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Code replacement is great...except...
Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 10:45 AM on 08.12.11
->> ...for when there are frequent changes to the roster.

What strategies do y'all use to keep current on roster/number/spelling changes? At this time of year, for me at least, there's some sort of change almost every day, and online rosters might or might not keep up. Player A changed number, player B changed position, player C wants a shortened version of his first name, player D wants a suffix ("jr." or "III') added, player D wants a suffix removed, player E is keeping the same first name but slightly changing how it's spelled. Yeesh. (oh and double or even triple use of the same number--when I become emperor of the world THAT's gonna stop!)

Code replacement is fantastic for consistency and speed but the flip side of that coin is that if there's a mistake you're consistently making mistakes.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 11:39 AM on 08.12.11
->> Matt, yep, this is a challenging time of year between the NFL rosters changing almost daily and the expanded NCAA football squads. Not unlike Spring training baseball, but the roster sizes are larger.

Regarding the double use of numbers (seen in pre-season NFL and even regular season NCAA football), you're familiar with the "o" and "d" specifier for offense and defense players with the same number? Of course, this doesn't help when you have 2 or more offense players with the same number. In this case, I use the option to FLAG the duplicate which gives me a heads up to manually look at the play and player to figure out who it is.

Even with this, though, at this time of year, one of the first things I'll do when I get my hands on the team-distributed roster is go through and check it against what I've downloaded through Jason's web site. As for each player wanting his/her name presented in a "special" way, I suppose you have two options: manually change the name within your code replacement file or leave it the way it comes off and live with the results.
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Pat Lovell, Photographer
Bloomington | IN | US | Posted: 1:32 PM on 08.12.11
->> Matt, it's definitely challenging. I use custom rosters for many sports and update my settings for each event.

I cover minor league baseball and they have roster moves almost daily and some players change their number each time they are called up or sent back down. That's where the custom roster makes it easier for me. The teams are usually on top of updating their roster online so, I update before each game.

Fortunately, for the NFL and NCAA, the rosters will be solidified in the next few weeks and we can use the ones on
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Houston | Texas | USA | Posted: 4:38 PM on 08.12.11
->> You can change the text files manually. Just double check your code replacement vs. the handout roster before each game.
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Margaret Bowles, Photographer
Tampa | FL | | Posted: 5:25 PM on 08.12.11
->> I use the team's flip card or roster and check every player prior to every game throughout the season. It's part of my pre-game routine. Actually, I'm surprised there aren't more mistakes with all the trades going on. I also create my own code replacement for often-used phrases; it's especially good for stock captions.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 7:38 PM on 08.12.11
->> yup, what they said matt. if you're making those mistakes it's entirely OE (operator error).
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Jason Watson, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 08.15.11
->> I'm working on a feature for my service to allow you to edit the roster details (add a player, change number, change position, change code used, etc) a step before the rosters are generated. This feature is already deployed for NASCAR and Golf (see - you don't need to have an account to see how the edit function I'm talking about works). It should be ready this week for football. As with last year, I'm offering the SS discount for 1 or 3 year subscriptions-- just e-mail me with a link to your SS page for the discount code.


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Ric Tapia, Photographer, Photo Editor
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 5:51 PM on 08.22.11
->> Jason,

I use your site and since I paid I do except it to be updated. I downloaded your San Fransisco 49ers Roster on Saturday and you still have Mike Singletary as the Head Coach and NOT Jim Harbaugh among other mistakes.
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Andrew Richardson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 7:34 PM on 08.22.11
->> I generate all my own rosters in excel by copy and pasting from the team's website. Takes 5 minutes max to generate a new roster txt file for PM
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Joel Hawksley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Athens | OH | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 08.22.11
->> I do the same as Andrew. Just load in the roster and set tbe value to =B53&" "&C53&" "&D53&" "&E53 for my shortcuts. Takes maybe 2 minutes per team.
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Dinno Kovic, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 12:05 PM on 08.23.11
->> Hey Matt,

Not sure if this will help your workflow but I also use Jason's code replacements, and also Typinator. Once I've downloaded I just import into Typinator, make my pregame chances and I'm all ready for the game. Really easy and really fast. Works great for PM and Aperture. Definitely eliminates chances for human error during the game when it's hectic.
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Christopher Szagola, Photographer
Richboro | PA | United States | Posted: 12:47 PM on 08.23.11
->> The only major thing I have seen is that with the NFL, if there is a duplicate number, the second player doesn't get anything. For last nights Gaints/Bears games, I had about 8-10 double numbers with only 1 of the 2 players in the code.

Just a heads up
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Chris Hunt, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 4:44 PM on 08.23.11
->> These rosters are updated about once a week from ESPN:

On game day, just find your team then click the 'customize' button. After comparing to the printed roster, click 'create roster' and download away.

This solution is not as customizable as codereplacements, but it works for me, so it may work for you.
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Jerry Lai, Photo Editor, Photographer
Chicago | IL | USA | Posted: 5:20 PM on 08.23.11
->> First off, as a photographer, I have to thank Jason Watson for the work he puts into the code replacement site. It is an invaluable tool and has made my life in captioning and transmitting images on deadline immensely more efficient.

However, as an editor, code replacements are a nightmare. In the past, editors typically only would find typographical errors in photographer captions. On one hand, those spelling mistakes are pretty much a thing of the past. However, now we see outright identification errors (finger slip by pushing the wrong number, or roster errors in the code).

