The official scorer (herein identified as the scorer) is part of the game personnel, as explained in rule 4.6. This is an important role and umpires should be aware of our responsibilities of identifying the scorer and communicating with him or her during the game.
Identifying the scorer
The scorer is appointed by the host team, conference commissioner or tournament director. The person must be identified to the coaches and the umpires at the pre-game meeting (rule 4.6.1). When was the last time this happened at your pre-game meeting? The professional umpire will ask for this information from the home-team coach attending the pre-game meeting if the scorer has not been identified previously (see next paragraph).
The on-site administrator (OSA), another important part of the game personnel listed in rule 4, should identify himself/herself to the umpires no later than the pre-game meeting. The plate umpire or crew chief should ask the OSA, when he/she makes themselves known (188.8.131.52), for the name and approximate location of the scorer. The crew chief should document the scorer’s name and cell phone number, as this is required information if there are any unusual circumstances during the game (halted game, protests…). The scorer must have a copy of the current Rule Book at the game (4.6.3). The crew chief should confirm this with the OSA.
Scorer communicating with umpires
The scorer has sole authority to make all decisions involving scoring judgment. Sometimes a coach will ask an umpire how a play should be scored. This information is in rule 14, one of the rules for which umpires are not responsible for enforcing. Umpires should not give their opinion on how to score a play; if asked by any team personnel, simply reply – that is a decision made by the official scorer.
The scorer has duties which include communicating with the umpires:
- Notify an umpire immediately if the teams attempt to change sides before three outs are recorded in one half an inning (4.6.8)
- Notify an umpire immediately in the bottom of an inning if the home team has enough runs to win (4.6.9)
- Not notify an umpire if a team is batting out of order, using an unreported sub or an illegal player (4.6.10). If this occurs the plate umpire shall warn the scorer that on the next infraction he/she will be removed from that position (11.9.3 Effect, Note 3).
Umpires communicating with the scorer
The plate umpire is responsible for announcing to the scorer any changes to the lineups:
• Defensive player changing to a different defensive position
• All substitutions