Scoreboard - what does it tell us?

At the end of each baseball game the results are displayed on the scoreboard. But what do those numbers on the board tell us? Actually it’s quite simple...

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Despite all efforts from the Mannheim Tornados, they haven’t won a game in the playoffs. The Heidenheim Heideköpfe have confirmed to be the odds-on favorite. The third and last game of the playoffs at the Tornados’ home field couldn’t have been more exciting. They played 9 innings and both teams fought hard. Congratulations to the Tornados for such a high fighting spirit!

If you look at the scoreboard from this game, you’ll see the numbers 1-11 at the top and the categories R, H and E.

Quelle: Gamechanger (

What exactly does this board tell us? The numbers 1-11 stand for the played innings with the runs achieved by each team - for example in the first inning both the Heideköpfe and the Tornados scored 1 run. In this game, they had to play 11 innings instead of the regular 9 ones, because after the 9th inning the score was 6:6 runs. In the 10th inning, no one scored and the 11th inning decided the game in favor of the Heidenköpfe.

The R stands for runs, this is the number for all runs made in the played innings. A run is completed when a player circles all 3 bases and returns to home base safely. One run means one point for the team. This is the crucial number when it comes to who has won the game, just like a goal in football. 

Displayed on the scoreboard, you’ll also find the hits (H) and errors (E). A hit is counted if a batter safely reaches the first base by hitting a legal ball, without error or fielder’s choice (meaning a play where the first baseman lets the runner get to first base, because he’s aiming to get another runner out). Since the fielder’s choice is an advantage for the runner, this is not counted as a hit, the same applies to an error. An error refers to a field player on defence. This error has to result in an advantage for the offence to be counted on the scoreboard. 

The attention to statistics in Germany is very modest compared to America, where it has become a million dollar business. The scorers that fill in scoreboards and statistics are mostly volunteers. So it can happen that the overall league tables are not always up to date. 

All those numbers and exceptions to the rules can be very confusing for the German audience who are used to simpler sports. Every rule seems to have one or more exceptions. But this is exactly the reason why baseball it so exciting. Every mistake of a player is visible and has an impact on the game’s result most of the times. Hardly any other sport has that many technical terms to describe plays as baseball. 

Do you know the difference between fastball, curveball, slider, sinking ball or changeup? No? Then come back for the next article about the domain of pitchers. 









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