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Rule Changes for 2022

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

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

Last update: April 10, 2022

The written version of the rule book is also available, but it is many years old.  If there is a conflict, the online version is the guide.

Here are the last rule changes in 2021

Listing of all rules changes

Note - these changes have NOT yet been incorporated into the main rules pages

2.0 Season Schedule

2.2 Postseason

2.2.2 Game Selection

See the full rule

This change will be added at some spot in the rule to codify a process BWB has been following for about 3 seasons: Although the game selection for the playoffs is random, BWB inspects the games selected and will adjust them if necessary based on the starting pitchers slot.  Because starting pitching stats for BWB must be selected from an MLB game within 7 of the game selected, it's possible that P1 and P2 get squeezed out of a start over a 2 or 3-week playoff stretch.  BWB will change the random game number to prevent that from happening, with these guidelines:

  • At the present time, only we're only actively looking at games involving P1 or P2 who may have multiple starts per playoff series (so that means looking at games 1, 2, 6, and 7)
  • We're not worried about 2 games close together since we can pull from a 7-game stretch and if the pitcher was in the rotation consistently that won't be a problem. We're looking at 3+ games bunched together. However, we will check 2 games close together at either end of the range of games we're selecting.
  • Preferences for switching, as we try to not pick different random games but just change when they occur:
    • Switch P1 games for P1 and P2 for P2 in different series if possible
    • Otherwise try to switch games with P3-P5 in the same series if possible (that doesn't mess up P3-P5)
    • As a last resort, generate a new random number.

3.0 Post-Season Playoffs - The BWB Championships

3.3 The Benchwarmer Bash

See the full rule

We started an Association round of the Benchwarmer Bash in 2019 so we'll codify those rules and adjust the numbers.

As we add new leagues, there may be new Associations and new Federations and while those are small, BWB will make adjustments each year for the Bash to randomly put those league champions into existing Associations/Federations for competition in only that season.

Beginning in 2022, we expect the final Bash rounds to have 9 incoming Federation champions, instead of 8. As this occurs and the number of Federations grows, BWB will adjust the format to provide an additional 1st round between the lowest-seeded Federation champs with the goal of a bracket of 8 teams in the second round, so a number of the top-seeded teams will get a bye. (So, for 2022, the 8th and 9th seeds will play on opening round while seeds 1-7 have byes).

4.0 Rosters

See the full rule

Roster sizes will be increased beginning with the 2022 season.

This is an increase of the active roster from 26 to 29 players and the 40-man roster is now the 45-man roster

  • Bench: increased from 5 hitters to 6
  • Bullpen: increased from 5 pitchers to 6
  • Spot pitchers: increased from 2 pitchers to 3
  • Taxi squad: increased from 4 to 6

Comment - There are several reasons behind this change, including how MLB teams use the IL and options, a more common occurrence of starting pitchers going less than 3 innings, continuing expectations of Covid situations, and the opportunity to keep a few more players with salary over 250

4.1 Roster Minimums

With the larger rosters, these are the new minimums:

  • 15 hitters (9 starters, 6 bench)

  • 14 pitchers (5 starters, 6 bullpen, 3 spot)

4.2 Roster Maximums

New levels with a larger roster: A team can have no more than 45 players, but since minor league players cannot make more than 250, there are some maximum limits placed on rosters based on salary.

  • A team can have no more than 21 hitters making more than 250 (the 15 active spots plus 6 potential taxi squad players)

  • A team can have no more than 20 pitchers making more than 250 (the 14 active spots plus 6 potential players on the taxi squad).

  • Those numbers, however, are not independent and cannot be added together, since both assume the use of the 6 available taxi squad slots. There are 29 active players and 6 taxi openings anyone else needs to be in the minors. Thus, a team cannot have more than 35 players making over 250.

  • A player on Injured Reserve making more than 250 does not count against any of these limits.

