Saturday, April 5, 2008

Scoring Baseball Games - A Lost Art?

One fantastic way to enjoy a baseball game even more is to score the game  yourself. You can do this live at the ballpark, at home watching on TV or radio, or even following along with's gamecast feature.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, scoring means keeping track of the play by play action during the game and recording it on paper. If done properly you should be able to recreate a game down to the last pitch.

If you watch a game live at the ballpark, your scoresheet can serve as a great souvenir of the game and lets you re-live the action. Scoring a game makes you pay close attention to the game and can help develop a deeper understanding of baseball. Having scoresheets can be a fun way to go back and recall fond memories of some great games.

With the advent of the internet and many of the play-by-play and pitch-by-pitch databases, scoring a game seems to be fading a bit, as much of the information is readily archived and available online. For me, a computer record can't compare to an actual paper scoresheet that I penciled in by hand myself.


One of the best resources and tutorials on the net for creating traditional score sheets is Christopher Swingley's tutorial and scorecard collection. Chris has a fantastic tutorial, walking you through an entire game step by step. He also has several excellent scorecards that you can download and print out.

Another nice site dedicated to traditional scorekeeping methods is

My current favorite site for scoring is Alex Reisner's scorekeeping page. Alex has a nice, roomy traditional scorecard that provides a bit more space than some. There is also a link to documentation and scoresheets for the project scoresheet method. Project scoresheet was an endeavor started in the 1980s to refine the method of scoring baseball games. It's major strength is that the system uses codes (numbers and letters) rather than symbols, making it easy to enter information into computer databases.

Alex's piece de resistance is his situation scoring system. The situational system is Alex's hybrid of traditional scorekeeping and project scoresheet scorekeeping. It's my current favorite method of tracking a game.

Whatever method you choose, scoring a game can really add you your enjoyment of baseball. If you're new, give it a try. If you're an old pro, keep it up!

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