Scorekeeper Cheat Sheet

Now that little league is underway, I know managers across the league are looking for help keeping their scorebook. There are lots of sites and help with score keeping, but if you follow the jump you’ll find a concise guide with some tips aimed at keeping score in little league.

Little League Score Keeping

First and foremost, *I* don’t track errors in little league. If a kid swings a bat and gets on base, that’s a hit. Some managers like to track this stuff. For me, as a manager I’m only looking for two things from my scorebook:

  1. How did my pitchers do?
  2. Are my kids swinging the bat?

So, if you’re keeping that information you use one or two letter codes to mark the results of an at bat.

K = (Forward K) Strike out swinging
= (Backward K) Strike out looking
BB = Base on balls (batter walked)
HP = Hit By Pitch
1B = Single
2B = Double
3B = Triple
HR = home run.
SB = Sacrifice Bunt

For each base that the runner successfully attains, I darken the line on that side. So a single produces a dark line from home to first.

As the runner advances around the bases, I just keep darkening the lines. So if a runner reaches second, two lines are darkened. 3rd base, 3 lines are darkened. When all four sides are darkened, you know a run has scored.

Note, for home runs, I do something special, I color in the entire diamond. A solid diamond is a good indication of a home run.

If you want to track stolen bases use a double line to darken the runner advancing.

Personally I find it’s a lot easier to stay engaged with a game if you are tracking every ball and strike, that’s what the little boxes are for. 3 for balls, 2 for strikes. You just check each box as the umpire makes the call. If you’re tracking every pitch, it’s hard to miss a play!

Recording Outs

But what do you do if a player makes an out? Well, we have strike outs, but what about the other outs? When in doubt just mark the upper right hand corner of the score box with the number out and circle it. You could then write something like “out” in the box. So, lets say they were the second out, just write a number 2 in the upper right hand corner and circle it.

If you want to give more detail, you can use this simple code:

FO = Fly out
PO = Pop out
GO = Ground Out

If you want more detail than that then you are going to have to learn the base numbering system. It’s simple, but most people are intimidated by it. Here’s a great graphics that shows the positions by number, but the best way to remember it is that it starts with the pitcher, goes to the catcher then around the bases and into the outfield. If you can remember that it starts with the Pitcher, and that the short stop is the FIRST outfielder, it seems to make sense.

Fielding Positions By Number

Defensive Positions By Number

So the way you record, the first out of the inning, which is a ground out to the short stop, you would write the two positions involved. The short stop is 6, the first baseman is 3. The score box would look like this:

And yes, sometimes I use a red sharpie to indicate outs but you don’t have to.

A fly out to left field? F7.
A ground out to the firstbaseman? 3U for unassisted, or just plain, 3

What about a double play? Well now you know what they mean when they say on TV the good old 4-6-3 double play. 4 is the second baseman, 6 is the short stop, and 3 is the first baseman. The second baseman got the ball, flipped it to the short stop who tagged the bag ahead of the runner, and then threw it to first in time to get the batter. Double play.

A Fielders choice is when the batter hits the ball but another player was forced out. Think of it as the double play that didn’t get the runner at first. I mark these FC – in the box of the batter who hit the ball that caused the out, not in the box of the runner who is out. This is sort of a nit however.

When a runner is caught out, forced out, tagged out, on the base paths, I draw the line half way then mark across it. That indicates they never reached the next base.

In the example above the player got a single, but was forced out on his way to second base for the second out of the inning.
That stuff is all well and good, and a lot of fun to track, especially at higher levels like High School, College, and the Pro’s. But for little league, as a manager I’m rarely looking for all that detail. What I want to know is:

How many batters did my pitcher walk?
How many batters did my pitcher strike out?
Did my batters strike out looking or swinging?
Did my batters get on base by hitting the ball or walking?
Did my batters get out by a ground out fly out?
Did my batters score?

and that is pretty much IT. Keep it simple, keep it sweet, enjoy it. A lot of people get intimidated by score keeping, but it doesn’t need to be complex and you can really have some fun with it once you get comfortable with it.

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