A scorer in the sport of cricket is someone appointed to record all runs scored, all wickets taken and, where appropriate, number of overs bowled. In professional games, in compliance with the Laws of Cricket, two scorers are appointed, most often one provided by each team.
The scorers have no say in whether runs or extras are scored, wickets taken or overs bowled. This is the job of the umpires on the field of play, who signal to the scorers in cases of ambiguity such as when runs are to be given as extras rather than credited to the batsmen, or when the batsman is to be awarded a boundary 4 or 6. So that the umpire knows that they have received each signal, the scorers are required to immediately acknowledge it.
While it is possible to keep score using a pencil and plain paper, scorers often use pre-printed scoring books, and these are commercially available in many different styles. Simple score books allow the recording of each batsman's runs, their scores and mode of dismissal, the bowlers' analyses, the team score and the score at the fall of each wicket. More sophisticated score books allow for the recording of more detail, and other statistics such as the number of balls faced by each batsman. Scorers also sometimes produce their own scoring sheets to suit their technique, and some use coloured pens to highlight events such as wickets, or differentiate the actions of different batsmen or bowlers. It is often possible to reconstruct a match from a modern scorecard, as it shows who bowled each delivery, which batsman faced it, and exactly what occurred.
In early times runs scored were sometimes simply recorded by carving notches on a stick - this root of the use of the slang term "notches" for "runs". In contrast, scoring in the modern game has become a specialism, particularly for international and national cricket competitions. While the scorers' role is clearly defined under the Laws of Cricket to be merely the recording of runs, wickets and overs, and the constant checking of the accuracy of their records with each other and with the umpires, in practice a modern scorer's role is both important and complicated. The cricket authorities often require to be kept informed of peripheral information such as the rate at which teams bowl their overs. The media also ask to be notified of records, statistics and averages. For many important matches, unofficial scorers keep tally for the broadcast commentators and newspaper journalists allowing the official scorers to concentrate undisturbed.