Here are some guidelines to follow for scoring in LL. A lot of you probably know this but if you designate an official scorer (highly recommended), they need to know this. I want scoring to be consistent (and good) across the board...last year some kids may have had artificially high averages and on the other end of the spectrum, low BAs since the team scored like it was the MLB. So, here we go...some of this is mine and some is clipped from articles I have on the subject.
Base Hit - Usually, a base hit is scored when the batter reaches first (or any succeeding base) safely on a fair ball that strikes the ground or a fence or goes over it before being gathered in by a fielder. It is a base hit when the batter reaches base safely on a ball hit with such force, or so slowly, that any fielder attempting to make a play has 1 out of 10 opportunity to do so. For example, in last night’s scrimmage, Zach McGowan hit a very hard ground ball to third that Cameron Smith snagged with a great play. Normally, most players miss that and it's a hit because 9 times out of 10, he doesn't come up with it. This also applies to a ball which takes an unusual bounce and makes it impossible for a fielder to cleanly handle. Example of that would be from last night when Brody Carlin hit a ball off of the bag which redirected the ball and resulted in him reaching safely for a base hit. Key is: Always score a hit when good fielding of a ball does not result in a putout.
Force Out - However puzzling to some parents and spectators, not every batted ball on which the player reaches base safely can be credited as a base hit. For example, when another runner is forced out as the result of a batted ball, no hit is scored. Nor is it a hit if a fielder fails in attempting to retire a preceding runner, and in the judgment of the scorer, the batter-runner could have been retired at first base. In both cases, the batter-runner is credited with reaching base on a fielder's choice.
It is a prime rule of scoring that some indication be made in the book to account for every movement of batter-runner or preceding runners.
Value of a Base Hit - The scorer's judgment is most critical in determining the value of a base hit. Usually a one-base hit (or single) is credited if the batter-runner stops at first base; a two-base hit (double) if the runner stops at second and a three-base hit (triple) if he/she stops at third.
With runners advancing as the result of a safe hit and the batter advancing to second base as the result of the defensive team making a play in an attempt to put out one of these runners, the scorer must determine whether the batter is entitled to a two-base hit or whether he or she advanced to second base on the option by the defensive team. In this event, the scorer would indicate that the batter reached base on a one base hit, but advanced to second on a fielder's choice.
There are many situations in which the scorer must use judgment in evaluating a base hit. Example: A batter/runner over slides second base and is tagged out before getting back to the base. The runner is credited with a one-base hit because it was the last base reached safely. However, if the runner runs past second base after reaching it on his/her feet and is put out attempting to get back, credit a two-base hit.
A situation which comes up often in Little League is that of a batter-runner missing a base after having made a safe hit. If he/she is called out for missing any base, he/she is credited only with a hit equivalent to the last base be/she did touch. If he/she misses first base and is called out, no hit is scored, but a time at bat shall be charged.
When a base hit ends the game by driving home the winning run in the last half of the final inning, the batter gets credit only for as many bases (one-base, two-base, three-base hit) as necessary to advance the runner who scores the winning run. However the batter-runner must run out the hit for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run. In scoring, credit only the winning run in the final score, except in the case where the batter hits a home run. Then all runs shall count. A home run counts for four bases at any stage of the game and in any situation on the bases.
Sacrifices - Scorers sometimes experience difficulty in determining how to record the action of the batter in trying to advance a base-runner. As the term indicates, the batter is deliberately sacrificing his/her chance to hit safety by bunting the ball in order to force the defensive team to make a usually easy play on him/her at first base for an out, thus advancing a preceding runner into a more favorable position. Even if, as the result of an error, the batter is not put out at first base, but his/her action enables the preceding runner to advance, he/she gets credit for a sacrifice (not a base hit) and no time at bat is charged.
It is NOT a sacrifice if the preceding runner is put out during this sequence of the defensive team's action in playing the bunt. The batter is charged with a time at bat and if he/she reaches first base safely, the action is recorded as a fielder's choice.
It is also a sacrifice if with less than two out, the batter hits a fly ball or line drive which is caught in the outfield, and a run scores. (See Scoring Rule 10.09.)
Assists - Action of defensive players in throwing, catching and retiring batters or base runners should be recorded.
An assist is the action of a defensive player in throwing or deflecting a batted or thrown ball so that a putout is accomplished. Scorers don't have to rely on judgment in the matter of assists. The procedure is clearly defined in the action, but like most other aspects of rules interpretation, there are many situations that can come up.
Generally, credit an assist when continuous throwing action by the defensive team results in a putout. The most important exception to remember is that any interruption in the continuity of the play as the result of an error, even though a putout may later result, removes credit for assists. Prom the point of the error it is a new play and the player who makes the error is not credited with an assist, until he or she takes part in the new play leading to a putout.
Most important part of scoring in our league below because this is at the discretion of the scorer and yes, it can come down to the ability of the kid:
Errors - In Little League, scorers should favor the batter if a decision of judgment is on the border line of hit versus error. However. this is not to say that obvious errors should be glossed over. Generally, when a defensive player (through ordinary effort) muffs a batted or thrown ball, throws the ball widely or drops the ball, the error must be charged. Being able to recognize the difference between a hit and error is often the toughest job for a scorekeeper -- and the most controversial.
The key is to determine the value of ordinary effort by a fielder. If the fielder should have made the play, with ordinary effort, and failed to, an error may be charged. However, in the case of a fielder, for example, who has to range far from his/her usual position to make a play, and fails to make the play (even if he/she touches the batted ball), no error should be charged. Remember that Little Leaguers are not professionals. The benefit of the doubt should always go to the batter.
Errors of omission, such as indecision to throw the ball, etc., cannot be charged. But in the case of a baseman, for example, who neglects to have his/her foot on the base when he/she receives a throw has committed a chargeable error.
Some misplays by the catcher orpitcher -- passed balls or wild pitches --arerecorded in the score book as such andno error is charged.
I hope this helps. Let me know if this kind of stuff is valuable to you.