5 Tips – Choosing a scoreboard

Hi, it’s Roger here from RMA. I’m here to give you five quick tips today about what to look for when you’re looking for a new scoreboard.

This is a transcript from the video embedded

So the first thing is the control console. This is the brains of the system. Back in the 80s, it used to be all the buttons and switches, but that was a really clunky user interface, and prone to breaking down. In the late noughties, we saw so the first of the touchscreen systems. And today we have the most modern capacitative systems that are just like a mobile phone—they’re colour, you can swipe on them. And they really give you a very comfortable and engaging user interface to make the scoreboards easier to use.

Of course, you also want to look to have a wireless system, so you’re no longer tethered to a desk. You don’t have a cable to plug in and out of the back of the controller, which is always a weak point in the past.

The next thing to look for is ball impact. And we’ve all seen systems which have got cages around them in facilities. And it’s really not a good look. But there is something you can do about that there’s an international standard, the DIN 18032.3 standard. And what this is, is a laboratory test—they actually put a pneumatic cannon and fire a ball at the scoreboard and then assess it for damage. It doesn’t cost any more to get a scoreboard with a DIN certification, but it certainly gives you peace of mind that it’s going to last the distance.

And don’t think that you’re limited to a plastic face either. These days, some manufacturers are using laser cut steel faces. The great thing about these is they are very strong. They withstand that impact. But they also give you a good contrast. So the LED stands out against the backing and gives you a nice crisp digit, which is running on lower power then it would be if you’re using a system with a diffuser.

Isolated view of SB-F1

You want to make sure that you can easily update the scoreboards as you need to, because the rules change. And you don’t want to be having to send away your controller for two weeks and pay somebody to go and do that upgrade for you. You want to be able to get a system where you can get a free upgrade, upload it into the back of your control console, at no charge, in just a few minutes.

Digital scoreboard
A shot clock, which requires a dedicated scoreboard system to operate

Also look for systems which have got lots of different sports. So modern systems will have 25 to 30 different sports and adding to that all the time. And that’s a really good sign because companies which are adding to their number of sports, are actively curating their systems, and you’ll likely get better customer service as a result.

And last but not least, LED screens. LED screens can be great, but they can be a bit of a trap. So don’t think you can just go out there and buy a screen, and then download an app and it’s all going to work, because it probably won’t. The apps don’t necessarily link with the screens. And of course they’re not well supported and they don’t operate on the same depth as a dedicated scoreboard system. Typically they won’t be able to support a shot clock. So it’s important to go and talk to the scoreboard suppliers, the scoreboard experts, because they will have packages, they will have bundles to give to you, which have got the LED screens, and the scoreboard function, and a video processor to play all that footage you’re probably looking for as well.

So I hope that’s of help. Also look for FIBA certification; it’s always a good way to go to make sure that you get a really good quality product. And there are lots of options out there. We’re happy to go through them all with you.