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DEL Time: 08:55
Although we try to make DEL as realistic as possible, there are a number of instances in which real-life rules and policies are altered, generally for the sake of simplicity, to prevent types of cheating, or to give coaches a consistent set of rules across the sports.
Team Names
This is a choice that the commissioner of each league makes, whether to use real-life team and division names, or whether to let the coaches make up their own team names. There are selling points for each - one has more realism, while the other tends to have more creativity from the coaches.

An offshoot of team names is that leagues with different team names are also free to have multiple tiers within their league, the top tier being the best teams and the lowest tier being the worst teams. While not something common to American sports, this style of setup is very common in Europe.

Real-life sports have rather complex sets of tiebreaking rules to decide what happens if two teams finish with identical records. In DEL, we have the advantage of impartial computer polls in every sport, so some of the complexity is unnecessary. Here is a list of tiebreakers used in the DEL leagues, in the order of priority.
  • Hockey: Points (2*wins + ties), Wins, Goals Scored, Goals Allowed, Head-to-head, Ranking
  • Soccer: Points (3*wins + ties), Goal Differential, Goals Scored, Wins, Head-to-head, Ranking
  • Pro Football, divisional standings: Record, Head-to-Head, Divisional Record, Ranking
  • Pro Football, conference standings: Record, Conference Record, Head-to-head, Ranking
  • Other Sports: Record, Head-to-head, Ranking

Notes: In pro baseball, a playoff game between the two top teams in a division will be used if they are tied. Also, pro baseball ignores head-to-head when selecting wildcard teams.

Two-minute Warning
There is no two-minute warning in DEL football.
Pro Baseball Seeds
The team with the best record always plays the wildcard team, even if they are from the same division. This doesn't match reality, but is better than the alternative way we had set up the baseball seeds in the past.
Baseball Last Half-inning
In real-life, only the number or runs needed to win a game are counted when scored in the bottom half of the 9th inning or later. In DEL, the play goes to completion; this may result in a team winning by two runs when it should have only won by one. Since the result is the same (win/loss), correcting this minor problem isn't high on our list of projects.
Pro Basketball Home Court
The higher-seeded team always gets home court advantage, even if they had a worse record than their opponent. (This will happen if the #2 team from one division is better than the #1 team from the other.)
After watching certain coaches come up with an incredible number of ways to cheat, we finally arrived at the current financial model. Player salaries will be the same for all years of a contract, largely because DEL games do not have annual inflation. In other words, the overall increase of salaries every year in real-life sports does not happen in DEL, and thus we just keep contracts with the same value each season. Teams are also given budgets that they have to keep under. You should not confuse the DEL team budgets with real-life salary caps. A real-life cap is the total amount of money (usually computed in a very confusing way) that the team can have in salaries, and is more akin to the DEL luxury tax. A DEL budget is simply the total amount of money that a team can spend in trades, bonuses, and salaries during a season.

Other financial aspects of the game have gone by the wayside, such as hiring assistant coaches and paying stadium rent. Although they added to the realism, they didn't add to the enjoyment of the game any for various reasons.

Minor Leagues
The soccer, baseball, and hockey simulations all have a minor league team affiliated with each team. This has varying degrees of realism. None of the sports has minor league playoffs, largely because the games are simulations of top-level rather than lower-level sports. The entire purpose of including minor leagues is to give future major league players a chance to play for real before they come up to the majors. Football and basketball have training squads, which function similarly.
Draft Order
This goes along with the tiebreaker discussion above. The draft order for each league, for simplicity, is set by the league's rankings at the end of the season. This is generally close to how real-life draft orders would be calculated, but without all of the additional complexity.

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