Archived Scoring Issues – Most recent at the top of the column – updated 22/11/2021

ARCHIVED SCORING ISSUES – Updated 22 December 2021

39. Out for failing to tag up after foul ball?

On a foul ball (not caught) the ball is dead and the Umpire should not put the ball into play until all runners have tagged up after the foul. Rule 5.06(c)(5)

There is no out available (on appeal or by tagging the base) because the runner fails to tag up after a foul ball.

If a runner did not tag up after a foul and were to advance or score, the defense could appeal to the umpire that the ball was still dead and the runner should not have been allowed to advance. Lots of luck with that.

By the way, if a runner fails to tag up on a caught fly (fair or foul) and advances, and escapes detection or appeal, the runner cannot be out (tagged or on appeal) after the first following pitch, or any play or attempted play. Rule 5.09.(b)(5)

38. A little tricky …..

2 out, runner on first base. Batter A hits a safe single to shortstop who throws wild to first base. Runner goes to second base on the hit and then on to third base on the wild throw. Batter/runner holds on first,

While Batter B is up, runner on first steals second base. Batter B hits double to left field, both runners score. Batter C strikes out.

Are the runs Earned or Unearned?

Seems straightforward. The error was only an Extra Base Error, so does not count as a chance for the third out which would have made both subsequent runs Unearned.

So are both runs Earned?

No. Batter A was only able to steal second base because the Wild Throw Error allowed the front runner to advance to third base. Batter A should have ended the half innings on Third Base and only scored due to the wild throw error – an Unearned Run. Even without the error, the first run would have scored on the double safe hit – an Earned Run.

37. How would you score the following play?

A runner on 2nd base and the batter hits line drive which bounds off of the umpire (behind the pitcher) into centre field who recovers the ball and throws to 2nd to stop the batter at first. Runner from second came home. The umpire allowed the run to score on the play.

Well, we recorded the hit as a single with the runner from second running two bases to score.

However ….. Under MLB Official Rules (2021):

The Ball is dead when:

Rule 5.06(c)(6)  A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher; runners advance, if forced.

Remember, it is the scorers’ responsibility to record the game accurately. It is not up to the scorers to call the umpire’s attention to dead ball rule. But we did note the game time and situation when the play occurred in case there was a protest. Fortunately, the run made no difference to the outcome of the game.

36. Is the runner always safe (protected) if touched by a batted ball while in contact with a base? Answer before reading further!

If the base runner is touched by a batted fair ball, the runner is out for interference, irrespective of contact with the base. However, if a portion of the runner’s body that is in foul territory is touched by a ball in foul territory, it is simply a foul ball. There is one exception: In the case of an infield fly, the runner is not out if touched by the ball while in contact with a base. Rule 5.06(c)(6) Rule 5.09(b)(7) Definitions (infield fly)

35. ABL Calls Off 2021-22 Season

It’s a tough day as the ABL has announced its decided to abandon the 2021-22 season and focus on 2022-23 due to the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Full details here!

34. Game Changer has difficulty scoring some plays.

For example, with bases loaded there is a pitching change. Next batter reaches 1st base on a FC5, all base runners advance and runner on third is safe at home WT5.

Sorry, can’t score that. GC will not allow you to bring the runner from third home on the error. You have to score the batter reaching 1st on WT5. Earned runs for the two pitchers are calculated correctly and the error is assigned to third base, but the play description of course will be wrong.

The Automated Scorebook we used previously could score the play correctly and have an accurate play by play description.

Got any other example? Or workarounds?

33. AGM Revision Quiz for 2021 – go on, try it!

Take the quiz here – and then look at the answers here!

32. How did the batter get to first? Safe hit or Fielder’s Choice?

Had an enquiry today about this situation:
No outs, runner on first.
Batter hits ground ball towards second base.
Runner on first advancing toward second gets hit by the groundball.
Ball finally fielded by pitcher.

Safe hit or Fielder’s Choice?

