How To Score A Baseball Game

How To Score a Baseball Game With Pencil and Paper

The practice of keeping score in a baseball game with a piece of paper and a pencil dates back to the early days of the game. Keeping score is a terrific method for a fan to become more involved in the game. You’ll become completely absorbed in the game. Furthermore, each scorecard tells a tale about the game that you are attending. Scorecards are a terrific way to keep track of all the baseball games you’ve been to throughout the years. Because of the proliferation of high-tech scoreboards and mobile phones that can provide real-time updates in the palm of your hand, keeping score using a game card is becoming more obsolete.

Prepare the playing card Take a look at your card.

If you don’t want to spend $4 for a program, you may print one from the comfort of your own home using this helpful website.

You should also give the players’ position number (see below) and jersey number, in addition to their names.

When it comes to scoring baseball games, a shorthand has evolved to make things easier for everyone.

Each position has a unique number allocated to it.

  • Pitcher- 1, Catcher- 2, First Base- 3, Second Base- 4, Third Base- 5, Shortstop- 6, Left Field- 7, Center Field- 8, Right Field- 9, Designated hitter- DH
  • Pitcher- 1, Catcher- 2, Designated hitter- DH

Batter slang for “shorthand.” When a hitter comes to bat, use the following simple acronyms to keep track of whether he was hit, walked, or struck out:

  • Walking- BB (base on balls)
  • Strikeout- K
  • Looking strikeout (when the hitter does not swing)- backwards K
  • Walked- BB (base on balls)
  • Single-base hit, double-base hit, triple-base hit, homerun-homerun, flyout-flyout, double play-double play

Follow the game

You’ve got your card ready in one hand and a hot dog slathered in mustard in the other, and you’re ready to put the game out of reach. Each player has a row of squares with baseball diamonds next to their name, which represents their position on the field. These squares will be used to keep track of the progress of each batter. A single is recorded outside the diamond by writing 1B outside the diamond and shading the line from home plate to first. If the runner in first place advances to second place, the line from first to second place should be darkened.

  • Here’s an illustration: If the runner receives a point, use your pencil to fill in the diamond.
  • If that batter was the first out, circle the number “1” and write “1” on the board.
  • If the batter is out after hitting the ball, you should make a note of what happened during the play.
  • For example, if Derek Jeter hits a grounder to the pitcher who then fields and throws the ball to first base, the out would be recorded by writing “1-3” across the diamond.
  • It’s not difficult at all.
  • Consider the following scenario: Jeter is on first base after hitting a single.
  • The shortstop throws it to second, allowing Jeter to get out on the force play.

Here’s how we go about recording it.

This can be accomplished by darkening the line from first to second only halfway through.

Jeter’s starting lineup will look something like this: To indicate the fielding sequence for Giambi, we will write “6-4-3” across the diamond in Giambi’s row.

Please don’t forget to include a “2” with a circle around it to indicate that he was the second player to be eliminated.

So, if the centerfielder catches a fly ball, you would write “F8” inside the diamond of the batter who hit the ball to indicate that the centerfielder made the catch.

For example, say Jeter was on first after hitting a single. Giambi hits a grounder to third. Third baseman fields and throws it to second getting the force out. This is what Jeter’s row would look like: At the end of the game, you don’t want a card that looks like this. So pay attention.

Make it your own

After you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you may start incorporating your own personal flair into your scorekeeping. There is no “wrong” or “right” method to go about this. The difficulty is to come up with a method that will allow you to easily keep track of the progress of a video game. An excellent example of someone who has customized their scorecard may be seen here.


The techniques used by individual fans to keep a scorecard vary, and many of them create their own notations for their scores. However, here’s a straightforward method: As an example, if the batter grounded out to shortstop, enter the number “6-3,” which indicates that the shortstop threw him out at first base. If the batter hits a fly ball to left field, mark the spot with a “7.” If the hitter receives a hit, record the hit in the appropriate field according to the base he reached. Each of the box’s four corners symbolizes a base, with the lower-right corner being the first to represent a base.

  1. For every time he doubles, write a “=” in the top right corner, and so on.
  2. As the runner makes his or her way forward, place the proper symbol in the corresponding corner.
  3. Using the above example, if the No.
  4. The usage of consistent numbers in this situation is preferred by some, as it allows you to identify who did what even after the lineup changes.
  5. At the conclusion of the game, you will be able to sum the totals of the innings to obtain the final score.

What’s the Score?: The Basics of Scorekeeping

Scorekeeping in baseball and softball entails much more than simply keeping track of how many runs are brought across the plate. As a result, the system of statistics, symbols, and methods that is as much a part of the game as an old glove, is a language all its own in the world of baseball. However, it is not difficult to learn. Moreover, after you’ve mastered the art of keeping score, you’ll be able to keep track of every pitch, every at-bat, every hit, and every out in the game. Each league will have an Official Scorer, who will be appointed by the League President.

  1. Whenever possible, the scorer will transmit such choices to the press by hand signals or over the loudspeaker system, and he or she will also notify the announcer of such decisions if he or she requests it.
  2. The scorer must adhere precisely to the Scoring Rules in order to ensure that all records are kept in the same manner.
  3. If the teams switch sides before three outs are called, the scorer is responsible for promptly notifying the umpire of the error.
  4. This includes noting the score, the number of outs, the position of any runners, and the number of balls and strikes the batter has received.

In his or her official capacity, the scorer represents the league and is entitled to the respect and dignity that go along with the position.