4.4 Prospects

Beginning in the 2023 season, teams in returning leagues will not get any additional cash (it has been 1000) to cover costs for the Prospects roster. New leagues will continue to receive 1000 in cash after the end of their Phase 2 Startup Draft.

5.0 Lineups

See the full rule

This page will be rewritten as necessary to update the language to reflect the new roster sizes

5.2 Pitchers

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

See the full rule

Strike the 2014 Rule Relaxation in the final bullet point:

  • 2014 Rule Relaxation - this date/deadline limitation will only apply to the main rotation P1-P5.  Teams can move pitchers into the spot starter role and stats will count as long as they are for eligible MLB-BWB game mappings.  In some cases it was clear in 2013 that a rash of injuries could leave a team with no lineup flexibility for a week's worth of games.

For pitchers being moved into P1-P5 or S1-S3 from a roster slot the previous week that wasn't P1-P5 or S1-S3, any starts prior to the transaction deadline date will not be counted.

Comments: Because of the way the pitching rules/queues work, there is inevitably some prior knowledge available about starting pitching performances. Teams may be able to remove bad performances by pulling pitchers out of the starting rotation. But there's a potential penalty to putting that pitcher's replacement into the rotation or moving the pitcher back into the rotation in a future week. As you move a player into the rotation, none of the pitcher's starts prior to that week's deadline date will be used - even if they fit within the MLB game range that would normally count for the start.


In 2014 that rule was relaxed to only count for P1-P5, while the spot starters did not follow that practice. While the spirit of this was to provide some assistance to teams hit with a rash of injuries, I've learned that it created a loophole that could be exploited by "forcing" a spot starter, if the team put an injured pitcher, or minor leaguer, or reliever into the starting rotation.


Future change? - It has been suggested when working out game lineups that if a starting pitcher is not available in his normal slot that we go down the rotation first before checking the spot starters. That will be considered, but not changed for 2022.

6.0 Mapping MLB Games to BWB Games

6.1 Doubleheaders and Suspended Games

There will be some modifications/clarifications made to this rule coming soon

7.0 Scoring

7.3 Pitching Score

7.3.5 Determining the number of relievers

See the full rule

With the addition of an extra bullpen spot, the number of relievers used in a game changes to:

Starter Pitches: Relievers Used* Minimum IP** Eligible Saves***
8 to 8 2/3 1 1 2/3 R1
7 to 7 2/3 2 4 1/3 R1 & R2
6 to 6 2/3 3 8 R1 & R2
5 to 5 2/3 4 10 2/3 R1 & R2
4 to 4/23 5 12 2/3 R1 & R2
Less than 4 All 6 15 R1 & R2

There are some additional clarifications needed for this rule - coming soon

There will also be an adjustment to the table in Rule 7.4.3 for Pinesitter Pitchers in the bullpen to allow for consideration of the possibility of 6 pinesitters.

9.0 Building a Team The Startup Draft

There will be language added to this page that startup leagues will get an extra 15000 in cash over the salary cap rather than 10000. This began with new leagues in 2022.

10.0 Minor Leagues

More to come here about reintroducing the Minor League competition

11.0 Roster Changes and Transactions

11.4.2 Transaction Order

Upcoming clarification that there is a lag of two weeks between standings and setting the transaction order

12.0 Off Season Procedures

There is some language that will need to change with respect to the new roster sizes.

12.5 Roster Carryover

Upcoming clarification about Prospects and the number of players making over 250 allowed to be carried over.

13.0 Inactive Owners

There is some upcoming language that will allow the BWB Office to submit contract extensions on behalf of teams whose owners have disappeared or otherwise checked out for the season.

17.0 Master Player List and Positions

Upcoming language around when players are removed from the player list - this has been previously announced that beginning with the 2022 season, players that sign in foreign leagues will not be automatically removed from the list and from rosters until there are no more teams within BWB rostering them. Some exceptions are also necessary for retirements and some discussion about which players are removed in the off season.



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