Runner out HBB 4 [Rule 9.09(c)(2)]
Batter single to 1. [Rule9.05(a)(5)]

31. You may really want to reconsider using Pilot ‘FriXion’ pens. …

“The Pilot Frixion Ball Fine Erasable Gel Pen allows you to erase mistakes and rewrite over them.”  Sounds so good for scorers! Well, not really. Truth is “Pilot FriXion ink operates by turning clear when exposed to increased temperature due to the friction of the eraser on the page… Pilot FriXion pen ink turns clear at 60°C and regains its color at 4°C.”

So you will lose your games if you leave your scorebook in the back window of your car on a hot, sunny day!

30. Who is on First….?    Who knows?   Who cares?

SABSA had a recent enquiry asking if there are any rules requiring coaches to inform scorers of substitutions. Short answer – not really. There are rules requiring coaches to inform the Head Umpire of substitution. And the Umpire must inform the Official Scorer when two or more players enter the game at the same time. While the Official Scorer is required to list all players in the game, sometimes it seems we must figure out for ourselves who actually participated.

You can imagine the scenario in which the last out in the game is an extraordinary diving catch by the right fielder, who unfortunately happens to break both wrists in that truely magnificent effort. Imagine our surprise when we see the same fielder take the same position in a game the following week! What a fantastic recovery!

Meanwhile, we hear about some poor sod who is having trouble getting an insurance claim through because the insurance company says the official record of the game did not record any involvement by the claimant. Hmmm? Is it possible we missed a substitution. Oh, well.

In scoring for the Giants, the first thing scorers check when players take the field is that their uniform numbers match the scorebook positions. If not, we note the substitution. (Of course, this assumes the players’ numbers are correctly listed and a player has not switched shirts for some reason.) And of course, at that level the Umpires are very good about ensuring the Scorer (who is some distance from the field action) is aware that there are changes.

In BSA baseball competitions, not every player has a consistent, unique uniform number. And if you are scoring for a team you don’t know, it is very easy to miss changes. As well, a fair few games are umpired by first time club Umpires who have a few other worries to contend with!

If you are interested in following up the relevant rules check out the Official Rules of Baseball: Rule 5.10(b); 5.10(b) Comment; 5.10(c); and 9.03(a).

The only reference to the issue in the Baseball SA Local Playing Rules and Conditions (updated 11/11/2020) is Section 3.5.1 regarding the Official Results Sheet.

By the way, both of those documents can be accessed through this website!

29. CABS Scoring the Tie Breaker 1 Runner procedure

CABS has just published an extensive document explaining how to score the 1 Runner On Base Tie-Breaker procedure. It is available here: CABS scoring the Tie Breaker 1-runner

28. Can this be right?

  • Fielder drops a fly, but the batter is still out?
    When an Umpire calls an ‘Infield Fly” and the fielder drops the fly, the batter is still out. Rule 9.09(c)(1).
  • The batter is not out when a foul ball is caught?
    True when interference is called on a runner during an “Infield Fly” play. See Definitions: Infield Fly.
  • A runner is caught stealing, but is not out?
    If a fielder muffs a throw, and in the scorer’s judgement, the runner would have been out if the throw had been held, the runner is charged with caught stealing (but not out!), the fielder with an error and an assist is credited to the fielder making the throw. Rule 9.07(f)

27. Level 1 Scoring Clinic Questions

  • What is a DH? The DH is a Designated Hitter who bats for the Pitcher. See Offical Rules 5.11. A DH is not allowed in BSA Junior grades.
  • What is the difference between the Home and Plate Umpires? The ‘Home’ Umpire and the (Home) “Plate” Umpire are different terms for the same person.
  • Our scripted game uses the term “miss hit’ which was fielded by the pitcher. What is a ‘miss hit? How is it scored? The term ‘miss hit’ is used to distinguish a poorly hit ball from an intentional bunt. It is scored the same as a well hit ball. It is the scorer’s judgment call whether the batted ball was intentionally bunted or just a ‘miss hit.” Bunted balls are important to note in many statistics and playing provisions.

