ROTO LEAGUE RULES EXPLANATION -- 2001/2002/2003 Seasons

  1. Basics
  2. Bench and Player Acquisition
  3. Trades
  4. The Draft
  5. Other Points of Interest
  6. 2002 Rule Changes
  7. 2003 Rule Changes
I. Basics

A. The original Constitution (posted on the web site, is still intact, but has been modified by some new rules that we voted on this past off-season. This document focuses mostly on the new rules, but if it isnít covered by this document, then the old Constitution will control.

B. There were 14 teams in 2001; There were 11 teams in 2002:

Team #OwnerTeam Namee-mail
01Joe RogersZodo
02David KedsonAbsolutely No
03Jim SilverJohnny
04Josh HazelwoodSam's
05Ed and Will DupreTeam
06Mike Levinson and Laura
07Mike SantamariaMike's
08Joey RogersItalian
09Gary PfliegerMean
10Joe Rogers, Sr.Rinky
11Len KedsonPurple People

C. In 2001, there were 23 NL players on each teamís active roster:

2 Catchers
1 1B
1 2B
1 3B
1 SS
1 Corner infielder (1B or 3B)
1 Middle infielder (2B or SS)
5 Outfielders
1 Utility player (any non-pitcher)
9 Pitchers
...and a 260 q. Draft Salary Cap.

D. In 2002, there were 25 NL players on each teamís active roster:

2 Catchers
1 1B
1 2B
1 3B
1 SS
1 Corner infielder (1B or 3B)
1 Middle infielder (2B or SS)
5 Outfielders
2 Utility player (any non-pitcher)
10 Pitchers
...and a 285 q. Draft Salary Cap.

E. Ten statistical categories are tracked:

Batting Avg., HR, Runs, RBI, HR, SB, Wins, Saves, ERA, Ratio, Strikeouts

In future years, if we end up with fewer teams, the number of players on the active roster and the salary cap may change, pursuant to the existing Constitution.

F. The in-season salary cap (including bench) is 400 q. -- NOTE THIS WAS CHANGED IN 2003 -- SEE BELOW

G. Forty percent (40%) of the teams are prizewinners, rounding up if the decimal is higher than .5 This means that in 2001 with 14 teams we had 6 prizewinners, and in 2002 with 11 teams we had 5 prizewinners, as follows:

2001 Percentages (14 teams)

Place% winnings
1st place45%
2nd place20%
3rd place15%
4th place10%
5th place6%
6th place4%

2002 Percentages (11 teams)

Place% winnings
1st place50%
2nd place20%
3rd place15%
4th place10%
5th place5%

H. A quatloo (q.) is currently worth 25 cents.

II. Bench and Player Acquisition

A. There will be a 5 player Bench instead of the current Reserve List. Statistics of players on Bench do not count. Salaries on Bench do count toward Salary Cap. Position of Bench players is irrelevant Ė the Active Roster must maintain position eligibility without considering the Bench.

B. Up to 3 (of the 5) Bench spots may be taken in the Draft. Nobody is required to draft Bench players if they donít want to. If you draft a Bench player, it comes out of your salary cap, which means you have less to spend on active players. All players drafted must be on a National League major league roster (active plus disabled players).

C. Once a player is on a Bench, he may be kept there indefinitely (subject to the existing 3 year restriction plus long term contract), even if he is in the minor leagues, even from one season to the next, as long as he is still in a National League organization.

D. Players who leave the national league entirely (e.g., get traded to AL, go to Japan, retire, etc.) are not eligible. If they are on an Active Roster, they will become a "hole," and will not belong to the team even if they come back to the National League. If they are on a Bench, they will immediately be removed from that Bench.

E. Any player from a teamís Active Roster may be placed on a teamís Bench (assuming he is replaced by either a Bench player or a Free Agent, with position eligibility maintained). Players may be shuffled between the Active Roster and the Bench freely (with no fee) (whether the real-life player is injured/demoted or not), except as noted in the next subsection. Statistics for newly activated players start counting on the first day of the following reporting period (i.e., the following Thursday). Statistics for newly benched players continue to count through the current reporting period (i.e., through the upcoming Wednesdayís games).