The Basics

The method that gives a number to each player is the basis of the scorekeeping process. Don’t mistake them with jersey numbers; these standard numerical symbols used in scorekeeping remain constant throughout the game: 1 = pitcher; 2 = pitcher catcher 2 = catcher 3 is the number of the first baseman. 4 = second base in baseball 5th base is represented by the number 5. 6 denotes a shortstop. 7 denotes the left field position. 8 is the middle of the field. 9 represents the right field. Using a 10-player lineup, the number “10” might suggest a short fielder or fourth outfielder, for example.

  • Among these are: 1B is an abbreviation for single.
  • 3B is an abbreviation for triple.
  • DP is an abbreviation for double play.
  • E stands for error.
  • WP is an abbreviation for wild pitch.
  • RBI stands for run batted inSB stands for stolen base IP is an abbreviation for Illegal Pitch (Major Division and below) The abbreviation BK stands for balk (for intermediate 50/70 and higher).

Trying It Out

Write out the batting order for each team to get things started. They will be traded between the two managers and will not be able to alter throughout the game, with the exception of substitutes. It is critical to record player jersey numbers alongside the batting order in order to ensure that the appropriate players bat in the appropriate order. The basic scorebook will resemble a gigantic checkerboard, with nine (or ten, or more) rows going across the page and a matching number of columns going down the page, as seen in the illustration.

  1. For example, the first inning, second inning, and so on are all separated by a column.
  2. Consider the Mudville Mudhens, who are batting in the first inning of the opening game of the season.
  3. For the sake of argument, let’s say the leadoff batter grounds out to the shortstop.
  4. This would be stated in Section 6-3.
  5. Similarly, a grounder to third base would result in a 5-3 score.
  6. The letters L8 or F8 may be used to represent a lineout to center field, with a straight line above the F and the 8 to suggest a line drive.
  7. Again, various scorers use different symbols, but if the ball is thrown to the center fielder, the “8” is always used to indicate a successful throw.

Some scorebooks will have little squares within each at-bat square to indicate this, while others will not have any.

Keeping accurate pitch counts is made possible by this method.

The second hitter is now on the mound.

He smacks a single to the right field gap.

A line should be drawn from home plate to first base in his at-bat square, with “1B” or “1B9” written next to the line in a paper scorebook to indicate where he is at first base.

The Mudhens now have a runner on first base, one out, and their third batter is on the mound for them.

He smacks a double to the right field corner.

During this time, the runner on first came all the way around and scored on the play as well.

In his at-bat square, indicate that he has completed the whole circuit of the diamond, including stops at second, third, and home.

That diamond should be colored in to signify that he scored a run.

What is the significance of the number 6?

Meanwhile, on the No.

Because there won’t be much place for all of this in a paper scorebook, it’s vital to write short — yet legibly — in order to avoid confusion.

The runner on second tries to steal third but is thrown out because of his inexperience.

Almost certainly 2-5, since the catcher “2” tossed to the third baseman, “5,” who tagged him out at third base.

The Mudhens have two outs left, and Casey is on the mound. Casey, on the other hand, is unstoppable. Casey receives a “K” in this instance, which is the global scoring sign for a strikeout. Alternatively, a reverse K indicates that the hitter glanced at strike three but did not swing.

Heading to the Bottom

The peak of the first has come to an end. Your very first scoring experience has now been recorded. Not nearly, to be honest. At the conclusion of the half inning, draw a line or a ‘x’ at the location of the next hitter. This plainly identifies who will bat first in the following inning as the leadoff batter. Then it’s ideal to tally up the runs, hits, errors, and, if you’re keeping track, pitches thrown, and make notations at the bottom of the page to keep track of everything. A section for this should be included in either an electronic or a paper scorebook.

Make your way to the opposite side of the book, where you should have the starting lineup for the home team in place, and you’ll be ready to begin.


After all of this, that T-shirt you could see at the stadium suddenly makes sense: “I scored a run, I won the game.” 6-4-3=2.

How to Provide a Box Score

The balance (or proof) of a box score is achieved when the sum of the team’s times at bat, bases on balls received, hit batters, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies, and batters awarded first base because of interference or obstruction equals the sum of the team’s runs, players left on base, runners removed under playing rule 7.13(c) (Little League Baseball Majors and below), and the putouts of the opposing team.

Give It a Try

The most effective approach to learn is to get started right away. Watch many competent scorekeepers and keep a parallel book to see which approach is the most effective for you to learn from. It is extremely beneficial to observe Little League and high school games in person, as well as professional baseball games on television, while paying close attention to the scoring decisions. Keep a scorebook that is well-organized and easy to interpret as your knowledge of the specific rules grows. Even while it is not a task to be taken lightly, it can be entertaining and can offer a new level to your pleasure of baseball and softball.

GameChanger, the live scoring app that provides coaching insights and fan updates, as well as the official scorekeeping tool endorsed by Little League®, has contributed this content.

Excerpts from the book “What’s the Score?” provide additional substance.

Additional information on scorekeeping practices can be obtained by contacting [email protected]

Using the Proper Symbols to Score a Baseball Game

With the advent of high-tech scoreboards in professional baseball, it is possible that scorekeeping may become extinct. However, if you take a glance around at the next game you attend, you’ll most likely see someone who is keeping track using a pencil and paper, which has been a tradition from the beginning of the game. It appears to be hard, but it is not mathematics, and if you are only scoring the game for entertainment purposes, you may not want every single detail. It is essential that you understand how to score in order to be able to function as an official scorekeeper for your team.

