It's interesting sometimes to peek over the shoulders of those keeping the two manual scorebooks at high-school basketball games to see how they approach that task.
Such scorebooks have been unchanged for years, so the job is pretty straightforward. The biggest challenge is to pay full attention at all times and block out the many distractions. The faster the pace of games and the more heated the action, the more keeping the book becomes a tense challenge.
If a mistake is made, sometimes scorekeepers might get snapped at by a coach. The job is not a place for the faint of heart.
Pencils are always used by the scorekeepers, because there is often a need to erase.
By peeking over their shoulders to watch them work and the way the scorebooks are set up, what is found is there really isn’t much diversification in how the high-school basketball scorekeeping is done. Some write more clearly and larger than others.
Basically, scorekeepers keep track of the team and individually scoring in space allotted for each of the four quarters of a high-school game, along with marking the number of personal, team and any technical fouls. There also is a spot at the top of each page to keep tabs on the running score.
Baskets made are marked by the numbers 2 or 3. Successful free throws are marked with a darkened circle. Free throws missed are marked by an empty circle.
At the end of each quarter and the game, the two books are supposed to add up to the same final score, and the individual statistics also are supposed to match. That’s why scorekeepers stay at the table for a few minutes after games to tabulate all of the final stats.
Those who know basketball but have never kept score should take on that challenge sometime. It’s an experience worth having, and will present a better understanding of that sometimes tense task.