Baseball scorecards are used by Little League scorekeepers, Major League scorekeepers, and baseball fans alike to track all the action of a game. If you want to write or read a scorecard, you’ll need to start by learning all the standard baseball scorecard abbreviations and symbols.
Baseball Scoreboard and Scorecard Abbreviations
Baseball Scorecard Abbreviations
If you’re using a baseball scorecard book, the space you have to write in is extremely small. That’s where abbreviations come in. You can add a lot more information in a small space when you use baseball shorthand.
Each baseball position is abbreviated using a standard number. That way, you don’t have to write the player’s name or their position to record a fielding play. When you see numbers separated by dashes, like 6-3 for example, it shows you which players touched the ball and in what order.
3: First baseman
4: Second baseman
5: Third baseman
7: Left fielder
8: Center fielder
9: Right fielder
DH: Designated hitter
POS: Position; Scorecard column heading, where you write the position number
#: Player number; Scorecard column heading, where you write the player’s jersey number
Abbreviations for Game Action
When players are at bat, you can use shorthand to show you what kind of hit they got, if they got one.
- : Single
= : Double
3B: Triple; Also written as three short lines on top of each other
B: Ball or Bunt
BB: Walked; Stands for “base on balls”
Circled 1: First out for the team at bat
Circled 2: Second out for the team at bat
Circled 3: Third out for the team at bat
DP: Double Play
F followed by a number 1-9: Indicates position of the player who caught the flyout ball
F with a straight line above it: Line drive
F with an arc above it: Popup
FC: Fielder’s choice
FO: Force Out
HBP or HP: Hit By Pitch
HR: Homerun; Also written as four short lines on top of each other
IBB: Intentional walk
IP: Illegal Pitch
K written backwards: Strikeout where the batter doesn’t swing
L: Line drive
PB: Passed Ball
RBI: Run Batted In
S: Strike or Single
SAC or SH: Sacrifice
SB: Stolen Base
WP: Wild Pitch
Baseball Scorecard Symbols
Most baseball scorecards include at least a column for each player’s name, a column for their position number, and room to score about 10 innings. Familiarize yourself with basic baseball scoring symbols to understand what's on the scorecards.
Write each player’s last name and first initial, listed in their batting order for this game.
Rows correspond to the players.
Numbers at the top of columns correspond to the innings.
The small diamond in each square represents the baseball diamond.
Each corner of the small diamond shape represents a base with the point closest to you being home plate.
Drawn or darkened line from home plate to 1st base: Player made it to first base.
Drawn or darkened line from 1st base to 2nd base: Player made it to second base.
Drawn or darkened line from 2nd base to 3rd base: Player made it to third base.
Drawn or darkened line from 3rd base to home plate: Player made it to home base.
Fully colored in diamond: Player scored a run
A partial line from one base to the next indicates the player got out on or before reaching the further base.
Baseball Scoreboard Abbreviations
Scoreboards at baseball fields typically use many of the same abbreviations you would use for a baseball scorecard. Each field has its own style, so you may see a variety of different baseball scoreboards throughout the world.
One of the simplest formats for a baseball scoreboard is the line score.
On the left, you’ll see two abbreviations stacked on top of each other. The top abbreviation represents the city of the visiting team and the bottom abbreviation represents the city of the home team.
Along the top, you’ll see the numbers 1 through 9. These are the innings.
R: Runs; The score
H: Hits; The number of times batters reached first base successfully, excluding walks
E: Errors; Total mistakes by the team that should have resulted in an out
P: Pitches; Number of pitches thrown by the team
Lights or Circles under the words “ball,” “strike,” and “out” will be filled in or lit up to show the number of balls, strikes, or outs.
Keep Score at the Ball Game
Some baseball scorecards and scoreboards also include basic baseball stat abbreviations for individual players, so it’s important to learn those too. Once you’ve baseball scoring jargon down, take yourself out to the ball game and give scorekeeping a try!