Our League Rules

A. Organization

Commissioner – Brandon Rose

The Commissioner is in charge of the day-to-day league business.

All league business will be handled directly with the Commissioner and not in a league-wide discussion unless the Commissioner asks for an open discussion and/or vote.

This league exists to promote camaraderie and sportsmanship. It is expected that all league members treat each other courteously and with respect. 

From time to time situations may arise that require guidance. This includes, but is not limited to: 

Fair Play Policy

1. Tardiness (not responding to requests to set a time for your game). If a coach has not heard from you by Sunday night, they may seek a sub coach or play against the computer (least favorable option) at their discretion. The commissioner shall be notified before using this option. 

2. Verbal abuse. Conduct that is insulting, demeaning or degrading is not acceptable. This league is based on mutual respect. If you feel that this has occurred, please contact the commissioner immediately. 

Penalties for violating the spirit of this policy include: 
1. Written warning
2. Loss of draft pick
3. Suspension from league

The Competition Committee reviews all competitive aspects of the league and is in an advisor role to the Commissioner.

There are no league dues.

The Odyssey Football League plays the latest version of Action! PC Football.

Each member is required to own the game and purchase the season disk being played.

The Odyssey Football League plays two seasons per calendar year. The two seasons will start in February and August.

There will be league issues that will require a members vote from time to time. A member failing to vote will result in a penalty [draft pick] and the vote being recorded as null.

Commissioner's Message: This document is not the Constitution of the United States. Thus, it does not require an Act of Congress to be edited. The league rules are best described as an evolving document. So, when/should the need arise over time to reword some rule(s) in order to make it/them more clear and/or defined, or should a new game feature be created, or one changed, that needs to be accounted for or implemented into this document, please know that it shall be done so with only the best interests of the league in mind.

B. League Set Up

The Odyssey Football League is a twenty-four team league divided into two twelve team conferences with three four divisions each. 

Conference/Division set up:
American Football Conference
Weeb Ewbank Division
Hank Stram Division
Sid Gilman Division

National Football Conference
Paul Brown Division
George Halas Division
Vince Lombardi Division

Odyssey Football League team names can be derived from any city, county, state, province or region and nickname from any professional football league team or college football team from any era. Nothing vulgar/offensive or repetitive [same nickname] will be allowed.

A teams stadium has to be the real-life stadium OR be a stadium in the same city, county, state, province or similar weather clime. 

League information will be available on the web site and/or via e-mail from the Commissioner.

The official league file will be provided by the Commissioner during the regular season, playoffs and off-season. 

Vacant teams can be an issue from time to time. Therefore the Odyssey Football League will always try to maintain a Coaches Waiting List.  In the event that a team doesn’t have a coach, their regular season and/or playoff games will be played by the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Competition Committee or a member designated by the commissioner until the vacant position is filled. The same rules apply if a team doesn’t have a coach during the rookie/free agent draft.

When there is more than one vacant team within a division the teams will be relocated to separate divisions.

C. Regular Season Schedule and Playing Your Games

The regular season schedule is 16 games.
8 home and 8 away

It is each coaches responsibility to provide a Coach File for the league file at the start of the season. 

You will play one game per week during the regular season. The play week is Wednesday to Tuesday. 

Coaches are required to be able to play [host and/or connect] either via internet connection or Hamachi. Coaches are expected to contact their opponent with their availability no later than Friday of the play week. After Friday the coach waiting to receive that information needs to contact the Commissioner who will then take the appropiate action.

If by Friday of a play week both coaches can’t agree on a day and time to play their game the coach unable to play needs to try to find a sub-coach via league-wide e-mail. If the A.P.B. for a sub-coach attempts fail by Tuesday the coach able to play is allowed to play the game versus the computer coach or have the Commissioner auto-play the game.

Game results must be sent to the Commissioner and opponent after the game.

Games not reported by the deadline - with no excuse - will be auto-played by the Commissioner.

D. Game Settings

The following league rules and game preferences will be checked ON: 
League Type - Draft League
Two-Point Conversions
Minutes/Quarter - 15
Play Clock: 40 Seconds
Injuries - Realistic Multi-Game
Field Goal Miss Line - Line of Scrimmage
Kickoff Line - 35 yard Line
Goal Post Location - End Line
Home Field Advantage - Set at 3
Penalties - Set at Realistic
Audibles - 5 Per Half
QB Kneel
Overtime/Sudden Death - Yes
Weather Conditions - Correct Home Field/Month of Play
Season Usage Penalties - Yes
Game Usage Penalties - Yes
Special Teams Usage Penalties - Yes
Quarterback Usage Penalties - Yes
Game Fatigue - Yes
Game Fatigue Settings - 110% Mild/115% Moderate/120% Major
Season Fatigue Settings - 10% Mild/15% Moderate/20% Major
Partial Game Injuries- 50% Fewer

These game options are NOT used:
Spiking the Ball [usage starts in 1987] 
Play Challenges [usage starts in 1999]

Trick plays are part of football in any era. There will be no artificial limit placed on how many trick plays a team can run. The game itself polices the use of trick plays. 

