A scorecard without the stats

Based on Alex Reisner's plain paper scoring, linear scoring is a simple scoring method where plays are listed in chronological order with no backtracking. While I still use traditional or situational scorecards from time to time, I found that those cards provide more features than I am really interested in. Because I am lazy, some problems that I found with such high-caliber cards were:

  • I do not add up the batter statistics after the game is complete.
  • I do not record who is pitching or the pitcher's statistics.
  • I tend to forget to record substitutions until the substituted player is at bat.

What I do want to do while scoring is:

  • Track each pitch as a ball, strike, foul, or ball in play.
  • Record the play that occurred.
  • Keep track of runs and outs.

Plain paper scorekeeping addresses these issues through its freedom. However, once I figured out what format I was going to use on plain paper, it seemed smart to create a printable template, and linear scorekeeping was born.

In order, the columns are used for:

  • Inning number
  • Batter name
  • Balls/strikes. Balls on the top line, strikes on the bottom. Fouls are a vertical line. Balls in play are an X.
  • Outs on the play
  • Description of the play in Project Scoresheet format
  • Run totals after the play. Record only on scoring plays.

I use the same notation as plain paper scoring would use to fit Project Scoresheet notation onto one line. Periods are used to separate the three sections of a Project Scoresheet at-bat (before the play, the play, and result of the play) and commas are used to separate multiple events within one section. For example, with runners on first and third, a stolen base followed by a single that scores both runners would be "SB2.S8/L.3-H,2-H".

Example of a half-inning written out:

For further example, here is a completed scorecard for the first five innings of the Brewers vs. Twins game on May 22, 2009 (game listing). Notice how the nature of the scorecard allowed me to seamlessly skip over the top of the fourth inning when I ran to get a hot dog.

Download the linear scorecard