That said, photographers, PLEASE use code replacements as a tool in your workflow, but know that it is not going to be 100% accurate every time (I believe Jason probably has this disclaimer on his website too).

Double check the downloaded roster EVERY time you use it.... make sure the player numbers are correct, and make sure the positions are correct. (where Jason's rosters are based) cannot keep up with all the changes in the off-season, let alone Jason himself if he is doing any edits manually.

I can't tell you all how many times this baseball season I've seen wrong positions listed (particularly with utility men who change positions). I've seen similar problems during the NFL preseason where jersey numbers have changed but the player IDs are completely wrong. I'm sure we will see similar headaches come college football season with all the "double" numbers.

The moral of the story, check your text files after you download them, and more importantly, READ your captions after you enter in each code/caption for accuracy. Shooting college football and you have a punter sacking the quarterback? Yeah, you probably want to try again ;-)

Best of luck to all this season and beyond.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 5:23 PM on 08.23.11
->> I just sit next to Margaret and wait till she checks every single player's name and number... then I mooch off her hard work.
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Steve King, Photographer
Ann Arbor | MI | USA | Posted: 9:34 PM on 08.23.11
->> I'm feeling your pain Matt.

Still though, big kudos to Jason Watson and the web site of his that I subscribe to like many here. It can't be perfect when a player is added to the roster the same day, like Delmon Young to the Tigers from the Twins and he plays that night, wow that was fun!

CR makes most everything else much easier, faster, and simpler, but I also do like Jerry says and check the entries as they come in, and less than 5% of the time to I need to change a position for a player AND spend 5 min pregame to check the file against the current starting roster.

With duplicate numbers for NCAA FB, I change numbers in the downloaded roster file to be 1o, or 1d for offense or defense, that keeps me a little more sane and doing less caption editing on the fly.

Without CR life is worse, much worse, but like anything else including me, it's not perfect.

Jason, when you bring out that new feature I will be looking for it, I love the ability to customize on the fly.
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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 10:46 PM on 08.23.11
->> I think there's been some sort of source or code change somewhere in the pipeline recently, because I used CR 75-100 times in the past year without any substantive issues. I used it five times this season, and each roster has been rife with errors to the point it was easier to just use the saved rosters left from last year as the foundation for revisions.
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Pat Lovell, Photographer
Bloomington | IN | US | Posted: 11:26 AM on 08.24.11
->> @Chris Szagola , I emailed Jason about the issue with duplicate numbers and the NFL and also an issue with the head coach and supplemental codes. Jason promptly emailed me back with this reply. I removed a part of the email because this is a publicly viewed forum.


Thanks for your email and feedback. I'm working on an updated version that will hopefully address all your points. A key part is a feature that allows you to review and edit the data (add/remove players, edit names, numbers, positions, etc). I had hoped to be done with it this week but still need more time to get everything tested and running......

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Jerry Miron, Photographer, Photo Editor
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:34 PM on 08.24.11
->> Many thanks to Jerry Lai for the feedback and input to all Sportshooters. Seasoned veterans or's great advice for everyone.

Personally, I could not do my captioning work and make my deadlines if it weren't for Jason Watson...and the one time I had a problem, he had a solution for me on the spot...

So a HUGE shout-out to both of ya'll. If you ever make it to Big D...the first Cervesa is on me...
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Jason Watson, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | USA | Posted: 2:42 PM on 08.29.11
->> Thanks to all for the feedback and for your patience as I continue to roll out several new updates and upgrades to the NFL and NCAA football code replacements. There will be several new features out this week which should address most of the concerns expressed in this thread.

I just updated my NFL scripts to include the following:

1) Option to select roster data source directly from the NFL (this data source seems to be updated more often and is more accurate than ESPN).

2) Head coaches have been updated.

3) Stadium names have been updated.

An important additional feature that I'm still working on to make available this week:

1) Option to edit / review rosters before the code replacement data file is created. This will allow you to updated positions, names, add / remove players, change numbers, etc. and will be available for both NCAAFB and NFL.

If you have any additional suggestions, comments, ideas, concerns, etc., please feel free to contact me directly and I will do my best to include what you need into the program.

Thanks again!

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Tim Vizer, Photographer
Belleville | IL | USA | Posted: 10:42 AM on 08.30.11
->> Jason: Can you roll out this new feature for NHL and other fall/winter sports as they roll around? Thanks in advance!
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Jason Watson, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | USA | Posted: 12:17 PM on 08.30.11
->> Yes. I am planning to do so for all sports (it's current up for NASCAR and Golf).
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Jason Watson, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | USA | Posted: 1:53 AM on 09.03.11
->> Okay, as promised, and in time for tomorrow's NCAA games, the edit/review functionality is now available for NCAA Football (

By selecting the Review/Edit option at the bottom of the page (selected for you by default), an intermediate screen will appear before your roster file download. This screen allows you to edit all player data (the code used, player's number, position, and name) as well as add or remove any players. This should be helpful, especially in the first few weeks as teams add walk-ons, change numbers, etc.

Since minimal testing has been done with this new function, I've provided a link to the old version in case you have problems creating rosters to your liking.

Please let me know if you have any trouble with it or suggestions for improvement, etc.

NFL will be next (and then NHL, NBA, NCAA MBB, WBB, etc.)


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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:50 PM on 09.03.11
->> as usual it worked great mr. watson. thanks!!!
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Thread Title: Code replacement is great...except...
Thread Started By: Matt Cashore
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