26. 3-2-8 Double Play ???

Check out this amazing play from the MLB Cardinals. Thanks to Connie Stoyakovich, CABS Coordinator for sending it to us.

Click here to watch rare 3-2-8 Douple Play

25. Batting Out of Order – BOO Umpire’s decision on appeal. Click here for a Quick Guide for scoring BOO

24. Scoring Quizzes – Warning! These links will take you away from the SABSA site!

  1. 10 Questions
  2. I got 12 out of 20
  3. Acronyms 1
  4. Acronyms 2
  5. 10 Questions
  6. Symbols timed quiz
  7. Rules – Tough Situation
  8. Interesting situations with explanations
  9. You should get 90+%
  10. Rules & Play Strategies

23. CoronaVirus COVID19 Latest Info from Australian Department of Health

22. Scorers NOT responsible for policing the pitch count! Baseball SA Local Playing Rules and Conditions – updated 04/02/2020 2:00PM – 4.14.8   The umpire has the authority to police the pitching rule, scorers must not intervene. Our reponsibility is to keep an accurate pitch count and report it to officials when requested.

21. Visitors in the Scorers Box? According to our Code of Conduct: • unofficial visitors are not encouraged to remain in the score box / game scoring area. It can be very difficult to score accurately when there is unnecessary distraction in the scorebox. If you have visitors, please encourage them not to stay and talk!

20. Assists with No Put-Out? Had a query regarding rule interpretation with regard to awarding assists when an error is involved in a play such as 6-E3. Confusion seems to arise from the phrase in Rule 9.10(a)(1) concerning when a put-out results “or would have resulted except for a subsequent error by any fielder.” Anytime you have recorded an assist on the play (i.e. 6-E3) the player is credited with an assist. The quoted phrase is to ensure that an assist is credited if there was – or should have been in the judgement of the official scorer – an out on the play. The error in the 6-E3 indicates the put-out would have been made, except for the error by firstbase. Hence an assist is credited to shortstop. This is similar to Rule 9.12(d) Comment: “When a fielder muffs a thrown ball that, if held, would have completed a double or triple play, the official scorer shall charge an error to the fielder who drops the ball and credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw.” So, even though there is not a put-out, a fielder gets an assist. Likewise, a runner may be charged with “caught stealing” when not put-out. Rule 9.07(h): “… if such runner is put-out, or would have been put-out by errorless play.”  For example, in 2-E4 CS.

Hard to believe anyone has any difficulty at all in interpreting the Official Baseball Rules (OBR), isn’t it? (Ever wondered why SABSA has a ‘Rules Committee?”) Google ‘UmpireBible’ for interesting contrasts between scoring myths and the OBR.

19. Code of Conduct

This is riveting reading! All members of SABSA and CABS are bound by a Code of Conduct. (Available here)

18. Credit the Batter or Substitute Batter? Under Rule 9.15(b): When a batter leaves the game with two strikes against him, and the substitute batter completes a strikeout, the official scorer shall charge the strikeout and the time at bat to the first batter. If the substitute batter completes the turn at bat in any other manner, including a base on balls, the official scorer shall score the action as having been that of the substitute batter.

17. Not enough batters? The Automatic Out (AO) for fewer than 9 batters in the lineup is not credited to any fielder. Inform the Umpire that the next batter if followed by the AO. This is to assist the Umpire in deciding when to call Time on the play – especially if there are already two outs.

16. Caught Stealing or Not? Unsure sometimes of when to score the CS? If the runner on first base is put out at third base on a single base hit to right field by the batter, the runner is out on the play. Do not score a Caught Stealing because the runner tried to ‘stretch’ the single hit into a double. One good rule of thumb is to never score a Caught Stealing if you would not have awarded the runner a Stolen Base on the play. For example, if a runner attempts to advance because a pitch eluded the catcher, and is subsequently thrown out, award any Assists and the Put Out but do not award a Caught Stealing.

