Scorekeeper Shorthand
Scorekeeping is accomplished by a sort of "shorthand," which is basically a combination of position numbers and abbreviations. Refer to the "Scoring Abbreviation" page to see some common numbers and abbreviations used throughout a game.

Batter Up!
Let's see what we need to do as each player has his turn at bat. We'll confine ourselves to the top of the lineup.

If you've familiarized yourself with the position numbers, you'll see that the center fielder, second baseman, catcher, and right fielder are the first batters up.

Smith singles to center field. A lot of pre-printed scorecards will have a diamond representing the field in the middle of each box. To mark Smith's single, we'll darken the line from home to first and place a 1B next to it. Many people also like to draw a line to show where the batter hit the ball.

Lawson's up next and he strikes out swinging. A "K" is placed in his box to indicate that he struck out. If it was a called strike three, a "Kc" or a backwards "K" would be placed in the box. A circled "1" is also placed in the box to indicate that it is the first out.

(Alberto Z., a visitor to this site, likes to use "K.." for a called strike three. He says that the two dots look like a pair of eyes watching the last strike go by.)

Henry is batting next, but while he is batting Smith manages to steal second. The line from first to second should be darkened and an "SB" along with a number to indicate who was at bat is written to indicate that Smith stole second during Henry's plate appearance. I like to use the player's jersey number for this. It makes it easier for me to keep track of things. Other people use the player's position number. So, I could have just as easily written "SB2" instead of "SB17". If Henry hit or sacrificed the batter over to second, you would place just the uniform or player number next to the path from first to second to show how Smith got there.

Henry manages to draw a walk. The line from home to first is darkened and either a "BB" or "W" is written to indicate the walk. I prefer to use BB for "Base on Balls."

Jones is now at bat and hits it to the short stop who tosses it to the second baseman who tags the bag to get Henry out. The second baseman then throws to first to get Jones out. A classic 6-4-3 double play, which is what is written in Jones' box. Of course, both outs must be recorded. So a line is drawn halfway between first and second in Henry's box and is marked with a '33' to indicate that Jones was the batter. A circled '2' is also entered to indicate that Henry was the second out.

In Jones' box a 6-4-3 is written along with a 'DP' for the double play and a circled '3' to indicate the third out. A 'DP' could also have been entered in Henry's box to indicate that he was caught up in the double play as well. One other method is to draw a line connecting the two boxes.

The '6-4-3' above is an example of how all players who were involved in putting the runner out are given credit.

Since this is the third out, a slash is drawn across the lower right-hand corner of Jones' box to indicate the end of the inning. This is what the scorecard should look like after the first half-inning.

Obviously, the above was just a small example. For more, check out my examples page.

Take a Swing
Hopefully, the above examples will give you an idea about how scorekeeping is done. Give it a try next time you go to out to the ballgame. Also, don't be afraid to experiment. What works best for others may not be best for you. I am always open to suggestion and would appreciate any that are offered. So, if you come up with something that works well, I would be glad to hear about it.

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