General English


  • noun a device used for displaying a concurrent record of the score of a game which will be visible to both players and spectators. In the early days of cricket, before the introduction of scoreboards, it was traditional for the scorers to stand up when the scores of the two sides drew level, as an indication to players and spectators that the batting side needed only one run to win; this convention apart, the public were left to their own devices as far as the scores were concerned. Scoreboards – originally known as ‘telegraph boards’ – began to appear at major grounds in the mid-19th century (Lord’s got one in 1846, the Oval in 1848) but the early versions conveyed only a bare minimum of information. The simplest type of scoreboard – still often seen in school and club cricket – consists of a board on which movable metal plates are hung or mounted, showing three rows of figures: the top row gives the score of the team, the middle row the number of wickets down, and the bottom row the score of the last man out. The traditional mechanical scoreboards used at first-class grounds show a good deal more information, including the scores of the batsmen at the crease, the mode of dismissal of the last man out, and the score at which each wicket has fallen. The electronic scoreboards now seen at most Test grounds not only provide a wealth of statistical detail but can also show instant replays of the action in the middle.


  • noun a board at a sporting venue on which the score of a game, match, or other competition in progress is displayed