in their division standings, then by Pythagorean records. If none of these succeeds in determining the order, the order will be determined by random chance.

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5.02 Rule 5 Draft

  1. A player not on a team's Major League 40-man roster is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if:

    1. the player was 18 or younger when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since he signed, OR

    2. if he was 19 or older when he first signed a pro contract and this is the third Rule 5 draft since he signed.

  2. A player drafted onto a Major League roster in the Rule 5 draft must remain in the majors (on the 25-man active roster or the DL) for all of the subsequent season, or the drafting club must attempt to return him to his original club. However, since a returned Rule 5 player must first be placed on outright waivers (see 2.07 Waivers), a third club could claim the player off waivers. That club would also then have to keep him in the majors all season, or offer him back to his original club. Occasionally, the drafting club can work out a trade with the player's original team, allowing the drafting club to retain the player but send him to the minors.

  3. The Rule 5 Draft will last until there are no teams who wish to pick or that do not have a free slot on their 40-man roster.

  4. The draft order will be from the team finishing with the worst record in the previous season to the team with the best. Ties will be broken in the same manner as for determining home field advantage in the divisional play-offs (see 1.09 Play-offs and Championships).

  5. The Rule 5 Draft will take place on December 1 of the game year. This date may not be modified.



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5.03 Expansion Draft

  1. Expansion will happen whenever there is enough depth on team rosters and a significant waiting list for GMs. For an expansion draft, each team will be allowed to protect nine players from their entire franchise. The rest are eligible for drafting.

  2. A team may only lose two players to each expansion team entering the league.

  3. Expansion will only happen after the end of the play-offs but before the off-season Free Agent period.

  4. The draft order of the new teams in the Expansion Draft will be random.

  5. Expansion teams will be placed at the top of the Amateur Draft (see 5.01 Amateur Draft) for the upcoming season in the reverse order of their position in the Expansion Draft.

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SECTION 6. Team Finances

6.01 Salary and Cash Cap

  1. There is a salary cap of $140 million for each team. The total annual salaries of all players on a team may not exceed this limit during the regular season.

  2. There is a cash cap of $300 million for each team. Any excess cash at the end of the year will be turned over to the team owner by the game.

  3. During the off-season, teams may acquire players and agree to salaries that total more than the cap, but all teams must cut or trade players until it is below the salary cap on Opening Day. If a team releases a player for this purpose, it may pay half the remaining salary by notifying the Commissioner of the transaction.

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6.02 Income

6.02.01 Ticket Sales

The default ticket price is $25. A GM may change them at will.

6.02.02 Play-off Revenue

If a team makes it to the play-offs, they will get a some amount of income per game played as determined by the game.

6.02.03 Media Revenue

Income from the national and local TV broadcasting rights will be adjusted each season to cover budgeted expenses, including at least enough money for each team to afford to spend up to the existing salary cap.

6.02.04 Merchandising

Income from merchandising is variable per team and is calculated by the game.



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SECTION 7. Stadium Renovations

All teams start with an identical stadium that seats 45,000. A stadium may be modified, or a new stadium built, according to these rules.

7.01 Remodelling

  1. A team may make a change to its stadium in the off-season by declaring its intention to do so in an e-mail to the Commissioner. The e-mail must include the details of the remodelling (see 7.03 Features and Prices). The Commissioner will return an estimate of the total construction costs and the amount the local taxpayers are willing to pay (see 7.04 Taxpayer Contribution).

  2. The construction will be completed at the end of the off-season period, just before Opening Day.

  3. The total cash, including any overruns (see 7.05 Cost Overruns), will be subtracted from the team’s cash account when construction is complete, though the initial estimate may be paid at any time the team desires.

  4. Optionally, a team may borrow the money for construction and pay it back over no longer than 4 seasons. There will be a 15% surcharge levied on the total of such a loan. Thus, for a $200 million loan an extra $30 million will be added to the total, generating 4 annual payments of $57.5 million.

  5. If a team cannot meet its annual obligation, it will have one season to make up the difference. If at the end of the 2nd year, the team still has not paid the amount due on the loan, it will be forced out of its stadium and must play in the standard league park for no less than 10 years before attempting any further construction.

  6. A team may increase the number of seats and make one other modification each off-season. All changes to wall distances and heights are treated as one modification for purposes of this rule.

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7.02 New Stadiums

  1. During the off-season, a team may undertake the construction of an entirely new stadium by declaring its intention to do so in an e-mail to the Commissioner.

