The Scorekeepers' Box

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Welcome to The Scorekeepers' Box

To all scorekeepers...this is meant to be a section of the site specifically for your aid and benefit. Please let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions or information you would like me to share in this space. 

2017 Scorekeeper Clinic Dates and Times

Dates and Times of the 2017 Scorekeepers Clinics

Saturday February 11th, 10 AM - Noon @ Felton Fire House

Thursday February 16th, 6-8 pm @ Felton Fire House


All teams from Single A, AA, AAA, and Majors need to have one scorekeeper attend one of the clinics.

We (SLVLL) do not require scorekeeping in Single A, but often the scorekeeper is the only one who knows when the inning has ended.  He/she can be a big help and keep the games moving along.  It's a relatively low-stress way to start learning and then honing your scorekeeping skills.

Managers' score books will be handed out to scorekeepers at the clinic.


How to Score a Dropped Third Strike

Because this is a new rule to SLVLL, there was some discussion at our Scorekeepers Clinic regarding how to score a dropped third strike.  After a little time looking around online, I found this discussion between scorekeepers.
Check it out - Simple Scoring Questions .  Who knew there were forums where people actually talk about scorekeeping??

Rules on Games Shortened by Darkness, Weather, etc.

Since we've had some games ended before their 6-inning conclusion, here's a reminder of rules associated with games ended due to darkness, weather, etc. 
2. Regulation Game (Rule 4.10 Pg. 67)A regulation game consists of six innings, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened because the umpire calls the game. If a game is called before it is a regulation game, but after one (1) or more innings have been played, it shall be resumed exactly where it left off. A game becomes regulation in the fourth inning.Note: All records, including pitching, shall be counted.Any pitcher who is eligible to pitch that day may pitch in the resumed game. A player may not pitch in more than one game in a day. (Regulation VI (K))
3. Games Called on Account of Darkness or Weather (Rule 4.10 Pg. 67)A called game ends at the moment the umpire terminates play. If the game is called during an incomplete inning, the game ends at the end of the previous completed inning in each of the following situations:(a) The visiting team scores one or more runs to tie the score in the incomplete inning and the home team does not score in the incomplete inning.(b)The visiting team scores one or more runs to take the lead in the incomplete inning, and the home team does not tie the score or retake the lead in the incomplete inning.A regulation game that is tied after four or more complete innings and halted by the umpire, shall be resumed from the exact point that play was halted. The game shall continue in accordance with rule 4.10 (a) and 4.10 (b).



Scorekeeping vs. Scotts Valley

Pitch Count Bubble Form for Games Vs. Scotts Valley
When we play Scotts Valley or Live Oak, here is a summary of the protocol which includes scorekeepers and managers...

AT Scotts Valley:  The Manager should pick up the scorebook labeled SLV Majors "Interleague" .  It's up in the booth.  You should be prepared to use TWO scorekeepers even at Scotts Valley, because they keep a pitch count separate from the scorebook that needs manager's signature and the whole thing.  It's a bubble sheet that's usually maintained by the visiting team.  They will have them.

The manager of the FIRST Game should be the one who brings the book.  If there are TWO games at Scotts Valley, you can leave it in their booth or find the manager/scorekeeper of the following game.  The manager of the LAST game at Scotts Valley should return the Interleague book to the booth.

HOME vs. Scotts Valley:  Scotts Valley will again bring a scorekeeper to keep track of pitch count on bubble sheets, and those usually need a manager's signature after the game.  We need to make room for them in the booth.  Our home scorekeeper uses the regular Majors Field Book.  Scotts Valley usually brings the bubble sheets, but I'll make some and leave them up in the booth too. 

Read "What's the Score?"

I am reading "What's the Score?" a baseball scorekeeper's guide, on my kindle.  It's the same book recommended by LIttle League International.  I think it was about 5 bucks from Amazon, but has a lot of great tips for beginners and veteran scorekeepers.  If you're thinking about scorekeeping, this easy-to-read and humorous tutorial is a great resource!

