Rules

Effective through the 2031 season

Personal Responsibility

  • Be respectful of other league members
  • Own a functioning, updated copy of Out of the Park Baseball
  • Export promptly and consistently
  • Maintain an active presence on AIM and/or Google Talk
  • Frequent the website and forum for vital information with regularity
  • Check email regularly
  • Notify the league if you’re going to be away on vacation

Setup & Structure

  • 30 teams, 2 leagues, 3 divisions per league, 5 teams per division, 2 wildcards per league
  • DH in the both leagues
  • 4 playoff rounds – LWS (best of 3), LDS (best of 5), LCS (best of 7), World Series (best of 7)
  • No salary cap
  • No coaches
  • Scouting is on and highly accurate; reports update on the first of each month
  • Ability ratings scale 20-80; Talent ratings scale 20-80; Other ratings scale 20-80; No stars or overall grades
  • Sim 3 days per week – Sunday late afternoon/night, Tuesday night & Thursday night
  • Suspensions low; Injuries normal

New Member Mentorship

  • All new members are required to utilize a mentor-mentee relationship for their first full season as a helpful means to transition into the league and to ensure new members are not unjustly taken advantage of
  • Moves made by the new member must be approved by the mentor during the mentorship
  • The mentor’s role is to act as an advisor to the new member. The moves made ultimately are the responsibility of the new GM. The mentor simply exists as a sounding board and should give the new GM a liberal amount of freedom in making moves he can justify as part of an overall plan
  • New members are allowed to trade players under new contract restrictions as a courtesy to the new GM

Voting Matters

  • Changes to league rules require a 2/3 (>66%) majority vote for implementation and are implemented between CBA dates
  • A 90% vote is needed to change a rule during an effective CBA

Changing Teams

  • Any league member may change teams when an opening arises
  • Changing teams requires the new team to give the old team its highest available draft selection after the 50th pick of the next draft as compensation
  • GM’s who create a financial deficit with their current team are not allowed to change teams

Scouting

  • Each team is allowed to name a scout and designate his ratings using 700 total points with a minimum rating of 160 points assigned to any one area
  • Scouts must be former players with one all-star appearance or less
  • Initial salary determination is done by the Commissioner’s office

All-Star Game

  • Each league member is expected to vote
  • Every team does not have to be represented
  • All-star rosters have 35 players with the final player being voted in by the league members

Rule 5 Draft

  • Scheduled during the winter meetings each season
  • 2 rounds maximum
  • Eligibility will be determined by current in-game rules (4 years service or more and not on 40-man roster)
  • Drafting teams must have 40-man roster space available to make selections
  • Players may be returned to their original team via request but are eligible to be claimed by others first

Amateur Draft

  • Scheduled near mid-June of each season
  • Administered using a combination of lists within OOTP, the league’s forum and OOTPOU’s draft function
  • Order is reverse order of finish from the prior season with the final 10 spots reserved for the playoff teams by order of finish
  • 30 rounds in length plus compensatory sandwich selections
  • Compensatory picks may only be received for players who leave via free agency and were offered arbitration
  • Signing bonus rules are disabled

Free Agent Compensation

  • To receive draft compensation, teams must offer arbitration to pending free agents with the game handling this functionality
  • Teams may not offer arbitration to a player that was acquired during the season
  • Teams who finished below .500 the prior season shall have their first-round picks protected and lose a second-round pick should a qualifying free agent sign with them. All others will lose a first-round pick.