  2. This must be done one full season prior to the actual construction and must include complete details of the features to be installed (see 7.03 Features and Prices).

  3. At a minimum, each stadium must include: seating capacity, playing surface (grass or artificial turf), dimensions (distances to left field line, left, left center, center, right center, right, right field line) and wall heights.

  4. The Commissioner will return an estimate of the total construction costs and the amount the local taxpayers are willing to pay (see 7.04 Taxpayer Contribution).

  5. General construction costs will be $200 million, in addition to the cost of the features installed.

  6. The construction will be completed at the end of the off-season, one year after the initial notification.

  7. The means of payment for a new stadium are the same as those for renovations (see 7.01 Remodelling).

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7.03 Features and Prices

  1. Available features that can be included in a renovation or new construction include the following:

  2. For every 1,000 seats over 50,000, there will be a $500,000 surcharge that the taxpayer will not pay.

  3. The ballpark factors (affecting the number of doubles, triples, right-handed batting average, left-handed batting average, right-handed homers and left-handed homers) of a stadium may be altered by moving the walls and changing their height. The cost is $5 million, plus $500,000 per 10-feet change in the distance or height of each wall (left field line, left, left center, center, right center, right, right field line).

  4. Initial distances to walls in the default park are:

  5. All initial wall heights are 9 ft.

  6. Distances cannot be made less than the minimums of 325 feet down each line and 400 feet to center without special exemption from the league.

  7. The amount of foul territory and/or the "carry factor" for a park (how well the ball travels to a particular field--Left, Center or Right) can be modified directly for $10 million per BPF.

Example: A new stadium with artificial turf, a retractable roof, a left field wall shortened to 325 (left line), 330 (left), 355 (left center) and raised to 20 feet each, and with 55,000 seats would cost $200 million (new construction) + $5 million (turf) + $25 million (roof) + $8.9 million (walls) + $11 million (seats) + $2.5 million (seat surcharge) = $252.4 million. The resulting Ball Park Factors would be: 100 (Doubles), 95 (Triples), 102 (Right-handed Average), 110 (Right-handed Homers), 100 (Left-handed Average), 104 (Left-handed Homers).

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7.04 Taxpayer Contribution

Once the total cost of all features (plus any surcharges or initial construction fees) have been added, the Commissioner will determine the cost to the team based on the following criteria:

Example: A team that had a .500 winning percentage for 3 years prior to the initial notification of construction would expect to pay 80% of $247 million, plus the $2.5 million seat surcharge the taxpayers will not pay, for a total of $126 million.

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7.05 Cost Overruns

At the end of construction, the Commissioner will add a random cost overrun of from 0 to 50 percent of the total construction cost to the amount of cash owed by the team.

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7.06 Change of Management

If a team changes management during a season in which new stadium construction is underway, the new GM may cancel construction and will not have to pay the balance of the contract.

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SECTION 8. Player Modification

8.01 Create-a-Player

GMs can have a “create a player” (CAP) for their own amusement. The following rules outline the procedure for creating the player and its use in the game.

8.01.01 Creation Rules

  1. Any name can be used, but Tolkien-based names are strongly encouraged.

  2. Created players will have an asterisk in front of their last names in the game for ease of identification.

  3. A player can be any age when created. GMs must submit a birth date for the player.

  4. A player may throw and bat with either hand and may be a switch-hitter.

  5. The birthplace and nationality of the player will be the home city and nation of the team for which he was created unless otherwise indicated.

  6. Created players may only play a single position initially, but up to one more may be purchased at the time of creation for $5 million per additional position.

  7. Two default pitch types for a pitcher must also be indicated. Up to 3 additional pitches may be purchased for $1.67 million per pitch type.

  8. The default rating for each hitting, defense and pitching category is 50, and points may be taken away from one category and allocated to another within the defensive section.

  9. If the created player is a catcher, a GM may allocate up to 1150 points to the player. At least 500 points must be divided between the major offensive categories (BABIP, Gap Power, Home run Power, Eye and Avoid K's). A minimum of 200 points must be allocated to the minor offensive categories (Speed, Stealing Ability, Running Instinct, Sac Bunt, and Bunt for Hit). A minimum of 150 points must go to Catcher Ability, Arm, and Turn DP. And 150 points must go to Infield Range, Arm and Error.