40 Myths of Baseball Rules

Top 40 Baseball Rule Myths
The hands are considered part of the bat.
The hands are part of a person's body. If a pitch hits the batter's hands the ball is dead; if he swung at the pitch, a strike is called (NOT a foul). If he was avoiding the pitch, he is awarded first base.
The batter-runner must turn to his right after over-running first base.
The batter-runner may turn left or right, provided that if he turns left he does not make an attempt to advance. An attempt is a judgment made by the umpire. The requirement is that the runner must immediately return to first after overrunning or oversliding it.
If the batter breaks his wrists when swinging, it's a strike.
A strike is a judgment by the umpire as to whether the batter attempted to strike the ball. Breaking the wrists, or the barrel of the bat crossing the plate are simply guides to making the judgment of an attempt, these are not rules.
If a batted ball hits the plate first it's a foul ball.
The plate is in fair territory. There is nothing special about it. If a batted ball hits it, it is treated like any other batted ball.
The batter cannot be out for interference if he is in the batter's box.
The batter's box is not a safety zone. A batter could be called out for interference if the umpire judges that interference could or should have been avoided.
The batter is protected while in the box for a short period of time. After he has had time to react to the play he could be called for interference if he does not move out of the box and interferes with a play. Many people believe the batter's box is a safety zone for the batter. It is not. The batter MAY be called out for interference although he is within the box. The key words, impede, hinder, confuse or obstruct apply to this situation. An umpire must use good judgment. The batter cannot be expected to disappear. If he has a chance to avoid interference after he has had time to react to the situation and does not, he is guilty. If he just swung at a pitch, or had to duck a pitch and is off-balance, he can't reasonably be expected to then immediately avoid a play at the plate. However, after some time passes, if a play develops at the plate, the batter must get out of the box and avoid interference. The batter should always be called out when he makes contact and is outside the box.
The ball is dead on a foul-tip.
There is nothing foul about a foul-tip. If the ball nicks the bat and goes sharp and direct to the catcher's hand or glove and is caught, this is a foul-tip by definition. A foul-tip is a strike and the ball is alive. It is the same as a swing-and-miss. If the ball is not caught, it is a foul ball. If the nicked pitch first hits the catcher somewhere other than the hand or glove, it is not a foul-tip, it is a foul ball.
The batter may not switch batter's boxes after two strikes.
The batter can switch boxes at any time, provided he does not do it after the pitcher is ready to pitch.
The batter who batted out of order is the person declared out.
The PROPER batter is the one called out. Any hit or advance made by the batter or runners due to the hit, walk, error or other reason is nullified. The next batter is the one who follows the proper batter who was called out.
The batter may not overrun first base when he gets a base-on-balls.
Rule 7.08 simply states that a batter-runner must immediately return after overrunning first base. It doesn't state any exceptions as to how the player became a runner. It could be a hit, walk, error or dropped third strike. In Little League the runner may overrun. In FED rules he may not and in Professional baseball, he may not. In other programs that use the OBR he may if that is how the program rules it. To overrun means that the runners momentum carried him straight beyond the base after touching it. It does not mean to turn and attempt to advance. Nor does it mean that he stepped over it or stopped on it and then got off of it.
The batter is out if he starts for the dugout before going to first.
The batter may attempt first base anytime prior to entering the dugout or a dead ball area.
The batter becomes a runner when the third strike is not caught. Therefore, if there are 2 outs and there is a runner at first, first and second, or bases loaded, the batter creates a force by becoming a runner. These runners are all forced to advance and an out may be obtained by making a play on any one of them. If the bases are loaded the catcher may step on home or throw to third, second or first.
If the batter does not pull the bat out of the zone while bunting, it's a strike.
A STRIKE is an attempt to hit the ball. Simply holding the bat over the plate is not an attempt. This is umpire judgment.
A BUNT is a batted ball not swung at, but INTENTIONALLY met with the bat.
The key words are "intentionally met"
If no attempt is made to make contact with a ball outside the strike zone, it should be called a ball. An effort must be made to intentionally meet the ball with the bat.
The batter is out if a bunted ball hits the ground and bounces back up and hits the bat while the batter is holding the bat.
The rule says the BAT cannot hit the ball a second time. When the BALL hits the bat, it is not an out. Also, when the batter is still in the box when this happens, it's treated as simply a foul ball. If the batter is out of the box and the bat is over fair territory when the second hit occurs, the batter would be out.
The batter is out if his foot touches the plate.
To be out, the batter's foot must be ENTIRELY outside the box when he contacts the pitch and the ball goes fair or foul. He is not out if he does not contact the pitch. There is no statement about touching the plate. The toe could be on the plate and the heel could be touching the line of the box, which means the foot is not entirely outside the box.
The batter-runner is always out if he runs outside the running lane after a bunted ball.
The runner must be out of the lane AND cause interference. He is not out simply for being outside the lane. He could be called for interference even while in the lane. This is a judgment call.
The runner may step out of the lane a step or two before the base if he moves from within the lane to out of it. If he is out of the lane the whole distance to the base and is hit with a throw, he should be out.
A runner is out if he slaps hands with other players, after a homerun is hit over the fence.
The ball is dead on a homerun over the fence. You can't be put out while the ball is dead except when you pass another runner.
Tie goes to the runner.
There is no such thing in the world of umpiring. The runner is either out or safe. The umpire must judge out or safe. It is impossible to judge a tie.
The runner gets the base he's going to, plus one on a ball thrown out-of-play.
When a fielder other than the pitcher throws the ball into dead ball area, the award is 2 bases. The award is from where the runners were at the time of the pitch if it is the first play by an infielder before all runners have advanced or from where each runner was physically positioned at the time the ball left the throwers hand on all other plays.
Anytime a coach touches a runner, the runner is out.
