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Rule Changes for 2014

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

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

Last update:  July 18, 2014

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.

Here are the last rule changes in 2013 ...

Listing of all rules changes

1.0 Basics

Entry Fee and Prizes

Added 11/11/13

See the full rule

Some changes and clarifications:

  • Basic entry fee now $60.  Will be $65 in 2015.
  • A new "rookie rate" for first-time owners and their first team = $35 in 2014.
  • As new owners come into the Hall of Fame League, which had a lower season fee for charter players of BWB, they will be charged at the going standard rate (after any Orphan season).  Existing league owners from 2013 season will retain the special reduced fee as long as they own that team.
  • Package rates increased for 2014 as well.
  • Clarified that there is no franchise movement for packages; when users join as a division or conference, those franchise slots are locked.

3.0 Postseason

The Benchwarmer Bash

See the full rule

Change coming: Will update this section to reflect 2013 changes and then for 2014 as the number of leagues are set.

5.0 Lineups

Preventing Manipulation of Known Results - First Stats that Count for Starting Pitchers

See the full rule

Added 12/21/13

Slight change: When pitchers are moved from the minors or the taxi squad to a *spot starter* role, any stats that fall within the proper MLB-to-BWB game mapping will count, regardless if the start occurred before that week's lineup deadline (this is how things worked from about 2002-2012).

September Call Ups

See the full rule

Change coming: Will add clarification to this rule implementation and possibly change that implementation.


Here's the clarification...but no change in 2014.  I can't fit in the time to change the program code and - just as importantly - test it to get it changed for this season.  Also, there are some user suggestions on how starting lineups and bench players are used and I want to see first if we're going to change these rules so that I can rewrite the code at the same time.


The existing rule:

Following the normal lineup process, if there are any holes in a team's lineup, the taxi squad will be checked to see if there are any eligible game performances to fill in. Following that, if any spots are still open, the minor league roster will be checked


2014 Clarification (how this has been done since implementation in 2006): "if any spots still open" is a literal interpretation of this rule.  BWB runs a process with your starters and bench players to find the best possible lineup.  Then, if there are still holes in your starting lineup, we check your taxi squad and minor leagues to see if someone can fill an open position.  We DO NOT rearrange your lineup/bench from scratch.


For example,

  • You are short at 1B and 3B.  You have a guy on your bench who can play both spots and the lineup process finds that putting him at 1B is the best lineup option
  • No one else on the bench can fill 3B, we initially put a Benchwarmer there
  • Now we look through your taxi squad and minor league roster for a player with stats who can play 3B
  • If there's no guy that can fill 3B, but you have someone in the minors who could play 1B, at this time we DO NOT move your other bench player to 3B and let your minor league guy go to 1B - you'll still have a Benchwarmer

Here are some additional notes made in August 2013:

  • In order to automate setting lineups, some assumptions must be made.  The primary assumption here is that the "best" lineup of available options when choosing between choices that will leave a Benchwarmer Batter is to have the Benchwarmer(s) as low as possible in the lineup - even if it means filling the DH spot with a bench player and leaving a position open (with 2 automatic errors) -- this may be something to change, but the idea here is to have a hole in the bottom of your lineup and not in the 4th or 5th spot.
  • It may happen in some cases that the DH stays at DH and a bench player fills a position spot...again something in the future that may need fixing as it goes against the spirit of moving the DH into a position first.  Still - the more important idea here was to leave open spots in the batting order at the end.
  • There's a huge loop in the lineup-setting process that checks as many possible lineup solutions as we can in filling all the open lineup slots with bench players.  However, that same resetting of the entire lineup DOES NOT happen with callups of taxi squad players and minor leaguers.  We use the best available lineup after checking all the bench players - and then if there are any remaining holes in the lineup, we try to fill those specific openings - we don't try to rearrange all the previously-placed bench players as well. (We're literally just trying to fill any remaining holes, not redo the entire lineup).
  • This may leave some Benchwarmers in place if a minor-leaguer can't fill a specific open position.
  • It's not perfect - it might be fixed in the future - but it's worked that way since the September callup rule was added in 2006 and the lineup-setting process was automated in 2003.