The rule will be the same for the playoffs except players are limited to the real-life number of trick plays they attempted. 

Trick Play RB & RB/WR Rule – A player with the RB position designation can't be lined up wide and run end arounds or reverses. A player with the RB/WR position designation can't run end arounds and reverses only. Abuse of this rule will result in the team losing the player. 

E. Roster & Player Usage

Roster Size – 45 active players.

After the pre-draft rookie cuts and rookie draft and before the start of the next regular season your roster can be any size via trades. But must be cut down to the 45 active players league limit - there will be a roster deadline date announced - before the next season starts. 

Players on Injured Reserve for the season who are designated I/A [Inactive] do not count against the 45 active player roster size limit.

Player usage will be dictated by injuries and built in game and season fatigue settings.  There will be no artificial limitations imposed. 

Skill position players will be required to use 1/3 of their real-life usage in the following categories: 
QB – Pass Attempts
RB – Carries
WR/TE – Receptions

Failure to meet the 1/3 minimum usage requirement will result in the player becoming a free agent at the end of the regular season and eligible to be drafted in the next free agent/rookie draft.  This rule is to guard against teams hoarding skill position players.

If a player doesn't meet the 1/3 minimum usage limit because of injuries you will not lose him. 

Regular Season QB Rule: A team can not carry more than three active QB's on their regular season roster. 

The usage rules are to guard against teams hoarding QB's and Skill Position Players. 

A player missing a season because of an injury, suspension or military service who is obviously not game rated can be kept by his team for that season.  Players kept, who fit that description, and who are listed as I/A [Inactive] will NOT count against the 45-active player roster limit. 

Teams are required to carry a backup at every position except kicker and punter.  A single player can be the backup at more than one position if he is rated to play those positions. You must also have a minimum of 600 combined rushing and passing attempts for a 16-game season on your roster.  Maximums may be flagged if the Commissioner sees fit. 

Injuries/Waiver Pickups Rule: A team can pick up a player or players to cover for injuries by putting in a claim for any player in the free agent section of the league file. This is handled on a first come-first served basis and must be made before the start of the next play week. The deadline to make your injury waiver claim[s] is always Tuesday Midnight.

You may have to play a player or players out of position due to injury and/or fatigue - forced to sit by the game’s design. 

Here are the playing out of position guidelines: 
C, OG & OT can play any offensive line position
DE & DT can play any defensive line position
ILB & OLB can play any linebacker position
CB & S can play any defensive backfield position

Keep in mind, players who play out of position are reduced in effectiveness by the game. 

Once the injured or fatigued player is eligible to return, you must put him back in the game. 

Playing a player out of position for no apparent reason will result first in a warning and second, if repeated, some sort of penalty. You will lose either the player that you are playing out of position, a draft pick, or both. If the offenses continue you will be relieved of your OdysseyFootball League team

Special QB Rule: Any QB with a Passing Rating of 59.9 or less will be given a Durability Rating of 10. 

Special teams guidelines for the Holder, Long Snapper and Gunner: 
Holder – Any Quarterback, Punter or real-life Holder [coach must verify] 
Long-Snapper – Any Center or real-life Long-Snapper
Gunner – Anyone except Quarterback, Offensive and Defensive Linemen

Hoarding of players at any position will NOT be tolerated. 

F. Trading Ground Rules

Trading is allowed year-round.

The OFL trading deadline is through Week 10 play of the regular season.

Any trade made after the trading deadline for that season does not become official until the completion of that season.

Trades can include players and/or draft picks. 

During the regular season you can trade your future draft picks up to two seasons in the future. After the season is over you can trade your draft picks up to three seasons in the future. 

REGULAR SEASON EXAMPLE: The 1980 regular season is being played. You can now trade your 1981 & 1982 draft picks.

OFF-SEASON EXAMPLE: The 1980 regular season ends. You can now trade your 1981, 1982& 1983 draft picks. All trades are to be reported to the commissioner and confirmed by the non-trade reporting coach. 

All trades are to be reported to the Commissioner and confirmed by the non-trade reporting coach. 

Once a trade is official – one coach reports it and one coach confirms – it will be announced to the entire league via e-mail. 

The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner will review and have final approval of all trades.

G. Injuries & Waiver Transactions

It is in your teams best interests that you select a player or players from the free agent list when you lose a player or players to injury.  

Waiver claims should be made to the Commissioner.  When the injured player is eligible to return the waiver wire pick up or another player on your roster has to be released.  This transaction is also sent to the Commissioner. 

During the regular and post-season you can claim players off of the waiver wire and release players.  

All waiver claims are handled on a first come-first served basis.  The claim/release requests are to be sent to the Commissioner.

H. Playoffs

Twelve teams will qualify for the playoffs. 

American Football Conference [6 teams] and National Football Conference [6 teams]. 

Regular season statistics are zeroed out so everyone starts the playoffs fresh.

Regular season injuries carry over into the playoffs.  