Rule 7.09 says the runner is out if the coach PHYSICALLY ASSISTS the runner. Hand slaps, back pats or simple touches are not physical assists.
Runners may never run the bases in reverse order.
In order to correct a base running mistake, the runner MUST retrace his steps and retouch the bases in reverse order. The only time a runner is out for running in reverse, is when he is making a travesty of the game or tries to confuse the defense.
The runner must always slide when the play is close.
There is no "must slide" rule. When the fielder has the ball in his possession, the runner has two choices; slide OR attempt to get around the fielder. He may NOT deliberately or maliciously contact the fielder, but he is NOT required to slide. If the fielder does not have possession but, is in the act of fielding, and contact is made, it is a no-call unless the contact was intentional and malicious.
The runner is always safe when hit by a batted ball while touching a base.
The bases are in fair territory. A runner is out when hit by a fair batted ball while touching a base, except when hit by an infield-fly or after the ball has passed a fielder and no other fielder had a play on the ball. If the runner is touching first or third, he is not out unless the ball touches him over fair territory. If one foot is on the base and the other is in foul ground and he is hit on the foul ground foot, he is not out. It is a foul ball. (If the ball has not passed beyond first or third.)
A runner may not steal on a foul-tip.
There is nothing foul about a foul-tip. If the ball nicks the bat and goes to the catcher's glove and is caught, this is a foul-tip by definition. A foul-tip is a strike and the ball is alive. It is the same as a swing-and-miss. If the ball is not caught, it is a foul ball.
It is a force out when a runner is called out for not tagging up on a fly ball.
A force play is when a runner is forced to advance because the batter became a runner. When the batter is out on a caught fly, all forces are removed. An out on an a failure to tag-up, is NOT a force out. Any runs that cross the plate before this out will count.
An appeal on a runner who missed a base cannot be a force out.
A runner must touch all the bases. If the runner misses a base to which he was forced because the batter became a runner and is put out before touching that base, the out is still a force play. If this is the third out, no runs may score. The base can be touched or the runner can be touched, either way it's a force out.
A runner’s out if he’s out of the baseline to avoid a fielder fielding a batted ball.
The runner MUST avoid a fielder attempting to field a BATTED ball. A runner is out for running out of the baseline, only when attempting to avoid a tag.
Runners may not advance when an infield fly is called.
An Infield-fly is no different than any other fly ball in regard to the runners. The only difference is that they are never forced to advance because the batter is out whether the ball is caught or not.
No run can score when a runner is called out for the third out for not tagging up.
Yes it can. This is not a force play. A force play is when a runner is forced to advance because the batter became a runner. When the batter is out on a caught fly, all forces are removed. An out on an a failure to tag-up, is NOT a force out. Any runs that cross the plate before this out will count.
A pitch that bounces to the plate cannot be hit.
A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. It doesn't matter how it gets to the batter. The batter may hit any pitch that is thrown. A pitch that bounces before reaching the plate may never be a called strike or a legally caught third strike. (If the ball does not cross the foul line, it is not a pitch.)
The batter does not get first base if hit by a pitch after it bounces.  
A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. It doesn't matter how it gets to the batter. If the batter is hit by a pitch while attempting to avoid it, he is awarded first base.
If a fielder holds a fly ball for two seconds it's a catch.
A catch is legal when the umpire judges that the fielder has COMPLETE control of the ball. The release of the ball must be voluntary and intentional.
You must tag the base with your foot on a force out or appeal.
You can tag a base with ANY part of the body.
The ball is always immediately dead on a balk.
In Federation rules it is, not in any others. If a throw or pitch is made after the balk call, the ball is delayed dead. At the end of the play the balk may be enforced or not depending on what happened. On a throw; if ALL runners advance on the play, the balk is ignored. If not, the balk award is enforced from the time of pitch. On a pitch; if ALL runners INCLUDING the batter, advance on the play, the balk is ignored. Otherwise, it is no-pitch and the balk award is made from the time of the pitch.
If a player's feet are in fair territory when the ball is touched, it is a fair ball.
The position of the player's feet or any other part of the body is irrelevant. A ball is judged fair or foul based on the relationship between the ball and the ground at the time the ball is touched by the fielder.
The ball must always be returned to the pitcher before an appeal can be made.
An appeal may be made anytime the ball is alive. The only time the ball must go to the pitcher, is when time is out. The ball cannot be made live until the pitcher has the ball while on the rubber and the umpire says "Play." If time is not out, the appeal can be made immediately.
With no runners on base, it is a ball if the pitcher starts his windup and then stops.
A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. If the ball is not delivered, it is not a pitch. Therefore it cannot be a ball. If this happens with runners on base it is a balk. The rule for LL is different. It is an illegal pitch and a ball with or without runners on base.
The pitcher must come to a set position before a pick-off throw.
The pitcher is required to come to a complete stop in the Set position before delivering the pitch, not before making a throw.
The pitcher must step off the rubber before a pick-off throw.
If the pitcher steps off the rubber he is no longer the pitcher, he is a fielder. He can throw to a base from the rubber, provided he does not break any of the rules under rule 8.05.
If a fielder catches a fly and then falls over a fence it is a homerun.
As long as the fielder is not touching the ground in dead ball territory when he catches the ball, it is a legal catch if he holds onto the ball and meets the definition of a catch. If the catch is not the third out and the fielder falls down in dead ball territory after catching the ball, all runners are awarded one base. If the fielder remains on his feet in dead ball territory after the catch, the ball is alive and he may make a play.
The ball is dead anytime an umpire is hit by the ball.
If an umpire is hit by a batted ball before it passes a fielder, the ball is dead. On any other batted or thrown ball, the ball is alive when the umpire is hit with the ball. Umpire interference also occurs when the plate umpire interferes with the catcher's attempt to prevent a stolen base.
The home plate umpire can overrule the other umps at anytime.
The umpire who made a call or ruling may ask for help if he wishes.

