Friday, December 31, 2010

Youth Basketball - How to Keep Score (Part 3)

How to keep score in basketball - Advanced

Once you mastered How to keep score in basketball - The Basics you can start adding the "nice to have" stats listed below. There's so much more to basketball than scoring. These more advanced stats help a coach understand the contributions of each one of his players beyond scoring. 

The "nice to have" stats include:
  1. Individual player scoring 
  2. Individual player assists 
  3. Individual player rebounds
  4. Individual player steals
  5. Individual player turnovers
  6. Individual player Field Goal %
  7. Individual player Free Throw %
  8. Team total assists
  9. Team total rebounds
  10. Team total steals
  11. Team total turnovers
  12. Team total Field Goal %
  13. Team total Free Throw %
  14. While I call this advanced, there are many more stats that can be captured
For the definitions of the stat lines above, go to Understanding the Stat Sheet section of the first post in this series called Youth Basketball - How to Keep Score (Part 1)

These "advanced" stats are actually fairly basic stats. For even more advanced stats options like the PER (Player Efficiency Rating) and EFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage) go to Basketball-Reference website. 

Step One:

Add Field Goal Attempts

This is easy. When a player attempts a field goal or a free throw mark it down a 1, 2 or 3 on the scoresheet next to the players name in the column that corresponds to the quarter that the shot was taken. If the player makes the shot, circle the number.  You will see below that Bobcat player #5 (Parker) attempted and made a 3 point shot in the first quarter, missed two consecutive 2 point shots in the third, and made two free throws in the fourth quarter. 

At the end of the game, add up all the circled numbers to determine how many points the player had and recored that in the far right-hand column (pts.)

Calculate Field Goal Percentage (FG%)

To figure out the Field Goal Percentage (FG%) count the number of field goal attempts. You do this by counting the number of 2s and 3s, both circled and not. Tigers player #1 (Hawk) attempted five 2 point shots (made three of them) and attempted two 3 point shots (missed both). Hawk attempted 7 field goals and made 3. In the FG% you can put 3/7 or 43%. You will notice that Hawk also attempted four free throws (made two of them). These do not factor into the FG%.

Calculate Free Throw Percentage (FT%)

To figure out the Free Throw Percentage (FT%) count the number of free throw attempts. You do this by counting the number of 1s, both circled and not. Tigers player #1 (Hawk) attempted four free throws (made two of them). In the FT% column, mark down 2/4 or 50%. 

Calculate Team Field Goal Percentage (FG%)

To figure out the Team Field Goal Percentage count the total number of field goals attempted in each quarter by all players. In the first quarter, the Tigers attempted three 2 point shots (made 2 of them) and two 3 point shots (made one). At the bottom of the Qtr. 1 column next to the Shots FG / FGA line put a 3/5 or 60%. Do this for all the quarters. 

To calculate the team total FG% at the end of the game, add up all the denominators (the bottom numbers or FGA) and add up all of the numerators (the top numbers or the FG made).  In the example below, the Tigers took 39 shots from the field (5+11+8+15) and made 16 of them (3+5+2+6). At the bottom of the FG% column record 16/39 or 41%.

Hint: You might find that it is too difficult to keep the attempted shots by the individual players of the opponent. I only keep FGA for my son or daughter's team.

Step Two:

Add Individual Non-Scoring Stats

Simply add a slash in the column next to the player who made an rebound (Reb.), assist (Asst.), steal (Stls.) or turnover (TOV). 

Sometimes a coach will assign these non-scoring stats to another parent so that the scorekeeper can concentrate on the vital stats.

Hint: If you are the lone stat keeper for the team, keep the vital stats for both teams and only the individual stats for your team. If the coach wants the individual stats for both teams, I would recommend one parent keep the vital statistics + the field goal and free throw attempts as indicated above and have one parent keep all the individual non-scoring stats.

The Main Point

Basketball is a wonderful team game. The fans, sports shows like ESPN and even coaches give too much credit to the scorers. Great defense, passing and rebounding are just as important to winning a basketball game. As such, I highly recommend that each coach find a scorekeeper to keep track of assists, steals, rebounds and turnovers and after each game highlight the contributions (assists, steals and rebounds) of the non-scorers. This will keep the entire team motivated to make the extra pass instead of taking an ill-advised shot, crash the boards and get on the floor for a loose ball. 

The coach may also learn that a non-scorer who he or she typically keeps on the bench is more valuable that a scorer with a low field goal percentage and a penchant for turnovers.


  1. Thanks for this comprehensive stat sheet, as well as your comments about the potential value of "non scorers". So many coaches/players/parents/sports writers ONLY look at the kid who scores the most points. That kind of mindset puts everyone at a disadvantage in my estimation. Also, can you think on an easy way to add another stat to the sheet? I don't quite know how to word it, but I'd love to see stats showing how many times each player gets "scored on" by whoever he/she is guarding. Can you think of an easy way to keep up with that?

  2. You are welcome - At the youth level and for one scorekeeper - that would be very difficult to do with picks and defensive switching happening all the time.

  3. Agreed; thanks anyway. I'm new to your blog, but thoroughly enjoying it.

  4. I am so glad you are enjoying it.

  5. I really like your scoresheet. Is there a version that is landscape? Or maybe a word/excel doc version?

  6. Google Stats_Dad_Free_Printable_Basketball_Sheet click on it. Go to file and Print. Select Landscape in your printer options. Deselect print headers and footers and then select a scale that maximizes the size. This should work for you.

  7. That worked. Thanks.

    have you used any of the iphone / ipad scoring apps for baseball or basketball?

  8. Another dad on the team used iScore (Apple Iphone App) while I did the official book. He showed me the functionality and I even downloaded it. I really liked how all the stats are collected and reported. I just did not like keeping the stats on the small phone. I think that I would love it if I had an iPad.

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