The purpose of a scorecard is to keep an accurate record of the game’s proceedings.

If you want to be an official scorer, you can get a scorebook from a sports goods store or order one online.

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There are as many different types of score sheets and forms as there are different types of scorekeepers, and there is no one technique that is actually the perfect way.

It’s acceptable as long as the information is correct. This is a really crucial point. Always write with a pencil. Whatever your level of experience, you will occasionally need to use an eraser, whether you are doing something for the first time or have 50 years under your belt.

Abbreviations And Symbols

First, determine the starting lineups for each club. When attending a professional game, the starting lineups will be displayed on the stadium’s scoreboard and announced around 10–15 minutes before kickoff. Lineups can be provided by a game official or coach at the collegiate level or lower level. Input each player’s uniform number, name, and position on the scorecard to complete the scorecard. If you want to use letter abbreviations (like you might see on a scoreboard), you may do so. If you want to use numbers, you can do so as well.

  • Pitcher (P or 1), catcher (C or 2), first baseman (1B or 3), second baseman (2B or 4), third baseman (3B or 5), shortstop (SS or 6), left field (LF or 7), center field (CF or 8), right field (RF or 9) and designated hitter (DH) are the positions on the baseball diamond.

Because 1B is a single, 2B is a double, and so on, using numbers (with the exception of the DH) helps to minimize misunderstanding with the acronyms for what happens in the game. Here are some more commonly used acronyms to describe what happens in the game besides those listed above:

  • Baseball terminology: single (1B), double (2B), triple (3B), home run (HR), runs batted in (RBI). Double play (DP)
  • Fielder’s choice (FC)
  • Error (E)
  • Stolen base (SB)
  • Caught stealing (CS)
  • Unassisted (U)
  • Strikeout swinging (K)
  • Strikeout looking (backward K)
  • Double play (DP)
  • Sacrifice (SAC), wild pitch (WP), and passed ball (PB) are all terms used in baseball.

Softball games, as opposed to baseball games, are more likely to include four outfielders, as opposed to three in baseball games. According to this scenario, the left-center fielder has an 8, the right-center fielder has a 9, and the right fielder has a 10. And, depending on the league regulations, there may even be additional designated hitters in the lineup – players who bat but do not play in the field or substitute for the fielders — to help round out the order.

Sample Game: Top Of The First

In the top of the first inning, the Mariners scored one run. The game between the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians on June 11, 2007 is used as an example. Most scorecards and score sheets already have the diamond drawn in, and you only need to draw a line from the diamond to the base that the player is advancing to. Mark the balls (top line) and strikes (bottom line) in the upper left corner of each box (bottom line). To begin the sample game, say the following:

  • You draw a line from home to first base and write “1B” in the lower right corner of the diagram next to the line to denote a single by Ichiro Suzuki, who is the left fielder
  • Vidro, the second batter, then grounds out to first base, so you write “3U,” which indicates that the first baseman made the unassisted out. Suzuki moves up to second, causing you to create a line from first to second
  • Jose Guillen then hits a single, allowing Suzuki to cross the plate. As a result, place a “1B” in the lower right corner and “RBI” in the lower left corner. Draw a line from Suzuki’s line to the second and third positions, and then to the finish line. Most scorekeepers then fill in the box so that they can see how many runs have scored at a glance
  • For example, if Raul Ibanez flies out to right field, put a “9” in the box to indicate that the right fielder caught the fly ball
  • After that, Kenji Johjima singles and Guillen advances to second
  • And after that, Kenji Johjima singles and Guillen advances to third. Afterwards, Ben Broussard grounds out to the second baseman, who tosses the ball to first, making the score “4-3.”

Seattle has taken a 1-0 lead. Seattle has 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, and 2 men left on base, according to the lineup below. Take notice of the line below Broussard, which indicates that it was the final player out. That way, you can quickly tell where you need to begin the following inning.

Sample Game: Bottom Of The First

In the bottom of the first inning, the Indians left the bases loaded for the opposing team. In the bottom of the first inning, it is Cleveland’s time to bat.

  • Grady Sizemore is struck out on a 3-2 pitch to right field, therefore place a “9” in that area on the scoresheet. Jason Michaels then hits a fly out to left field, which should be marked with a “7.” Assuming there are two outs, Casey Blake singles on a 2-2 pitch, resulting in the designation “1B” in the bottom right corner and a line to first base
  • Travis Hafner then hits a double, allowing Blake to advance to third base. Because of this, Hafner is placed at second base and Blake at third
  • Jhonny Peralta then walks, therefore he is designated as a base on balls adjacent to the first baseman’s line to first base. Hafner and Blake remain in their positions
  • With the bases loaded, Ryan Garko flies out to left field on a 1-2 pitch. It should be marked with a “7.” As a result, the Indians leave three runners on base in the first inning.

Below the lineups, it is noted that there were no runs scored on two hits, with no errors, and three runners left on the field.

Sample Game: Top Of The Third

The Mariners scored four runs in the third inning to take a commanding lead. Let’s fast forward to the third inning of the Seattle game.

