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Tournaments act like short-term leagues, with the main difference in that they do not "own" their own players. All players in a tournament must be loaned to them from elsewhere, and thus, no world can be set up with just a tournament without any other leagues.
Tournaments will otherwise act like leagues, though, with some exceptions. They can set their own rules and eligibility criteria just like leagues, and have certain other tournament-specific options. They do have some limitations: they are limited to one sub-league (yet may have multiple divisions if desired), and they cannot have the financial engine or trading enabled. There are also certain other league options that are not allowed; for example, teams always have a reserve roster only and not farm teams, and there is no disabled list.
There are two types of tournament play: Development/Winter Leagues, and Tournaments. They function in similar ways with one main difference: in development leagues, players will be gain development experience. The experience they gain will be roughly equivalent to the length of the tournament. So an Arizona Fall League season will give roughly one month of development experience. Players in non-Development tournaments that not gain development experience, but they still can, for example, gain some fielding experience. Tournaments will not cause regressive development - if you run a winter league and a player is already declining, they will not "age faster" by playing in the winter league.
Tournaments have multiple modes in how to select teams to play in them. This can generally speaking be broken down into 3 categories: Drawing players from a specific nation/region, using already existing teams, or drawing players from other teams into the league. These options are selected using a combination of the tops in “Team Selection” and “Roster Source”.
Drawing players from regions is used to set up tournaments between nations. In this mode, you can either fix the teams that will compete, and explicitly set which nation/region they will come from, or you can have the game auto-select the best nations and create teams from them. Teams set up to compete by “Nation” will retain their full history, so if a nation happens to skip the tournament one year but rejoin later, they will retain that history. If the teams are set to draw from regions, however, they will not retain history, and so care must be taken. If you wish the game to automatically choose the best nations, then set the team selection to “Automatically Selected by Nation Talent”. Any other choice the team selection will be “Fixed”, and then you may choose the roster selection as to whether you wish it done by nation or region.
Tournaments may also be set to draw teams from existing leagues. This can be used similar to associations, where you can have teams match up against teams from other leagues. In this case, any roster rules set in the tournament will be ignored, as the teams will simply use whatever active roster is available for the teams competing in games that day. Any history from the tournament will be stored along with the teams, so you can see a team’s regular league and tournament records in team history. By default, scheduling for this will be like any other tournament – if you wish the tournament to run on specific dates, or while another season is going on, it may be set that way, however games must be scheduled manually.
The next way to select teams is to have them draw players from teams in other leagues. This is the default setup for the Arizona Fall League, where each team is “affiliated” with multiple MLB teams, and they will attempt to draw a roughly even number of players from each team. Team affiliations must be set up separately – of note, if the league expands, this will not update automatically, so it may be useful to periodically check these settings. You may also set up the game to automatically rotate the affiliations.
The final way to set up tournaments is manually. By selecting the Roster Source to “All (Manual)”, the entire tournament must be set manually, where each team must explicitly add players to their roster. If you wish to have completely control over tournaments, you may use this option, however no automatic roster selection is done.
Tournaments have a roster list date, which is the deadline teams need to set their rosters by. Player eligibility is as determined on this date, so if there are age, level, or service limits in place, they are as of that day. Players may be added afterwards; however, once removed, they cannot be added back in. Tournament scheduling defaults to a round-robin format. Multiple-games-per-opponent round-robin can be done - for example, an 11-team, 30-game schedule where each team plays the other teams 3 times each can be set by setting the “games per team” to 30 along with a balanced schedule. Custom schedules can be used. Playoff formats can be set using all the options available in a regular league. There is no option for a "bronze-medal game," however, as the current playoff formats work their way to a single winner. If you wish to skip the regular season, you may set a schedule length to 0, in which case the teams will advance directly to the post-season. In this mode, when you go to edit the custom playoffs, you can explicitly re-arrange the teams to have the correct order you wish.
Tournaments have a frequency, so that they may run annually, or at a different interval in years - every four, for example. Some care should be taken with tournaments if you do not wish them to overlap league schedules - it could be possible that scheduling forces a tournament to end after the regular season begins. If you do not wish this to occur, you may need to manually intervene to move the tournament date up by a week.
You may also set the tournament to be hosted in a specific city. If so chosen, then all games will be hosted in that city in a generic ballpark. If you wish a specific park to be used, be sure to import a park into the league with the name of the city – for example, if your league has a park named the “Tokyo Dome”, if a tournament is held in Tokyo, we will assume all games are played at that park. You may also have this tournament rotated between tournament. In which case, the game will choose a city – generally speaking, it will be from one of the competing nations.
Player eligibility/selection is governed by the tournament maximum and minimum player levels, as well as the player rejection amounts, which can be set separately for batters and pitchers.
The tournament skill levels may be set based on player talent levels or player league levels. League level is determined based on which league the players are physically assigned to as of the date you are trying to set the roster. Player talent levels may allow players outside of those levels to play if they feel their skill level is appropriate for the level (for example, a player in Single-A who is deemed ready for Double-A may play in a tournament with a minimum level of Double-A).
Rejection settings determine what percentage of players refuse to play in the tournament. This may vary from “Never” to “Very Often”. If the league is set by nation, these limits are further modified by nation – players from smaller nations will tend to reject less than players from large nations. Players may also reject outside of these settings if they are injured or for other reasons (for example, if they have pitched many innings already in the year, they may decide to sit out).
Rejections or a small group of eligible players may cause some teams to be short on players. In this case they will be filled with "ghost" players up to the roster limits. This is done to simulate some cases where teams may rather turn to "past stars" to fill roster spots instead of bringing in a raw 18-year old talent (Such as Canada using Orr, Gagne, and Dempster in the 2017 WBC while they likely have some minor league talent they could use instead.) These ghost players should remain throughout the tournament, however, on completion, those players will be deleted and any stats or other records from the tournament for them will also disappear. Teams will try to fill up with real players before resorting to these “ghost” players, however, they will still obey the above roster limits.
After the end of the tournament, players are released back to their regular league teams, those teams must add them back to their active rosters. While they are away at a tournament, they will not take an active roster spot and are placed in a special “limbo” state. They will still take up a place on secondary rosters, however. When the tournament concludes, they will be placed back on their regular rosters if there is space, yet may need to be manually added back to lineups.
Humans may join as the GM and/or manager of a tournament. At the moment, they may only fulfill the same role that they do globally, so if you are set as a GM-only, you may only take on the role of the GM for a tournament team. Tournaments currently only support a GM and manager - pitching and hitting coaches are not supported for the moment. There is a tournament option that determines whether teams will actively email potential applicants to invite them to manage the tournament - if that is disabled, a human may take charge, but will not otherwise be sought out. After the conclusion of a tournament, a winter league will retain their coaching staff for future tournaments. However, for other tournaments, the coaching staff will be released. For tournaments which draw teams from other leagues, they will retain their coaching staff, obviously.