Getting Started

Game Data
Once you've familiarized yourself with the scorecard layout, it is time to start filling it in. Normally at the top you'll find places to log information such as team names, date, and time. Some scorecards also contain spaces for location, temperature, weather, team win-loss records, and several other statistics. Some cards will even provide space for umpire and coach names. Fill in as much as you want, but be sure to fill in the team names, date, and time. If you don't, you won't know what game you were scoring when you find the scorecard in the bottom of a drawer a few months later.

Player Data
Next, find where you'll be entering player data. This will be a grid with inning numbers and other designations running across the top and spaces for the players' names, numbers and positions down the side. Fill these in when the batting order is announced. Before entering the player positions, you should be aware of one standard way of recording them. Instead of alphabetic abbreviations, most people assign numbers to the positions. The standard position numbers are shown below.

1 - Pitcher; 2 - Catcher; 3 - 1st Base; 4 - 2nd Base; 5 - 3rd Base; 6 - Shortstop; 7 - Left Field; 8 - Center Field; 9 - Right Field

A designated-hitter is represented by "DH".

These numbers are easy to remember if you start with the pitcher and then work your way around the bases. The only hitch is the shortstop. You would think that the numbers for shortsop and third base should be reversed. One explanation that I've read was that the shortstop was not originally considered part of the infield. It was originally part of the outfield as a "short fielder." I don't know if this is true or not, but it does explain the number system.

Finally, you'll notice an area where you can register the statistical totals. Some of these, such as runs and hits, are totaled after each half-inning. Others, such as player and team totals, are tallied after the game has been played. We'll discuss this section later.

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