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So who’s keeping score?

I may have mentioned this before, but I always thought the most important people at a high school basketball game were the people at the scorers’ table.

The rules specify what to do if one of the teams doesn’t show up, as well as what to do if one or both officials don’t show up.

As far as I know, there is nothing in the rules about what to do if the scorekeeper or timekeeper doesn’t show up. And it’s not like you can just pull someone out of the crowd or off the bench to do the job. There is training involved for each of those jobs.

I know, because for a number of years, both at the end of high school and afterwards, I did a lot of scorekeeping and timekeeping at local high school tournaments. When I say I did scorekeeping AND timekeeping, I mean that literally. There were times when I was running the clock and the scoresheet at the same time. It was simply a matter of getting into a rhythm for how to do things.

Basket is scored, mark the score on the scoresheet first, then who got the basket, then update the scoreboard. It never took more than about a second, so nobody in the crowd probably noticed the delay on the scoreboard.

The real fun game was when I was the only person at the scorers’ table for a game, which meant doing the scoresheet, the scoreboard AND the 30-second clock. It kept me busy, I must say.

At the end of the first quarter, the refs came over to the table and asked where the rest of the crew was. I told them I was it. They confirmed I had been running all three for the first quarter, then called the coaches over, explained the situation, and suggested they play the rest of the game without the 30-second clock.

Both coaches agreed, which made my job a lot easier for the rest of the game.

Speaking of 30-second clocks, most of the time there were small timers set up at each end of the court to count down the time, and you just had to reset them whenever needed.

There was one gym, however, that didn’t have the clocks, so I used a stopwatch and a table lamp. When there were 10 seconds left, I turned the lamp on. Very sophisticated system, but it worked.

The teams playing designated a player on the bench to watch for the light and let the players on the court know when the light came on, so they knew there were 10 seconds left on the clock.

I have a lot of good memories of the different high school gyms in the city, since I scorekept in all of them. It was a fun time.

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