Two years ago I was fortunate to have been selected to be one of two ITOs (International Technical Official) to score the baseball at the 2015 Summer Universiade that were held in Gwangju, Korea. This year I was appointed again for the 2017 games which were held in Taipei, Taiwan. The University Games are like a smaller version of the Olympic Games where a variety of sports are held but where the competitors are all university students. They are held every two years and hold an Opening Ceremony just like the Olympics where there are cultural performances relating to the host country, the athletes all walk into the stadium within their country group and one athlete takes the oath on behalf of all of the participating athletes. There is also a Closing Ceremony, so a huge undertaking in regard to organising accommodation for athletes, officials and volunteers as well as the cost involved.
I was one of four WBSC scorers appointed to the tournament with the other scorers being Susanna Santos from Spain, Cindy Chan from Hong Kong and Erika Sojat from Italy as well as three local Taiwanese scorers. Our Scoring Director was Anna Maria Paini from Italy, who is the Scoring Commission Chair - WBSC Baseball Division (World Baseball & Softball Confederation). I have worked with Susanna, Erica and Anna Maria at other international tournaments so it was great to work with them again and to work with Cindy for the first time. For some reason there was a request sent to the WBSC that if possible, they wanted to see as many female ITOs as possible so this is why all of the scorers selected were women - a great initiative. There was also a female Umiping Director appointed, as well as two female umpires and two female Technical Commissioners. Many of the baseball ITOs came from various places around the world - Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Sri Lanka, Austria and China, along with many local Taiwanese umpires, TCs and scorers. We also had two TCs from Australia - David Nagy and Narelle Gosstray, so Australia was well represented.
From Left: Susanna Santos, Erika Sojat, Jennie Moloney, Cindy Chan & Anna Maria Paini
As the competition includes a variety of sports and isn't specifically a baseball tournament, we were not required to score on the computer as the tournament contracted a specialist computer company to provide the web site and live scores for all sports. This was both good and bad - good in that all we needed to do was score the games on paper but bad as the data entry operators were not that proficient in using the program. This meant that when cross checking the game stats at the end of each game there were a number of mistakes which required a few corrections to be made.
The organisation of the tournament was wonderful with many volunteers stationed in an office in our hotel to service the accommodation, uniform and transportation schedule needed to make everything run smoothly. Whilst the volunteers’ English wasn't always great, they were always willing to help in any way they could.
We all were appointed to score one game per day, usually with one of the Taiwanese scorers, and a double header every few days. The international scorers would score the main score sheet which includes all player stats for the game, and the Taiwanese scorer would score the balls and strikes scoresheet which doesn't have any stats to complete. The WBSC scoring system is slightly different to how we score in Australia. For one, we only use black lead pencil, so no coloured pencils, outs are written in the centre of the batters square and then circled, earned runs are coloured in, unearned runs are left white, a fielders choice is written with the symbol 'O' which is for 'occupied ball' and the fielders number unless there is no out on the play where it's written as we do - FC.
Page one of my scoresheet from the Gold Medal game.
Inside the scorer’s room at Tianmu Baseball Stadium with (from left) the two Taiwanese data entry scorers, one of the data entry trainers, myself and Ho, one of the Taiwanese scorers, and at the back, Jessie who assisted in transmitting information to the scoreboard operator
There were eight teams in the competition - Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Czech Republic, Russia, France, USA, Japan and Mexico - who were divided into two pools. After each pool had played each other (three games) the two top teams from each pool then advanced into the 'Super Round' and the two bottom teams from each went into the 'Consolation Round'. This meant that each team kept playing till the end of the tournament regardless of where they finished.
The top four teams were South Korea, USA, Japan and surprisingly the Czech Republic. After they had played each other once they then went on to the semi-finals to determine who played in the Gold/Silver Medal game or the Bronze Medal game. Czech Republic played Korea for the bronze medal and USA played Japan for the gold / silver medal. I was appointed to score the gold medal game which was very exciting and a wonderful way to finish what was a great tournament, full of friendship and camaraderie.
Presentation of the Gold Medals to team Japan
The final standings were:
BRONZE: South Korea
Australian Representative, WBSC Baseball Scoring Commission