F. NOTE - THIS WAS CHANGED IN 2003 - SEE BELOW -- Only active national leaguers may be shifted to the Active Roster. Disabled and minor league players who are on the Bench may NOT be shifted to the Active Roster. Note also that the in-season Salary Cap (for all players including Bench players) and position eligibility on the Active Roster must be maintained at all times.

G. During the season, free agent acquisitions will come out of a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). The FAAB is 100 q. per team at the beginning of the year, and will be reduced each time a team acquires a free agent (by the amount of the successful bid).

H. Each week, teams may bid on free agents, and if successful the bid becomes that playerís salary (minimum bid: 5 q.). Bids are "sealed," with the player being awarded to the highest bidder. (For our purposes, the bids can be e-mailed to the Commissioner. The Commissionerís policy will be to not open e-mails until after the deadline on Wednesday, and therefore if you want the Commissioner to read your e-mail earlier, youíll have to say so in the title of the e-mail.) Ties would go the team lower in the standings. Fractional bids are not allowed (bids must be in whole numbers).

I. Acquired free agents MUST be placed on a teamís Active Roster, and therefore must be eligible (active NL player) and must maintain position eligibility. If a free agent is acquired, the team may either cut the player he is replacing (remove him from the Active Roster and put him in the Free Agent Pool), or put the replaced player on its Bench.

If a team moves a player from its Active Roster to its Bench, but the Bench is already full (i.e., already has five members), then the team MUST cut/release another Bench player (i.e., remove him from the Bench and put him in the Free Agent Pool).

J. As stated above, disabled and minor league players may NOT be acquired from the Free Agent Pool, but there is one exception. If a player is active at the time a bid is made, but after the bid is made and before the end of the reporting period, that player is injured or demoted, then the bid will still count and the highest such bid will obtain the player. Note that the newly acquired player must spend at least one reporting period on the Active Roster, as stated in the next subsection.

K. Newly acquired players MUST spend at least one full reporting period active before being sent to the Bench (unless they are Bench players traded as a throw-in or traded directly for another Bench player).

L. Once made, bids may NOT be withdrawn or changed. Teams may NOT make multiple bids on the same player during a single reporting period (e.g., you canít bid on a player on Tuesday and then submit a higher bid for the same player on Wednesday Ė the first bid will count and the second bid will be disqualified).

M. Once you run out of FAAB, you may no longer acquire Free Agents, even if your players are injured. And note that with a fixed FAAB, once you spend it, thereís no way to get it back.

N. Players are no longer "attached" to other players, and therefore all the rules relating to being "attached" are no longer in force.

O. Waivers are eliminated. Cut players simply go into the Free Agent Pool, and may acquire a new salary if picked up during the following weekís bidding.

P. Minor leaguers (and other non-NL players) will NOT be draftable this year. No consensus could be reached on whether to draft minor league players in the future. We will take up that debate next yearÖ

III. Trades

A. Position eligibility must be kept at all times. Each team must receive a player for each active player traded away, but Bench players may be thrown in without receiving a Bench player in return. This means that "two-for-one" or "three-for-one" (or "three-for-two," etc.) trades are now legal, if the same number of active players are traded by each team.

However, a player on an Active Roster may NOT be traded directly for a Bench player, nor may two active players be traded for an active player and a Bench player, etc. The reason behind this rule is to make sure that all acquired players spend at least one reporting period on the Active Roster (except for Bench players traded as throw-ins or for other Bench players).

B. (In 2001) To avoid Collusion, a 5 member Trade Committee has been formed (appointed by Commissioner). The members are currently Joe Rogers, Jim Silver, Mike Levinson, Len Kedson, and Nick Santamaria. First alternate is Ed Dupre and second alternate is Joe Rogers, Sr.

The Trade Committee will vote on any trade, if any league member protests the trade. If the Committee disallows the trade (simple majority), then the trade will be voided. (If one of the committee members or a family member of one of the committee members is involved in the questionable trade, they will excuse themselves from voting on that trade, and one of the alternates will take their place, for that vote only. If several members of the committee (and/or the alternates) are unavailable or excused, the Commissioner may act as a temporary fifth member of the committee.)


C. Trading deadlines will go back to the 1998 rules, i.e., unrestricted trading until first Wednesday in August, contiguous trading until first Wednesday in September, and NO trading after first Wednesday in September.