Gamechanger Scorekeeping App

Gamechanger, the Scorekeeping App recommended by Little League International, is catching on in SLVLL.  Especially with an IPAD, this app can remove the pencil AND the eraser and make scorekeeping easy (well, easier).  It also maintains statistics for your team on a website you or the manager can manage.  It will also broadcast a live scoreboard over the internet to family members unable to get to the game (this is a pay service for the viewer only).  It is FREE and is available at Itunes or at  Those using it are usually willing to let you look over their shoulder and learn.  The app also works on Iphones, and we heard you might be able to get Wfi in the booth!  Go for it!

For everyone's benefit,
PLEASE keep the scorekeepers' box neat!
NO SEEDS ON THE FLOOR (or shells either)!
Use the bin for trash, and
please empty it after the final game of the day.
Pick up after yourself and any guests.
The last time we looked, there was no maid or janitorial service for the scorekeepers' box.

Thanks, from your Head Scorekeeper

IMPORTANT!...The most important information of all as far as the official scorebook is concerned is a record of each pitcher's pitch count. My job as head scorekeeper is to monitor this info, and make sure that teams adhere to the pitch count rules. If you are keeping the official book, please make sure you include this information.

Scorekeeping tips...
When recording the pitcher's information, use the opposing team's page (in other words, the team that pitcher is facing). This makes it easier to look at the scorebook and see which pitcher was in at the time.

Check here for links to scorekeeping information:
The Baseball Scorecard -- has a tutorial, glossary, and discussion area!
Wikipedia: Baseball Statistics from A to Z -- okay actually A to W, I find this is an excellent resource!
Baseball Almanac: Rules for Scorekeepers -- if you can't find an answer to your question here, then good luck! 

Updated Rules Regarding Pitchers & Catchers

For Majors and Minors scorekeepers (and AA, once players start pitching) - IMPORTANT INFORMATION
While all managers and umpires have been provided with the following information, it will be important for scorekeepers to be aware of this rule change as well.  You should find a print out of the documents provided below, in the scorekeepers' booth at the high school, and with the rule book at Highlands Park.
Regulation VI (from the rule book) - Any player who has played in the position of catcher in four (4) or more innings in a game is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day. (click here for more details)
From District 39 - further clarification regarding what constitutes an inning (click here for full details)