If you win a softball game and you want to relive your glorious victory, reading the game’s score sheet provides a quick and easy way to view the entire game at glance. Or maybe you want to analyze your team’s play -- win or lose -- to help prepare for future games. Whatever your reason, writing out a detailed scorekeeper’s sheet puts an entire game at your fingertips. You can keep score in different ways; just make your system easy and consistent, so you have an accurate record to share or savor.
Write the player’s names and position numbers on the left side of the score sheet. Assign position numbers one through six to the pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman and shortstop, respectively. Assign numbers seven through 10 to the outfielders, moving from left field to right. Alternatively, assign seven through nine to the left, center and right fielders, respectively, and give 10 to the rover, or short center fielder. Leave room in the name boxes to write the names of substitutes when they enter the game.
Write everything that occurs in an inning in the column with the appropriate number -- “1” for the first inning and so forth.
Record the manner in which hitters reach base. Write “1B” for a single, “2B” for a double, “3B” for a triple and “HR” for a home run. Some score sheets have these symbols written on the left side of the hitter’s box; if so, circle the appropriate symbol. Also write “BB” for a walk, “HP” if a batter is hit by a pitch, or “E” if a player reaches base on an error, followed by the position number of the fielder who committed the error. Write “FC” if a batter reaches base on a fielder’s choice.
Follow each runner’s path on the bases. If the sheet contains a diamond in each box, highlight the appropriate areas. If a batter hits a single, for example, highlight the line between home plate and first base, then continue highlighting if the runner advances. Draw your own diamond if one isn’t provided. Write “SB” near the appropriate base if a runner steals a base, or “CS” if she’s caught stealing. Write “WP” if a runner advances on a wild pitch or “PB” for a passed ball. If she’s forced out, write the position numbers of the fielders involved. For example, if the second baseman fields a grounder and throws to the shortstop for a forceout at second, write “4-6” in the second base part of the diamond.
Mark each strikeout with the letter K. Write the K backward if the batter takes a called third strike.
Record all other outs by using the fielder’s position numbers. If a fielder catches a ball in the air, just write the number, so a flyout to left field is recorded as “7.” To distinguish between a line-drive out and a popout on the infield, write “L” or “P” before the player’s number. Place an “F” before the player’s number if she catches a foul ball. If a player grounds out, list the defender who fields the ball, followed by the player who makes the putout, so a groundout to shortstop is written “6-3.” If a player hits a sacrifice fly, write “SF” before the fielder’s number. If she hits a sacrifice bunt, write “SAC” before the fielder’s numbers.
Place a notation in a hitter’s box if she drives home a run. For example, if a player singles home a run, write “1B” in the middle of the box and place a dot in the upper-left corner to represent the RBI.
Draw a small diagonal line next to the lower-right corner of the last hitter’s box in each inning.
- Confer with the opposite team’s scorekeeper between innings after any runs are scored, to make sure you’ve both recorded the same number of runs.
- Some score sheets contain boxes for balls and strikes, which comes in handy for fastpitch games. Place an X in one of the three top boxes for each ball, or in one of the bottom two boxes for each strike. To keep an accurate pitch count, place dots near the strike boxes for every two-strike foul ball.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.