  10. If the created player is an infielder, a GM may allocated up to 1050 points with at least 500 going to the major offensive categories, 250 to the minor offensive categories, and 200 to Infield Range, Error, Arm and TurnDP.

  11. If the player is an outfielder, a GM may allocate up to 1000 points with at least 500 in the major offensive categories, 250 in the minor offensive categories, and 150 in Outfield Range, Error and Arm.

  12. If the created player is a pitcher, a GM may allocate up to 750 points with at least 300 divided between individual Pitch Types, Movement and Control for each situation (vs. LHB and vs. RHB). At least 150 must be divided between Velocity, Endurance and Hold Runners. And 200 must go to Infield Range, Error, Arm and TurnDP.

  13. For each player, 100 bonus points may be assigned to any category.

  14. A minimum of 1 point must be put into each category.

8.01.02 Salary

  1. All created players will have a permanent major league contract for the minimum major league player salary.

  2. This contract will be renewed indefinitely for as long as the team keeps the created player.

8.01.03 Limitations

  1. A team may only have one created player at a time.

  2. A CAP must remain with the team for a minimum of 5 seasons unless he suffers a career-ending injury (whether by choice or by accident).

  3. The created player may reside at any level in a team's organization. Normal rules for moving a player between the majors and minors do not apply.

  4. Created players cannot be traded. They may only play for their original team.

8.01.04 Disposal

  1. If a team no longer wishes to keep the player, he suffers a career-ending injury and retires. However, the team may not create a new CAP until the original 5 year term of the first CAP has expired (i.e., if a CAP is created in 2010 and forced to retire in 2013, a new CAP could not be created until 2015).

  2. If a GM leaves the league, his player becomes available to the new GM (if any). The new GM can either re-name the player or create anew one, forcing the old one to suffer a career-ending injury or into early retirement. New GMs will be able to create their own player no matter how long the previous GM's CAP has been in existence.

8.01.05 Modification

  1. After 3 years of service, a CAP may be modified by his GM under the following rules.

    1. Any rating or ability that can be purchased at the time of a CAP's creation (see 8.01.01 Creation Rules) may be purchased at double the stated cost. For example, a new fielding position may be added for $10 million; a new pitch type for $3.34 million.

    2. Any rating may be modified by borrowing from another rating. For example, a player's Infield Arm could be raised by 10 points by subtracting 10 points from his Outfield Arm. For the purposes of this rule, one point in any rating is equivalent to another.

  2. Only one such modification may be made within a 3-year span.

  3. Modification of a CAP does not preclude the GM from disposing of the CAP under the normal rules (see 8.01.04 Disposal).

  4. A new GM may modify an inherited CAP per the above rules, except that the cost will not be doubled.

  5. A new GM must inform the Commissioner of his intent to modify an inherited CAP before the opening day of the season in which the GM acquired the team.

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8.02 Seasonal Bonus Points

  1. At the end of each season, GMs will receive bonus points that they may use to modify (up or down) the ratings of one player on their roster.

  2. These points must be spent before the first day of the regular season.

  3. The points can be used to affect any rating that can be edited.

  4. Each team will receive 20 points.

  5. L/R components of a rating (such as batting power, each cost 1/2 point to raise. So, to raise such a rating on both sides costs 1 point in total.

  6. Fielding Range and Error ratings are modified in groups of similar fielding positions. Changing the value of one position has the same affect on all positions in the group. The grouped positions are: LF/CF/RF, 1B/2B, 1B/3B, 2B/SS, 3B/SS, C

  7. Batting Contact rating is a combination of BABIP and AvoidK. You may not directly improve Contact. However, you can spend points in one or more of the above ratings. Since each rating affects the Contact rating at a reduced rate, any point spent in BABIP or AvoidK will result in an increase in 2 points in that rating.

  8. Since Pitching Velocity affects all pitches and Stuff in a large manner, it costs 5 points to raise Velocity to the next level.

  9. Likewise, adding a new pitch immediately raises Stuff significantly. Therefore, it will cost 15 points to add a new pitch.

  10. Individual pitches vary in their affect on Stuff. For example, all things being equal, to raise Stuff by 1 point, may take 3 points in Change-up vs. 1 point in Fastball. Thus:

    1. A bonus point spent on Fastball, Sinker, Cutter, Slider or Splitter are at normal value (1 point spent = 1 point gained in that pitch).