  • First, Carlos Guillen singles off the first pitch, which should be marked with “1B” and a line to first
  • Then Raul Ibanez hits a home run off the second pitch, which should be marked with “2B” and a line to second. As a result, write “HR” in the lower right corner, and because he scored two runs, write “2 RBI” in the lower left corner. He and Guillen both travel all the way around the bases
  • Kenji Johjima then lines out to third base, so write “5” in that place
  • Then Ben Broussard flies out to center field to finish the game. In that spot, there’s a “8,” which leads to Adrian Beltre’s RBI single on a 1-2 pitch. Write “1B” on the board and draw a line from home plate to first base
  • Jose Lopez is up next, and he knocks another home run on the first pitch. In the same vein as Ibanez, he receives the same quip. Write “HR” in the lower left-hand corner, “2 RBI” in the lower right-hand corner, then continue writing all the way around the bases. Additionally, Beltre completes a full circuit of the bases
  • Yuniesky Betancourt subsequently flies out to first base for the third out.

The Mariners had a major inning on their hands. On the bottom of the lineup, there are 4 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, and 0 men left on base. The score is 5-0 in favor of the team.

Sample Game: Bottom Of The Fifth

The Indians scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding lead. The Mariners added two more in the fourth inning to make the score 7-0. Let’s fast forward to the fifth inning of the Indians’ game.

  • It all starts with a ground out by Josh Barfield to the third baseman (who is 5″ tall), who then delivers the ball to first (“3”). As a result, the score is 5-3. After that, Kelly Shoppach hits a single, so put “1B” in the lower left corner and a line from home to first
  • Grady Sizemore follows with a single of his own. To mark Shoppach’s progression to second, draw a line from first to second
  • Jason Michaels does the same thing. Sizemore is placed second, and Shoppach is placed third
  • The next round becomes a little more tricky. Blake is the hitter, and he drives in two runs with a ground ball to the shortstop, who throws home to force Shoppach from the game. He manages to go to first base. As a result, construct a line between third and home that prevents Shoppach’s progress, and move Sizemore to third and Michaels to first while putting Blake on first. Blake’s box has a “FC” (fielder’s choice, meaning he didn’t go for the out on the batter) and a “6-2,” which means shortstop to catcher
  • The next batter is Travis Hafner, who hits a single to right-center field. Sizemore and Michaels each score a goal, and Blake moves up to second place. As a result, Hafner receives a “1B” and moves up to first. In addition, he receives “2 RBI.” In order to color in their diamonds, Sizemore and Michaels must travel all the way home. Draw a line from first to second in Blake’s box
  • The next batter is Jhonny Peralta, who hits a single to bring Blake home with the winning run. Hafner takes over at second base. As a result, Peralta receives the letters “1B,” a “RBI” in the lower left corner, and a line from first base to home. Complete Blake’s diamond and color him in, then shift Hafner from first to second place on the list. Ryan Garko hits a fly out to right field to bring the inning to a close. That’s a “9,” by the way.

So the final tally is 3 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, and 2 runners left on base for the Reds.

Sample Game: Bottom Of The Sixth

In the sixth inning, the Indians scored two runs. Now for the Indians’ sixth inning:

  • In his box, put “2B,” a line from home to first and first to second, and “RBI” because Nixon flies out to center (“8”)
  • Barfield hits a single
  • Shoppach hits a double
  • And Barfield scores as a result of Shoppach’s double. Barfield’s diamond has been colored
  • From Cha Seung Baek to Eric O’Flaherty, the Mariners have changed their starting pitchers. You may begin filling up Baek’s box on the Mariners sheet by clicking on it. A total of 27 hitters were faced by him throughout his 5 1/3 innings of work. He allowed 10 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, and walks. However, you are unable to complete his runs permitted line at this time. He was the one who placed Shoppach on second base
  • Sizemore then knocks a single to left field, advancing Shoppach to third. Sizemore is given the position of first baseman and a line from home to first base
  • Shoppach’s line is extended to third base
  • And Sean Green takes over for O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty is given 0 innings and 1 hit. He’s in charge of Sizemore, who’s at first base
  • Michaels is hit by a pitch while trying to steal second. Put a “K” in his position, and Blake follows it up with a single that brings Shoppach in. Fill in the blanks with “1B” and a “RBI.” Bring Shoppach back to his house and color in his diamond. Sizemore advances to third base, and the official scorer determines that Sizemore advanced as a result of a fielding mistake by the left fielder. Placing the letter “E7” next to the line between second and third in Sizemore’s location effectively puts an end to Baek’s career. All five runs are earned, and the Mariners have changed pitchers once more, this time to George Sherrill. As a result, in Green’s line, placed 1/3 of an inning, one hit, and one strikeout in the two hitters that faced the pitcher. Because he is accountable for Blake, you are unable to fill in the blanks for his runs at this time
  • Hafner gets thrown out at third base. So that’s a “5” on the scale. That brings the inning to a stop and puts an end to the careers of both O’Flaherty and Green, who both get a “0” next to their runs and earned runs totals. A side note: If Sizemore had scored, O’Flaherty’s run would have been unearned because he had advanced one base on an error
  • However, he did not.

In the sixth inning, the Indians scored two runs on four hits, one error, and left two men on base.

Sample Game: Top Of The Ninth

The Mariners scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to win the game. Although they score two more runs in the eighth inning to tie the game at 7, the Indians fail to advance any further with the bases loaded. That will appear on the completed film, but you can skip forward to the start of the ninth inning if you so desire.

