League Rules


Version 1.2 | 11/24/2019

League Overview

    • Roles and Responsibilities
    • Game and Sim Schedule
  1.  League Structure and Rules
    • Roster Rules
    • Pitching Rotations
    • Post Season Rules and Structure
    • Arizona Fall League
    • Draft Pick Compensation
  2.  League Transactions
    • Player Trading Overview
    • What Can be Traded?
    • Free Agency
    • Amateur Draft
    • International Free Agents
  3. League Financials
    • Overview
    • Contract Rules
    • Salary Settings & Team Expenses
  4. GM & League Customization
    • Stadium Modifications
    • HR Derby with MLB the Show
  5. Owner Prizes & Participation
    • League Prizes
    • GM of the Year Prize



The Federal Sim League (FSL) is an online modern league that will begin with an inaugural draft that plays 162
games a season. We sim on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays 7 days each sim. Slack serves as the main form of
communication and information hub for the league, including trade submission. We also use StatsPlus for
enhanced statistics and the full draft utility.
Basic settings include:
• Scouting is Enabled
• Accuracy is Very High
• Ratings 20-80
• Stars Are Enabled
• Coaches are Disabled
• Injuries are set to LOW with delayed diagnosis off
• Suspensions are on and Normal
• All personality and chemistry settings are on.

Aging Modifiers
• Batter Aging Speed= .750
• Batter Development Speed= 1.000
• Pitcher Aging Speed= .750
• Pitcher Development Speed= 1.000
• Talent Randomness=67

a. Roles and Responsibilities

Currently, the only position within the league is the League Commissioner who is responsible for maintaining
league integrity, rule enforcement, and simulating games.

b. Game and Sim Schedule

The league will sim Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with times TBD. Offseason, post-season, and pre-season
schedules will be announced to the group prior to advancing to those stages.


The Federal Baseball League will maintain current MLB structure with a revised Minor League Setup.
The minor league structure consists of AAA, AA, and A with no age restrictions currently.

a. Roster Rules

The FSL will use a designated hitter (DH) in the American League only. There are currently no foreign player
restrictions (other than international complex max of 50) in the league. The length of waivers is currently set at 14
days, designated for assignments (DFAs) 21 days, and DL lengths are 14/60. All players that are DFA and expire
during a sim will be released if they refuse minor league assignment.
Other Settings Include:
• Option Years Are Enabled
• Right to refuse assignment is ENABLED
• Ghost Players Disabled – It is expected that each minor league team will have the appropriate number of players
• Rule 5 Draft is Enabled
• Active roster size is now 26

b. Pitching Rotations

Regular Season May Use a minimum of 4 Man Rotation
Playoffs minimum of 3 Man Rotation
No Pitchers Listed as MR can be placed as SP without converting them (This is done for contract reasoning) If
discovered that this rule is abused 1st Will be Warning and 2nd Will Be 1 Million Dollar Fine. Any violation from there will result in a 50 game suspension of the offending player. Beyond that is grounds for league removal.

c. Post Season Rules and Structure

Following the end of the regular season, 10 total teams will compete for the World Series Championship. Teams
will be seeded based on regular season record and the wild cards will play in a 1 game playoff to determine the #4
seed (just like the real set up). The playoff schedule will be aligned and each round will not begin until the previous
round is complete.
Home field for the World Series will be based on record. The seeding tiebreaker will be head to head record with
the second tiebreaker being run differential.
There will be no specific playoff roster rules aside from standard roster rules.

d. Arizona Fall League (to begin off season of 2020)

No longer in place

e. Draft Compensation Picks

2017 CBA FA Compensation were adopted (to begin off season of 2026)

  • Players can only receive one QO per their career. We are using the later round setting.

Competitive Balance Picks

Moving forward, we will install a competitive balance formula to assist teams that are financially disadvantaged. This will be modeled after the real MLB rule (http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/competitive-balance-draft-picks).

The 7 lowest-revenue clubs  are eligible to receive a Competitive Balance pick. Revenue will be calculated once the World Series ends using the OOTP financial report.

There will be two competitive balance rounds (Round A and Round B). Round A takes place before compensatory round 1 and before round 2 while Round B takes place after compensatory round 2 and before round 3. There will be 4 picks awarded in round A and all remaining picks will be assigned in round B. Picks will be assigned by order of finish.

In the result of a tie for market size, the tiebreaker will be total revenue (smallest gets awarded the pick). When assigning the order of the competitive balance picks, if two teams tie in record I will resort to teams that are the furthest back from first place and then as a second tiebreaker, I will use revenue.


