A baseball scoreboard can be quite complicated. It has six different parts that are all important to understanding the game. Some of these are the inning, bases occupied, outs made, score differential, and more.
But fear not! This blog post will give you a rundown on how to read a baseball scoreboard so you don’t have to stress about it when watching your favorite team play!
The Baseball Scoreboard
Now that you know the basic rules of baseball, it’s time to learn how to read a scoreboard. The scoreboard is used to keep track of the score and other information during a game. Let’s take a look at some of the most common elements you’ll see on a baseball scoreboard.
How do I Read a Baseball Scoreboard?
A baseball scoreboard is a board that displays the score of a game. It also shows other information, such as the count, number of outs, and which bases are loaded. The scoreboard is usually located in the outfield, near the center fielder.
There are different types of baseball scoreboards. The most common type is the electronic scoreboard. This type has a large screen that displays the score and other information. There are also manual scoreboards, which have rows of numbers that correspond to each player on the field.
The numbers are updated as the game progresses. Finally, there are LED scoreboards, which are similar to electronic scoreboards but use light-emitting diodes LEDs) to display information.
Here’s how to read the scoreboard for each type of scoreboard:
- An electronic scoreboard
Like the one used in Major League Baseball (MLB), has four areas that display information about the game. The first is the inning area. This area displays which innings are currently playing and who is batting during each inning. The second area is the score area.
This area shows what the current score is for both teams, as well as any additional runs scored by either team. It also displays how many outs there are and which bases are loaded (if any). For example, it might say “2 outs, bases loaded.” The next area is called the count box.
This box tells you whether there are balls or strikes being thrown during an at-bat. If the number “1” is displayed, it means there’s a ball being thrown. A “2” would mean a strike has been thrown. The last area on an electronic scoreboard is the pitch speed box. This section displays how fast the pitcher is throwing during his or her at bat.
- To read a manual scoreboard
Find the first number in the top row of numbers. This number represents who batted at the beginning of that half inning and which side they’re batting from (i.e., if a 1 appears under ‘R’, then somebody on team ‘R’ just batted). You will also see a pair of numbers on either side of this number: one above and below it on each side.
These numbers are the number of balls and strikes that batter currently has, respectively. The number in the square brackets below the at-bat information (on either side) is how many outs there are in the inning.
The LED scoreboard works much like an electronic scoreboard, but it uses lights to show information. The different colors of light indicate which team is batting and what the score is.
For example, a green light might mean that the batting team is ahead, while a red light means the other team is ahead. There are also different colors for balls, strikes, and outs. LED scoreboards usually have a display that shows what each color means.
This scoreboard tells us several important things about the game:
- Home team’s score – The home team scored one run in this inning, bringing their total to two runs.
- Away team’s score – The away team has not scored any runs yet in this game.
- Number of outs – There are two outs in the inning.
- Number of runners on base – There are three runners on base, all of whom are at different bases.
- Pitcher’s name and position – Andrew Rogers is playing first base for the away team.
- Type of pitch – This image shows that five balls have been thrown so far in this at-bat (a fastball).
The scoreboard usually contains much more information than what is displayed in this example. However, this should give you a good idea about how to read a baseball scoreboard during a game. Now that you know what each section means, you can follow along with the game more easily!
What are the Sections of the Baseball Scoreboards?
The baseball scoreboard is divided into different sections:
- Inning – This section displays the current inning of the game. There are nine innings in a regulation baseball game. Depending on league rules, there may be extra innings to break ties if neither team has scored more runs than the other team by the end of the ninth inning.
- Player score – This part of the scoreboard shows who is currently at bat in each inning. If one player scores in an inning, that number will remain in this field for the remainder of that half-inning. When a fielder or pitcher makes an out, his name or number is removed from this space and replaced by whoever made contact with the ball when it was hit.
- Pitcher’s name & position – The name of each pitcher who enters to play for either team is displayed here. The position of the pitcher is also shown (such as shortstop, catcher, or first baseman).
- Team score – This part of the scoreboard shows how many runs each team has scored.
- Outs – The number of outs in an inning is displayed here. There are three outs in an inning. When a player makes an out, this number is decreased by one.
- Bases loaded – This indicator lights up when there are runners on every base, which means that there is a “force play” at any base other than home plate.
