Creating a Custom League
CREATING A CUSTOM LEAGUE
"Custom" Fantasy Hockey leagues are non-standard scoring leagues which use modified rule settings. There are two types of custom league: ESPN Custom and League Manager (LM). ESPN Custom Leagues allow the league creator to customize the rules to create a unique fantasy experience.ESPN provides several options for creating a Custom league to meet your needs. After you click on the Create a Custom League link, you will be asked to select your League Name, Scoring Type and number of teams.

Alternatively, you can choose to create a "Standard" format by selecting "Express Set-Up". Express Set-Up creates your Custom league using the default game settings. This is helpful when you plan on making only a few custom adjustments. The last option is "Manual Set-Up". The Manual Set-Up option is best used when you have a lot of changes you wish to make to the rules. Manual Set-Up will walk you through each section in an organized fashion.

EXPRESS SET-UP
If this button is clicked, the system bypasses the League Configuration Wizard and automatically sets your league up using ESPN's default system. The League Manager can then go back and manually edit any part of the League Setup.

TROUBLESHOOTING
Below are examples of problems owners might experience joining your private league and how you can go about fixing them. If one of the examples does not help rectify your problem, please contact ESPN Customer Care at 1-888-549-ESPN between 8am and 1am EST any day of the season.

  • NO INVITATION RECEIVED
    If the League Manager says they sent you an invitation but you do not see it in your email's inbox it could be due to a couple of reasons.

    1. Your email address entered by the League Manager is simply incorrect. In this case we ask you to communicate with the League Manager to ensure they are entering your correct email address.

    2. Your corporate (or ISP's) firewall blocks email from our ESPN servers. In this case we recommend the League Manager using the "Send me a copy of each invite" option. Once he/she receives the "cc'ed" email (which contains your team's unique join URL) he/she can then forward that email to you via their own email service (thus bypassing any firewall).

  • INVITATION RECEIVED; UNABLE TO JOIN LEAGUE
    The League Manager invites you to play, and you receive the invite, but upon clicking the unique URL, the page returns saying you can not join the league. This will happen for one of two reasons:

    1. The League Manager invited another owner to join the team after he/she invited you. Once a different email address is entered and submitted the system will null and void the unique URL on the previous email.

    2. The League Manager changed your email address. Likewise in the previous example, once a different email address is entered and submitted, the system will void the unique URL on the previous email. In both cases, we recommend that you contact the League Manager to work out the details.


SENDING INVITATIONS TO JOIN YOUR CUSTOM LEAGUE
League Managers can access the Invite Members page by clicking on the Members link from the League Office. Enter the email address of each person you want to join your league in the Send Invitations text box (as seen in the screenshot below):



LEAGUE NAME
The League Manager chooses what their league will be named. League names are limited to 32 characters and cannot contain foreign or HTML characters. League names are not unique, so there could be multiple leagues with the same name. The league name can be edited at any time during the season through the "Edit League Settings" tool.

NUMBER OF TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE
The number of teams in a league can be set from 4 - 20. This is done using the League Manager tools page, where you can adjust the league size by deleting or adding teams.

NOTE: If the number of teams is changed the league's schedule will be adjusted.

MANUAL SET-UP
You will be brought through the League Configuration Wizard with options to manually set all your league settings.

The Divisions & Team Settings page allows the League Manager to customize the number of divisions in the league, name each team and specify in which division each team will compete. Below is a list of all the options and details on how they work.

NOTE: If you want to skip this step and enter the division and team information later you can do so by clicking on the Submit button to advance to the next step in League Setup.

DIVISIONS
The League Manager determines the number of divisions in the league using the Divisions pulldown menu. You may have between one and four divisions in a league.

Both the number of divisions and names for each division can be changed at any point during the season from the Edit League Settings page.

