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Announcing the 2009 BtB Sabermetric Writing Awards

Update: The nomination period is over.  Here are your community voting links:

The sabermetric community grew to new heights in 2009, with an enormous number of new studies, insights, and voices.  We have decided to run an "academy awards" of sort here in recognition of this work.  Our purpose is 1) to ask the community to reflect on and discuss the best work of 2009, and 2) to help bring recognition to this work.  

Rather than just select our personal favorites, we are asking the community to play a large part in this process.  You will nominate the articles, writers, or websites that will be considered within each award category.  And you will have a 50% say in who ultimately wins the award within each category, with the other 50% vote going to the writers of Beyond the Boxscore (it's our award, after all! :)

Read more details after the jump.

Award Categories

There will be seven categories:

1. Best novel sabermetric research article or project 
- Original sabermetric research that enhances our understanding of some general aspect of baseball. These studies should help establish new sabermetric principles, metrics, techniques, or perspectives. Think "breakthrough research" when nominating this category.

2. Best applied sabermetric research article or project
- Research that takes established sabermetric principles and applies them to help understand a specific case (typically a player, a team, a transaction, etc). The difference between novel and applied research is newness of approach and scope of impact.

3. Best sabermetric primer or review article/series
- Articles that provide excellent introductions to, or summaries of, important fields of sabermetric research. When published online, these are often, but not always, broken up into series because of their necessary length.

4. Best sabermetric commentary article
- Short sabermetric articles with fairly minimal research beyond, for example, looking up some numbers in an established resource. These are often (but not always) short opinion pieces providing a sabermetric angle on current events in baseball. The difference between commentaries and applied research is effort and depth. The difference between commentaries and review articles is scope of coverage.

5. Best sabermetric researcher or writer
- The best sabermetric writer and/or researcher of the year. Define as you wish, though the individual should be nominated based on sabermetric writing and/or research contributions this year.

6. Best sabermetric writing/research website
- The best sabermetric blog or website of the year. Define "best" as you wish, though it should be focused on writing and/or research contributions.

7. Best new online sabermetric resource
- Best sabermetric resource website, with emphasis on new sites, or improvements to existing sites made over the past year. Often these are websites that make statistics more readily available to lay users, though other definitions of resources may also be used.



  • All articles/projects must have been published in 2009. 
  • Articles can be finalists in no more than one category.  Nominators (or subsequent commenters, as this is open for discussion) must decide upon the category in which a particular article best fits.
  • Websites that feature both resources and writing can be nominated in both the blog and resource categories.
  • No more than one article per author may be nominated in any one category.  In the case of multiple articles by the same author, the author themselves will be asked to choose which article will be considered; should they not be responsive, BtB Staff will choose.
  • Articles/projects can be in any format--online, online behind paywall, in book, etc.
  • Authors may nominate themselves/their own stuff. 
  • All nominations must be seconded to be eligible as official nominees within a category. 
  • Up to 10 nominations will be selected by BtB staff for voting within each award based on community nominations & discussion.
  • If a BtB author or a BtB author's work is nominated, s/he may not vote in those categories for which s/he has been nominated. Replacement judges from the sabermetric community will be solicited should this happen.
  • Vote scoring will be done as follows.  First, nominees will be ranked separately based on community vote and internal BtB vote.  Then, the two ranks for each article will be averaged to produce a final rank for each nominee.  Tiebreaker will be BtB vote.  We will announce a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place award within each category, though we will often highlight many of the best articles within each category in the award announcements.  
  • Winners will receive a nice write-up on the site, plus a really exciting e-card from the BtB staff.

How we'll proceed

Later today we'll post a new article asking for nominations for the first category.  We will then post two new category nomination articles until all categories have a thread.  We'll close the nomination process three days after the last category nomination article goes online.  Please wait to submit your nominations until the appropriate nomination article is online.

Once nominations are complete (and, if necessary, BtB staff will cull the nominations down to a manageable number), we will be proceed to the voting phase.

I am really looking forward to this project and all of the great discussion we hope it will provoke!