Sunday, 2 November 2014

Trying to Score

I never thought I'd be able to say I had scored twice in two days.
But I have. And I can.
I'd always avoided volunteering to score. I didn't know how, and it looked far too much like hard work. And all those numbers, and squiggles and things!
But, as luck would have it, this weekend my luck ran out. I had to score! There was no-one else.
There was a manual score book with my name on it for the next 45 overs. All I could do was introduce myself to the opposition  with their fancy ipad scoring, and sit down to learn as I go.

Mr ipad gave me one simple instruction. You have to record in three different places. As long as you do that consistently, you'll be sweet. He checked my figures at the end of each over and made sure we had the same data, and we were away laughing.
I ticked and crossed, added and subtracted, drew flowers in the margin. The 45 overs whizzed by. I chatted to the other scorer, learned a bit about his life and clapped for his son when he scored runs. The whole process of scoring was somewhat therapeutic and peaceful. Surprisingly so.
I was ready to hand over to someone else when the innings was up though. 45 overs is enough for anyone!

By some strange quirk of fate, I found myself Last Man Standing at the next match I attended. It's never a good sign when a coach is marching in your direction waving a scorebook. A quick look over my shoulder and I realised I was going to be in the hot seat again. Everyone else had done a runner. Another 40 overs were coming my way.

This was an away match and a regional rep game. No pressure then. Just a bunch of rep selectors wanting to keep checking scores, bowling figures, averages etc. Piece of cake for an expert like me!
It's funny how when you have no other option, you can just get on with it. This time though, there was the complication of having to train another newbie scorer. Without a backup, there would be no opportunity to have lunch or take a bathroom break. So I showed the new guy the three places he had to record the figures and where to keep the overs tally, and keep the bowlers figures. New guy did a couple of balls and I got up ready to make my escape.
 But panic set in and he got all flustered about what went where and when and how and who! He actually said to me 'I can't do it. I've stuffed it up. You'd better take over.' My full bladder and empty stomach groaned in unison, but I sat back down and took over again.

Another couple of overs looking over my shoulder and new guy was ready to give it another go.
I vaulted out of that chair so fast, before anyone changed their mind.

I have to say I've come to realise that I actually really enjoyed scoring. I can't believe I didn't try it sooner. There's a kind of camaraderie among scorers, it's a special secret society based on mutual understanding and trust. The scorers I have met so far have been very funny, warm and generous hearted. One of them even said he wanted to read my blog. The fool.

If you get asked to score at a match, say yes. Give it a go. Help the coach out.
You might even like it. You may even make a few new friends.
You may even get to draw stars and smiley faces in the column when your batsman retires.

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