British Eventing allocates each event a scorer to oversee the timetabling of the event, competitor timings and scoring to deliver a final result for the competition.
A BE scorer is a part-time paid position based on a number of allocated days for each event where the scorer is deployed. Mileage and expenses are also reimbursed.
Duties of the scorer
- Scheduling event timetable
- Sectioning of multiple riders
- Setting complete times after withdrawrals
- Manually scoring at events
- Use of computerised scoring system on a BE laptop
- Managing an on-site volunteer scoring team at each event
- To appreciate the overall coordination, score collection and distribution of scores throughout the event
- To know when to troubleshoot and resolve minor difficulties before they become a major problem
- To understand the use of the BE database and validity of entries in order to prevent incorrect placing of ineligible competitors.
The scorer's first involvement with an event is timetabling. Received entries are given to the scorer as either original entry forms or electronically when they are checked for validity and eligibility via the BE database. Individual times are allotted to each horse and rider in each phase to include riders' requests. The biggest problem in the process is usually a highly complicated list of multiple riders, who often have four or five horses apiece. Last minute telephone alterations and substitutions can seriously affect the whole day.
Sufficient copies of the timetables and running orders have to be photocopied for distribution to officials, stewards, helpers and the media.
Scoring teams usually consist of a BE chief scorer with a minimum of five helpers to cope with various tasks. As well as these, score collectors for all phases and scoreboard writers are kept busy. Dressage sheets arrive first,and these all need adding, independently checking and 'cribbing' (converting the dressage percentage to a penalty score). These scores are entered on the computer (and a manual back-up kept on master scoresheets in case of power or IT failure), then circulated by paper, radio or phone to the scoreboard, show jumping and cross country control (the latter two to help with provisional scoring). About an hour after the start, show jumping scoresheets arrive; these too are checked for addition and time penalties, then entered and circulated.
Cross country, dressage and showjumping
Cross country starts about three-quarters of an hour after show jumping, and the fence judge sheets and time cards arrive. At this point the team splits so that two people concentrate on dealing with the collating of the fence judge sheets. The remainder continue with dressage, show jumping & cross country times. The time taken by each competitor has to be calculated, checked and converted into time penalties, either for going too slow or too fast, and these too go to the computer and scoreboard. As soon as the scores for a competitor over all the cross country fences have been received, the total is passed to the chief scorer who enters it on the computer system and then, together with that competitor's overall total, it goes on the scoreboard as swiftly as possible.
As more scores come in, it is possible to start to rank the sections. Results can be printed off straight from the computer for the prize-giving and any delay is usually due to a score query or objection.