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MSWL Injuries
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Rob (Boston) - Monday 02-16-09 10:28
I've had something nagging at me for a while now, going back to last season. That is - I don't think the chances of an injury are high enough.

I have barely seen any injuries in the past couple seasons. While I expect injuries to "fit" players to not occur at a frequent basis, I do expect "unfit" players to become injured at a fairly regular rate.

Throughout the season, but much more pronounced at the end of the season, I was watching players go as low as -3 to -5 EL during matches, without suffering any ill-effects. Now, if this were 1 player, I wouldn't really have cause for concern, however, in the last few matches of the season, this happened quite a lot.

Using BOS-SCO at the end of the season as an example, SCO had 7 players dip to -2 EL or lower at some point in the match, and another 2 players who hit 0. Normally, one would read that and think that Mark took a huge risk in having so many players below EL 0, but he suffered ZERO injuries.

A few games prior, PRV had 4 players hit -1 or -2 EL, and another 5 players who hit EL 0 at the end of the match.


Players are checked for random injuries.
This function totals the number of aggressive and/or dirty players for each team and then draws a random number to determine if there is a random injury.
Note that there is a small chance of random injury even if no players are dirty/aggressive.
In any match, the chance per minute for each team of having a player injured is between .0001 and .0066 (or 1-66 in 10,000).
If a player plays aggressive it adds a 1/10,000 chance of a random injury for his team and the opposition.
If a player plays dirty it adds a 2/10,000 chance of injury to his team and a 4/10,000 chance of injury to the other team.
If neither team has a player playing dirty/aggressive, then the chance is .0001 per team, per minute.
Each team is checked for this type of injury each minute.
The player injured is randomly selected.
If a player?s EL drops below 0, and they are in the match, they are then checked for an ?EL Injury? due to exhaustion.
A player's chance of getting an EL exhaustion injury is .0011 x (-1 x EL).
So if a player's EL is -1, they will have a .0011 chance of getting an injury in that minute.
However, if they remain in the match uninjured and their EL gets to -5, for example, they incur a .0055 (55 in 10,000) chance of taking on an injury.

According to the rules, a player who dips below EL 0 gets a significant increase to his injury chances - they go from a 0.0001 chance @ EL 0+ to a 0.001 chance @ EL -1. A chance of 0.001 equates to One-Tenth Of One Percent.

We all know that minor injuries happen all the time in the sport. From a previous Notebook topic, Mark has stated that he believes that there is about a 25% chance of a team suffering a major injury during a game. With this knowledge, I think that the injury chances need some overhauling. I am suggesting that the normal injury chances be increased by 10-fold and that the injury chances for a player who's EL drops below 0 should have his chances increased by 100-fold. So, my suggestion would make the new numbers:

  • EL 0+ : 0.001
  • EL <= -1 : 0.100 x (-1 x EL)
I have not payed much attention to the impact of playing someone dirty, but I would hazard a guess that this effect should also be dramatically increased.

This is just my two-cents. I'm curious what other people think.

Steve (Asteria) - Monday 02-16-09 15:28
There is a number that Commishes can add to the injury chance, at the request of SESL. I think in MSWL it is set at 0, but Al will confirm otherwise. In ODFL it is 5, but I haven't tracked games to see how many we get. Mark should be able to remember what he set it at in SESL when it was first introduced, causing an average of 2 injuries per game, and thus making him reduce it. Changing it from 0.0001 to 0.001 is the equivalent of adding 9. I'd be cautious about changing the injury chance for random injuries.

I have no problem in increasing the chance for exhaustion injuries.

Mark (Scotland) - Wednesday 02-18-09 3:34
I should comment as my SCO match used as an example, PLUS it has been me hassling Al for years to have more injuries in Olmec.

Firstly from Rob: ...think that Mark took a huge risk in having so many players below EL 0
Well, thing is, I felt the risk was virtually zero.

The only risk I took in my 2nd last match of season (to clinch Div 2 title) was to leave my SL28 SW on the sub bench in case I need to field him to win last match. Running guys to negative EL was not a risk for me.