  • Jose Vidro gets things started with a single. To begin, write “1B” and a line to the left of the first. The Mariners then bring in Willie Bloomquist to serve as a pinch runner. It’s best to indicate this by placing his name beneath Vidro and the letters “PR” next to it. Pinch runner Ben Bloomquist is brought in during the ninth inning, so place a “PR” next to first base to indicate where he came in. Jose Guillen then hits a fly out to center field, so place a “8” in that box. Raul Ibanez then hits a double to bring Bloomquist home. “2B” should be written on his line, along with “RBI.” The Bloomquist diamond should be colored in to indicate the run scored
  • Kenji Johjima then hits a single, and Ibanez moves up to third. Draw a line from first to second for Johjima, and a line from first to second for Ibanez. Ben Broussard is up next, and he hits a fly out to right field to start the inning. Despite his best efforts, Ibanez is thrown out at the plate while trying to score from third. As a result, the score is 9-2 DP. A double play is made from right field to the catcher. Draw a line between home and third base on Ibanez’s diamond to indicate that he was thrown out at home.
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Finishing Up And More

Add it all up and fill in the blanks on the form. Finish up the pitching lines if necessary. It is important to note that sacrifices and walks do not count as at-bats in baseball. And here’s a link to the box score from the game, courtesy of

Baseball Hacks

With a free 10-day trial of O’Reilly Media, you’ll get full access to Baseball Hacks and more than 60K other titles. There are also live online events, interactive content, certification preparation tools, and other resources available to you. There are many interesting things you can do with computers and databases that are demonstrated in this book, but it’s crucial to realize that all of those statistics originate from the same source: a person who has a score sheet. Several hundred thousand baseball fans sit lazily in their seats, conversing with their pals, drinking beer, and attempting to decipher what the first base coach is saying.

  • Some people, such as New York Yankees fan Nancy Smith, have been keeping score at every game for more than four decades.
  • This cheat sheet illustrates a widely used way of maintaining score.
  • Even if you never intend to score a game yourself, understanding how a game is scored can help you better comprehend how statistics are derived from games.
  • (from).
  • In terms of scoring a game, you have the option to enter more or less information, as well as to record it differently.
  • You can see in Figure 1-1 that the score sheet provides sections for recording information about the game, listing all of the participants’ names, and recording a description of each play that occurs throughout the course of the game.
  • It is important to note that you will want two of these score sheets for a game: one for the home team and one for the opposing side.

You may keep track of everything that happens throughout a game by swapping score sheets after every half inning (three outs) and every inning (three outs). The following is an example of how to utilize a score sheet. Illustration 1-1. An example of a scoring sheet

Record starting players’ names.

Each row in the table corresponds to a different batter. Each row represents a turn at the plate. In addition, you might symbolize an inning with the use of a column, but this would get confused every time the first batter in the batting order came to the plate. It is necessary to write the starting lineup in the rows on left side of table before you begin to play, especially if you are a first-time player. It is important to note that there are three lines for players next to each row of diamonds; these additional lines are for substitutes (which we will discuss later).

You should also make a note of the starting pitcher for the opposition’s team.

Record plays during the game.

The diamonds on the score sheet are used for two different purposes: to record the outcome of each at-bat and to track the progress of each player around the base paths of the field. It is still possible to return to the diamond chart after a player has finished an at bat in order to record putouts, stolen bases, advances on balks, advances on balls in play, and several other occurrences. Abbreviations often used in scorekeeping are included in Table 1-1.

Event Abbreviations
Single S, 1B
Double D, 2B
Triple T, 3B
Home run HR
Walk (base on balls) W, BB
Intentional walk IW, IBB
Strikeout (swinging) K
Strikeout (called) backward K
Balk BK
Fielder’s choice FC
Hit by pitch HP, HBP
Wild pitch WP
Passed ball PB
Stolen base SB
Caught stealing CS
Double play DP
Triple play TP
Error E
Foul ball F
Force out FO
Line drive L
Bunt B
Unassisted U
Fly ball FL

When it comes to referring to defensive positions, a consistent method is followed. Figure 1-2 depicts the position names and numbers associated with each of the positions (from). Figure 1-2: Defensive-position codes for the offense. Fielding is represented through the usage of these symbols. Suppose the shortstop fields a ball and throws it to the second baseman to get one out, and the second baseman tosses it to the first baseman to get a second out, as shown in the diagram. A 6-4-3 doubleplay is what this is known as.

  • Every time a player goes to bat, you should take note of the base that player has reached and how that player got to that base.
  • Figures 1-4, 1-5, 1-6, 1-7 through 1-8 illustrate common notations for recording plays (singles, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, and strikeouts).
  • Figure 1-3.
  • double figure in figure 1-4.
  • A triple helix Figure 1-6.
  • Figure 1-7.
  • A strikeout occurs.

To illustrate where the ball was hit, you may draw a line across the area and attach a notation indicating whether it was a fly ball, line drive, or ground ball.

A single on a ground ball to center field is depicted in Figure 1.

A 6-4-3 double play, for example, is seen in Figure 1-10.

Illustration of a diagram.

The player who stole the base in the next at-bat can be noted in the scorebook (seeFigure 1-11).

Figure 1-12 depicts an illustration of this.

Illustration of a diagram.

On a later play, the player was put out running to second, but the play was a single.

It is possible to use these to keep track of your pitching progress.

Relief pitchers, on the other hand, are frequently called upon to assist the starting pitcher during a game.

A player’s position can shift from time to time.

Whenever one of these events occurs, make a note of it on your score sheet. On the left side of the page, write the name of the substitute player. Darken the outside of the box next to the diamond that represents the play, and make a note of the substitution next to it.

Record other information.

