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Scorers

Ken Nisbet has penned the following report on the activities of Scottish Scorers in the 2010 season.

Scoring 2010

As for everyone else involved in the game, season 2010 was exceptionally busy. A large part of this was due to the predominantly favourable, albeit decidedly subtropical, weather.

Domestic

The requirement in the SNCL that all clubs must provide a scorer for each game continues to be observed, with only the odd deviation noted from this requirement. Many clubs now have regular scorers who put in increasingly long hours in the scorebox – it is surely not my imagination that games take much longer now than they used to. These individuals are to be commended for their commitment.

Reports from the feeder leagues continue to report a traditionally less glorious picture of the scoring scene. Not that many clubs seem to provide a dedicated scorer at all, far less on a regular basis. Those scorers that ply their trade at lower levels are also to be commended, probably even more so, for their commitment. Those clubs that do provide scorers at lower levels of the game are lucky to have them, and should cherish their services. Those clubs who take seriously the provision of a scorer at a range of levels are to be commended for their foresight.

So how to improve the situation? I sometimes get advice from sympathetic parties that we should have scoring sessions for clubs so that the standard of scorebook entry for clubs at lower levels is improved. This may be an interesting experiment, but it would remain to be seen what the attitude of clubs would be.

Courses that lead to a qualification do exist, and it is pleasing to report of several enquiries, and subsequent enrolments, in recent months from scorers operating at different levels. Unfortunately, some scorers who had started, but not completed, an ACU&S course have been left in limbo. In the absence of a completion mechanism, it has proved difficult to address this problem without such people having to effectively redo a course. It must be hoped that scoring courses that lead to a qualification can take place in Scotland, although the time scale for this is not clear.

Representative – Academy scoring

As a new initiative, it was decided to try to appoint scorers to Academy games in the East League and Western Union, and to under age festivals where possible. No progress was made in the West, but it is pleasing to report that three scorers covered a number of East League 1 games, and also did festival games. Feedback was positive on all three scorers, and their services proved very welcome.

So how is to be developed? Firstly, it would seem sensible to try and establish something comparable in the West. There is a history of West Academy games being covered, but by only one scorer already doing representative games at higher level. Secondly, how do we build on the successes in the East? It would be good if senior scorers were given the opportunity to work with the three scorers already in operation, and to provide further feedback. There are other scorers in the East who are known to be interested in becoming involved – season 2011 may be the time to bring them on board.

Anyone interested in scoring the Academy games should get in touch with myself at ken@nisbetk.fsnet.co.uk.

Representative – the international and European panels

This was a bumper year for the now well-established international panel of scorers. The large number of games undoubtedly stretched resources, which did have the effect of allowing new people to become exposed to games and events of a higher level, perhaps a little quicker than anticipated. The newcomers have done very well, and it is a refreshing point to note that people are becoming aware of the opportunities that can present themselves. It is also pleasing to note that more scorers are now becoming involved in the field of computer scoring. This field is a challenging one, as few of us get enough exposure to this aspect of the job. Although I do not quite share the view that there will be no scorebooks in five years, it is important that scorers embrace technological developments in producing a scoring record.

However, it is a fact of life that we are all volunteers, and as such, work and study commitments will result in gaps in availability. Also, an increasing number of representative games occur either on a Saturday, or may result in a scorer being away from their SNCL side on a Saturday. Frequently, regular scorers seem to feel duty bound to be present and to ensure all is well at their club’s SNCL games. This seems to be closely linked to the lack of depth in clubs’ scoring availability, as alluded to earlier.

A major development has been the institution of the European Scorers’ Panel, a body of which much has been spoken of in the past, but only last winter came to fruition. A number of scorers operating in Scotland are on this panel, and a significant number of them scored at tournaments and/or other ICC Europe events this summer. Part of that commitment involved chief Scotland scorer Neil Leitch scoring for Italy in Jersey and Michael Clarkson scoring for the Isle of Man in the under 17 tournament on that island.

It is pleasing to note that the work of our international panel is appreciated and regarded as being of a very high standard, both by the staff of Cricket Scotland, and indeed ICC Europe. It is important that this standard is maintained and strengthened in the future. It is not known what games there will be next summer, but it is heartening to know that our scorers can be approached to cover a wide range of games with confidence.

Ken Nisbet