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Rule Changes for 2009

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

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

Last update:  September 5, 2009.

The written version of the rule book is also available.  With the redesign of the rules pages last year, if there is a conflict, the online version is now the guide.  A 2009 update will be available soon...however, there should be few, if any, major changes (see below)

Here are the 2008 changes also...

General Note on 2009 Changes

Overall, there are very few expected changes for the upcoming season.  Mostly, this page in 2009 will be used for some clarification discussion about current rules.

Scoring Formula

Pitching Score

Added 9/5/09

This is not a change, but a CORRECTION of what the pitching score formula should be.  The correction is in the saves part of the formula.  Note: Games have been scored with this exact formula since BWB started in 2000 - but in transferring the calculation to text several years ago, I messed up.


Was Pitching Score: P = ER + (BP * BI) a ( K + BK) b (S) + HBB  + c (E)


  • ...several things listed
  • BI = Number of innings pitched by the bullpen
  • S = Accumulated saves by 1st and 2nd relievers (counted only if they are used in a game)
  • b = saves multiplier = .25

Instead, b(S) should be replaced by:

((b * S)/(NumBP * BI))


  • BI = Number of innings pitched by the bullpen
  • NumBP = # of Relievers used
  • S = Accumulated saves by 1st and 2nd relievers (counted only if they are used in a game)
  • b = saves multiplier = .25

The idea here is to normalize the scoring formula when one team uses two relievers and the other uses zero or one: while we're still counting up total saves for reliever 1 & 2, it's not just a sum.  If one team uses 1 closer for the game and the other uses 2, that gives the 2nd team an advantage simply because its starter didn't last as long.  (In the same way, in an actual rule change many years ago, we added a .25 bonus for a starter pitching a complete game).  The main point, though, is that you're still much better off with 2 closers in your bullpen.

Superior Pitching Performances

Added 9/5/09

See the scoring formula for details.  The very last part of the formula is "SP" for Superior Pitching performance.

These explanatory notes were added about complete games, perfect games, and no hitters:

Notes: "Complete game" refers a starting pitching performance of 9 or more innings (regardless of whether the actual major league game goes longer or whether a pitcher completes a rain-shortened game).  In checking for no hitters and perfect games, the starting pitcher must complete 9 or more innings.  Then we check to see if the pitcher gave up any hits.  If hits = 0, and walks allowed = 0, we're going to count this as a "Perfect Game" - otherwise 0 hits will equal a "no hitter."  In practice, we don't get a no hitter/perfect game indicator in the stat service, so this allows for automated scoring.  Jonathan Sanchez' no hitter in 2009 included an error by the Giants, but we're not keeping track to that level...and for his part of the effort, it was as perfect as he could get...so the BWB scoring system marked it as a perfect game.

The Startup Draft

Special Salary Rebates for post-draft transactions

Added 3/15/09 - Blog discussion

This is under the Notes heading - regarding what happens when leagues move into the normal cycle of weekly transactions after the draft is complete:

Until the season begins, there is only a 50% salary rebate for players cut from rosters.  Teams get no rebate when cutting a player making a salary of 200 or below.

The change: 2009 Change - Because teams can get in somewhat of a salary cap jam during the draft and they don't have full control over every action in the draft (due to the list-submission and resolution process), new leagues can make cuts in the first two normal transaction periods after the Phase Two draft is done and receive a 100% salary rebate on cut players.  There is still no rebate for players with salaries of 200 or below.  For late-drafting leagues, if this 2-cycle period extends into the regular season, that's OK.

Special note for 2009 - Since this was enacted after some leagues began transactions, this will apply at least through the Week Minus One transaction deadline for all new leagues.  At minimum, each league will have two cycles, so late-drafting leagues may see this extend into the regular season.


Game Selection Playoffs - Starting Pitching

Just codifying what the real practice is.  We use MLB Stats for games 81-160 - randomly selected - to generate the game results for the playoffs.  However, for pulling starting pitching appearances, we also include games 161-162.

Game Selection Playoffs - Relief Pitching - Clarification

The relief pitcher ranges (we use a six-game range to generate relief pitcher stats) end with the same game as the hitters game selected for the playoff game.  So, if the playoff game uses MLB game 106, then games 101-106 are used for bullpen stats.  However, if the game selected for the playoff game is MLB game 83, then we use games 78-83 for the bullpen - even though that is below the Game #81 lower limit for playoff games.




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