It’s a good idea to provide any additional comments regarding events that occur during the game. Example: In order to spare yourself the hassle of counting outs, it’s a good idea to put the number of outs in the diamond where they occurred and to circle that number, as seen in Figure 1-10. Some individuals like to include information regarding the direction of each ball that is placed into play, such as how far the ball went and where it was fielded, in their records. Example: If a player singles on a ground ball to center field, you may record that fact by tracking the number of batters each pitcher has faced, how many outs each pitcher has pitched, and how many runs a pitcher has allowed to score against him (and the number of earned runs).

  1. Calculate the final score at the conclusion of the game.
  2. To be quite honest, I’ve never used any of them and hence cannot give any suggestions.
  3. This program, which is accessible for Palm OS devices (from), is utilized by various major sports networks as well as professional baseball teams, and is available for purchase.
  4. Here are a few of my personal favorites: Take advantage of O’Reillyonline learning to learnBaseball Hacks today!

The Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Score of A Baseball Game

Have you ever attempted to score a baseball game with only a piece of paper and a pencil? This time-honored ritual can be traced all the way back to the beginnings of baseball and can also be a really enjoyable way to become more engaged in the sport. In addition, maintaining score on a real scorecard results in a memento from the game – one that is not too expensive. Don’t be concerned if you’ve witnessed supporters keeping score by hand and found the entire procedure to be quite complicated.

To assist you in getting started, we’ve put prepared a little baseball scoring reference sheet that you can download and print.

You may find virtually all you need to know about keeping score at a baseball game in this set of concise and crisp guided instructions. Come with me as I learn how to score in a baseball game!

1. Get Your Card (and Other Supplies)

You’ll need a scorecard to get things started, of course. Scorecards are available for purchase at most nationally televised baseball games in baseball stadiums, as well as at most places where goods is sold in the stadium itself. These cards, on the other hand, are not free; they cost anything from $2 to $4 each card. To spend so much money on something as basic as a scorecard is astounding. Fortunately, there are locations where you can print your own scorecard from the comfort of your own home.

You may also purchase whole scorebooks on the internet.

Prepare your card by putting the batting lineups of both sides on the left side of the card, under the headings “Player” and “Batter.” Keep in mind to include both each player’s position number (which is generally listed under “Pos” or “Position”) and his or her jersey number (which is usually listed under “Num” or “”) in your roster.

2. Learn the Code of Baseball Scoring

There is a shorthand code used in baseball scoring, which was devised to make scoring a little bit easier at baseball games. It would be inconvenient to have to type out a tone of various sentences while consuming beer and being extremely physically involved in cheering for your team while doing so. Fortunately, this baseball scoring system is fairly simple to memorize and understand. If you don’t care for it, you may easily create your own code for keeping track of baseball games. Whatever the case, the typical procedure is as follows.


Each position has been allocated a number from 1 to 100. When writing down fielding plays, it is necessary to utilize the particular numbers listed above. Find out more about how to score based on your position.

  • A designated hitter is assigned to each position in the field. Right field has nine players, center field has eight, left field has seven, shortstop has six, third base has five players, second base has four, first base has three, catchers have two, pitcher has one.


When a hitter goes up against a pitcher, it’s important to maintain track of what he’s doing on the field. This abbreviation is widely used to indicate the outcome of a pitch competition.

  • K for a strikeout. Looking for a strikeout: “K” or “” written backwards
  • BB (short for “base on balls”) was walked
  • 1B was singled
  • 2B was doubled
  • 3B was tripled. Homerun: HR
  • Flyout: F
  • Double Play: DP
  • Homerun: HR

3. Begin Keeping Score of the Game

Keeping score of the game is now possible, now that your card is prepared and you have mastered the necessary shorthand! On your scorecard, each player has their own row of little squares with diamonds in the center, which represents their position on the board. They are used to keep track of the batter’s progress during the game by marking little squares on the batter’s bat. Assuming a batter hits a single, you would write 1B on the diamond’s outside (usually in the bottom right corner) and draw a straight line from first base to second base with your pencil to indicate where it occurred.

A K would be written in the center of the diamond in the event that a batter strikes out.

You would apply the same calculation for any more outs that occurred after that.

Consider the following scenario: a player hits a grounder, and the pitcher ends up fielding it and tossing it to first base on the play.

This would be documented by writing something like “1-3” in the middle of the diamond to represent the number of outs. Because of the numerology, it is likely that the pitcher was the one who fielded the ball before tossing it to first base.

Double plays

Now we just have to find out how to record double plays on the fly. For example, if a player (let’s call him Bob) is at first base following a single, the scorecard for Bob will just display 1B in the bottom right corner and a darker line to first base. Now, another hitter (let’s call him John) comes up to bat and hits a grounder to the shortstop, ending the inning. John is out at second base when the shortstop delivers the ball to him. We’ll have to make a note of the fact that Bob was thrown out at second base on a grounder by John.

  • The fielding sequence would be written within the diamond on John’s row, as seen below.
  • A 2 with a circle around it would be placed in the bottom left corner, indicating that he was the second out of the game.
  • Suppose a hitter hits a fly ball out of the park, you would write F followed by the jersey number of the fielder who caught it.
  • And that’s pretty much it for the fundamentals of scoring!

4. Make Your Scorecard Your Own

Congratulations, you’ve mastered the fundamentals of hand-scoring a baseball game with confidence! Once you’ve successfully learned and implemented these fundamentals, you may become creative and incorporate your own unique flare into your baseball scorekeeping. In all honesty, there isn’t a “bad” method to keep track of the progress of a game. The true value of self-scoring comes from identifying the most effective strategy for keeping track of your progress through the game as fast and painlessly as possible.