D. Inter-league trade rule works the same as it always did, as detailed in the existing Constitution. Players traded to the AL may NOT stay on the Bench.

IV. The Draft

A. The 2003 Draft will take place during the weekend of April 12-13, 2003. Exact time and location TBA.

B. During the Draft, each team must fill its roster, fulfilling all position eligibility requirements. Each team may also draft between zero and three players for its Bench. (A full explanation of the Bench may be found below.)

C. The Draft will occur in two phases. The first phase is the traditional auction. This year there will be 16 auction rounds. Each team must nominate a player in each round (unless that team has filled itís entire roster and has either filled its Bench or does not wish to draft any additional Bench players). On its turn, a team will have 30 seconds to nominate a player. If the team fails to nominate a player within 30 seconds, then the Commissioner will nominate for that team, choosing the next eligible player on an alphabetical list. During bidding, each team will have 15 seconds to decide whether to bid. If the team fails to bid within 15 seconds, then it will be deemed to have passed. There will be a two to five minute break between each round (as declared by the Commissioner). There will be a ten minute break between the Auction Phase and the Fixed Point Phase.

D. The rest of the players will be chosen during the "Fixed Point" phase. Starting with the lowest number for which only one team can bid, each "round" of fixed point bidding will have a salary value. All teams who can bid at that level must specify the maximum number of players they might take at that round (although they will not be required to take that many players, it is the maximum that they can take in the round). Bidding will move clockwise around the room, starting with the first eligible player to the left of the previous roundís first bidder. Teams will have 10 seconds to select a player. If a team fails to do so within 10 seconds, then that team will be deemed to have passed and will move to the end of the queue for that salary point (although they will be able to draft at that salary point when their turn is reached again). If more than five players are drafted in a round, there will be a one minute break after that round. If three to five players are taken in a round, then there will be a 30 second break after that round. If fewer than three players are taken in a round, then there will be no break after that round.

E. Any player who is active on a National League roster, or is on the Major League Disabled List for a National League team is eligible to be drafted. No other players (e.g., minor leaguers or AL players) are eligible. No team may bid on a player if getting that player would cause the team to break any of the rules (e.g., position eligibility, salary cap, etc.)

F. At the Draft, a player is considered eligible for a position if he played 20 or more major league games at that position during the preceding season. A player may be eligible at more than one position if he meets the above rule at more than one position. If a player did not play as many as 20 major league games at any position, then he is eligible at the one position in which he played the most major league games. If the player played in the same number of major league games at more than one position (and that number is less than 20) then the Commissioner will toss a coin to determine the one position at which the player is eligible. If a player played in no major league games in the preceding season, then the player is eligible at the one position at which he played the most number of minor league games during the preceding season. If the player played in the same number of minor league games at more than one position, then the Commissioner will toss a coin to determine the one position at which the player is eligible. If a player did not play any games at any position during the preceding season, then that player is eligible at the position at which he played the most number of games in the most recent season in which he played. For the purposes of this rule, "major league games" include games played in the American League during the preceding season.

G. If the overall draft pool is running out of a particular position, and one or more teams havenít filled that position, then when we reach the point that there are EXACTLY the same number of players available at a position and holes that need to be filled, ONLY teams needing the player to fill the positional requirement may bid. For example, if three teams have not selected a catcher and we get to the point where there are only three catchers left, then only those three teams may bid on a catcher. Each team must fulfill position eligibility Ė a team may NOT leave the draft without drafting all 23 players in the appropriate positions.

H. During the Draft, teams may fluidly determine which players they wish to use at each position (assuming the player is eligible at that position) and may freely move players to/from their Bench and Active Roster. Disabled players may be drafted onto the Active Roster, if desired (although note that once Draft Day is over, Disabled or minor league players may NOT be moved from the Bench onto the Active Roster, nor may they be purchased from the Free Agent Pool). For statistical purposes for the first reporting period, teams may move players between the Bench and Active Roster until midnight on Draft Day (by reporting such moves to the Commissioner). After midnight, any moves will not be effective until the next reporting period.

I. If a FAAB bid is made during the time immediately after the Draft until midnight on Draft Day, the Free Agentís statistics will count for the first reporting period, if the bid is successful. Note that bidding on Draft Day will NOT in any way affect whether or not the team will get the player, it only affects statistics. Any FAAB bids after midnight on Draft Day will not be effective until the next reporting period.

