Creating a Custom League
ESPN Fantasy Baseball Custom and League Manager 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, Season Points, Head-to-Head: Points, Head-to-Head: Each Category and Head-to-Head: Most Categories. This section refers to rules for the custom league versions of ESPN Fantasy Baseball.

ESPN Fantasy Baseball provides a few options for creating an ESPN Custom or League Manager (LM) 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.

Additionally you can choose to create a "standard" format by selecting "Express Set-Up". Express Set-Up creates your ESPN Custom or LM 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.

As league creator 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.

The league creator 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.

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. 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.

    Season Points: Season Points scoring allows you to assign a given point value to each individual statistical category (ie HR=4, RBI=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 MLB. This format allows you to assign a given point value to individual statistical categories (i.e. HR=4, RBI=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 real MLB. 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, much like in real MLB. 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.

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.

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

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 creator 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.

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.

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.

    A league creator 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):

    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 Customer Care at 1-888-549-ESPN between 8am and 1am ET any day of the season.

      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 the league creator 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 creator 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).

      The league creator invites you to play, and you receive the invite, but upon clicking the unique URL, the page returns saying you cannot join the league. This will happen for one of two reasons:

      1. The league creator 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 creator 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 creator to work out the details.