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The Rules screen is accessed from the Create New Game screen during game creation.

This screen is used to modify a variety of rules for the selected league, and is divided into the following sections:

Note: The above links will not work from within the in-game browser. However, they all simply link to sections lower in this page, so just scroll down to find the appropriate section.

Designated Hitter Rule

If the Designated Hitter Rule box is selected, then the selected subleague will use the designated hitter rule. This rule allows teams to have a player other than the pitcher take a place in the batting order, resulting in greater offensive output. In leagues that use the designated hitter rule, pitchers do not bat.

Roster Rules

The Roster Rules define how rosters are handled in the selected league. See Roster Rules and Management for more information about rosters in OOTP.

Active Roster Size The maximum number of players allowed on each team's active roster. Players who are not on the active roster are not eligible to play in the team's games. A league's active roster can have between 15 and 50 players.
Secondary (40-Man) Roster Size The Secondary (40-Man) Roster Size defines the number of players allowed on each team's secondary roster, which can be between 25 and 70 players. Secondary rosters can be disabled. Note: Even if you set your secondary roster to a number other than 40, some pages in the game might still refer to the '40-man roster.'
Reserve Roster Size The maximum number of players allowed on each team's reserve roster. The default is "no limit." (This option is only available when there are no minor leagues associated with the selected major league.)
Expanded Roster Size The maximum number of players allowed on each team's active roster after the Roster Expansion Date. Typically, leagues will allow expanded rosters late in the season. Expanded Roster Size can be between 15 and 70 players. Expanded rosters can be disabled.
Roster Expansion Date The date on which expanded rosters become effective. Rosters return to normal size on the first day of the playoffs.
Post-Season Roster Rules Determines whether or not the league will utilize post-season rosters.
Post-Season Roster Eligibility If post-season rosters rules are enabled, determines whether the eligible players are those on the active roster, or everyone on the secondary roster.
International Complex Size The maximum number of players allowed at each team's international complex. The default is 50.
Spring Trainer Roster Size The maximum number of players allowed on each team's roster during spring training. The default is 60.
Active Roster Player Age Minimum The minimum age for players on this roster. Players under this age cannot be placed on rosters in this league. Set to 0 for no age minimum. Note: Age limits are checked on the first day of the offseason.
Active Roster Player Age Maximum The maximum age for players on this roster. Players over this age cannot be placed on rosters in this league. Set to 0 for no age maximum. Note: Age limits are checked on the first day of the offseason. So, you could have a player who is over the age maximum for part of the season.
Foreign Players on Active Roster Limit The maximum number of foreign players allowed on the active roster of each team. A foreign player is defined as any player not from the League Nation defined for the league. The foreign player limit can be between 0 and 10 players. Teams can have as many foreign players as desired on nonactive rosters.
Waiver Period Length The number of days a player must remain on waivers before he 'clears waivers.' This time can be between 1 and 30 days, or waivers can be disabled.
DFA Period Length The number of days a player must be designated for assignment before the assignment is completed. This time can be between 2 and 30 days, or DFA can be disabled entirely.
Disabled List Length Controls the length of the 15-day disabled list, which can be between 1 and 30 days. This setting does not affect the duration of the 60-day disabled list.
Minor League Settings
Minor League Option Years If this box is checked, the league will use minor league option years.
Disable Right to Refuse Minor League Assignment If this box is checked, players will no longer have the right to refuse minor league assignment. This option is typically only required in online leagues where the commissioner wishes this ability.
Allow Incomplete Minor League Rosters If this box is checked, minor league teams who cannot field a full roster will have enough temporary "ghost players" generated to play games. If enabled, a second option will lbe activated that will determine if the AI attempts to move all the "real" minor leaguers to the highest level, or assigns them to a level appropriate to their skill.
Base Minor League Depth Charts and Pitching Staff on. . . This options determines whether minor league depth charts and pitching staffs will be created based on the players' potential, or their current ability.
Rule 5 Draft Settings
Rule 5 Draft If this box is checked, the league will have a Rule 5 Draft, the date of which can be chosen.
Trading Rules

The Trading Rules establish league rules related to player and draft-pick trading.