TEAM INFO
The number of teams listed here is equal to the number that was selected on the Basic Settings page. Team names consist of a combination of two elements - Team Location and Team Nickname. When a team is displayed in the game, generally both Team Nickname and Team Location will be displayed (as in on Standings and in Box Scores), but on pages where there is limited space, only the Team Nickname is displayed.

NOTE: After each team owner joins the league they will be allowed to edit the name of their own team.

  • Team Location - Max of 32 characters
  • Team Nickname - Max of 32 characters
  • Division - If the league has more than one division, specify the division designation for each team here. For reasons of fairness, it may be wise to make sure each division has the same number of teams.


  • "Custom" ESPN Fantasy Hockey leagues are non-standard scoring leagues, with a variable number of teams (4-20) which use customized rule settings and are managed by the League Manager (LM). In the Custom game there are five scoring formats to choose from: Rotisserie, Points-Based, Head-to-Head: Points, Head-to-Head: Each Category, Head-to-Head: Most Categories. This section refers to rules for the Custom league version of the game.

    PUBLIC / PRIVATE LEAGUES
    As League Manager you have the option to make your league viewable to the public.
    • Yes Your league will be set as Public. Public League Managers and team owners can send their league URLs out in email (or post them on a message board) to have non-members view them. In public-viewable leagues some pages (such as the list of team owners and the league message boards) are not viewable, but the main League Office, Standings, and Team clubhouse pages are viewable.

    • No Your league is set as Private and every page (except League Settings) in your league will not be viewable by anyone other than team owners.


    SCORING TYPE
    Custom leagues can choose one of five different basic scoring formats. These formats can be further modified. The five base scoring formats are listed in detail below:

      Rotisserie: Rotisserie, or 'Roto', is the most common way to play Fantasy Baseball. Roto Hockey is played much the same way. In this scoring format teams are ranked from first to last in each statistical category. Points are then awarded according to the order in each category and totaled to determine an overall score and league rank.

      Points-Based: Points-Based scoring allows you to assign a given point value to each individual statistical category (ie Assists=4, Saves=1, etc.) Standings are based on the accumulation of points covering all statistical categories and combined into one total points column. The team with the most overall points wins.

      Head-to-Head: Points: "H2H" Points is very similar to how Fantasy Football is played. Teams play each other one-on-one on a rotating schedule throughout the season, much like in real NHL. This format allows you to assign a given point value to individual statistical categories (i.e. Assists=4,Saves=1, etc.) and each scoring period's winner is determined solely by which team accumulates the most fantasy points versus a single opponent. The end result is a win (1-0-0), loss (0-1-0) or tie (0-0-1). If selected, your league will have team schedules/playoffs and you will have the option to setup divisions.

      Head-to-Head: Each Category: "H2H" Each Category is the most common type of head-to-head play in fantasy baseball. Teams play each other one-on-one on a rotating schedule throughout the season, much like in a real NHL season. This format allows you to select "X" number of statistical categories. For each scoring period team totals are accumulated and a win, loss or tie is credited in each category based on opponent's weekly totals (i.e. 6-3-1 in a 10 category league). If selected, your league will have team schedules/playoffs and you will have the option to setup divisions.

      NOTE: If the League Manager sets Home Team Wins as a tiebreaker, the home team will win every tied category.

      Head-to-Head: Most Categories: "H2H" Most Categories is similar to the other "H2H" formats. Teams play each other one-on-one on a rotating schedule throughout the season. This format allows you to set "X" number of statistical categories. For each scoring period (usually Monday through Sunday) team totals are accumulated in each of the categories. At the end the scoring period the winner is determined by which team wins the most number of categories. The end result is a win (1-0-0), loss (0-1-0) or tie (0-0-1). These results correspond directly to each team's overall record. If selected, your league will have team schedules/playoffs and you will have the option to setup divisions.



    All Standard Fantasy Hockey leagues have 8, 10 and 12 teams, use fixed rule settings and have two scoring format options: Rotisserie and Head-to-Head (H2H). Prize-Eligible leagues are restricted to 10 teams only.