It's true I pestering Al for more injuries and I did set it too high for my league SESL initially. It was trial and error and my fault. Think I may have set it at 50 which was way too high. It is now at 5 I think.

I think SOME injuries ought to be a feature, otherwise you could almost enter a seasons worth of lineups at the start as EL easy to calculate. Only tweak would be for suspensions. However managers do not like them as it adds more randomness, plus it can mean your pre-planned subs don't pan out as you had calculated.

Mark (Scotland) - Wednesday 02-18-09 3:46
Solution? Negative EL not allowed!

That's right. Ban it!

A minus EL player cannot START a match, so why not auto-sub him off as soon as goes below zero?

Code is there to remove an injured player during a match, so could it be tweaked to remove ANY player on -EL. Auto-sub them off, and force managers to plan more carefully. This may hit me more than most, so its not a selfish request, more a possible 'quick fix' given Al does not have spare time to write new code.
Or maybe it does not need fixed at all. ;-)

Mike (Providence) - Wednesday 02-18-09 6:09
Newbie perspective: Injuries seem low to me, too. I ran neg EL guys out there all season and wound up with only one minor injury, in the next to last match when I was scrambling everything I had to try and catch SCO. If I had to pick one factor (besides luck!) that got me my good lg finish, it would be exhausting guys to zero or lower in almost every match, with little/no negative impact.
Rob (Boston) - Wednesday 02-18-09 7:51
I personally think that I probably could have won a couple additional games had I taken the Mark/C-Ball approach and said "heck with the injury risk!" and played players below EL 0... which is why I raise this topic. After watching things for the past season+, I have come to the same conclusion that Mark stated... the risk to reward ratio for playing players below EL 0 is so far weighted towards the reward, that it really is a no brainer to keep playing the players. As long as they start the match EL 1+, there really is no realistic risk of injury.
Kevin (Zaragoza) - Wednesday 02-18-09 15:07
I would support an increase in the injury chance for players below 0 EL for three reasons:

1) Matches this season have shown that several managers are taking advantage of the small increase in risk to greatly benefit available SL for key matches. I believe this violates the spirit of the EL rule in the first place. Managers who manage EL well or deliberately develop a deeper team at the expense of an overpowering T11 should not be at a competitive disadvantage over the course of a league season or extended Cup tourney (such as the MSWL Cup where EL management should matter a whole lot). If a manager wants to balance a signficant risk of player loss with a significant boost in SL, that's a different matter. The current 'little risk, big gain' idea shouldn't be allowed to become a league-wide pattern.

2) The way the rules are written makes it seem clear that the intent of the injury chance increase is to actually HAVE more injuries for those going below 0 EL. Recent match results do not show this coming about. If someone has match results and injuries from prior seasons to show that the injury chance is signficant and this season was the exception to the rule, please speak up soon. Otherwise, we have to assume that the current numbers are not getting the job done as desired. If the numbers don't back up the intent of the rules, then we need to boost the numbers until the results mirror the original vision, i.e. players who go below 0 EL are going to get injured far more frequently. Of course, I say "we" like I get a final or something. Ultimately, I will always defer to Al. Should he read this, would you care to chip in a response to the question, "Is this rule having the actual effect you intended when you wrote it?"

3) This is not just a "change for change's sake" idea. This is a numbers tweak, not a new rule or significant rule alteration. It appears to be keeping the ideal of the original rule while addressing the possibility of a competitive injustice. That matters in my book. It also matters that it sounds like Al would just need to change one or two numbers instead of having to write new code or implement a new program, etc.

So having said that, I'm actually in favor of far higher numbers than Rob proposed. Consider the worst-case scenario: a manager takes an EL 0 player and plays him 90 minutes on aggressive. Even in minute 90, at a whopping -7 EL, that player has less than a 1% chance of getting injured with a peak of 0.7%? That's not right. I'm all for going overboard toward negative-EL injuries and giving it a full 1% per -EL per minute once you drop below 0. I'd love to make that cumulative, however that would make the situation more of a vindictive punishment than a fair consequence to risk-taking.

