How to Keep Score for a Softball/baseball Game

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Have you ever been sitting on the bench of a softball or baseball game and there is someone frantically asking if there is anyone out there who can keep score? Well now you can. With these simple instructions you can be a scorekeeper at a baseball or softball game.


Let's face it softball and baseball aren't the most action packed games, but most people are there to support their loved ones just by being there. By learning these techniques you can get more into the game for your loved ones and know exactly how much they won by or how many hits they got so when you are out for icecream after the game, they can receive the praise that they deserve.

Things You'll Need

  • A live softball or baseball game.
  • Scorebook.
  • Pen or Pencil.
  • Picture of diamond labeling the position numbers. (This is usually in the front or back of the supplied scorebook.)
  • Once you receive the score book you will need to put all the players names within the player column from both teams. (This is in batting order.) There is a desperate page for the home team and a separate page for the visiting team.

  • The game will begin and as each player goes up to bat you will need to check off the balls and strikes that were pitched to each player. You can find this information at the game by paying close attention to the umpires. Typically after every pitch a umpire will shout out what the pitch was and will hold up his hands to state the count. Balls will be called first and strikes will be called second. Ex. If the umpire yells 2 and 2 the count is 2 ball and 2 strikes. If the umpire holds up his hand in a fist and yells full count this means that the batter has a count of 3 balls and 2 strikes.

  • If the batter strikes out (getting three strikes) swinging this is labeled as a K-(number of the out). Many usually like to circle the whole thing. Ex. If it is out number 2 write K-2 with a circle around it.

    If the batter strikes out looking (does not swing) it is known and wrote as a backwards K-(number of outs).

  • If the batter is pitched 4 balls they will take a walk to first base. This is written in the book as BB and then they you draw a line from home to first in the book to signify that person is on first base.

  • If the batter has 2 strikes on them and they are pitched a strike to make it strike 3 and the catcher does not make a clean catch and there is no one on first base (unless it's 2 outs) on the ball the runner is allowed to run to first base. This is known as the drop third strike rule. If the batter makes it there before the ball is thrown to first base or tagged they are safe. It is marked in the book by putting a line in the diamond from home to first. If they do not make it in time once again you will mention who made the play typically 2-3(catcher to first) then out number circled.

  • Once the player hits a ball there are three different situations that may happen while score keeping. They can 1.) Hit a ball and get thrown out. 2.) Hit a ball and be caught out. 3.) Hit a ball and get on base.

    If they hit a ball and get thrown out you basically have to mark who made the play on the batter. Ex. If it was hit to third base and the third baseman (position #5) threw to first base (position #3) for the out it would be labeled in the book as 5-3. (See diamond picture with numbers to know what number represents each position.) Then you would write the number out it was of that inning and circle it. (By circling outs will make them stand out more to look quick at if you need to verify with anyone.) *Note: Remember this is always written in the batter's row for that specific inning.

    If the batter hits a ball and gets caught out you want to put PU-(position #) (PU stands for Pop up) Ex. If the batter hits a Pop up to center field and the center fielder catches it. You will put PU-8 in the book then the number out circled.

    If the batter hits a ball and gets on base you will have a diamond shaped box for each batter per innings, with little abbreviations beside it, typically B,S,SAC,BB,HR,3B,2B,RBI. The diamond shape on the scoring chart represents the diamond on the field, so drawing a line from the bottom corner to the 3 O'Clock position indicates that batter has made first and so on.
    The abbreviations stand for Balls, Strikes, Sacrifices, Walk (base on balls), Home Runs, Triples, Doubles and Runs Batted In.

  • When a base runner makes it all the way around the bases to home that is counted as a run. What you do is draw the line from each base then fill in the diamond. This is a run. At the end of an inning you will count the number of diamonds filled in and write the number at the bottom of the column.

  • At the end of an inning, (the third out) make sure you draw a line under the last batter to indicate that was the last batter of the inning. It will be easier to start up again next inning with the lineup and you will have a better understanding who is up next.

  • At the end of every game sometimes it is necessary for the other team and the umpire to sign off the book to make sure that everything is correct.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many score books aren't completely followed to the t and it's more of a personal choice of what to write down in the book. For example many books will only show the players batting, where they hit it to, how they got out, the number of outs and the number of runs. A lot of people feel that keeping track of the balls and strikes isn't as important as these other ones.
  • Typically on your score-sheet Additionally, you may want to note where the ball was hit and thrown to.
  • The score keeper always yells out to their team to let them know who is up.
  • Many times the other team will verify with you if you have the score they have just to make sure that everything matches up. (Hey people are allowed to make mistakes. No one is perfect)
  • Sometimes score keeping week after week has it's perks. You can become well known with all the parents/friends/coaches/players. If you are an outgoing person this is definitely the job for you.
  • Make it fun!
  • Remember that it takes time and practice to get used to it.
  • It is easy to keep score for little league games or rec leagues to get some practice in.
  • Practice makes perfect and you can develop you own way to keep the book.

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