Linear Scoring method was devised by Bill Frindall, long time BBC
scorer and statistician. This scoring system was believed to be based
on a concept initially developed by the Australian scorer, Bill
Ferguson, back in 1905 but has been traced back to even earlier than
that to a gentleman in England in the late 1800s.
The basis of the linear scoring system is that each line represents an
over (unless a wicket falls) and each delivery is recorded only once
against the batsman who faces it.
It records batsmen’s runs, balls faced, boundaries, match balls,
partnership balls, sundries, and overs (innings & bowlers). A
linear scoresheet enables its user to determine all sorts of
statistical information, for example, who faced a particular delivery
from a particular bowler, how many balls a batsman has been on 99, how
many balls between wickets etc. All of this information is discernable
by the scorer using the sheet instantly. To ascertain the same types of
statistics from the regular box scoring method (in a standard
scoresheet) would take much longer and, in some cases, would not be
able to be calculated anyway.
Linear scoring is considered a more advanced scoring technique and is
used by all representative scorers as well as by most scorers in First
Grade cricket in Sydney.
Although Mr Frindall devised the original linear scoring sheet, many people now adapt this to suit their own needs.
The five overs described on the following page are shown on four
different linear score sheets. The first example is done on the
original Frindall linear score sheet and the following three linear
sheets are examples of ones adapted by other scorers. We have also
included some blank copies of examples of different scoresheets for
your own use.
If you follow the overs, ball by ball, on the linear sheets you can see
how the system works. Stanthorpe was the opening bowler and the number
‘1’ in the column next to his name is the over number for him and so
on. All activity in that over is recorded on the same line underneath
the name of the batsman who faced each individual ball. All the end of
over totals etc are cumulative. On the Frindall sheet for example,
after the first over there were 5 runs, Batsman A (Porter) was 3 runs,
Batsman B (O’Reilly) was 0 runs and there were 2 sundries. There were 9
runs scored in the second over, before a wicket was taken making a
total of 14 runs at the fall of wicket. O’Reilly was out for 3 runs and
Porter was on 4 runs at the time. The new batsman was Squires who
scored one run and Porter scored 2 more runs to complete the over. The
total at the end of the second over w
17 and Squires is facing the first ball of the third over. The balls
faced (in the column next to the batsmen’s names) are also cumulative.
For example, Porter faced 5 balls in the first over, then 2 balls in
the next over to give him a total of 7 balls faced and so on.
The best way to practice linear scoring is to either sit and score a
game on the TV (although this can be difficult if they don’t show the
Umpire’s signals) or to sit at a game and score. It does take some time
to get used to it but it is a very useful tool once you have mastered
it. One of the biggest advantages of linear scoring is that it is a
constant record of who is on strike at any time. This is a big help if
you aren’t familiar with the players or if you are scoring with someone
who is not as competent or confident. For example, if a batsman scores
a single on the last ball of an over, he must be on strike for the
first ball of the next over. One important fact to note with linear
scoring is that a No ball is counted as a ball faced but a wide is not.
Keep practising … it will definitely improve your scoring skills if you
can persevere and master the technique of linear scoring.