Free Agent Signings

  • Administered via the OOTP simulation program
  • Any signing or extension is automatically voided if the league member leaves the league within 2 calendar weeks of the transaction

Trades

  • Posted in the league’s forum by all parties involved including rationale, players involved and the level at which each player may be found (DFA’ing players is greatly appreciated)
  • Trades are processed prior to each simulation pending a review period thus instructions for roster moves are encouraged
  • Trade appeals require 3 motions from non-divisional rivals to put the trade before a private panel for a final decision
  • The non-waiver trading deadline each season will be the first sim to reach August 1
  • All members are expected to maintain an updated trading block at all times; non-use of a trading block and/or secret trading will result in dismissal

Trade Restrictions

  • Players to be named later (PTBNL) must be completed within 6 months of the trade date and may not have appeared in the destination league at any point in the current season
  • Draft picks may not be traded
  • Trades involving league members who quit the league before the trade can be processed are automatically nullified
  • No player having signed a new contract or extension may be traded for one-half season (roughly June 15 in-game or the sim arriving in that window or 3 months) of the season in which the contract takes effect unless the player has less than six seasons of experience and signs a one year extension to avoid arbitration

August Waiver Trades

  • Only players who are eligible for free agency and do not have a guaranteed contract for the following season are eligible to be placed on waivers (options are not guaranteed contracts)
  • All claims will cost $50,000 per team; however, the winning claim will not be charged if the player is acquired in any capacity
  • Once a player is claimed, the team may choose to trade the player, let the player go for free or keep the player
  • All waiver decisions are posted in the appropriate league forum
  • All August waiver postings are due prior to the sim following the trade deadline

Financials

  • Average ticket price is $25; however, each team is free to set its ticket price to whatever it chooses
  • Teams are expected to exercise financial responsibility as best possible
  • Revenue sharing and the luxury tax are administered outside of the game with the results posted each season
  • Revenue sharing and luxury tax percentages are set at 25% with teams receiving a credit against these costs for stadium expenses and insurance premiums
  • The luxury tax threshold is 1.5 times the league’s average payroll from the prior season
  • Revenue sharing also features an expense floor component which encourages teams to maintain expenditures in excess of one-half of the league’s average expenses
  • Revenues include ticket & merchandise sales, playoff gate receipts and media revenues
  • Expenses include player payroll, minor league & development costs, stadium expenses and injury insurance premiums

Contracts

  • Offers are made in-game via the negotiation functionality
  • League minimum salary is $500,000
  • Players acquired via trade in which the teams condition an extension as part of the deal require adding a year to the player’s in-game request as well as 10% to each season as premium as well as all requested incentives
  • The NTC roadmap has 5 tiers, defined as follows (NTC always carry over):
    • Tier 5 (N/A): The player refuses to waive his trade rights
    • Tier 4: The player is considered happy where he is but would entertain a move if it is an offer he cannot refuse.
    • Tier 3: The player is willing to go but wants some kind of guarantee to do so.
    • Tier 2: The player is willing to go but wants something to sweeten the move.
    • Tier 1: The player is willing to accept a trade and will do so, pending panel review.
  • Only player options are considered guaranteed for contract rules purposes

Contract Restrictions

  • No contract worth less than $10.0M in total potential value will be subject to any rules as long as it is for no more than three seasons
  • No player’s salary may be reduced by more than 20% from one season to the next unless the player becomes a free agent i.e. available to all on the open market (no extension may reduce a player’s average salary by more than 20%)
  • Player contracts must meet the following contractual minimums (both the minimum guaranteed value AND minimum potential value are subject to this rule):
    • 1-Year = N/A
    • 2-Years = $2.0M
    • 3-Years = $6.0M
    • 4-Years = $12.0M
    • 5-Years = $20.0M
    • 6-Years = $30.0M
    • 7-Years = $42.0M
    • 8-Years = $56.0M
    • 9-Years = $72.0M
    • 10-Years = $90.0M
  • No player’s salary may be increased or decreased by more than 100% from one season to the next i.e. no disproportionately front or back-loaded contracts
  • Contract options may not be for 25% more or less than the previous season or average annual salary (whichever is greater); i.e. a player making $4.0M could receive an option between $3.0M and $5.0M (this only applies to contracts greater than $10.0M in total value)
  • All team options must include a minimum 20% buyout
  • Contract incentives & option vesting incentives may not be more than 20% of the average annual salary of the contract (for each incentive) with maximum incentives as follows:
    • 600 plate appearances or 150 games played
    • 215 innings or 30 games started for SP
    • 65 innings or 60 games finished for RP