15. Please Do Not Cross Out! When making position changes, just write the new position number directly above the existing number. Drawing a line through the existing number makes it difficult to read and/or copy. 5’s can start to look like 8’s! Also the “Ch” column directly to the left of the batter’s name is for when the change occurred. It is not for noting the new position number.

14. Adding to your scoring repertoire If you have the basics down and are starting to feel comfortable in your scoring, then stretch out a little. If you are not using colours, try to add one – just one – such as BLUE for pitching stats: K, KC, K2, WP, Sacrifices or the horizintal line at the top of the batting box to indicate a change of pitcher. Comfortable with that? Then add GREEN for batter stats: Hits or the vertical line on the left of the batting box to indicate batting change. After that, try RED for those pesky errors and PB’s.

13. SABSA Clinics General Information

  • First step is to seek advice from a senior accredited score at local club – perhaps an “Orientation” session can be arranged if you are new to scoring.
  • Clinics and the number of sessions and progression to exams are organised to suit the participants
  • No previous knowledge or experience required for Level 1 clinic
  • Exams are not mandatory
  • Exams are sequential – Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4. Level 4IT
  • Level 2 Accreditation required to score BSA Div 1
  • $5 fee for exam if undertaken
  • 1 year at Level 1 accreditation is a prerequisite for Level 2 clinics
    2 years at Level 2 accreditation is prerequisite for Level 3 clinics.
  • CABS Membership ($10/yr) is required for national accreditation. Ongoing membership is usually covered by your local club.
  • Outline of “CABS National Accreditation”
  • Purchase Official Rules of Baseball at Amazon It is highly recommended to have an ORB book!
  • Link to required Code of Conduct

12. Should scorers be responsibile for Pitch Count Limit warning? This issue has been decided! See item #22 above: Baseball SA Local Playing Rules and Conditions – updated 04/02/2020 2:00PM – 4.14.8   The umpire has the authority to police the pitching rule, scorers must not intervene.

Severe penalties are in force for breaches of Pitch Counts under local BSA Pitching Rule 4.14. If the pitch count is for the purpose of preventing player injury, then perhaps scorers should contribute to that protection in all games at all levels – as is currently the practice in youth tournaments.
What would be the best practice to implement? Should scores inform the Umpire or coach?

11. Pitch Count Balks/IBB ? Under BSA LOCAL PLAYING RULES AND CONDITIONS, balks are treated differently than under The Official Rules of Baseball. BSA: “4.14.3 A balk pitch delivered to the plate whether it is hit safely or not shall be considered to be valid for the purpose of recording the number of pitches in Junior grades, however a balk pitch of any type in Senior and Women’s grades, whether it is delivered to the plate or not, shall not be recorded in the number of pitches. An intentional walk, where pitches are not thrown, will not count towards a pitcher’s pitch count in Junior, Women’s or Senior grades.

10. So Who is on first? (Abbott and Costello had it sorted out…)

This is the routine!

9. Why is my LOB stat different? Have you ever noticed that Australian baseball scorers record LOB’s differently to the MLB? This came to my notice whenever we try to reconcile Official Scorebook stats with either TASBS in our Division 1 games or the ABL computer program when scoring the Bite. The official BA stats program, the Automated Scorebook (TASBS) as well as the MLB online program the ABL and Bite employ, displays LOB differently to that in our official BA scorebook. SABSA assigns an LOB to the runner if the runner is left on base at the completion of the half innings. The other programs display how many runner(s) the final batter left “stranded” on base.
For example, with runners at first and second base, the batter hits a pop fly for the third out in the half innings. The scorebook will show an LOB for each of the runners left on first and second base. The online stats programs will record two LOBs for the batter.
So our individual LOB stats will vary, but the team total should be consistent.