American Football Conference: 3 Division Winners and 3 Wild-Card teams
National Football Conference : 3 Division Winners and 3 Wild-Card teams

Wild-Card Note: The wild-card teams will be decided on best record not order of finish in the division they compete in.

Ties in the final standings will be broken using the OFL Tie-Breaker system:
1. Best Head to Head Record
2. Best Division Record [Only when the teams are in the same division] 
3. Best Conference Record
4. Best Strength of Victory Percentage
5. Best Opponents Winning Percentage
6. Most Points Scored
7. Fewest Points Allowed
8. Most Offensive Yards Gained
9. Fewest Offensive Yards Allowed
10. Coin Toss

Tie-Breaker Disclaimer: All tie-breaks are based on the best of each category. This is meant to uphold the integrity of the league discouraging tanking games to gain a better draft selection position and promotes trying to win. 

Playoff teams will compete for an opportunity to play in the Odyssey Bowl for the league championship. 

The Odyssey Football League playoff system is as follows: 

Division winners will be seeded 1, 2 & 3 with the Wild Card teams seeded 4, 5 & 6 based on best record.

Division winners with the two best records have a bye. 

Wild Cards: 6th Seed at 3rd Seed & 5th Seed at 4th Seed

Semi-Finals: Lowest Seed Wild Card Winner at 1st Seed & Second Lowest Seed Wild Card Winner at 2nd Seed.

Conference Championship Game: Lowest Seed Semi-Final Winner at Highest Seed Semi-Final Winner. 

Odyssey Bowl: American Football Conference Champion vs. National Football Conference Champion played in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. 

Sudden death overtime will be used in playoff games ending in a tie. 

The league champion will be awarded the Lamar Hunt Trophy by the Commissioner.

I. Rookie & Dumpster Dive Drafts

Any player not on an Odyssey Football League roster who is Action! PC Football game rated is draft eligible.

The Rookie Draft is 10 Rounds – selection order is worst to best in order - with a lottery held to determine the pecking order for the first four draft positions in the 1st Round only.

The rookie draft ground rules are simple ... When you go on the clock you have 12 hours to make your pick.

The Rookie and Dumpster Dive Drafts will be conducted via e-mail or telephone/text [emergency situations only]. 

Trading is allowed.

If you are the team on the clock and you trade your pick the team trading for your pick assumes the time left on the clock.

Teams who reach the 45-active player roster limit can continue participating in the rookie draft but must cut a player before making a pick.

A team with less than the 45-active player roster limit at the end of Tenth Round of the rookie draft can continue to draft until they reach the 45-active player roster limit. 

The Dumpster Dive Draft follows the completion of the Rookie Draft. This is a draft handled via e-mail on a first come-first served basis for those teams that still need to fill open roster spots and/or position needs.

The Dumpster Dive Draft is handled via draft list only.

At the end of the regular season each team will cut their roster down to 35 overall players. The players cut will go into the rookie draft player pool.  

Players on Injured Reserve - Designated I/A [Inactive] - count against the 35 overall players roster limit.

QB Rule/Pre-Draft Cut Down To 35 Players: You can't keep more than 1 QB with 250+ Pass Attempts on your 35 players pre-rookie draft roster. After you have cut your roster down to 35 overall players you can then have more than 1 QB with 250+ Pass Attempts via trade or the draft.

The overall Rookie Draft selection order will be determined by worst-to-best winning percentage. 

Ties will be broken using the OFL Tie-Breaker System:
1. Best Head to Head Record
2. Best Division Record [Only when the teams are in the same division] 
3. Best Conference Record [Only when the teams are in the same conference]
4. Best Strength of Victory Percentage
5. Best Opponents Winning Percentage
6. Most Points Scored
7. Fewest Points Allowed
8. Most Offensive Yards Gained
9. Fewest Offensive Yards Allowed
10. Coin Toss

Tie-Breaker Disclaimer: All tie-breaks are based on the best of each category. This is meant to uphold the integrity of the league discouraging tanking games to gain a better draft selection position and promotes trying to win. 

J. Rule Changes, Expansion & the Miscellaneous

Proposals for rule changes can be made to the Commissioner after the Odyssey Bowl.  The Commissioner will review the proposal and decide whether or not the recommendation merits league wide discussion.  Any proposal making the cut will then be introduced to the league for a short [one week] e-mail discussion.  At that time the Commissioner will decide whether or not the proposed rule change has enough interest to be put to a league vote.  If the rule change proposal is put to a vote every member has one vote.  Not voting will be considered a no vote.  A proposed rule change must carry a ¾ majority vote in order to be put into the Odyssey Football League Rules. 

Expansion will be addressed at the time the NFL added more teams in real-life. 

It will always be the goal of the Odyssey Football League to have no more than 2 or 3 less teams than professional football in an effort to keep player’s values as realistic as possible. 

Any topics not covered by the league rules will be addressed by the Commissioner as needed.  It should not be assumed that the lack of a rule against a certain practice permits its usage.