Now that you’ve read this, do you feel a bit more secure about keeping score at the next game your favorite team plays?

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

How Does Scoring Work In Baseball?

In baseball, players score runs by hitting the ball and circling the bases all the way back to home plate after they have reached base. Before a victor is determined, each team has nine innings to score. If the score is still tied after the ninth inning, the game will be decided by extra frames.


It takes nine innings to complete one game of baseball, with each inning consisting of two half (the top and bottom of the inning). Each side is only allowed to score once during their half of each inning, resulting in a total of nine scoring opportunities every game. The away team hits in the top half of the inning, while the home club bats in the bottom half of the inning, and so forth. When a team is not hitting, they have nine position players who are responsible for defense. Within each of these innings, both sides get three outs before they have to cease batting and begin to defend their bases.

See also:  How Long Was The Longest Baseball Game

It is possible for the game to be tied after nine innings, in which case the two sides will play extra innings until one team emerges victorious.

During extra innings, each team’s at-bats are alternated between them.

This is due to the fact that the home team always bats in the bottom half of innings, which means that the road team will have no further possibilities to tie the game before the inning finishes unless the home team wins the game.

Walk-off hits are used to refer to game-ending hits that occur in the bottom of the ninth inning or extra innings.

Pitchers and Batters

With the exception of replacements, hitters are often on the field for practically the entire game. However, beginning pitchers (i.e., pitchers who start the game) are changed out and replaced by relief pitchers who are expressly picked for certain situations. As an example, a left-handed pitcher may be swapped into a game in lieu of a right-handed pitcher to face a left-handed batter since that matchup is more advantageous to the pitcher than it is to the batter most of the time. The hitters seek to amass baserunners by making the defense to commit an error, either by hits, walks, or hit-by-pitches, or by inducing the defense to commit an error.


Moving from one base to another may be accomplished in a number of different ways. HITTING is the most conventional method of moving runners to the other side. There are four basic categories of hits, which are as follows: singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. While there are a variety of methods for obtaining each sort of hit, the name of the hit indicates the number of bases a batter advances to immediately after getting the hit. A double, for example, occurs when a hitter successfully makes it to second base after hitting the ball.

If a pitcher commits an error, every base runner will get to advance one base, and if the pitcher commits an error, every base runner will get to advance one base.

Home Runs

When it comes to baseball, the home run is the most expedient way to score runs. Batters hit home runs if they either hit the ball over the fence or go around all of the bases while the ball is still in play, and the ball is still in play. An inside-the-park home run refers to a home run that does not cross the fence into the outfield. Batters hit solo home runs when there are no baserunners on base; two-run home runs when there is one baserunner; three-run home runs when there are two baserunners; and grand slams when there are three or more baserunners on base when the bases are full.

Batting Averages

Hits are more common than home runs, but they may still be difficult to come by in a game of baseball. In the big leagues, getting a hit on 30 percent of one’s at-bats may elevate a player to the status of all-star. When it comes to batters in baseball history, those who are capable of both hitting for an above-average average and also hitting a significant amount of home runs are considered to be the best.

Baseball games can be quite high-scoring at times, but teams typically score between 4-5 runs each game on average.


In baseball, the side with the highest number of runs scored wins the game. A run is scored when a player successfully completes each base and crosses the finish line at home plate. In most games, a team will score between 4-5 runs in total every game, making each run scored by a side incredibly valuable in the long term. Pitchers are frequently swapped into games in order to produce the greatest matchups possible between them and the other side’s hitters in order to prevent the other team from scoring.

How do you score in baseball?

In baseball, scoring can only be accomplished during the offensive team’s half of an inning. Getting on base is the first step in scoring a run. This can be accomplished by getting a hit, the defense making an error, a hitter being walked, or the batter being hit by a pitch, among other methods. Having safely reached base, a player can move forward either by stealing an adjacent base or by having a teammate move them over to the other side. A run is scored when a player successfully reaches all three bases and crosses the home plate safely.

What are the basic rules of baseball?

Baseball is a team sport in which two teams fight against each other to see who can score the most runs. Each game consists of nine innings, with each inning being divided into two halves. In the first half, one side strikes while the other defends, and in the second half, the roles are reversed, and so on. At-bats are used to play the game, which is essentially a one-on-one duel between the pitcher and the hitter. A full inning is completed if the pitcher and his defense are able to record three outs.

If they get four balls, on the other hand, they are called out and given a free trip to first base.

How do you hit a homerun in baseball?

It is necessary to score on one’s own hit in order to hit a homerun. Most of the time, the batter will do this by hitting the ball straight over the outfield fence. To be considered a strike, the ball must be struck between the two foul poles. Otherwise, it will be judged a foul and count as a strike (unless the batter already has two strikes). A fly ball that hits one of the foul poles, on the other hand, is also called a home run. Another method of hitting a home run is to hit one that is within the ballpark.

A home run, on the other hand, is not considered if the fielder commits a mistake.

In this case, the batter would receive only the credit for the hit and not the run.

Keeping a Clean Scorecard: A Baseball Beancounter’s Bible

I’m a statistician by training. As a statistician, I’m a big fan of your work. I enjoy statistics that are comprised of acronyms and may cause Joe Morgan to become perplexed. I believe that most of the standard statics we utilize are faulty, incomplete, and too frequently fall prey to small sample sizes and other problems, as well as other factors. However, regardless of whether you believe that the Win is the most important statistic or if you like to examine contextual wOBAs and compare them to a player’s VORP for the season, all of these figures must originate someplace.

