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Old 04-07-2002, 12:17 PM   #1
Steve Kuffrey
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Post Non-historical league expansion(Scott Vibert)

ScottVib’s Guide to Non-Historical (Fictional/Post 2002) League Expansion
Last Updated: April 7, 2002


This is the first draft of a guide of how to do expansion in a fictional league or for those who do not want to follow the “real” history of major league expansion in their league. I will attempt to make this as flexible as possible as this is for a fictional league and you may have your own thoughts on what expansion should be.


1) So you want to expand your league, I would suggest you think out before hand and set up whatever stadium and logo you are going to choose. Additionally begin to think about the new alignment you will use in your league. (Divisional Alignment) At this time increase the number of rounds in your amateur draft by 1. This will allow the game to generate enough rookies for the amateur draft even with the expansion teams.
Tip: Try to avoid teams changing leagues, when teams change leagues OOTP can have problems with potentially scrambling some information (financials and coaches).

2) Finish the current season and click proceed to next season (this ensures that the league history for completed season will be correct with no extra teams). This is a good time to settle on how you are going to stock the teams and whether you are going to have an expansion draft. You will need to have enough players to stock all of the added teams.

3) Add the new teams into the appropriate divisions. Check the Team Setup Screen for the new team number, use this to assign the logo. Select the stadium, using the stadium editor to edit any information you want to change (name, distances, etc.)

4) Edit team financials. If the financial system is off, then you can skip this section. If it is on, then you will need to give your expansion team some revenue. (This simulates the rush on merchandise sales for the new team, and gives them some needed cash to sign free agents and coaches). All of the financial information for the team will be blank. You will want to give the teams TV contracts and also some merchandising revenue from last year. Additionally, set a fan interest level, a market size and fan loyalty for the club. Then give the club some cash. This becomes important, because the merchandising revenue, plus cash and TV contracts will determine the money available for signing free agents. (Be careful not to make these too high or the team will be able to sign too many good players)

5) Coaches Scouts signings/ Free Agency. You will need to sign your coaching/scouting staff if the scouting system is on. Then you will go to the Sign Free Agents section. If you have given your team too much money, you’ll know it; as you’ll have more available than the other teams. Sign up your players.

6) Add Players. There are a couple ways to handle adding players in this stage. The easiest way is to Add Players to one level of the new teams minors, this is done from the teams transactions screen. (I suggest AAA(or AA), it gives you a mix of players close to being ready and yet some room for growth). Another method is to hold an expansion draft, but this is a very time consuming process. (For further tips on how to do this see number 7) If you add players prior to free agency your teams won’t sign as many… so I suggest doing this after free agency.
I would suggest that you try filling the minors, using AAA(or AA) Level, this is quick, painless and almost simulates what Major League Baseball did when they allowed the Arizona and Tampa ownership’s to operate a minor league club one season before they began play. (This will give you the 20 players needed to crashing the game.)

7) Amateur draft. You will need to edit the draft order to give your expansion teams the first picks (or whatever pick you feel they deserve).

8) Generate a new schedule. You will need to generate a new schedule to take into account the new teams you have added. Just to Edit Schedule under League Setup and go to town. (Expansion is a good excuse to change length of the schedule if you so choose).

9) Optional: Conducting an Expansion Draft. OOTP lacks a function to easily conduct an expansion draft. To do this you will need to do a lot of work on your own. The first step is to generate a list of players eligible for the Expansion draft. (Usually allow players to protect between 20 and 30 players and make players under a certain age exempt from the draft, this way you avoid losing young prospects or the core of your established teams. Keep in mind you’ll need to expose enough players to stock the expansion teams so if you have 4 new teams you’ll want to make at least 100 players available to be drafted.) From this list you will want to by hand conduct the expansion draft until all the new teams have selected enough players (generally 25-30) to stock their teams. Once the pre-planning is done, you can deal with moving the players through the game. (If you have financials on you will want to turn them off for this stage) It is easiest if the free agents list is already empty, if its not you’ll just have to be careful (or perhaps send the players to a different team temporarily). Release the players who have been drafted by the expansion teams, from here sign them to the appropriate teams. Note when using free agency you may not need as many players involved in the expansion draft as some players (sometimes quite a few) will be signed during the free agency.
One final tip, to spice things up create a few extra established free agents, a couple for each team. This can act to simulate the Orestes Destrade factor. (Players who come from no where, free agents from Japan, etc.) This can also help to shore up teams when the expansion draft pool is very weak.


I hope this rough draft helps some people, I hope to update this as I get more time to conduct some of the tests that I’d like to conduct and solve some of the reported issues and as people find better methods for fictional league expansion. Have fun!!!!!!!


Scott Vibert
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Old 03-15-2003, 06:22 PM   #2
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OOTP5 Expansion using the CSV Export/Import option. (statfreak)

I began with a fictional 10 team league with only 1 division. I wanted to expand to twelve teams and break the league into two divisions. This is the method I used to expand. Please note, I play with coaches/scouts OFF and am NOT in Manager Mode. I believe the sign Coaches/Scouts period is before the sign Free Agents period, either way, having Coaches/Scouts on will not effect the steps below.

