Feature Article - July 2008
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Know the Score

Scoreboard Options Run the Gamut

By Dawn Klingensmith

Scoreboard Selection Criteria

APPEARANCE: Keep in mind that scoreboards are turned off the majority of the time, so it should look appealing when it's not lit.

DURABILITY: For impact and weather resistance, casing should be made of rugged materials such as aluminum with a powder-coated or baked-on enamel finish.

MAINTENANCE: No matter which scoreboard you choose, the total cost of ownership, including maintenance, needs to be factored in. Although the initial purchase price may seem low, the cost of maintenance, service and upkeep over the scoreboard's lifespan needs to be determined to arrive at its actual cost.

WATER RESISTANCE: Outdoor scoreboards must withstand wind and wetness, so sturdy, rustproof cabinet construction with a durable finish is required. For aquatics applications, choose a manufacturer with a proven success record for designing for such settings. Due to extreme humidity, the supplier's circuitry housing must be engineered to resist corrosion.

BRIGHTNESS: For outdoor applications, reflective LED digits may allow for adequate brightness in direct sunlight. Keep ambient lighting conditions in mind when considering an indoor projection scoreboard, as some projection systems aren't as sharp in bright light.

READABILITY: A rule of thumb for numeral height is 1 inch for every 40 to 50 feet of viewing distance.

CONTROL OPTIONS: All-wireless, battery-powered portable scoreboards are good options for little leagues and parks and recreation systems. For permanently installed LED systems, wireless remote control is an option, though the scoreboard itself will still be tethered to an electrical outlet.

WARRANTY: Especially when investing a considerable amount of money, it is crucial to understand what type of warranty the manufacturer offers and whether its service department will continue to offer consultation free of charge after the warranty period expires. Lamps, cables and switches may not be covered by the warranty.