Feature Article - November 2009
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Scoreboard Showdowns

The Latest & Greatest Is All Part of the Game

By Dawn Klingensmith

Easy Does It

Even as advanced technology and competitiveness are driving sales of pricey, high-definition scoreboard systems, consumer demand is high for simple yet dependable scoreboards that provide for flexibility and are easy to transport.

One widespread practice is the use handheld radio controls to keep score. This is especially prevalent in the parks and recreation sector, said Bill Seals, marketing specialist for a Des Moines, Iowa-based scoreboard manufacturer.

Concerns from a few years back that battery-powered radio controls might lose power during games have all but evaporated.

"Sports complexes want something simple an umpire or coach can use" during game time, he said, adding that handheld remote controls are ideal for facilities where portability and user-friendliness are key, and operation from the sideline or on the court or field is essential.

The devices are compact, portable, and about the size of a TV remote. They can clip onto the user's belt and be used to operate multiple scoreboards all at once.

Over the past several years, the need for freedom, flexibility and affordability in the parks and recreation sector has boosted sales of lightweight, portable scoreboards, as well, which are powered by rechargeable batteries or conventional power.

Scoreboard manufacturers also are fielding more and more inquiries about "green" features. LED scoreboards are all "green" to the extent that the bulbs last so long. But there also are solar-powered models on the market, as well as scoreboards that are designed to be green down to every last detail, including paint so environmentally friendly that "the joke is you can drink it," Hatton said. While that's not advisable, it's good to know that if the paint leaches into the soil, the ground water won't take on harmful chemicals.