League transactions are methods to obtain players. There are three main ways players can be obtained: trades,
free agency (which includes international players), and the amateur draft.

a. Player Trading Overview

Trades make online leagues enjoyable and offer an experience that is different from the solo method of gameplay.
Slack is the main form of communication within the league and will be used for advertising players along with
trade submission. You can utilize the trade block method within the game but you should also post that player (or
the fact you updated your block) on the #trade-block room within the Slack group. The main ground rule with
trading is to be respectful to other owners, not every owner will view players the same way.
All completed trades should be posted in the #completed-trades room within the Slack Group. Posting should look
like this (Note the second team should reply to the initial message as a post):
It is important to include the league level of each player. Trading deadline will always be on July 31st.

b. What Can Be Traded?

  • Trades typically involve players but this league allows a few other assets to be dealt (with the exception of front
    office personnel-IE scouts). The following are permitted to be dealt:

    • Players (including recently drafted players)
      • Recently drafted players must be SIGNED before trading (2021 addition)
    • Draft Picks cannot be traded
    • Salary Retention – Players on their final year can be retained up to 100%. Players with multiple years remaining can be retained up to 50%. Players that have arbitration years or a team option in the next season fall under the 100% parameter. (2021 addition)
    • New owners must export for 3 straight sims before their first trade can be made (2018 addition).
      • New owners will also have all trades reviewed and voted on by the BOG until the new owner reaches 10 exports (2018 addition).
    • Owners must maintain a 50% export rate to make a trade (2021 addition)
    • Players signed in the off season cannot be traded until July 1st of the season (2023 addition)

c. Free Agency

Free Agency is granted to a player once they accrue 4 years of minimum service years. A year consists of over 200
days so players will accrue a year at 172 days in the majors. Players will then also be eligible for arbitration after 3
years, so essentially a player can be cost controlled for the first 3 years while year 4 will be an arbitration year
before they officially hit free agency. Minor league players reach free agency after 6 years of service years. To
prevent a minor league from becoming a free agent, they must be placed on the 40 man roster.

d. Amateur Draft

The draft will begin each season in early June and will be conducted in S+. The draft will consist of 15 rounds with
enough players for 17. The draft pool releases during spring training and the draft utility will be live by opening
day. The draft order for season 1 is the reverse of the initial draft order and will snake. Each year after the order
will be determined by order of finish from the previous season.

e. International Free Agents

International free agents are released on July 2nd and teams will have a established hard bonus cap of $10 million.
Please remember, this expense comes off of your total revenue and you should not be in the red at the end of the

f. New Owner Provision

New owners may void 1 contract when they first join. That contract may only be voided in the off season and cannot be a player that they picked up during the season. That player will then be added to the Free Agency Pool and the voiding team CANNOT bid on that player.

g. Lump Sum Release

This rule will give the team releasing a player the option to spread the contract out over the duration or pay in one lump sum.Some  highlights of the rule:
* Releases a player and pays the remainder of the contract in one lump sum.
* Teams must have the budget room to pay out the player in one year.
* Buyouts can only be in a one-year segment. If you choose to release in the game, it will spread the contract out over the duration of the contract.
* Buyouts will include player option years.
* Buyouts will not include team option years but buyout amounts will be calculated in.
* Buyouts will be assigned to ‘Misc Player Expenses’ on the game and teams must have the budget space to take on the buy out.


a. Overview

League financials are tricky to understand. Over time, these numbers will evolve however we will begin with
standard financials based on real team market sizes. The entire revenue will be available for teams and initial draft
budgets will mirror team budges. Knowledge of the financial system is important.

b. Contract Rules

Please note the following rules:
• All FA Bidding Will Be Done inside the game
• For Players 25 and Under Must have min. of 3 year contract if average salary is over 550K
• Players must have 3 years or more of MLB service time to negotiate a multi-year extension
• Players cannot be signed for more than 8 years
• Incentive clauses are as follows:
o PA Max 300
o IP Max 150 for SP and 50 for RP
• Vesting options are NOT allowed
• Player  options after team options are NOT allowed
• 10/5 Rule is disabled
• A buyout must = 25% of that year’s contract. So if the final year is set for $20,000,000 then the buyout
must = $5,000,000
• Contracts must not see more than a 25% difference from the highest end to the lowest end.