Obviously, this is a baseball reference.

That’s correct, and it’s reasonable.

There are a variety of options for obtaining a scorecard these days.

Alternatively, you can do what I do and create your own cards.

Because they have a reasonable amount of pitchers’ places available, they have enough of room for substitutes, and the scorecard isn’t unduly packed on the actual score box, this is the case.

Okay, let’s start from the very beginning with the most fundamental concepts, beginning with Positions.

But I’ll proceed on the assumption that you don’t and tell you anyway.

7 – Left Field is the position.

This shorthand is used to conserve space in the score box so that plays may be scored as they occur.

The terms “offense” and “defense” each have their own particular notation.

The number “6-3” would be used to indicate a groundout from the shortstop to the first baseman.

Let us start with the basics.

An out-of-bounds play is often scored simply by writing a huge number above the score box to denote which fielder made the catch.

Some people like to use the letter “F8,” but I prefer the number “F8” on its own, and I’ll explain why in just a moment.

I prefer to clearly write them on my scorecard as “L8” or “pop6,” which indicates a lineout to CF or a popout to SS, respectively.

It doesn’t matter who catches it if the CF, RF, and 2B are all closing on the ball.

It is, however, still an out if the ball is hit clearly to right field and the 2B is nowhere to be found.

Popouts are rare in baseball.

I score these the same as if they were fair balls, but here is the point at which I insert the “F” that I described previously in the discussion.

We can’t forget about double plays in this discussion.

Taking the Tulo-Barmes-Helton DP as an example, the score is 6-4-3.

However, if the back end of the double play is not completed, you will not be penalized for an error.

” This play would be scored as a Fielder’s Choice, 6-4-3, with the runner out at second base, as shown below.

It’s basically defined as every instance in which a runner reaches because the fielder chose to get someone else out instead is referred to as a fielder’s choice.

A grounder to 1B that is fielded by the 1B on their own and either tags the runner or touches the bag is simply scored as “3u,” which is an abbreviation for “3-unassisted,” and is the lowest possible score.

Typically, you’ll only see this with the 1B and 3B, but it can happen with other classes as well.

In order to register a strikeout, you must simply indicate which strikeout it is in the bottom-right corner of the scorecard by circling it.

Look over to the other side of the plate for a moment.

You just track the batter’s journey down the basepaths and note how he arrived at his destination.

A double to RF would be denoted by the letters “2B9.” A triple to the letter CF is “3B8.” Have you gotten the picture?

But, you might wonder, what happens if they divide the difference.

When the CF and the RF are ripping after the ball, the CF will grab it first, and Chipper Jones will be limited to 2 bags since the CF possesses a cannon of an arm, as shown in the video above.

It is possible to make an exception when the ball is obviously in RF, but Adam Dunn slid for it and missed it miserably, and Shane Victorino had the play covered and prevented an inside-the-parker from being scored.

Then it’s on to pitching.

K, BB, HBP, and HR are all possible outcomes.

To create the appearance of a strikeout, place a huge Backwards K above the box.

When you have a dinger, you have to write down where the ball departed the park.

You get a “HR7” for your efforts.

Moving on to the scorecard now that we’ve covered the notation part of our discussion.

The first step is to fill up the scorecard with pertinent information, such as the date, time, scorer, weather conditions, and umpires, among other things.

The player’s uniform number should be included in the left box, followed by their name, and finally their position number should be included.

As soon as we have completed all of the paperwork, we will begin playing the game.

However, while the fundamentals of how to mark outs and hits, along with the appropriate placements, are quite general, this does not imply that you must copy my method exactly.

Do whatever makes the most sense to you in terms of keeping a record of the game!

During this process, I’ll give you a play-by-play of what’s going on and then paste how I score it as we go along.

Fowler hits a single to center field on a 2-1 count.

In order to score this, we darken the line to indicate how far Fowler made it on his hit, and then write the necessary notation to indicate what he did in order to reach that point.

You are not have to be sequential; instead, you can just mark “x” for each strike or ball.

Now, some people would circle the pitch or anything like that, but I don’t generally go into such depth with my notes.

In addition, you may opt to score it as “SB7” to signify that he took the bag while the LF was still on the field.

Todd Helton, who is batting third, grounds out to second base on a 2-0 count.

We track Fowler’s movement along the basepaths by filling in the gaps in the line and noting who has moved him forward.

We indicate Atkins’ move to first base by filling in the line and marking “5” to credit Atkins with the RBI, and we advance Fowler to home plate by filling in the line and marking “5” to credit Atkins with the RBI.

Hawpe, who is batting 5th, spans the gap with the first pitch, moving Atkins to third base (slow).

Hawpe accomplished something, so we move Atkins up to 3B by marking the “9” to indicate that something happened, and then we add the arrow to indicate that Hawpe got him all the way along.

Hawpe and Atkins, without a doubt, do not progress.

Atkins is victorious.

Iannetta, who is batting eighth, is hit by seven pitches, one of which is a foul ball.

Ubaldo is batting ninth.

There’s nothing to it.

Following your understanding of the fundamentals, you may move on to asking questions regarding scorekeeping that are more specific to your situation.

Keep in mind that baseball is a sport that requires discipline, not just in terms of pitching, fielding, and batting, but also in the way records are kept and statistics are compiled.

I’d want to express my gratitude to Patrick McGovern of for making such beautiful designs available. It has been years since I’ve used his scorecards, and they are truly remarkable in their simplicity.

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