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What's It Like To Be...A Cricket Scorer?

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What's It Like To Be...A Cricket Scorer?
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Ever wondered how you become a cricket scorer, what is involved and what opportunities are available? Kexborough CC's Andrew Hinchliffe tells all.

Unfortunately, as a young boy I had two operations on my feet which curtailed all my sporting capabilities so I had to concentrate on watching a sport I grew to love: like so many boys of my generation I learnt to score by playing "owzhat" with made up sides in imaginary Test matches.

At every possible opportunity I used to watch and listen to cricket and to my surprise the teacher asked me what the latest score was at the end of the lesson!

Through listening to the radio and watching live matches I learnt to score using the traditional method and also by the linear "Bill Frindall" method.

The first time I can recall scoring in an official capacity was for Holgate School v Darton High (Under 15) in 1977, which surprisingly was played at Kexborough CC (KCC). Due to family connections with KCC I became their 1st XI scorer for two years from 1980.

I became a Yorkshire CCC (YCCC) member in 1979 and used to score via the linear method when I attended matches. I still have the evidence of the scorecards and scorebooks.

Due to work commitments and the cricket calendar, I was not able to watch Yorkshire as much as I would have liked and therefore spent more time watching KCC (mainly 1st XI) home and away from 2006. I enjoyed the visits to other clubs, spending time with other cricket enthusiasts and I still see some of these people when I visit certain grounds.

From 2006 I also helped out to score for the KCC 1st XI when the regular scorer was away and in 2010 I took over the role of KCC 1st XI scorer on a permanent basis (which was our final season in the Huddersfield Cricket League).  

As the regular scorer I wanted KCC to move forward and score on a laptop using a software package called Total Cricket Scorer (TCS) and transfer the details onto an electronic scoreboard.

I took great pride in presentation, often using different colours, and was regularly complimented on the neatness of the scorebook from players, umpires, officials and supporters.

We used to score in a wooden hut and as the home scorer I had to go outside at the end of each over to alter the scores by changing the "tins". It was not an ideal situation and we needed to look at alternative options, especially as we were making great strides on and off the field which included in 2011 joining the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League (SYSCL).

We made the SYSCL Management Committee aware that we were looking at an alternative location to score from and also looking at a grant for an electronic scoreboard and they could see that we were looking to upgrade our facilities.

In 2011 the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) conducted a Scorers Census and as a result of my experience and the evidence I provided I was assessed at Level 2 standard. I also joined the ECB ACO which would enable me to receive information relating to scoring issues.

I enjoyed making new friends among scorers in the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League and also volunteered to act as scorer for the League Representative Side in the West Yorkshire Area Cricket Council competition.

I attended several training courses for Total Cricket Scorer and found it quite easy to pick up. During the 2012 season the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League made a package available to clubs to score by using laptops and we were one of several clubs who took up the offer.

As a result KCC made a successful application to Sport England for funding, part of which included a new electronic scoreboard.

The new facilities were in use from the start of the 2013 season and were a big improvement to what we used to have. I became more confident in using the scoreboard and also the laptop as the season progressed although I continued to use a scorebook as backup (although not using coloured pens).

Personally, I think that anybody who is able to score and is computer-literate will be able to use TCS and score. It is the only way you will get children interested in taking up scoring as they are using computers from a very early age. They are not interested in doing it in a scorebook. 

However, I do understand the reasoning behind several experienced scorers not wanting to score by a computer.

During the season I began to look at how I could further my scoring ability and not just at a club level.  I attended a talk by messieurs Duckworth and Lewis regarding their method of revising targets in rain affected matches. 

Also I had the opportunity of scoring some representative fixtures but decided to wait until I had more experience in utilising TCS.

During the last winter I received details of a new Level 3 course which would be beneficial for me to attend, enabling me to progress further up the scoring ladder, and give me more opportunities to score elsewhere, in particular representative matches.   

I had to do some pre-course work which was quite intensive. Attending the Level 3 was an eye opener not only from what was involved on the day but also the experience already achieved by some of the other scorers present. 

We were asked to calculate run rates and over rates which was a lot more than I was used to. Level 3 is not about your ability as a scorer but also about your awareness of other administrative duties such as regulations for the various competitions and other statistics.

In conclusion for the Level 3 I have to build up my portfolio as a scorer, which also includes being able to score in multi-day matches. I intend to approach the YCCC 2nd XI scorer to shadow him for some matches during the season.

I also received details of scoring some representative matches during this season either by a scorebook or using TCS. I put my name forward for several matches to score by the book and recently have received confirmation that I will be scoring in the Under-19 One-Day International between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on Monday 18th August 2014. 

It is an excellent opportunity for myself and a great honour for KCC and the SYSCL. I intend to score in the scorebook as well as using the linear method and hope that it is the first of many more opportunities in the future.

I have also been asked to look at tutoring and intend to start training youngsters and junior parents with an 'introduction to scoring' course.

I continue to enjoy scoring either by the scorebook, linear method or the laptop and hope that I can pass on my knowledge and experiences to others in the future.

© Cricket World 2014