    CREATING A STANDARD LEAGUE
    On the Create League page you will be asked to enter your League Name, League Type (public or private), Owner Restriction and enter your draft preferences which include:

    • Draft Type - Auction Draft, Live Online "Snake" Draft or Autopick Draft.
    • Draft Date - Select from the available dates in the pulldown menu or the calendar function.
    • Draft Time - Select from the available time slots (hour / minute). Note if a particular time slot you're looking for is not available that means all the slots are already taken. Often leagues change their draft time or are deleted which opens up available slots.

    Make sure all your settings are entered correctly because after they are submitted they can only be changed with a league vote (via the League Referenda).

    To review limits on how many leagues you can create, see League Types.

    PUBLIC / PRIVATE LEAGUES
    As league creator you have the option to make your league public or private.

    • Public - Public league creators and team owners can send their league URLs out in email (or post them on a message board) to have non-members view them. In public leagues some pages (such as the list of team owners and the league message boards) are not viewable, but the main League Office, Standings, and Team pages are viewable.
    • Private - If you set your league as "Private" a password box will appear and you must enter a password of at least four (4) characters. Only the league creator can give out the league password and/or send invites to join their private league.

    Note: Both Public and Private leagues appear in the League Directory.

    OWNER RESTRICTIONS
    Owners also have the ability to create Champion and/or Insider leagues. These leagues use the standard settings the only difference is which members have access to join them.

    • Champion Leagues
       C 
      . Can only be created (and joined) by winners of one or more ESPN Standard league from the previous season (free or prize-eligible).
    • Insider Leagues
       I 
      . Can only be created (and joined) by members who are currently subscribed to ESPN Insider.
    If you qualify for either of these there is no limit to the number of leagues you can create (or join) with these settings. All undrafted Champions and Insider leagues can be found using the filters on the League Directory.

    NOTE: There will be no leaderboards for these two league types.

    MAKE YOUR LEAGUE PUBLIC
    If you can not fill your standard private league you have the option to set the league as public. Doing this will change access to it from private to public and can be joined via the League Directory.

    INVITE OPTIONS TO JOIN A PRIVATE LEAGUE
    League creators can access the invite page by clicking on the "Members" link from the League Office. One this page you have two (2) options to send invitations to others to join your league.

    • League Password - You can copy and paste the league info (LeagueID and password) and post it on a message board, blog, chat or send via your own email software. People who view this can join your league on a first-come, first-served basis until the league is full.

    • Email Invite - By sending an email invite you are sending a unique link to each individual email address. The only way for the recipient to join the league is via this unique link. Note they will not be required to enter the password and when the league is join the link expires. Email invites can be sent out by either logging into one of your web-based address books (currently Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and AOL mail are supported) or by manually entering an email address into the "New Invitations" textbox.

    MAKE YOUR LEAGUE PUBLIC
    If you can not fill your standard private league you have the option to set the league as public. Doing this will change access to it from private to public and can be joined via the League Directory.

    EMAIL INVITE TROUBLESHOOTING
    Below are examples of problems you might have in joining your private league and how you can go about fixing them. If one of the examples does not help rectify your problem, please contact Customer Care at 1-888-549-ESPN.

    • NO INVITATION RECEIVED
      If the league creator says they sent you an invitation but you do not see it in your email's inbox it could be due to a couple of reasons:
      1. Your email address entered by the league creator is simply incorrect. In this case we ask you to communicate with them to ensure they are entering your correct email address.
    • INVITING FRIENDS TO YOUR LEAGUE
      To invite a player to your league, the LM must click on members from the league home page and assign a team by inputting the name and e-mail address in the appropriate slots. The invite will go out when you hit the submit button.

      League managers can access the Invite Members page by clicking on the Members link from the League Office. Enter the e-mail address of each person you want to join your league in the "send invitations" text box and click the "send invites" submit button.