Scorers, from an umpire's perspective

Ahead of next year's SCA league rule change requiring clubs to supply a scorer at all games, Swiss cricket continues to focus on the role of a scorer. In this article Peter de Boeck discusses the importance of a competent scorer from  an umpire's perspective. 

"The relationship between players on the one side and scorers/umpires on the other hand, has always been a difficult one. Players tend to take scorers and umpires for granted. Both are jobs nobody wants to do but at the end of the day, if they can wait that long, players want to know their figures.

Peter de Boeck (r) with Paul Cawsey at Zuoz 2013
Peter de Boeck (r) with Paul Cawsey at Zuoz 2013

Scorers may well be more important than umpires: without scorers no figures, no statistics, no best players.

For umpires competent scorers are crucial. Two good scorers do make the umpires' lives so much easier: no worries about scores and targets, number of overs, DL calculations when needed. So much more time for us to concentrate on what we are supposed to do: umpire.

Scorers are the umpires' external memory, something they can fall back on whenever needed to keep the game on the right track. This is why scorers and umpires, who are part of one team, should develop a good working relationship. We must give scorers clear and unambiguous signals, give them time to write everything down and hold up the game if needed. In response we would expect acknowledgement of every signal we give, even if it's 5 consecutive signals. Each one of those should be confirmed.

In order to better develop this mutual cooperation it does help if we see regular scorers who know their important job. And that we get to know each others' particularities. Players often say it is ok if 5 or 6 players take turn in scoring. No it isn't. At least half of them do not have a clue about scoring, let alone the laws of cricket. Different players use different symbols and write down different pieces of information. Often one must be a real genius to be able to read some score books. As a result it can take up to more than an hour to complete the league result sheet while a good scorer will have it ready 5' after the game. Clear figures and results are in everyone's favour.


Just to conclude: scorers, umpires and in the end players are part of one team. If one of the 2 first are not up to standard the players will suffer. That is why it is important for clubs to invest time and money in scorers and umpires. And give them all the support they need."

About Peter de Boeck

Peter de Boeck's trophy cabinet
Peter de Boeck's trophy cabinet

Peter De Boeck is a qualified ACO umpire and has umpired in the Dutch league and at the European championships. 

As well as the Zuoz Cricket Festival and Cricket on Ice tournament in Switzerland, Peter umpires regularly in the Begium league and has umpired in France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, UK, Japan, Israel, Slovenia, Italy & Austria.

More information

swissFOCUS have scheduled a scoring course on Saturday 31st August 2013.

For information on that course, or on officiating at Swiss cricket matches, either in a scoring or umpiring capacity, contact Ms. Mira Koshy.

With permission of Swiss Cricket, this article was also published in the Notchers News, the UK network for cricket scorers.

Read the article "What makes a good scorer" by Mira Koshy, published on in July 2013!