By making it 1%, the actual odds of injury per minute are still acceptable. If I need to push a player for the last 15-30 minutes, I can handle a 1% or 2% chance of an injury for a very important match. What that should prevent is the full-match negative EL situations, as the probability of injury would rapidly approach 100% over the course of a game while the individual odds per minute remain no higher than 2% in most cases where a team would want to risk it all (starting EL of 4 or above). Remember that you could play a guy starting at EL 3 for half a match with no increase in injury chance. That's ample time to play for a lead and then sub and stall/counter/etc. to try and hold the lead. I like Rob's idea to make managers think long and hard about letting guys get below -1 or -2 EL for more than the last ten minutes of a title match.

Kevin (Zaragoza) - Wednesday 02-18-09 15:12
The above post being said, I do not support a change to the "over 0 EL" injury chances, nor to the "dirty" modifiers. One bad injury can ruin a season. This will happen on occasion, however this is supposed to be a fun game more so than a reality simulator. How many managers would get pumped up about entering lineups each week after losing their best shooter or top GK for a significant chunk of the season? I was part of the Mass Injury Experiment season in SESL and hated it. Having to play a Sweeper in goal because both my goalies were injured in the same week was a definite low point I still haven't forgotten. Dropping four matches because you can't consistently save a shot by even single-digit SL players kills your entire season's chances for promotion. It also gives Phil too much ammo to taunt with about how many GK's a team needs to have at any one time.

I like that random penalty kicks and scoring chances lead to startling upsets. It means that I always have a chance of winning or losing a given match. What kills the enjoyment is when injuries prevent you from being able to put out a lineup that even has that small chance of victory. That's why 'dirty' play should not be pushed up any higher. If I played dirty against, say, Rob P., he would expect that from a rival. If I took down a player and that helped me win the match, that can be entertaining. If I take down a key player who has to sit the next three matches, then the other players will then be in dire EL condition until that guy comes back. He couldn't field a top team for another two or three matches unless he deliberately threw a match to recover EL (which cheats every other team in the division out of a fair season). So now my moment of personal viciousness has cost his team at least four or five matches, not just one. I don't find that scenario enjoyable, even if it were to happen to Rob. ;p

As the rules currently stand, the combined risk of injury/suspension/giving up a PK is greater for the team playing dirty than the risk of injury to the opposing team. That's the way it needs to stay. You are risking losing a player for a match and giving up a goal or two in order to have a chance to take out the opponent's player for this match and likely at least one more, as well as screw up their EL rotations for several matches to come.

Going below EL is an issue that bears looking at and possibly changing because it only effects the team doing it. In other words, you create your own risk of losing players. Dirty play affects everyone else's risk and this game should not create a scenario where I could plan on injuring some players and ruining your whole season if I wanted to be mean.

Steve (Asteria) - Wednesday 02-18-09 17:56
I could probably write some code to work out the actual odds here, but it's late. So taking Kevin's 0.7% chance at the end of the game and making it .35% throughout the game, the chance of a player escaping injury is .9965^90 = 73%. So he has a 27% chance of getting an injury.

Starting at EL 0 and playing normal at 1% per -EL (cuz the 15 minutes is easier than 13.something minutes):
15 minutes: no injury 86%
30 minutes: no injury 64%
45 minutes: no injury 40%
60 minutes: no injury 22%
75 minutes: no injury 10%
90 minutes: no injury 4%

The numbers are the chances the player has escaped injury at this point.

Kevin (Zaragoza) - Friday 02-20-09 8:43
Thanks for the exact figures, Steve.
That's a perfect illustration of a short-term risk for key matches, as it's about a 1 in 3 chance of injury for the first 30 minutes a player is below 0 EL. And yet if a manager pushes too hard and plays 0 EL guys for a full 90 minutes, while the individual odds per minute are still somewhat low (no greater than 5/6/7% depending on aggressiveness) the accumulated probability of injury closes in on a guarantee that exhaustion will catch up to the player at some point.

Could be a bit extreme. Would definitely rectify the "lack of injuries" issue for players below 0 EL.

