Calling out scorekeepers

With the holiday season fast approaching and the end of 2013 right around the corner, that means things on the hardwood are heating up quickly.

This week marked the start of the prep boys season in West Virginia. Now, everyone in the entire Mid-Ohio Valley is playing roundball.

Although we try to cover as many games as we can at the newspaper, there are far too many contests and not nearly enough of us to staff everything played each night.

However, that’s where the importance of scorekeepers and coaches come into the picture.

At least in my mind and in my own theorization of how things should go, when a coach gets the book from the scorekeeper after a game things should be in order.

By definition of in order I mean at least the following.

Each of the quarters should be tallied up and circled at the bottom of each page for both teams. The full line score for each player should have a total of just not the final points, but how many deuces, 3-pointers and foul shot misses and makes they had.

Another thing which surprisingly doesn’t get finished by a scorekeeper correctly more than one would expect it to happen is they often fail to tally the totals of each player in order to get the team totals.

Now, I will say I’ve ran across some very good basketball scorekeepers through the years and there are plenty of them out there who know how to do the job, take it seriously and then take the time at the end of the contest to fill everything out exactly how they are instructed to in the beginning of the book on the sample page.

Obviously, when a scorekeeper does their job fully, that makes things 100 percent easier on the coach calling the game into the newspaper.

In turn, that means it makes our jobs easier as well.

Another problem I often come across, especially when taking calls on a nightly basis in the office, is the lack of first names. More often than not, one would be surprised how many times a coach calls in a game and has zero first names for the opposing team because the scorekeeper failed to register the first names as they should’ve before the start of the contest.

I try to explain to anyone who calls in a game when this happens how is it fair to have your team’s first and last names, but only the last names for the opposing team?

One final problem is not getting any phone call at all.

I’ve always felt part of the job description for being a head coach is to make sure one takes the time – win or lose – to call their local or area newspaper and report the score.

Even though I’d say in that specific regard our area coaches do pretty well for the most part, we’ve already had instances this year where Mid-Ohio Valley coaches failed to phone in a game.

Contact Jay Bennett at