7.0 Scoring

Batting Score

Added 8/7/14

This is not a change, but a CORRECTION of what the batting score formula should be.  The correction is in the Adjusted Total Bases (ATB) part of the formula.  Note: Games have been scored with this formula since 2001 - but in transferring the calculation from spreadsheet to text several years ago, I missed this. 




ATB = (∑(zTBi + SBBi))/3   i=1-9


  • TB = Adjusted total bases for a player: TB + BB + HBP + SB
  • z = Total bases multiplier based on batting order
    • = 1 except for batters in positions:
      • 1 & 2= 1.3; 3 = 1.1; 8 & 9 = .9
  • SBB = Stolen Base Bonus - based on batting order
    • = (SB * .25) for players in batting order slots 1 & 2
    • = 0 for players in batting order slots 3-9

The Stolen Base Bonus is the point of clarification.  You get a small bonus for stolen bases if they come in the top two spots of your order.  Checking back at seasonal score sheets, this got added in between the 2000 and 2001 seasons.  I seem to remember the change was announced via email, but my archive doesn't go back that far anymore and it looks like the original scoring formula document from March 2000 was never updated for that.

Pitching Score

Added 7/18/14

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.  I made a correction in 2009 to make this appear correct, but yet again, I screwed up in converting from program code to the rule book.


Was Pitching Score: P = ER + (BP * BI) a ( K + BK) ((b * S) / (NumBP * BI)) + 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) / (NumBP * BI)) should be replaced by:

((b * S) / NumBP * BI)

The parentheses around "NumBP * BI" are significant - implying that those two values are multiplied together before the division takes place.  Instead, execution proceeds left to right.  b multiplied by S (as that part is enclosed in parentheses) - then divide by NumBP, then multiply by BI.


Again - this is NOT a scoring change - but I know caused some confusion in how saves are scored.  There is no actual scoring change that will take place in the final 2/5 of the 2014 season.


That being said, as I look at this again, I'm not sure that's really the effect that I want for saves (either in the 2009 version or the 2014 version).  I'll take a look at this again for 2015 and may modify it.

8.0 Finances

Team Revenue Sources

See the full rule

Regular season - Team Performance

Change coming (potential): May make some updates in how much cash is awarded for BWB wins and division placement.

Regular season - Extra Cash Disbursements

Change coming (potential): May reduce the amount of extra cash handed out during the season.

9.0 Building a Team - The Startup Draft

Phase One Draft

Added 12/24/13

Phase One - Resolution

See the full rule

Resolution Order
  1. Uniquely drafted players automatically go the team that picked them.  But their salaries and roster spots will not count toward the tiebreakers below in determining contested picks.
  2. NEW for 2014 Season - Contested selections of all players with salary 100 will be resolved using the process and tiebreakers below.  Once those players are awarded, team salary balances and roster composition will be reset to zero temporarily in order to resolve contested picks of players with salaries > 100.  (Added 12/24/13)
  3. Contested picks of players making more than 100 in salary will be resolved using the process and tiebreakers below.


Why the change in 2014 to do Salary 100 players separately?  Years of processing drafts made it clear that the process for resolving contested picks led to:

  • Once a team received a player with salary > 1000 or so, they were largely out of the running for prospects and young players.
  • When the first tiebreaker for resolution is cap space remaining to spend, once a team is in a position of having only signed a few players with salary 100-200, they often could get in a run of being awarded 4-5 prospects in a row...and might end up with a large majority of the future stars when the draft was over.
  • Some drafts were starting to turn into teams listing 20-40 prospects instead of a balanced roster/lineup and the results could be skewed.  Several people had requested a "minimum salary requirement" for a draft list - this is an alternate attempt to even the playing field.

15.0 Player Salaries and Salary Cap

Salary Formula and Salary Cap

See the full rule

No rule changes here, but BWB began calculating average ERA for MLB differently (correctly!) beginning with the 2014 season.  This will generally result in lower salaries for elite pitchers.

Along with the pitcher salary correction, BWB found an error in the salary cap calculation spreadsheet that's existed for 10 years or more - these two changes will mean a slightly lower salary cap than might have been the case (and for 2014, that would have been lower anyway based on overall performances).




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