Keeping score for a baseball game is a great way to stay involved in the game. It makes you pay attention to details that sometimes go unnoticed. If you’re scoring for a youth team you’re training, you can spot trends and see who has done what earlier in the game.

The essential

The score sheet can seem intimidating at first.

They generally consist of 9 or more rows with the following elements: a box where the name, number and position of a player are recorded; 9 diamonds (1 for each entry); and a box for a total of batters. The player information box usually has enough space for 2 or 3 players, allowing substitutions throughout the game.

The diamond is a square that is turned into a corner.

The corners represent the bases and are used to record how far a batter goes. For each base the batter reaches, a line is drawn on the diamond. For example, if a batter hits a double, the line between home plate and first base, as well as the line between first and second base, will be darkened.

To keep track of the defense, numbers are used to identify the different positions. This makes it easier to describe what happens in the field in such a small box. The positions are numbered as follows:

1 – Launcher

2 – Receiver

3 – First base

4 – Second base

5 – Third base

6 – Shortstop

7 – Left field

8 – Central field

9 – Right field

10 – Short field (softball)

Most sheet music books will have a visual reference to these numbers. If not, it may be helpful at first to write it down and have it handy. After scoring just a couple of games, it will become second nature.

Line up

Each row on the scorecard represents a position in the batting order. Most baseball games have 9 batters in the lineup. There are softball leagues and youth leagues that have more than 9 batters, so there are score books to suit that. Players must enter the score book according to the batting order.


When a batter receives a hit, it must be recorded on the score card. The hit is usually recorded in the middle of the diamond with the following abbreviations: 1B for a single, 2B for a double, 3B for a triple, and HR for a home run.

To keep track of where the runners are, the diamond lines are darkened. So if a batter hits a double, a 2B is written above and to the right of the diamond and the line between home plate and first and the line between first and second are darkened.

If the next batter singles and the runner from second advances to third, the line between second and third is darkened, as well as the line between home plate and first for the batter.


When a runner scores, all lines on the diamond are darkened. Also, to provide more clarity, the chart is usually completed to make it more obvious that the runner scored. This will make it easier to count them at the end of the post.


Sometimes a batter will reach base or a runner will advance because of a fielder’s error. If the error is the reason the batter reached base, it will be recorded where a base hit would normally be recorded. There will be a notice on the scoreboard or an announcement regarding the official score of a play. For example, if the batter hits second baseman, and the second baseman moves the ball allowing the batter to reach safely, there will be an official indication that there was an error on the part of second baseman. On the scorecard, it would be recorded as E-4, which is an error from position 4, second baseman.

If a runner advances due to an error, then the error is marked between the bases the runner would have been without the error and the base to which the runner advanced. So if a batter hits the ball to right field for a single, and then the right fielder mishandles the ball allowing the runner to advance to second, the single would be recorded as a 1B and there would be an E-9 in the way of the ball. base. between the first and the second.


Most outs will use the number of fielders making the out. For example, if a batter grounds out third baseman who then throws to first base for the out, it will be recorded as 5-3.

A fly ball that is caught by the center fielder may be marked as 8 or F8.

Other common outputs include pop-ups (P) and line-outs (L). Flying balls, pop-ups, and line outs can use their letters and the position number or just the position number. The difference is the amount of detail that is recorded.

Strikeouts are marked with a K. Some scorers will differentiate whether or not the batter swings on strike 3 by using a back K if the batter did not.

If a runner is ejected, the line between the bases is drawn in the middle and a small perpendicular line ends. Then the responsible gardeners are marked next to that line. For example, if there is a runner on first and the batter hits the ball to right field and the right fielder throws the runner out at third, the first-to-second line on the runner’s diamond would be filled. Then the line between the second and third would be darkened halfway with a perpendicular line ending it. Finally, 9-5 would be written next to that line, which means that the right fielder (9) threw the runner at third and third baseman (5) was the one who made the bunt. If shortstop had made the tag for some reason, it would read 9-6.

The other important item to put on the scorecard regarding outs is what it was. This can be done by writing it below and to the right of the diamond and circling it. For example, if the first batter in the inning went to second base, 4-3 would be written on the diamond and then a 1 would be circled around the right and below the diamond.


When a batter causes a run to score, he is credited with a run RBI (RBI). This can happen by hitting a run, home run, or base-loaded hit. This is usually marked along the first baseline.


When a player enters the game as a substitute, he is placed in the score book according to the batting order space he will occupy. Their name must go on one of the lines below the player they are replacing. In addition, there must be a mark indicating when the substitute entered the game. Some people put a line on the right side of the box that represents the last entry before the alternate entered. Others put the ticket number the alternate entered next to their name. The important thing is that it is clear when the submarine enters.


There are two places where totals are added, at the bottom and to the right. At the bottom, the batting statistics for each inning are added. Common stats found here are runs, hits, errors, and how many runners are left on base.

On the right side, the batting statistics for each batter are added up at the end of the game. These stats generally include at-bats, hits, runs, and RBIs. There should be 2 or 3 lines for each spot in the batting order to allow for the statistics of the substitutes to be added.


These are the basics of keeping score in a baseball game. There’s more to keep track of, like stolen bases, wild pitches, the number of pitches, balls, and strikes, and more. But the basics should be a good start. The most important thing is to know what happened by looking at the score book.

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