How To Score A Baseball Game
If all you’ve ever done is spectate, you might think you already know how to score a baseball game. Any time a runner crosses home plate, it counts as one point. Simple, right? If only it were that easy! When it comes to scoring a baseball game, however, there’s a lot more to it than that.
- Crossing home plate. When a runner crosses home, it counts as a run. Even the most casual observer or baseball knows this. So, congratulations! You’re already one step ahead.
- Definition of “scoring.” Scoring a baseball game involves more than a runner crossing home. To know how to score a baseball game, you need to pay attention to all the details in a game. This includes base hits, RBIs, pitch count, ratio of strikes to balls, stolen bases, outs, and errors made by the fielding team.
- Base hits. When scoring a baseball game, note the types of base hits. If a batter stops at first base, it’s a single (or 1B). If he’s able to run to second base, his hit is considered a double (2B); to third base, a triple (3B). If the batter does not hit the ball out of the park but manages to run around the bases and reach home plate, it’s an inside-the-park home run.
- Ground rule doubles. In the event the batter hits a ball into the outfield that bounces over the outfield wall, the hit is a ground rule double. This is so-called because the ball hit the ground first, giving outfielders an opportunity to field the ball, but the ball went out of bounds before a play could be made.
- RBIs. Runs-batted-in are the most important aspect of a baseball game, for obvious reasons. They are also one of the most important statistics for players. Batters receive an RBI by without the assistance of an error from the opposing team by either hitting a home run, base hit, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, or fielder’s choice.
- Fielder’s choice. As scorer of a baseball game, you will need to note whenever a fielder chooses to throw out a runner on any base other than first base. This is what’s known as a fielder’s choice. Depending on where the fielder opts to throw the ball, a fielder’s choice can mean the difference between a batter netting a base hit with an RBI or a base hit with no RBI. Note a fielder’s choice with the letters FC.
- Strikeouts. If a batter reaches strike three during any given plate appearance, you will record that appearance as a strikeout. The symbol typically used for a strikeout is the letter K.
- Walks for the batter. If a batter reaches base by taking four balls during his plate appearance, you note this as a walk. The symbol for a walk is BB.
- Ball-to-strike ratio. You will be required to keep track of how many balls and strikes are thrown by the pitchers in the baseball game. Strikes are noted with a K and balls with a B.
- Pitch count. The pitcher will throw a lot of pitches during a game, many of which will be hit into foul territory. These foul balls are recorded as strikes against the batter for a maximum of two strikes. After that, foul balls are simply extraneous pitches which must be tracked for the pitcher’s pitch total.
- Stolen bases. If a runner reaches the next base when the pitcher is delivering his pitches, and that runner is not tagged out, it counts as a stolen base. This is noted with the letters SB.
- Outs. If a batter strikes out, grounds out, or flies out, it counts as an out. When scoring a baseball game, you’ll need to keep track of the outs for each half of each inning.
- Errors. Errors in a baseball game occur when a fielder makes a mistake of some kind that allows a baserunner to advance in situations where otherwise the fielder would have been able to make a play to get the runner out. Errors are at the discretion of the scorer and include such mistakes as overthrows, errant throws, or bobbled balls.