8. Runner Interference Query? Hi, had an incident a few games back, runner was at 2nd, batter popped up, shortstop went to catch, runner was in the way and the umpire called interference on runner, (that made the 3rd out) how does the batter get marked in the book? Safe hit to first? Muffed fly 6? Fielders choice? Thank you, J’ “J – good question! Sounds like a Level 3 exam scenario. The number of outs and whether the interference is judged intentional or not is critical in determining who is called out. In the situation you described, but with less than two outs, both runner and batter may be called out. However, Rule 7.08 (b) Penalty 1 “With 2 out, the umpire shall declare the batter out.” Rule 10.09 (c)(7) “When the batter-runner is called out because of interference by a preceding runner … the official scorer shall credit the put-out to the first-base fielder.” So, batter out INT3 – first base gets automatic credit for the out.”

7. Who Changed the Stats? After the School Sports Australia U17 Baseball Championships held in Adelaide in 2018, SABSA had an enquiry regarding the discrepancy between stats displayed during the tournament and those after the tournament.
During the tournament SABSA compile the ‘conference’ stats on currently available games. After the tournament, when all games are available, we refer to Rule 9.22 which establishes ‘Minimum Standards For Individual Championships.” We opt to use the minimums required for ‘national association’ players instead of the more restrictive Major League player minimums. For championship batting stats, the batter must have at least 2.7 times the number of scheduled games in Plate Appearances and for pitching champion, 80% of the number of scheduled games innings pitched. As there were 8 scheduled games for each team, batters had to have (2.7 X 8 rounded to) 21 Plate Appearances and pitchers must have pitched for (80% X 8) rounded to 6 innings pitched. Of course, we still list all ‘other’ individuals as well so that everyone can see their stats, but those achieving the required minimums are listed first. That is why it may appear that a pitcher far down the list appears to have a lower ERA than the first pitcher listed – note the innings pitched. Likewise for batters who may appear to have a higher Batting Average, add the At Bats plus BB, HPB and Sacrifices to see if they reached the minimum Plate Appearances. And thanks for noticing and enquiring Joe!

6. Code of Conduct: All members of SABSA and CABS are bound by a Code of Conduct. (Available here) As Officials of the game, scorers should act appropriately. We could generally base our behaviour on that of the Umpires. Hence, present ourselves professionally (even as amateurs!) with the prime objective to record the game accurately. There should be no barracking, drinking of alcohol, smoking or any actions that would bring detriment to our position. Here’s a question: How should our behaviour as Officals of the game be monitored?

5. W/L Pitcher after tied game I got caught out in an old Level 3 question regarding W/L pitchers.
Both starting pitchers were relieved in the 6th innings with the scored tied. The 1st relief for the Visitors was replaced in the 9th innings after two outs.
I cleverly noticed that the game was tied after 5 innings – so of course, W/L calculation starts from scratch again.
The visitors went up two runs in the top of the 6th and maintained their lead to win the game.
So who was the winning pitcher?
First clue – the winning pitcher should come from the winning side! (The Visitors in this scenario.)
Yep, the starting pitcher for the Visitors was the winning pitcher. He was still the pitcher of record when his team took the lead in the top of the 6th.
So remember not to discount the starting pitcher just because the scores become tied.
BTW – who was the losing pitcher?

4. No steal on safe hit: If a runner advances on a batters safe hit, even though the runner may have talen off for the next base on the pitch, credit the runner\’s advance to the batter. It is not a steal. You should only credit a Steal if you would have scored a Caught Stealing had the runner been put out.

3. Scoring Symbols Remember to add the batter number to both WP and PB‘s. For example, if there is a WP on Batter 7, score any advancing runner(s) as:  WP7. This assists with the correct interpretation of game play when compiling stats. Scoring Symbols

2. RBI or SF ?      Should you score a SAC Fly or RBI on MFF3 if runner comes home after the foul is dropped? SAC Fly – possibly – 9.08(d)(2)If the runner could have come home had the foul fly had been caught – scorer’s judgement call. RBI – Yes – Rule 9.04(a)(1) (Assuming less than 2 outs, of course)

1. Want to know more about scoring? Experienced scorers at most clubs run clinics to get you started Contact you club secretary or  SABSA for more information.

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