[M.M.X.I.V. 318] Scoreboards and line scores

As I have followed sports, I often read the box-scores and/or line-scores of games that I have seen.  However, I have realized lately that my convention seems to differ from that of sportswriters and the sports page, at least in America.  I just wanted to put a few comments and photos.

When I was growing up in Nebraska, whenever I would go to sporting events, the scoreboard was oriented such that the team on the left was the home team, and the team on the right was the road team.  In high school, the scoreboards had the teams either labeled as “HOME” and “GUEST” respectively, or at other venues, the school’s name or abbreviation (e.g. “LSE” or “SOUTHEAST”).

At UNL, the left-hand side of the scoreboard always kept track of the score of the “HUSKERS.”  The right-hand side would give the opposing school’s nickname (e.g. “JAYHAWKS” when UNL played against Kansas).

This is also the case at Northwestern, where the left-hand side’s score is for the ” ‘CATS ” or “WILDCATS” and the right-hand side is the score for the visiting school’s name or abbreviation, but not their nickname (e.g. “NEBRASKA” or “MSU”), as shown below.

Cats 49 Illinois 43

The beginning of a brief resurgence for the Northwestern men’s basketball team in 2013-14.

However, it seems that when the media covers sporting events, this convention is frequently reversed.  The aforementioned (i.e. home-team-first on the scoreboard) convention is used at Northwestern field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and football games.  At Welsh-Ryan Arena, however, with the new scoreboard, volleyball and basketball now have the reverse convention.  (Obviously, baseball and softball have the reverse convention due to the fact that the home team always bats second).  Consider, for example, my picture of the victorious ‘Cats from volleyball last week, in my Bizarre Souvenirs post.  I reprint the photo here and focus on something different.

I got a piece of the volleyball court for free!

Focus on the scoreboard this time.  The home team (Northwestern) is on the right, rather than the left.

This “Road-Team-First” convention appears all the time in line scores in the States.  It makes sense with baseball/softball, since that is the batting order.  I suppose that IT may be a reason why “road-team-first” has become a common convention in box scores/line scores.  However, it seems that many scoreboards still have “HOME/GUEST” instead of “GUEST/HOME,” excluding the professional level.  (I have been to a Bears game and a Bulls game, and in both cases, the home team is on the right-hand side of the scoreboard.)

The convention continues with the naming of games, both in hashtag notation and also in “game name” notation.  For example, the Chicago Bears will play at home on Sunday, and the heading to the column in the sports page today read “Vikings at Bears, Noon Sunday, CBS-2.”  This is instead of “Bears vs. Vikings…”  Similarly, Twitter will get several tweets with the tag “#MINvsCHI” using the road-team-first convention.

On TV broadcasts, the “road-team-first” convention is also used on the scoreboard graphic on screen.  BUT, in soccer (Association football for my overseas readers :)), the convention is always home-team-first.

Can’t we stick to one system?  Evidently not…


Today is the three-hundred and eighteenth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes forty-five weeks and three days.1414


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