- Number of pitches – This section keeps track of the number of pitches thrown by a pitcher during the game. It does not matter if those pitches were in the current at-bat or not.
- Top/bottom indicator – This field is used to indicate which half of an inning is being played. For example, if a team scores two runs in the top half of an inning, this number will change from “TOP” to “BOTTOM.”
Where are the Sections on the Baseball Scoreboards Located?
The scoreboard displays all information vertically by default. The three main sections of the board are located along the right side of the board. Most scoreboards also include a section with advertisements and other forms of signage along the left side.
Does a Baseball Scoreboard Display Any Other Information?
In addition to keeping score, baseball scoreboards can display several pieces of additional information:
- Pitcher’s stats – A pitcher’s individual statistics for the game are displayed here. This may include innings pitched, strikeouts, walks, and hits allowed.
- Batter’s stats – A batter’s individual statistics for the game are displayed here. This may include batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
- Team stats – Team statistics for the game are displayed here. This may include batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage for both the home team and away team.
- Game time – The current time of the game is displayed here.
- Weather conditions – The current weather conditions are displayed here. This usually includes the temperature and wind speed at the ballpark.
- League standings – League standings for the current season are displayed here. This will show which teams are in first place and which teams are in last.
- League leaders – League leaders for several statistical categories, including batting average, home runs, RBIs (runs batted in), stolen bases, ERA (earned run average), wins, strikeouts, saves, and more are displayed here. The statistics that are shown will vary depending on the league.
- Pitch count – A pitcher’s pitch count is displayed here. This shows how many pitches he has thrown during the game so far. This includes not only pitches in an at-bat but also pitches to warm up between innings or when the catcher visits the mound.
Letter Indicators on a Scoreboard
When you’re looking at a baseball scoreboard, the letters and symbols on the board can be confusing. Here’s a guide to understanding what everything means:
- F – This stands for “fly out.” It indicates that the ball was hit in the air and caught by a fielder.
- K – A “K” is short for “strikeout.” It means that the batter struck out, swinging at three pitches that were all called strikes by the umpire.
- Inverted K is a “walk,” which means that the batter was able to put a ball into play but did not make it to first base.
- B – A “bunt” is when the batter lightly taps the ball with the bat in an attempt to get on base.
- B – A “B” is short for “ball.” It means that the pitch was not a strike, and thus not counted as one of the three strikes required to end an at-bat.
- 1B, 2B, 3B – These abbreviations indicate how many bases the player who hit the ball advanced. “1B” means that the player only advanced to first base, “2B” means that the player advanced to second base, and so on.
- E – An “E” stands for “error.” It means that a fielder made an error in trying to catch or field the ball.
- HR – This is short for “home run.” It indicates that the batter hit the ball out of the park, scoring a run for their team.
Now that you know what all the letters and symbols mean, you’ll be able to follow along with the game much better!
What is Mound Visits Remaining (MVR)?
The total number of mound visits remaining is shown by Mound Visit Remaining, or MVR, which is the sum of the number of times a teammate, coach, or manager may visit the pitcher on the mound without necessitating a pitching change. Each team is entitled to five mound visits per game in 2019, with the goal of speeding up pace of play.
MVR can be a useful, albeit slightly indirect, method to estimate the amount of time a pitcher has been on the mound. If a pitcher is credited with one MVR after every other groundout/flyout and strikeout, it can be inferred that he averages about 1 minute between pitches (ignoring any differences due to game situation). If the pitcher has been on the mound for 3 minutes and there are 2 MVR left, it can be inferred that he will likely be taken out of the game in the next 6 minutes.
While not a perfect measure, MVR can give us a ballpark estimate of how long a pitcher has been on the mound and is a tool that can help us track pitchers’ workloads.
What If you Go Over Mound Visits in MLB?
Official MLB rules state that if a manager who goes over the limit of mound visits receives a penalty. Also if a position player reaches the limit for mound visits, the manager must make a pitching change. If a player on offense goes beyond the allowed amount of mound trips, he or she may be ejected.
And that’s how you read a baseball scoreboard! Different scoreboards will have different information, but this is the basic gist of it. So the next time you’re at a baseball game, be sure to check out the scoreboard and see how the game is progressing. Thanks for reading!