Phil (Missouri) - Sunday 02-22-09 18:03
I agree that there's far to few injuries in the OLMEC game. There really is no true "disincentive" to going into negative EL when making out lineups. This effectively takes the "floor" for starting a game from 6 SL to four or lower, which dramatically affects gameplay. I think there should be a very real risk to running south of 0 at any point in a match, and the numbers mentioned in the discussion above make sense. I also feel like there's not enough "real life" risk of injury in OLMEC in regular gameplay for players with EL above 0. As it stands now, there are so relatively few injuries that when one strikes your team, you feel (and rightfully so) that your team has been singled out for punishment by OLMEC and now your team plays at a disadvantage to all others. Fortunately for you, the injuries are usually short-lived and of a less serious nature (again, not a very realistic impact on the game). Now, that being said, nobody wants to see the other extreme, where injuries are so common and so serious that it removes all element of skillful design from the manager's lineup creation process. But, certainly, there's a need to juice up the game a bit in terms of injuries and the length of harm caused by injuries in both scenarios: players below 0 EL and above 0 EL. Mary suggests another innovation to the game in the interest of realism. She was being sarcastic, but I include it here because there could be some merit to the realism embedded in her comments. We frequent a Mexican restaurant in town that is tune always and forever (on all four televisions) to ESPN Deportes, which nearly always has futbol on the broadcast (if not boxing). Mary has noticed that in every match a player (or multiple players) will take a dive in an effort to gain a penalty or a card against his opponent. Now, for most of us in the U.S. who play sports, when we attempt to "draw the foul" by flopping to the court or taking a dive and selling it to the official, the effort immediately ends with the flop and you are either successful or not successful, depending on the call of the official. (Kevin and I spend some of our spare time officiating basketball, softball, volleyball, so we are used to being on the other end of this fiasco--I will also say that in all my years of playing sports with Kevin I've never seen him take a dive to draw a call, and I hope he'll say the same of me...although I knocked the snot out of a guy in a basketball tourney several years ago and Kevin sold the official on the no call by yelling, "GREAT STEAL, PHIL! ALL BALL!!! ALL BALL!!!" when I clearly hit the guy's arm, head, and the better part of his torso.) In futbol, the "flop" does not end with the act of falling to the turf. Mary points out that the player then rolls along the ground in a manner that defies physics unless he is on a 45 degree slope or has been stuck by a vehicle on the Autobahn. Then the player lays on the ground as three trainers and a lawyer tend to his needs. After several minutes have elapsed from the game clock (eliminating any sense for fans, coaches and players as to the true end of the game), the player is stretchered off. Then, as the stretcher is set down on the sideline, the player gets up and sprints back onto the field playing as fit as ever! This is another of Jay's reasons why soccer doesn't catch on in the U.S. :-) So here's the nugget of truth: Can we incorporate into the game a team playing down a man for several minutes if aggressive play takes down a player for either team? Probably not a discussion for this moment, but an interesting concept nonetheless.... So, let's see more injuries and more severe injuries for players with negative EL and above 0, anyway.
Phil (Missouri) - Sunday 02-22-09 18:05
Sorry, folks. I forgot the paragraph breaks.
Mike (Providence) - Saturday 02-28-09 18:57
I experienced a good/painful lesson in "Don't Whiz Off Olmec" in today's match. After scoffing at the concept of < 0 EL bearing any real injury risk -- BAM! -- my top DF gets stretchered and lands at -14. Please forgive me Olmec!
Phil (Missouri) - Saturday 02-28-09 21:39
Well, -14, there's not much chance he'll be injured again for awhile!
Dave (British Bull-Dogs) - Sunday 06-06-10 1:38


Quick Question on injuries. At the beginning of a new season do all players have their EL reset to 10?

Phil (Missouri) - Sunday 06-06-10 6:22

I think all EL is set to 10 to start a season.  The only injury that impacts the next season is the -99 EL broken leg, and even then, it's only SL that is affected next season.  As you all know, my star GK suffered the broken leg in season 1 of MSWL, but somehow I managed to win the title anyhows. 

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