Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking at Box Scores

The new box scores at the Scores page are, in my opinion, difficult to read. The game stats and individual stats are not immediately separate and discernible without looking closely. I like to start looking at a box score with the individual stats or the scoring summary (the latter is still separate and distinguishable). At's box scores, if you want to see the individual stats, you have to slowly scan down and find your place (see this one). A typical Sunday means looking at 10+ box scores, and little annoyances to add difficulty and time is troublesome. A box score should clearly separate and distinguish the individual stats section from the team/game stats section.

For a much cleaner, crisper box score, see the same box score at Individual stats for both teams are clear and readable, and a little below that is the scoring summary in the middle, and below that clearly readable game summary stats.'s box scores are problematic too, however. The middle of the top of the box score is taken up with a game blog (pointless), fan comments (pointless), and an advertisement (understandable, but right in the middle?). This pushes down the relevant, meaningful parts of the box score further down in scrolling. When reading a box score, you shouldn't have to scroll past meaningless fluff directly in the middle of the box score just to get to the relevant stats.

Both and have a similar problem making it difficult to navigate multiple box scores. When you are reading a box score, you will see the rest of the league's scores at the top. Clicking on a score link will bring you not to that game's box score, but to that game's recap. This requires one extra click to get to another box score: I do not see a cleaner way to scan from box score to box score on these sites. Doesn't it make sense that if I'm reading a box score, if I click on a link for another game the thing I'm interested in seeing is the box score?

The box scores at Yahoo!'s scoreboard are solid. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing box score, but the major categories are easily distinguishable with block headings, each line of the box score is clearly readable because of the alternating grey and white (providing clean, readable "lines"), and clicking on the links to other game data on the right immediately brings you to that game's box score.

However, it is's scoreboard that is probably perfect for what I'm looking for. In the box score, the scoring summary and game summary are next to each other, but clearly distinguishable, with individual stats below. The stats are incredibly easy to read, as each number gets its own square, and the lines are alternating gray and white. Clicking on the links on the side brings you to that game's box score. I think has the cleanest, most readable, most user-friendly box score: it is exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm turning to ESPN for after-the-fact box score use. I'll still try to follow events in multiple games while they are still occuring, but I might shift that, too, if it becomes problematic or if I find a superior site.

Are there other sites you prefer for reading box scores, or for following games live? What are they, and why are they preferable?


  1. I've always preferred I use Yahoo's Stat-tracker more because the only reason I look at box scores is for fantasy business.

  2. Shockingly, ESPN puts a bunch of unnecessary bells and whistles on its web pages that only make it harder to find the information you really want. Their site's been like that for years.

  3. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Nothing beats the old morning paper.


  4. David8:19 AM

    I live in Australia so the games are ending while I'm at work on Monday morning. I can't use my work PC to get box scores but I can use my cell phone. Does anyone know of a site that has simple text-only box scores (cell friendly) or a site that will automatically email them?