Player Trades If this box is checked, players can be traded within the league.
Trading Deadline Date More accurately, this is the "non-waiver trade deadline." The date after which all players must clear waivers before completion of a trade. See here for more information on trading after the trading deadline.
Trades with other Major Leagues If this box is checked, players can be traded to other parent leagues. Otherwise, trades can happen only within the selected league, if allowed at all.
Allow trading of recently drafted players If this is unchecked, then players with less than one full year of professional service time who were recently drafted cannot be traded. This is the so-called "Incaviglia Rule" from professional baseball.
10/5 rule (veterans have right to veto trades) Allows players with 10 years of major league service time and 5 consecutive years with a single team to veto a trade. If a player vetos a trade, it will be visible on the Player Trade page.
Allow Trading of Injured Players If this box is checked, teams can trade players with injuries that have more than 7 days remaining.
Allow Draft Pick Trading If this box is checked, teams can trade draft picks in the upcoming first-year player draft to other teams. Only picks from the upcoming draft can be traded.

See Trading for more information on trading in OOTP.

Amateur Draft Rules

The Amateur Draft Rules affect first-year player drafts.

Enable Amateur draft If this box is checked, an amateur player draft will be held each year in the league.
Disable Automatic Creation of Free Agents If this box is checked, the game will create fictional free agents during each offseason, so that teams do not run out of players.
Amateur Draft Date The date on which the first-year player draft will be held.
Amateur Draft Number of Rounds The number of rounds in the first-year player draft. This value can be between 1 and 50 rounds.
Generate Players for X Rounds This option allows you to define how many rounds' worth of players you want to generate. By default, the game will generate just enough players for all teams to draft in each round. This gives you the ability to create more or fewer players than necessary. This value can be between 0 and 150.
Amateur Draft Pool Reveal Date By default, the annual draft pool is revealed one month prior to the first-year player draft date. However, this option allows you to customize this value. It can be set anywhere between 5 and 75 days before the draft, in increments of 5 days. This option is most commonly used in online leagues, where first-year player drafts typically take place over a longer period of time.
Enable Advanced Draftee Signing (Signing Bonus Negotiations) If this box is checked, OOTP will use its advanced draftee signing feature. This feature forces teams to negotiate with and sign drafted players to contracts. If this box is not checked, all drafted players will automatically sign minor league contracts with the team that drafted them, and there are no signing bonuses.
Slot Bonus Baseline Used to determine the slot bonus recommendations for draft picks, when Advanced Draftee Signing is enabled. The Slot Bonus for the #1 pick in the draft is usually around three times the baseline.
Use pre-defined draft value for AI (Only available in historical leagues) The historical database supports a predefined draft value that is used by the AI in the first-year player draft or inaugural draft in order to create more realistic (i.e. "true to history") draft selections.

See First-year Player Drafts for more information.

Note: Affiliated leagues never have first-year player drafts. Affiliated leagues receive players directly from their parent leagues. A parent league may or may not have a first-year player draft.

Enable 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement Rules

If enabled, OOTP will implement a number of rules designed to reflect the recent 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The changes that will go into effect include:

  • Rules about type A/B free agents are eliminated. The game checks the "value" of a player in $$ (basically his non-adjusted AI contract demand), and if it is equal or higher than the league setting for "star quality players" he will become eligible for compensation.
  • Draft pick compensation will only be received for lost free agents who spent the entire season with one team
  • A team that signs a compensation-eligible player forfeits its first-round draft selection, unless it selects in the top 10 (or top third of the league), in which case it forfeits its second-highest selection. (This is an important change for OOTP leagues. Leagues using the new CBA rules should begin to see fewer picks in the first few rounds of their drafts than there are teams in the league. This is because teams are forfeiting picks when they sign compensation-eligible players. Some teams may forfeit multiple picks, meaning rounds other than Round 1 will be affected.)
  • The player's former team receives a selection in the supplemental round of the draft, not the signing team's pick.
  • Drafted players may only sign minor league contracts
  • The top 22% of players with two years of service will be eligible for Super 2 salary arbitration, up from 17%

Note that these changes are "all or nothing." You cannot apply only part of the 2012 CBA rules.

Note also that the compensation type is assigned at the first day of the offseason. So, for existing leagues that wish to select the 2012 CBA Rules option, they will need to convert and select the option before the game proceeds to the offseason.

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