There’s nothing worse than arriving at a game only to realize that there is no scoreboard. Whether there is literally not one present or there is a manual one being used, it just dulls the entire experience. Perhaps the only thing worse than going to a game with that being the situation is putting on a game where it is the case. Today, we are going to help you alleviate some of those fears by presenting to you the most popular and best indoor scoreboards of 2019. Gone are the days where you will have to spend otherworldly amounts for these items, so don’t let yourself be held back. Regardless of your purpose for them, you can find something great that fits your budget, and we’ll be helping walk you through picking one today in our buying guide. Let’s get it started!
Top Indoor Scoreboards Comparison Chart
|Name||Indoor or Outdoor Use||Connection||Price||Where to Buy?|
|MacGregor SK2229R Multisport Scoreboard||Indoor||Wireless remote||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Gametime Multisport Portable Scoreboard||Indoor/Outdoor||Remote Control||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|MacGregor 48×24 Multisport Indoor Scoreboard||Indoor||Wireless Controller||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Sportable Tabletop Multisport Scoreboard||Indoor||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|GameDay Scoreboards Driveway Basketball Scoreboard||Indoor/Outdoor||$||Check Price on Amazon|
Indoor Scoreboards Buying Guide
Quite simply put, scoreboards are a necessity for indoor sports. Unlike a sport like soccer where you can just go with the flow and go by the referee, nearly all indoor sports require a scoreboard in order to keep everyone from coaches to players to fans informed of the time left and the situation the game finds itself in. This is the case with both hockey and basketball, and it can be the case in any number of others that are played indoors. When the clock has to be stopped, it’s paramount to have it. This is none more so true than in school settings. High schools and middle schools need them in order to keep track of sports, various ones, and you will see them in at least one- if not more- area of the school. This underlines just how essential they are to teams, and it’s why you need to have one if you are trying to develop a successful program that looks and feels professional.
Traditional or New Age
There are still a lot of choices to be made, but the choices are a lot simpler today than they may have been 20-30 years ago. Because of the emergence of LED lighting, it’s become so much easier to keep score of games. There isn’t anymore using your hands or anything like that. It’s at the click of a button that the score will adjust and be displayed to. That’s awesome news because it’s instant feedback in a world that so desperately craves that. Even what we would consider to be ‘traditional’ today is going to feature this sort of occurrence. You are going to see LED lights being used to dictate the scores and times to you. However, there are add-ons you can get, too. If you want to go with a super premium board, you can have it so that messages are affixed to it. It can be a school logo, motto, or advertising. We aren’t likely to see much of this in this list, as most of the items will be much more affordable, but those options do exist for you if you are looking for them. You can even go a step further than just messages with a video scoreboard, which is the next advancement to it. This type is going to be very expensive, but just like flat screen TV’s the price is going to drop, and it will eventually take over as the undoubted preferred method for scorekeeping due to its immense versatility and just the presentation factor it brings.
Scoreboards have a number of factors that have to be taken into consideration, and one of them is the way that they look. If your school is black and white, you will want the scoreboard to match, or at the very least, complement that color. You wouldn’t want to go with the red and blue of your cross town rivals, after all. You also might want to mix in sponsors or something similar, too. Maybe a mascot from your school. There is some crossover to be had with the previous section, but this part isn’t displaying on the board via LED. It’s just there live and in color. The digits’ colors can also be altered, with them changing colors as the game alternates between having the ball in play and not. They could even change as the teams score back and forth to indicate lead changes, such are the options. Another choice you will have to think about is how large you want the scoreboard to be. If you are just running a small operation where it’s a small adult league, you might not need a massive board for all to see. Maybe it just needs to be large enough so that the players and refs can see it. Or maybe you are having practices and want something fairly affordable and easy to carry. Those are options to have as well to help your streamline your time on the court or on the ice. This is something you will have to think about so that you don’t have paying customers straining their necks and squinting their eyes to see what the scores are.
It should go without saying that an indoor scoreboard absolutely has to do two things: keep the scores and run time accurately. Without either of those, you can just forget it right off the bat. No one will be impressed if they can’t do that properly. However, it goes beyond just that. If you aren’t doing basketball or hockey, like we have mentioned before, you will want to have some versatility built in. Some scoreboards are going to allow you to do that. It might not be perfect and you might have to pigeonhole in some of the numbers in places that might not make sense, but if you have a lot of options on the board and a lot of controls and buttons to mash, then you can make it work. Some boards will not give you the chance to do this just because they are only made for a specific sport. Most of the boards, though, that you see today are made with this in mind. They are made so that you can use them for two, three, or even more sports at once, since they know that most people are going to be using them in various scenarios. For example, you can easily use the same scoreboard for hockey and basketball since most of the rules are the exact same. The same goes for football and soccer. Soccer needs much fewer things to be done to it. Just let the clock run and press the buttons for goals, and that’s it. Just keep this in mind when you are buying a board. If you don’t know if they will be used for multiple sports, then it’s wise to err to the side of caution and get one with some versatility. To have this, just look for more things on the display screen.