Contract Buyouts

  • Each team may elect to buy out one contract at a time by deferring the remaining guaranteed dollars owed to the player over an extended number of years
  • Guaranteed dollars include normal contract years, option buyouts, player options and 50% of vesting options
  • The maximum number of years a contract may be deferred is limited to the number of years bought out times three
  • Buyouts will include an interest rate of 3%
  • All contract buyouts must be approved by the Commissioner’s office

Injury Insurance

  • Each team may carry injury insurance on up to 3 players with a minimum average salary of $5,000,000 or more
  • Premiums depend on a combination of the player’s age & injury history and range from 3% to 12% of the player’s salary (View the premium computation matrix)
  • For a team to be reimbursed, the player must be injured for 2 months or more at one time and placed on the 60-day DL and the team must submit its claim request by posting in the appropriate league forum
  • A player may not already be injured to be carried by insurance
  • Reimbursements are rounded to half-months missed and may be limited depending entirely upon pool participation with a maximum payout of 85% of a player’s salary

Amateur International Free Agency

  • Amateur International Free Agency is handled in-game entirely
  • Players will be revealed on August 1 each season
  • Players signed via amateur free agency may not be traded until the league reaches the preseason in-game
  • The soft signing cap is $3,000,000
  • Teams that spend above their cap may be penalized by both a tax or limitation to sign players in the future so be careful

Stadium Renovations

  • Renovations & upgrades are completed in a single offseason with park factor adjustments left to the discretion of the Commissioner
  • Teams may finance renovations up to a 15 year loan period with 3% annual interest
  • Naming rights for special renovation projects may be pursued
  • Adjusting stadium dimensions and wall heights costs $1,000,000 times the average of the changes; i.e. if all fences are moved back an average of 10 feet, the cost would be $10,000,000; if the outfield wall was heightened by 3 feet, the cost would be $3,000,000
  • Costs to add seats are as follows:
    • $6,000 for all seats up to 20,000 capacity
    • $8,000 for all seats up to 40,000 capacity
    • $10,000 for all seats above 40,000 capacity
  • Seating capacity maximums are utilized to ensure fairness and realism with a team allowed a maximum capacity of 120% of their highest attendance over the last five seasons or the following table, whichever is lower:
    • 32,500 seats for small markets
    • 35,000 seats for below average markets
    • 37,500 seats for average markets
    • 40,000 seats for above average markets
    • 42,500 seats for rather big markets
    • 45,000 seats for big markets
    • 47,500 seats for very big markets
    • 50,000 seats for huge markets
  • Roof options are as follows:
    • $25,000,000 for a permanent roof
    • $50,000,000 for a retractable roof

Stadium Construction

  • New stadium construction requires 2 offseasons with costs and park factors determined by the Commissioner
  • Total costs for new stadiums are computed by the Commissioner including a 3% interest rate
  • Teams may elect to pay for their stadium over a minimum of 10 seasons and a maximum of 30 seasons
  • Naming rights for new stadiums are optional and provide a financial return equal to 1.0% of the total cost of the stadium per season; they are granted at the discretion of the Commissioner
  • Public funding for stadiums is factored at 66.67% for each project
  • All stadiums must be occupied for 25 seasons before a new option may be pursued
  • Stadium capacity maximums are the same as for renovations above
  • Fan loyalty is increased by one adjustment when a team occupies a new stadium
  • Fan interest is also increased when a team occupies a new stadium by one point for every $25 million spent

Franchise Relocation

  • Relocation requires a 2/3 majority vote by the league plus Commissioner approval
  • Sufficient factors must be provided when requesting a relocation with market and fan loyalty being primary determinants
  • Fan loyalty is decreased by one adjustment when a relocation effort is pursued and another adjustment when a relocation effort is finalized
  • Fan interest is decreased by 25% when a relocation effort is finalized
  • Market adjustments are rare and left to the discretion of the Commissioner depending upon the relocation