V. Other Points of Interest

A. (In 2001) Players (active or Bench) may be held over to the following year (at their existing salary or a modified salary according to the long term contract rules), as follows:


Place# players
First to third place7 players
Fourth to sixth place9 players
Seventh to ninth place10 players
Tenth to sixteenth place12 players

B. Long-term contracts: Players may be retained for 3 years, plus an optional long term contract. long term contracts are governed by the rules in the existing Constitution. The 3 year period runs whether or not the player is on the Active Roster or on the Bench during that period.

C. September Roster Expansion is eliminated.

D. Because we are starting fresh in 2001, any Major League realignment occurring before the 2004 season will NOT cause our league to start fresh again. The probability of a team being shifted to the American League is a risk that all teams must take into account (like the probability of a particular player being traded to the American League). Any realignment happening from 2004 and after will cause our league to start fresh again.

E. Any rule not covered here will stay the same as in the Constitution, unless some rule adopted here will make the Constitutional rule unnecessary, unenforceable, or ridiculous (in the judgment of the Commissioner).

F. We will be using a Stats service (either a free one or one with a fairly nominal (e.g., $100) fee to be paid out of the prize pool). Standings will likely be available daily from a web site (although player movement will still be weekly, as it is now). The numbers used by the service will be final and non-protestable, even if theyíre wrong. Also, ONLY the Commissioner (or someone specifically asked by the Commissioner) may enter transactions on the web site.

*** 2002 Rule Changes ***

A. The contiguous trading period is day-by-day instead of week-by-week;

B. The "Keeper" rule is changed, as follows:

Place# players
Money Winners7 players
Non-Money winners11 players

C. The Trade Committee is disbanded. Instead, we have instituted the following procedure:

If a trade is protested BY AT LEAST TWO LEAGUE MEMBERS, then ALL league members will have an opportunity to make a competing offer to EITHER trading team for any or all of the players involved in the protested trade (competing offers must be submitted to the appropriate team with a copy to the Commissioner in order to be valid). Note that the two trading partners may also (at their own option) make a "competing offer" if they feel it necessary to "sweeten" their original deal in order to make the trade.

Both trading partners will have the reporting period following the protested trade to decide which of the competing offers (including the original trade OR a variation of the original trade if the trading partners decide to make an additional offer) they wish to accept but they MUST accept something.

THE COMPETING OFFERS ARE CONFIDENTIAL. NEITHER TRADING PARTNER (nor the Commissioner) IS ALLOWED TO SHOP OR OTHERWISE DISCUSS ONE OF THE COMPETING OFFERS TO ANYONE (INCLUDING THE OTHER TRADING PARTNER). (Although obviously, this rule will be difficult to enforce -- we will have to rely on the honor system for this confidentiality.)

If after receiving a clearly superior proposal (in the opinion of the Commissioner), the two teams choose to go along with the original trade, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, void the trade. If the Commissioner chooses not to void the trade, no further protests will be allowed. If the Commissioner is one of the trading partners (or if the Commissioner submits the "clearly superior" offer) then the decision to void will be made by a "backup" person (or three-person committee) who will be chosen at the Draft.

Protests must be made within 48 hours of the trade (i.e., by Friday night), and the trading partners will have the rest of the week (until Wednesday night) to receive and mull competing offers.

Whatever trade is accepted will count as if it had been made the previous reporting period (which means that the trading partners will know a week's worth of stats that they're receiving, but that can't be helped).

The two trading teams will NOT be allowed to protest their own trade. Teams may not collude with one of the trade participants in the framing of a competitive offer (i.e., this rule is not intended to allow teams to "shop" players, trying to improve upon a legitimate trade; it is intended to allow league members to protest trades that they think are unfair).

*** 2003 Rule Changes ***

A. There are no restrictions on movement of a player between the bench and the active roster, whether the player is disabled/in the minors or not.

Note that this does NOT change the rules for who can be taken with FAAB onto the Active Roster (only active NL major leaguers). As always, free agents may NOT be selected and put directly onto the bench; they must spend at least one week on the active roster.

B. The in-season salary cap (including bench) is 370 q.