After the current season is over, proceed to the next season. OOTP will ask if you want to import real rookies or not. After making your choice, the game will either import or generate the rookies. You will then be at the league standings screen and the preseason will be underway. OOTP wants to start the free agent signing period.

At this point, go to the Basic League Setup screen. Click the Edit League Structure button in the lower left corner. Since I was using a 1 division league, I chose to add a second division. If you will not be adding a division, go to step 2.

Step 1. Click the ‘Add Division’ button. This will create a second (or third/fourth) division. Then click the ‘Add Team’ button for as many teams your new division will have. In my example, I will be having a total of 6 teams in each division. Since I currently have only 10 teams and plan on placing one expansion team in each division, I created 5 New Teams in the new division. Use the ‘Exchange’ button to move teams from their current division to the newly created division by exchanging them with the New Teams. After the appropriate teams are in the new division, delete all the New Teams in the division(s). You should now be left with all (and only) your original teams in the proper divisions. In my example, I now have 2 divisions with 5 teams in each.

Step 2. Time to expand your league. While in the Edit League Structure screen, click the ‘Add Team’ button in the appropriate division. This will place a team, named New Team within that division. From the ‘Teams’ drop down menu, choose the New Team. You will be taken to the roster screen for this newly created team. Using the drop down menus, go to Team Setup. Enter the new team name and an appropriate 3 character abbreviation for this team. I added a new team in the Northern Division, and renamed it Buffalo with BUF for the abbreviation. After you have changed the team name and given the team an abbreviation, repeat this process for the next expansion team. Keep in mind that it is always best to have an even number of teams within each league (to prevent OOTP from crashing when trying to generate a new schedule). I added Birmingham (BIR) to the Southern Division.

Step 3. After all your expansion teams have been created and named, go to the Advance League Setup screen. Click on the button in the upper middle part of the screen that says, ‘EXPORT Rosters to CSV File’. A popup window will appear asking ‘Are you sure?’. Click Yes. A window will appear saying Exported to file and will give you the path where the roster.csv file was saved (in my example, C:\Program Files\OOTP5\ExpandTest.lg\roster.csv). Now, I printed out each team’s Rating Report at this point. I then selected 4 players from each team to put on the expansion draft list. From this list, I drafted/assigned players (noted on the printed reports) to each of the expansion teams (Buffalo and Birmingham).

Step 4. I closed OOTP at this point. I then opened the roster.csv file in Microsoft Excel (this file can also be opened using any spreadsheet or word processing software capable of reading .csv files). Using the lists I made earlier, I moved (cut and pasted) each player from their current team to directly below their new team name. The roster.csv file will look similar to this (depending on what application you use to open it):

Nr,Player
# Chicago ,
201,Raphael Martinez
11,Joseph Vazquez
187,Thurman Chaney
324,William Mahone
312,Jonathan Jerez
54,Roger Vila
# Buffalo ,
# Phoenix ,
269,Alberto Belmonte
182,Bud Lafon
67,Leonardo Gomez
280,Joshua Tremaine
# Players that are free agents8,Seve Cuevas
9,John Veilleux
10,Matthew Godin

Please note, Buffalo is an expansion team and currently has no players on it’s roster. Simply cut and paste the appropriate players to their new team.

Nr,Player
# Chicago ,
201,Raphael Martinez
11,Joseph Vazquez
324,William Mahone
312,Jonathan Jerez
54,Roger Vila
# Buffalo ,
187,Thurman Chaney
67,Leonardo Gomez
# Phoenix ,
269,Alberto Belmonte
182,Bud Lafon
280,Joshua Tremaine
# Players that are free agents8,Seve Cuevas
9,John Veilleux
10,Matthew Godin

After all changes are made, save this file as roster.csv in the same directory it was opened from (C:\Program Files\OOTP5\ExpandTest.lg\roster.csv). Important note, make sure there are no blank lines in the updated file and that all players that were exported are still in the file, either listed under a team, or in the free agents list. Also, make sure no changes have been made to the team names. The players will even have the proper team abbreviation.

Step 5. Open OOTP, go to the Advance League Setup screen. Choose ‘Import Rosters from CSV File’. OOTP will open a popup box asking, ‘Are you sure?’. Click Yes. OOTP will import the rosters and assign each player moved to a different team to single A.

Step 6. Make sure you have given your expansion teams enough money to sign free agents and begin the Free Agent signing period.

Important notes:

1) While in the Team Setup screen, note each team’s new number. This can easily be found by looking at the Logo-File directory, which will end with logo##.bmp. The team number is the same as the ##. Make sure to change your logos to the new number (not all teams will have a different number, but some will).

2) Make sure you ‘Proceed to next season’ before adding any new teams or changing your league structure. Changing this information before proceeding to next season may cause problems with your league history.

3) Create a new schedule, this can be done immediately after creating the expansion teams. If you do not create a new schedule, your expansion teams will not play any games.
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