Baseball Official Scorer

Baseball Official Scorer

In baseball, there are numerous rules and statistics to keep track of during each game. Umpires act as the officials who monitor the game and enforce the rules, but they are too busy to record the game’s statistics themselves. This is why each MLB game is assigned an official scorer. Read on to learn about the definition, roles, responsibilities, and skills of official scorers in baseball.

Official Scorer Definition

The official scorer is a judge of scoring decisions made during or directly after a baseball game. The official scorekeeper is normally appointed before a game and sits in the press box during the course of the game. The official scorekeeper is also expected to record a wide variety of statistics, scores, and game-related information. Official scorekeepers are required to complete an MLB training program.

Official Scorer Roles and Responsibilities

The scorekeeper acts as the recorder of all score-related events that occur during a regular game of baseball. An important duty of the official scorekeeper is to determine when errors occur, deciding if a batter has reached base from a hit or because of a mistake made by the fielding team. The official scorer has the final decision on all plays that could potentially be considered an error in the statistics.  

Scorekeepers are also expected to take notice of any special circumstances that a game was played under, such as a game played under protest or a game that was suspended. Another duty of the position is determining which pitcher should be awarded the win. Additionally, scorekeepers are expected to decide if pitches that go past a catcher are wild pitches or simply passed balls.

In essence, scorekeepers are expected to make judgments regarding all errors, runs scored, pitches, and winning pitchers. Essentially any decision regarding statistics, scoring, and ruling calls falls on the official scorekeeper. Upon the completion of a regulation MLB game, the official scorekeeper is expected to deliver the records and statistics kept during the game to an MLB league office to be recorded with the season's statistics. 

A unique power granted to the official scorekeeper of an MLB game is that they may reevaluate a score or decision made regarding a score up to 24 hours after a game concludes or is suspended. If a team is unhappy with the records kept by an official scorer, they may request a review of the game up to 72 hours after the game’s conclusion.

Official Scorer Skills

  • Knowledge about the scoring rules of baseball
  • Distinguishing errors and wild pitches
  • Ability to record statistics and scores on the fly

Official scorers are expected to have a deep knowledge of the intricacies of baseball scoring, as well as an understanding of the rules of the game. These abilities are proven by the completion of an MLB-sanctioned certification training program. Being an organized and detail-oriented person is very useful if you wish to be a scorekeeper. Any experience as a player in some capacity is a requirement for essentially all positions related to baseball.

The official scorekeeper is absolutely essential to the proper keeping of the records for both teams and for players (especially pitchers), and as such, are expected to be able to record statistics and game events on the fly. Beyond the core skill set listed above, anyone interested in being a scorekeeper should have a love for baseball and should be very familiar with the sport.


What is an official scorer in baseball?

The official scorer is a record keeper for the MLB who sits in the press box during baseball games. The official scorer is a certified official of an MLB game and is well-versed in the rules of scoring and errors in baseball.

What does the official scorer do in baseball?

The official scorer keeps records during a baseball game. These records include wild pitches, passed balls, errors, hits to base, score, and any conditions that the games were played under which would be deemed unusual.