Whether you’re a diehard baseball fan or simply curious about the game, learning to read a baseball scoreboard is an important step in understanding the sport. It’s more intimidating than it looks; with just a few simple tips, you’ll be able to break down any baseball scoreboard in no time. Let’s explore what those tips are.
The Basics of the Scoreboard
Every baseball scoreboard has two sections: one for the visiting team and one for the home team. At the top of each section is the name and logo of the team, followed by their score (in runs) and their record (in wins and losses).
Below is information on who is batting or pitching for each team and who is currently on base (if anyone). While at the bottom of each section is information on which inning it is and which team is up to bat.
The majority of abbreviations used on a baseball scoreboard have to do with special abilities or plays made by players during the game. Here are some common abbreviations you may see on a scoreboard:
• HR – Home run
• BB – Base on balls/walk
• K – Strikeout
• SB – Stolen base
• CS – Caught stealing
• E – Error
• RBI – Run batted in
• HBP – Hit by pitch
• BK – Balk
• FC – Fielder’s choice
• SF – Sacrifice fly
• DP – Double play
You may also see some numbers listed next to certain players’ names; these refer to their batting average on that particular day. A “1” means they had one hit out of four at-bats; a “2” means they had two hits out of five, and so on. This information can be helpful if you want to know how well a player performed during that game.
Terms To Know When Reading A Scoreboard
The first thing you’ll notice is the score. This is typically displayed in the scoreboard’s top left or right corner. The home team is always listed first, followed by the away team.
Beneath each team’s name is the runs scored for that inning. Inning scores are cumulative, so if the home team has scored two runs in the first inning and one run in the second inning, their total score would be three runs.
To the right of the score, you’ll see the inning. In baseball, there are nine innings in a game. The inning is typically displayed as a number (1-9) but can also be represented by an “X” if the game goes into extra innings.
An out is when a batter is retired or a baserunner is tagged. There are three outs in an inning, and teams switch sides after every three outs. So, if the home team has two outs at the bottom of the ninth inning, they will bat in the tenth inning.
On either side of the score, you’ll see the names of the team’s pitchers. The pitcher for the team at bat is listed on the left, while the opposing pitcher is on the right.
A ball is when the pitcher throws a pitch that is not struck by the batter and is not caught by the catcher for an out. A strike is when the batter swings at a pitch and misses or when the pitch is thrown in the strike zone and not swung at.
The batting order is typically displayed as a list of numbers (1-9) but can also be represented by player initials or last names. The batting order indicates the order in which the team’s batters will come to the plate.