Can It Be Programmed?
If you are getting into the upper echelons of sports, or if you just want something cool to tinker around with and impress folks with, then you can look for a scoreboard that can be programmed. Most scoreboards are going to come with the traditional “Home” and “Away” settings. But in a lot of cases, this can get down right confusing. Say you are a local recreational center and you have two teams playing from the same town. It can be hard to differentiate, especially at the beginning of the game. So, if you have a programmable board, you can write in the team’s name instead, allowing everyone to be on the same page. Other boards make it possible to change what the display options. So you could change “fouls” to penalties, for example, or any number of things. That way you could go from wrestling to volleyball to basketball in a breeze. Without that, like we said previously, you would just have to pigeonhole in a system to make it work. Still doable but not quite as handy to have.
If you’re willing to put down the money it takes to buy an indoor scoreboard, you aren’t going to want it to end up getting ruined a month into it’s life. Being indoors is tough, since you have to worry about the bouncing of balls hitting it. This can destroy lesser models, making it vital that you take a look at the board’s quality. Whether it appears to be big or small doesn’t matter in this instance. If it’s not tough, it will not hold up very long. Many of the boards today are sitting in what are known as “cabinets” that are much lighter than any of their predecessors ever thought of being. Despite this fact, they are still very strong. That’s not to say that all scoreboards will be. Some will take a hit to them and will cave in the motors and various components inside of it. This is where the damage is done, and that’s what you should avoid. Consider this. If you were to buy a cheap scoreboard and then get it hit, only to have to purchase another one, are you really saving money? Durability is also determined by the ‘controller’ itself. This is the piece that relays the information from the scorekeeper to the board that then displays it. If you are sloppy with it or abusive, this will tear up. It’s the same concept as sticking stuff in the electrical outlet, only less dangerous. You tear that up, you mess up all kinds of stuff surrounding it. Making sure to put up your controller is very important. All kinds of stuff can go wrong with it if you don’t, from balls flying into it and hitting it, to dust getting inside of it, to drinks being spilled. This piece also needs to be sturdy. It might look cool if it’s just a little clicker of a remote to be held in your hand, and that might be really awesome to have in addition to a thick, sturdy controller, but you have to make sure it is well built so that it will last as long as you can get it to.
This part, like so much in the world in the past decade or so, has changed dramatically. In the old days, we had the manual scoreboard where someone would have to move it by hand. Then we moved toward plugging the controller box into the wall, channeling it through to the scoreboard so the information can be relayed. Nowadays, we have another option: wireless. Wireless scoreboards are just like our phone using Bluetooth. They pick up on the signal and don’t need you plugging them into the wall. Whereas this technology was not good when it first came out, it is not very reliable and able to be used dependably. It’s to the point that a lot of companies are able to do much more sales with that than their older predecessors. There are pros and cons here, though. Some take the use of apps, and some people just aren’t too tech savvy. Another issue is the sturdiness of the controller. If it’s tiny, then there are a lot of things that could go wrong. It’s all just something you will have to have a long, hard think about.
This goes a little bit hand in hand with some of the sections we have discussed so far, but it’s still worth pointing out. The location of your scoreboard is going to have to be strategically placed so that you can get the most out of it. If it’s a large arena or people, you will want a board that is big enough that it can be hung on the wall and seen by all. If the arena has two sides, you might want a board on both sides. One can be bigger than the other, but you might just need that to make it more enjoyable for everyone there. If the locale is smaller, then you could effectively go with a tabletop sort of device. Or maybe you want a medium sized boards to go on the ends so that players can see the scores as they run up and down the court. All of these are well worth mentioning since they are some of the choices that you have to pick from as you look to make the best possible call for you.
Some of the boards you will find are not going to be able to be moved. Once you set them in place, they are locked in for the long haul. This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. That’s a good thing, actually, since you won’t have to worry as much about them being damaged. But this can be a detractor if you’re looking for something that you can carry to various places. Smaller, lighter boards do exist to help you out. Whether they are for running practices, setting them up in front of the mat for wrestling tournaments, or for basketball games, you can carry them from one arena to the gym down the street quickly and effortlessly. Keep this in mind if you want to get the utmost out of your own board. Not all of them can or should be carried around so choose wisely!
Ease of Use
Making sure the scoreboard can be operated efficiently is something you should not take lightly. If you see that a board isn’t easy to use for the average person, then you might just find yourself not wanting it for very long. Unfortunately, the board could look great and perform horribly because the controller isn’t right. It could be that the buttons are hard to read, that they stick, or that there are just too many of them. Some people might find too many buttons to be too challenging, after all, so that has to be taken into consideration. If you have issues learning new technology, or your scorekeeper does, then this kind of thing could really throw you off. In our reviews, we’ll make sure to point out which systems are best for this and which are not. A good controller should have very clear and obvious buttons that are labeled. If this isn’t present, it’s not good. Also, we’ll make sure to discuss how dependable they are. If the buttons are prone to sticking too often, it can throw you off as well, leading to contempt from not only you but potentially dozens of people around you.
