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How To Score Baseball: Offical At-Bats

Updated on July 4, 2008

Maybe you don't know the game very well but are interested in learning how to score a baseball game. An important thing to understand is the game are played one plate appearance at at time. However, not every plate appearance is considered an official at-bat.

Hits, errors, fielder's choice and any out made by the batter for any reason, other than a sacrifice are considered official at-bat.

Here are the plate appearances that do not qualify as an official at-bat.

  • Base on Balls (BB)
  • Hit by Pitch (HP)
  • Sacrifice Bunt (SAC)Sacrifice Fly (SF)
  • Defensive Indifference (DI)
  • Batter gets to base on an obstruction (O) or interference (I) (usually by the catcher).
  • If a runner is caught stealing a base (CS) for the third out of an inning he is not charged with an official at-bat. Instead, the batter leads off the next inning with a clean pitch count.Batter is replaced by another hitter before his at bat has ended.

Little Known Fact:

In 1887 Major League Baseball included bases on balls as hits in the batting average calculation. It was soon abandoned the next year.

Learning how to score baseball is a lot of fun


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    • B4UPLAYBALL profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from NYC - USA

      "At bat" or "official at bat" is a subset of plate appearances that end under certain circumstances.

      A batter is credited an "official at bat" (also known as an "at-bat" or "time at bat") unless the plate appearance ends with the batter receiving a base on balls (BB), is hit by a pitch (HBP), hits a sacrifice fly or sacrifice bunt, is awarded first base due to interference or obstruction or the inning ends while batter is still at bat (due to the third out being made by a runner caught stealing) - in this case the batter will lead off the next inning.

      Section 10.02.a.1 of the official rules of Major League Baseball defines an at bat as: "Number of times batted, except that no time at bat shall be charged when a player: (1) hits a sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly; (2) is awarded first base on four called balls; (3) is hit by a pitched ball; or (4) is awarded first base because of interference or obstruction...

      Don't confuse an "official at bat" with a "plate appearance". A plate appearance ends when the batter is put out or becomes a runner. This includes turns that end in a base on balls, hit by pitch, interference or obstruction.

      In keeping it simple, every batting turn is counted as a plate appearance but NOT counted as an "official at bat" if it ends as a base on balls, hit by pitch, sacrifice fly, sacrifice bunt, or awarded first base because of interference or obstruction.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I still don't understand fully what constitutes an "official" at bat.


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