• IE: If you sign a player to a 4 year deal and you want to back end load him, this would be legal:
Year 1: $5,250,000
Year 2: $6,000,000
Year 3: $6,500,000
Year 4: $7,000,000 (7,000,000 x .25=$1,750,000 subtract that by $7,000,000 to get $5,250,000

An example of an illegal contract:
Year 1: $5,250,000
Year 2: $6,000,000
Year 3: $6,500,000
Year 4: $10,000,000 (10,000,000 x .25=$2,500,000 subtract that by $10,000,000= the lowest the contract can be
which is $7,500,000

• Any contract that is a multi-year extension signed before a player is listed with 3 years of MLB service is illegal. One year contracts are ALLOWED.

For example, if X = 3, the player must show at least 3 years and 0 days or more of MLB service.

Note: X is number in input box.
• If an owner is found violating this rule, the player will be released immediately, and will only be refunded
50% of the total contract value that was charged to their player expenses.

c. Player Salary Settings & Team Expenses

Average Development Budget= $12 million
Average Scouting Budget= $8 Million
Min. Salary=550K
Attendance Settings:
• Average Ticket Price= $25.00
• Average Attendance is 31,000
• Visiting Team Gate Share is 20%

Team Revenue Settings:
• Full budget available
• Luxury Tax = 170% above average payroll is taxed 25%
• Cash Max=35 Million (2018 rule change)


a. MLB the Show HR Derby

Each All Star break will be highlighted with a MLB the Show HR Derby that will be live streamed. I will match ratings based on OOTP OSA ratings for each player. Each season the top 4 HR leaders in each league at the time of the All Star break will be selected. The winner will receive a 1 category jump in National and Local Popularity. If the player is already maxed out, nothing will get changed. HR Derby Results will be added to a player’s history in OOTP.


a. League Prizes

League prizes will be established to increase activity within the league. This $25 prize is awarded to the most active, non-playoff owner awarded by a special formula.

b. GM of the Year Prize

The GM of the Year is awarded to the one, non-playoff GM that expresses a number of traits throughout the year.
This will be awarded through a point system with the following breakdown:
• Every export = 1 point
• Every Article = 3.5 points (cap of 5 per season)
• Team Preview = 4 points (limit 1 per year before the end of spring training
• Amateur Draft Recap = 4 points (limit 1 per year before the end of June)
• All Star Ballot = 3 points
• Season Award Ballot = 4 points (starting 2019-20 season)

Penalties Include:
• 2nd violation of a league rule = loss of 5 points
• Abusive behavior toward another owner in the chat or via email = loss of 5 points
All cheating will result in immediate removal.

The points will be calculated with the first off-season sim after the World Series to the end of the regular season.

League rules will be voted on after each season during the owners meetings. Should there be an immediate rule change, changes will be
marked in red.


a. When a team wins ‘x’ number of World Series titles, the champions will get the following awards:

1st Championship – The top rated prospect, as rated by OSA, will be named after the champion in the following draft
2nd Championship – Stadium modification for that offseason (adjusting wall heights and distances only) (any adjustment will result in stat modifier changes to the stadium – we will use a calculator)
3rd Championship – $10 Million cash prize to team reserves in the game (will not go above cash max) -or- Free trait upgrade to your scout
4th Championship – Enshrined into the FSL Hall of Fame (will introduce when this happens)


Relocation will likely come from the BOG and require league vote to approve moving forward. When a team relocates, the following market size and fan interest is applied:

Market Size 6
Fan Interest 75 +10 modifier

Rule Amendments by Season

  • 2018 Season
    • Cash Max set to $35 million
    • Max contract length set to 8 years
    • New owners must export for 3 straight sims before first trade
    • New owners will also have all trades reviewed and voted on by the BOG until the new owner reaches 10 exports
  • 2019 Season
    • Addition of the Arizona Fall League (to begin play in the off season of 2020)
  • 2021 Season
    • Owners must maintain a 50% export rate to make a trade
    • Recently drafted players must be SIGNED before trading
    • New  owner provision for voiding a contract.
    • Salary Retention – Players on their final year can be retained up to 100%. Players with multiple years remaining can be retained up to 50%. Players that have arbitration years or a team option in the next season fall under the 100% parameter. (2021 addition)
  • 2022 Season
    • New FA compensation rules
    • New competitive balance rules for revenue and compensation picks
    • Players must have 3 years or more of MLB service time to negotiate an extension
    • Active roster size is now 26
  • 2023 Season
    • Players signed in the off season cannot be traded until July 1st of the season
    • Players must have 3 years of MLB service to sign a long term extension
  • 2024 Season
    • Elimination of the AFL
    • Establishment of a full-season Rookie or A- League
  • 2025 Season
    • 2017 CBA Rules were voted in for FA compensation starting at the end of the 2026 Season
  • 2026 Season