    2. If you spend a bonus point on Curveball, Forkball, Screwball or Knuckle Curve, you get 2 points in those pitches.

    3. If you spend a bonus point on Change up, Circle Change or Knuckle ball, you get 3 ratings points in those pitches.

  11. If bonus points are applied to a player and that player acquires an injury of 6 months or more during the season after which points were applied, the team may reassign the points from the injured player to another one. If the injury is for 3 months or more (but less than 6), half of the bonus points may be so reassigned. Such reassignment can only be made once. If the second player becomes injured, no further modifications are allowed.

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8.03 Minor League Development Points

  1. Starting with the first day of roster expansion (Sept 1) until the first day of Spring Training the following year, a team may purchase points to be used for improving the ratings of minor league players.

  2. Points will be available at a cost of $5 million per point.

  3. Points can only be spent on players currently in the minor leagues. A player may be promoted to the major league team after they have been enhanced, but players not on the Major League roster on August 31 will not be eligible for the play-offs (see 2.01 Roster Limits).

  4. A maximum of 20 points may be spent on a single player.

  5. Only current ratings may be modified. Potential (or talent) ratings cannot be changed using these points.

  6. The value of points is the same as specified in the rules for Seasonal Bonus Points (see 8.02 Seasonal Bonus Points).

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8.04 Reducing Injury Time

8.04.01 Specialist Treatment for Normal Injuries

  1. During the season, an injured player may have his injury time reduced by sending him to a specialist. Injury time may be reduced by 1 day for every $350,000 spent. For example, a 12-month injury could be reduced to 6 months by spending $63 million.

  2. The maximum time reduction can only be half of the original injury time.

  3. The cost of the reduction will be based on the original injury time, not the point at which the team decides to pay for it. So, for example, a 12-month injury will cost $63 million to reduce by half, even if the player has already healed for several months.

  4. If a team acquires an injured player, they may pay to reduce the injury time of the player by half of the time remaining on the injury at the time of acquisition unless the player's original team already paid for specialist treatment.

8.04.02 Career-ending Injuries

  1. At a team's option, injuries described by the game as "career ending" (CEI) may be converted into an "ultra long-term injury" (ULTI) of 5-years.

  2. The team may choose to enact this conversion any time between the date of the CEI and April 1 of the year following the injury.

  3. The injured player will remain on the team's roster and will be subject to all of the normal rules regarding roster limits, option years, waivers, etc. However, the player will not be considered eligible for the Rule 5 draft while on the 60-day DL and not on the team's 40-man roster.

  4. The player's salary will remain intact for the duration of his contract until and unless the team negotiates an extension or releases the player.

  5. A team may choose to release the player at a cost of half of his remaining salary.

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8.05 Un-retiring A Player

  1. If a team would like to lure a player out of retirement, they can offer him a big bonus and a guaranteed contract. By offering a salary equal to their last major league contract, plus a cash bonus double that amount, to a retired player a team can bring a player out of retirement.

  2. If the last contract a player had was a minor league one, then the last major league contract amount will be used.

  3. There are no guarantees on the player's performance or whether or not he decides to retire again before his contract is finished.

  4. Players who never reached the majors cannot be un-retired.

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SECTION 9. Hall of Fame

  1. When players retire, the game will automatically induct certain ones into the Hall of Fame.

  2. There may be times when the game promotes a player to the Hall of Fame that the GMs do not feel merits inclusion. In this case, if 5 GMs petition to have the player removed, a vote will be held among all GMs. By a 75-percent vote of all participating teams (minimum of 5 votes), the player will be removed from the Hall of Fame.

  3. To be included on the Hall of Fame, a player must have retired during on or before January 1 of the year in which he is initially under consideration. Also, the player must have played in at least one Major League game in each of 10 seasons.

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SECTION 10. Rule Changes

10.01 Rule Review

  1. During the off-season, the rules may be reviewed for modification.

  2. Any GM may present a proposed rule change to the Commissioner.

  3. Rule change proposals will be posted on the league forum for a period no less than one week before its implementation in order to give GMs a chance to comment.

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10.02 Emergency Fixes

In order to prevent a rule from hindering the enjoyment of the league, any rule may be modified at any time by the Commissioner alone or by the vote of a majority of the GMs. These rules will automatically be considered for review at the next off-season.

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Acknowledgements

Some of the information contained in this document came from the great ESPN Transactions Primer. A ton of information came from the OOTP Development Forums. We also owe much thanks to the other OOTP Online Leagues from which were borrowed many of these rules.