How To Keep Score In Softball

Keeping score in softball requires a scorecard which you can buy or print out online. The first time using, you have to practice one or two games to get used to. 

The first thing you necessarily do is to write the players’ names at the beginning. Then, you need to understand many parts of the scorecard to fulfill. Therefore, let us help you do it by the guideline below, as once you know the structure, you can keep score easily. 

Guideline For Keeping Score In Softball

There are three phases in keeping score, so understanding each step is essential to help you fulfill all the information of a turn in softball.


1st Phase: Set Up Score Card

Step 1: Pre-printing the scorecard or purchase it

In the 1st phase, what you need is to pre-print softball scoring cards for your game. You can gather it to make a notebook or purchase it from the store. One scorecard is used for one team, and of course, in a match, you need to use two scorecards: one for the home team and another for the team that visits. 

Step 2: Fulfill players’ names based on the batting order

Before writing one name per row from 1st batter, you must fulfill the relevant information on the scorecard like team, umpire, and date. 

Step 3: Write down the player’s number and abbreviated position. 

After writing down the name, you should put the position number. It helps you to keep tracking the score easier. The position receives alphabetical abbreviations as below: 

  • 1 = pitcher
  • 2 = catcher
  • 3 = 1st base
  • 4 = 2nd base
  • 5 = 3rd base
  • 6 = shortstop
  • 7 = left field
  • 8 = center field 
  • 9 = right field

Also, there are two player’s positions to abbreviate. 

  • DH is Designated Hitter who only hits for someone playing on the field. 
  • PH is Pinch Hitter substituted to bat for people in starting lineup. 

In the case pitcher is hitting, you can put them in your lineup. If not, the pitcher spot is taken by DH.  

2nd Phase: Tracking progress and Mark

Step 1: Mark every ball and strike for each batter

When someone is ready to bat, you should take note of what they hit on the scorecard. 

For hitting in a row with 3 squares, you can record the number of balls and the number of strikes for shooting in a row with 2 yards. 

There are some symbols you can use to mark as X, check, or slash, etc. Whatever you feel suitable to handle and understand the count. For example, X is a ball, and slash is a strike. However, when counting, balls will always be before strikes. 

Step 2: Every time a player makes a run, you need to draw a line to correct base

A line is fulfilled in the small diamond shape next to the right of player’s names. When a player reaches a base, it is necessary to make a line. You will write 4 times as the same as what the player is doing. 

For example, if someone reaches 1st base, draw a line connecting it with the home position. If someone makes a home run, you will make an entire diamond. 

Step 3: Make the score more detailed by adding abbreviations.

There are single, double, triple, or home runs that players can make, so you can make it clear by a brief word such as HR for home rune, 1B for single, 2B for double, triple by 3B, and BB for the base on balls. 

Step 4: Record which players got out by the other players’ position numbers.

Let’s write the position number for a player who touches the ball whenever an out is made. As we mentioned above, you can use a number from 1 to 9. If a pitch is hit to left field, and a player throws the ball to 2nd base for forcing the player out, it should be written “7-4”, meaning 7 represents leave the field, and 4 represents 2nd base. 

3rd Phase: Abbreviating Outs

#1 If a player strikes out, place “K” in the batter’s box

If a batter swings 3 times without getting a hit, he will strikeout. His turn is over, and he doesn’t get a base position. 

#2 You need to mark if a player “Grounds Out” by writing his position numbers. 

The definition of “Ground Out” is when a ball is hit to the ground. This time, you write the total number of outs. The place to write is in the lower corner of the left, and you have to circle this number. 

For example, if a ball hits to shortstop and the opposing team throw the ball to the player on 1st base to make the batter out, you must write “6-3”. Also, write “2” in the left corner. 

#3 Put “F” to mark a “Fly out.”

“Fly Out” is related to a ball caught in the air before it hits the ground. Of course, the batter will out if it happens. It would help if you recorded it by writing the player’s position number who catches the ball. Also, you circle the players out’s numbers in the lower-left corner. 

For example, if the player in the right-field catches the ball, write “F10” and “2” at the bottom. 

#4 Imply “Sacrifice Fly” by “SF” and player’s position number. 

It happens if a fly ball is caught and the player has run to another base. If so, write down SF next to the batter’s name. 

For example, if the batter hits a ball and the left fielder catches it. After that, another runner scored, so you need to mark “SF7”. You also circle the number of players out in the left corner.

#5 If “Unassisted Outs” happens, write “U” and players’ position number. 

“Unassisted Outs” appears when the batter hits the ball towards someone on the ground, and the batter gets out if there is no other throwing ball. 

For example, the batter hits the ball to the 2nd baseman, and the 2nd baseman tagged the batter. You can mark this as “4U.”

#6 As “Double Plays” happens, records by writing “DP” and player’s position numbers. 

2 players who get out in the same play will be DP. This can only happen if there are 0 or 1 outs total in the inning. The inning will end at 3rd out. Every player’s involved this situation will be written DP.  

#7 Use “TP” for “Triple Play” and write the player’s position numbers.

Triple is the same as a “Double Play,” but instead of 2, it is 3 outs.

Here is all the information about keeping score. It’s a detailed guideline if you don’t know how to do it. However, you should know basic softball rules before reading this guide to understand the condition and particular words mentioned above.

Bonus: You would check our Softball Headbands review article to find the best  for yourself.