The price of a scoreboard is going to depend on all of the above factors. The size of them is going to play a role, with smaller ones more likely to cost much less than bigger ones. However, this might not always be the case if the smaller board has more features. In general, the more features you have the more it will cost. Wireless tech, as well as video boards, will cost much more than LED boards. This is just the way that life is. Because the video boards are still expensive, you can still find good, affordable deals with LED boards meaning those are prevalent on the market. It might change in the years to come, but for now that’s just the way it is! Remember, price indicates quality. It might not always be a direct correlation, but chances are you will get more from Board A if it costs more than Board B.
Best Indoor Scoreboard Reviews
MacGregor SK2229R Multisport Scoreboard
Starting off our list is a reasonably priced board that will let you keep track of a number of sports that could be played indoors, and all with a wireless remote that makes it easier than ever to change the score. At just 13 lbs, it’s also super easy to carry around, though this will not be the kind that you will want with a gym full of people in it. Despite its small-ish size it can keep track of scores, time, fouls, periods, and the bonus, too. It can sit on the table and be used by a scorekeeper sitting behind it as well since it has controls on the back, making it easier than ever. It’s one thing to keep track instead of two, a major reduction of trouble. The one thing people don’t like is that you can’t reset the clock with the remote, forcing you to walk over to it to do so.
- Remote makes it super efficient
- Very light
- 2 in 1 build with controls on the back
- Time has to be adjusted on device
Gametime Multisport Portable Scoreboard
Gametime follows up with another portable option here, though this one does differ slightly. It costs more, but that is because it is rated for both outdoor and indoor use. It’s also got built in speakers with it, allowing you to make announcements or to play music on it, which can increase the feeling that it’s an actual game being played, even if it isn’t! Coming with a remote control, that has to be used in conjunction with their app, it’s also going to be very easy for an official to use as the game wears on. Like the MacGregor offering above, the controls are on the unit, but it differs there, too. Instead of being on the back, it’s on the top above where the scores are listed. The battery used is a rechargeable lithium-ion and it will last up to four hours on its own without being plugged in, making it easy to just plug in and charge when you are done with it. One issue is that the app is a little bit lacking, but other than that it’s a nice tabletop device to have.
- Speakers are a nice bonus
- Can be used indoors and out
- Battery is a boost
- App lacks a little bit
MacGregor 48×24 Multisport Indoor Scoreboard
If you want something that is more official and closer to what you’d see at a big time game, then this is the one for you. It’s still, however, just 24 pounds, so it’s not massive enough that it can’t be carried around or put away with ease. This makes it an ideal option for games with just a few fans, practices, and even for games where you just want a secondary scoreboard to give everyone a chance to see it. Because it is bigger, it does cost more than the rest of the products on our list. But it has a lot to offer. It’s got a plexiglass protector to the front to make sure it won’t get broken when hit and it also comes with a wireless controller that will let you get as far as 100 yards away from it and still work. That’s a hefty distance that is sure to make anyone happy. The remote sometimes have hiccups connecting, so that, along with price, is the big thing that would deter you.
- Bigger than the others
- Plexiglass protector
- Remote with large range
- More expensive
- Remote sometimes isn’t reliable
Sportable Tabletop Multisport Scoreboard
Featuring many of the same qualities as we’ve seen above, the Sportable scoreboard is a good portable one that will allow you to keep everyone informed to what is going on in a small setting. This board is the cheapest on our list so far, too, though not by much, and is definitely a budget item to take a look at. It allows you to keep track of multiple sports, with many options to keep time, score, periods, bonus, and possession arrows, too. It also has a loud horn, as you would expect it to given that this is what is needed for this sort of product. The back of it, like the first MacGregor has a built in control to go with it. At just ten pounds, it’s also among the lightest you will find, making it unique in that regard. It’s not the easiest ever to use, but that should be expected due to the price.
- Cheapest option
- Very light weight
- Great for a lot of sports
- Not the easiest to use
GameDay Scoreboards Driveway Basketball Scoreboard
If you just want something for the backyard, take a look at this. This item fits on your basketball goal’s pole and is basically a stopwatch. However, in addition to keeping time, it will keep score, too. It’s got all kinds of other features, too, and is at an ultra low price for parents looking for something to occupy their kids outside.
Conclusion And Final Indoor Scoreboards Recommendations
Finding the right indoor scoreboard that fits your needs and your budget can be a harrowing undertaking. With so little resources available online currently and so many companies offering the best and greatest in both old and new technology, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that you need to buy. A lot of the problems you might find come down to figuring out and recognizing what you want and need, and also what you are willing to pay for. Some boards are going to be great in all sorts of settings, while others will only be good for one or two sports. Regardless, there is no reason to get discouraged. There is truly something out there for everyone, and thanks to our buying guide, you’ll be much more informed as you make your decision on what to go with.