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Rule Changes for 2010

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

As the season and then off season progresses, check here for the latest changes to rules

Last update:  January 14, 2010.

The written version of the rule book is also available, but it is a few years old.  If there is a conflict, the online version is now the guide.  A 2010 update might be available soon...however, there should be few, if any, major changes (see below)

Here are the 2009 changes ...

General Note on 2010 Changes

There have been some other user-generated requests for changes, but it's most likely that if we do implement any of them that they will come about in 2011.  The BWB Blog will be an instrument for generating discussion about potential changes.

1.0 Basics

Prizes

Added 1/14/10   See the full rule

Over the last few seasons, division winners have been given a free bonus team to help expand the game.  This process has run its course for the time being, but I felt it was a good idea to provide some reward for winning the division, which is hard to do.  Starting with the 2010 season, the three division winners who do not win the league title will get a $10 discount on the team entry fee for the next season.  The loser in the league championship series will get an extra bonus team.

So the rundown on Prizes:

  • Winner of the Benchwarmer Bash - Two free seasons for the team that won the title.
  • Runner up of the Benchwarmer Bash - One free season for the team that finished 2nd.
  • League Champions - Winning team free for the next season; An additional bonus team that can be used for a new or orphan team the next season.
  • Conference Champions (not winning the league title) - $10 off the same team for the next season; An additional bonus team that can be used for a new or orphan team the next season.
  • Division Champions (losing in the Conference Title Series) - $10 off the same team for the next season.
  • Winners of the Gore Cup and Bottom Feeder Open - An additional bonus team that can be used for a new or orphan team the next season.

3.0 Post-Season

The Benchwarmer Bash

Added 1/14/10   See the full rule

The Bash will be changed slightly in format from season to season as the game grows.  This is a note to codify the changes made to the Bash in 2009, adding the Federation Championship round.

7.0 Scoring

Pitching Score: Determining the number of relievers - Minimum IP

Added 1/14/10    See the full rule

This was last changed in 2005.  As much as I'd like to keep some strict guidelines for minimum innings pitched in the bullpen formulas, the fact is that bullpen use continues to get specialized and it gets a bit tougher to find big innings eaters.  In some non-official analysis of game stats, the average IP per relief appearance in the major leagues has dropped from 1.136 in 2001 to 1.070 in 2005 to 1.053 in 2009.  Meanwhile, the "Average IP short" in bullpen scoring for teams in Benchwarmer games has increased from 1.014 in 2006 after the last change to 1.273 in 2009 (still nothing like the 1.531 in 2003).  This is basically a 1/3 inning reduction in the total IP needed at every bullpen spot except R3.

Relief Pitchers Used Current Minimum IP New Minimum IP Total Reduction
R1 2.0 1 2/3 -1/3
R1-R2 5.0 4 1/3 -2/3
R1-R3 8 2/3 8 -2/3
R1-R4 11 2/3 10 2/3 -1
All 5 14.0 12 2/3 -1 1/3

Benchwarmers: Pinesitter Pitcher - Bullpen

Added 1/14/10    See the full rule

For the 2007 season, we modified the stat line for Pinesitter Pitchers in the bullpen.  At that point, each PS reliever had an ERA of 18.00 and this was a bit punitive (a Benchwarmer Batter hurts you as a hole in the lineup, and 2 errors...but this seemed beyond that level of hurt).  So we graduated the stat lines depending on how many Pinesitters were needed, with the first reliever meant to be below average and then each one getting progressively worse.  This would still make those teams with disappearing owners have a bad bullpen, but might give that team a competitive chance in games where only 1 or 2 relievers were needed.  (The goal here is not to give the ignored team more wins, but that the game isn't an automatic win for the other team).  There is a small change in this formula, making the first pinesitter just a bit worse.  The stat lines for pinesitters 2-5 will not change.

Old Formula

Pinesitter #

IP

H

BB

ER

ERA

1

3

4

2

2

6.00

 

New Formula

Pinesitter #

IP

H

BB

ER

ERA

1

4

5

3

3

6.75

 

This change probably does not completely satisfy complaints that the rule change in 2007 made things too lenient, but is somewhat of a compromise. Meanwhile, the average ERA for MLB relief appearances in 2009 was 4.077, which is a drop from 4.136 in 2005 and 4.123 in 2001.

11.0 Roster Changes and Transactions

Free Agents: Transaction Order

Added 1/14/10    See the full rule

Using a team's cash balance is - may I say - a real hassle to try to figure out.  And it's less useful than the intention.  The theory here is that a team with the most money remaining in cash has less money tied up in player salaries and - perhaps - a slightly inferior team (this is an old Robot Baseball holdover).  This may be true right after the startup draft, but is less of a factor in later seasons - where multiyear contracts and other roster moves make this kind of meaningless.

This only tends to come up in Weeks 3-5 at the most (transaction order for Weeks 1-2 is the same as the Redistribution Draft).  So, in a change, we're going to consult the average runs scored per game and average runs allowed per game, as shown in the current standings at the time this is being determined.  We're only going out to one decimal point as shown on the standings page, but it will tend to give the team off to a worse start the better chance to get a player (and it is true that these numbers are also dependent upon the opponents the team has faced, but so is win-loss record).  In case those two items are still the same, we'll finally revert to the Redistribution Draft order.

Old Order:

  1. Team with the worse record in the last 10 games.
  2. Team with the most money remaining at the end of the previous week
  3. Coin flip

 

New Order:

  1. Team with the worse record in the last 10 games.
  2. Team with the lowest Runs Scored per Game (RPG) as displayed on the league standings page (to one decimal place).
  3. Team with the highest Runs Allowed per Game (RAPG) as displayed on the league standings page (to one decimal place).
  4. Redistribution Draft order from the off-season, if applicable.
  5. Coin flip

 

17.0 Master Player List and Positions

Note on First Round Draft Picks

Added 1/14/10    See the full rule

The original BWB rule was that First Round draft picks needed to be signed by the Rule V draft or they would be removed from the game.  This dated to the time when a drafted player could still sign with the drafting team until the next season's amateur draft.  In recent years, the rule changed so that the beginning of the fall semester became the deadline for signing players still in college.  If any of the first round picks have their status voided at that time, they will be removed from the game immediately.  Players who have graduated will still have until the Rule V draft to sign a pro contract or they will be removed from BWB.
 

 
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