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Basketball Official Scorer

An official scorer in a basketball game has a very important job, they keep track of the score of the game, among other things. A scorekeeper usually sits at around the half court line on the sideline. They usually have a small console that can add points, fouls, and timeouts at the press of a button. In most cases, this small console is wirelessly hooked up to a big scoreboard so players and fans can see what the score of the game is.

Basketball Scorekeeper

Table of Contents



While an official scorer's main responsibility is keeping score, they also have a few other things to handle. For starters, they must record the number and name of every player who is participating in the game, 5 starters and bench players for each team. This occurs before the start of the game. During the game, they have a few responsibilities:

  • Must keep track of substitutions
  • Must keep track of fouls
  • Must alert a referee if a player reaches 6 personal fouls (5 for NCAA)
  • Must alert a referee if a player or coach reaches 2 technical fouls
  • Must alert a referee if a player reaches 2 flagrant fouls
  • Must keep a running total of each team's timeouts
  • Must keep a running total of each team's points

Why Is Scorekeeping Important?

A scorekeeper is a sophisticated way of making sure each basketball game is fair and no team is at a disadvantage. Without a scorekeeper, a game of basketball would just be a pickup game. Besides, a scoreboard makes the fan experience much better as they can follow the game better if they know the score.


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