It's scoring Bill, but not as we know it

A new computerised way of scoring is tested by a regular club scorer

IT SOUNDS perfect: a way of scoring without the hassle of coloured pens, rulers, pieces of paper and, most importantly, Tippex. Nevertheless, being a scorer of a local village club, there was a little trepidation at the thought of coping with a complicated contraption.

However, it is surprisingly easy to use. Let's face it, if you've managed to cope with the traditional methods of scoring, you can cope with something that's designed to make this fiddly job simpler. It can easily be installed on any laptop or handheld device then used to score every type of match. Using the various tabs (which are self explanatory) you can choose the options that are right for your game and input the names of your teams, players, umpires and scorers as well as the weather conditions. Then you can opt to score with or without wagon wheels. This is something I have never had the guts to learn before but it was made extremely simple by this software.

The actual task of scoring is easy. After mastering the time-consuming technique with coloured pens it seemed strange just to have to click the relevant box and leave the computer to do the rest. It can calculate all manner of things like balls faced, bowling averages and run-rates. It will also work out predicted scores. The programme can then do a match analysis that includes wagon wheels, Manhattan graphs and worm graphs, ball by ball.

Although the handheld version of PitchPad is much more fiddly (purely because the screen was small and it took longer to get the information written in) I think the laptop software is an essential piece of equipment for any scorer who really enjoys what they do and wants to keep their team up to date with their stats. It certainly makes the job of scoring a lot easier and something tells me that all of those people who say they can't score will soon want to volunteer!

Emma Onyett

Text reproduced with the kind permission of The Wisden Cricketer

PITCHPAD

PitchPad, the brainchild of youth coach Richard Blackburn, is a suite of scoring and match analysis tools. It's been developed not only to provide an accurate and reliable alternative to the ubiquitous scorebook, but to allow in depth analysis of match performance. Yes, that does mean you can look at where you scored your runs via a wagon wheel, just like on SKY.

PitchPad Field is the most basic package, allowing the user to score a match via his mobile or PDA. The software is remarkably intuitive and easy to use, using a prompt based system to help you through. For fancy graphics and analysis you'll need a laptop and PitchPad Pavilion, which provides the user with the tools to review their own game via a number of swanky options (partnership graphs, wagon wheels etc).

Information can be shared via MatchView which allows the user to email statistics to one another, or upload to www.cricketstatz.com, the renowned cricket statistics website. All at an affordable price.

It's a great idea, nirvana for the statistics nut.

ED

Text reproduced with the kind permission of alloutcricket - the magazine the players read