Football Scoreboards: Types, Design, Features
Thinking about upgrading your football facilities scoreboard? An LED scoreboard can help you provide a modern and exciting experience for athletes and spectators alike. But depending on your budget, you’ll need to make a few key decisions regarding the use case of the scoreboard, such as:
- What is the competition level of the main users of the football field?
- How many spectators there are in the stands on average?
You can also use our football scoreboard cost calculator to get a customized cost estimate for your installation project.
Different Types of Football Scoreboards
To start, we need to understand the different options for LED scoreboards available. There are some important differences that can significantly influence your decision-making.
1 – Traditional Fixed-Digit LED Football Scoreboard
A traditional LED football scoreboard is the most basic and common option. This display is typically square or rectangular in shape and contains all of the relevant information for the game such as home/guest score, game time, quarter digits, downs, to-go, ball on, etc.
These scoreboards can only display letters and numbers. However, they can still be customized with your school’s colors and logos.
Traditional displays are a great option for schools on a budget because they are fairly simple to install and maintain. However, they can be less exciting for spectators than some of the other options.
Traditional Display Sizes
These simple displays can fit any budget and are available in a range of sizes. Depending on the size of your facility and the level of play you are hosting, the size (and price) will vary:
- Recreational / Youth football: 10’W x 4-8’H
- Middle/high school: 20’-24’W x 8’-10’H
- High school/college: 24’-36’W x 10’H
Unlike their analog counterparts, LED scoreboards require a remote control to keep them updated. Most traditional LED scoreboards are operated with a controller board or mobile app. Your staff or student volunteers can easily change the score and information on the display from the sidelines or control room.
2 – LED Football Scoreboard with Video Display
The next option is a combination between traditional football scoreboards and full video displays. At first glance, they are extremely similar to traditional options. A majority of the display area is dedicated to simple letters and numbers – basic information for the game.
However, the additional video display allows facilities to display graphics, animations, and videos. You could highlight players, show instant replays, in-depth stats, or even run commercials or other school announcements.These displays are much more engaging for spectators and can add excitement to the game.
They are also a great way to generate revenue for your school by selling advertising space on the video panels.
Hybrid Display Sizes
Because of the additional video panel, LED scoreboards with video displays are slightly wider than their traditional counterparts.
- Recreational / Youth football:
- Board: 10’W x 4-8’H
- Display: 7’W – 4-8’H
- Middle/high school:
- Board: 20’-24’W x 8’-10’H
- Display: 13-16’W x 8’-10’H
- High school/college:
- Board: 24’-36’W x 10’H
- Display: 16’-24’W x 10’H
LED scoreboards with video panels can be controlled via a board or mobile app. However, specialized software is needed to control the video content that is played on the display. Often the software is an additional cost, so be sure to check with your vendor for the final price.
3 – Full LED Video Football Scoreboards
The last and most expensive option is a full video football scoreboard. These displays are becoming increasingly popular, especially at the high school and college level. As their name implies, the entire display is dedicated to showing videos and other graphics.
They are very similar to the jumbotrons you see in professional stadiums. In addition to highlights and player stats, you can also play commercials, school announcements, or any other type of video content.
Full video displays for football are an investment for the future, as they offer the most flexibility and functionality. You will be able to use them for many years and they can generate revenue for your school through advertising, sponsorships, and increased ticket sales – everyone will want to catch a game at your facility!
Video Display Sizes
High school/college: 36ft wide x 10-20ft high
Every function of a full video display is controlled on a computer with specialized software. The licenses for the software can run you several thousand dollars per year, so be sure to ask about the associated fees.
LED Football Scoreboard Features
Before you make your final purchasing decision on your new LED football scoreboard, take some time to go through the different features that different scoreboard models offer. Some features may not be relevant to your needs, whereas, other may be a must-have. Here are some of the typical features you’ll find when comparing scoreboards:
Important considerations when purchasing a football scoreboard
Who are the main users of your football stadium?
Understanding who will be using your stadium on a regular basis is vital to choosing the right LED football scoreboard. The needs and expectations will vary depending on the level of competition and the age group of the participants.
For example, a recreational league for 6 to 8-year-olds will have different requirements than a high school varsity team. Younger and less experienced athletes may not need a full video display to create an unforgettable experience.
- Recreational and youth football league scoreboards
Youth football league clubs and recreational football fields normally have to operate with limited resources which reduce their options to choose from when it comes to scoreboards. On this level, the scoreboards used for football games can be either manual (do not use electricity) or basic, fixed-digit LED scoreboards (use electricity). Youth football clubs employ volunteers for various tasks and during games volunteers are the ones who are in charge of operating scoreboards either manually or by using a wireless control panel.
- Middle and high School football scoreboards
Most middle schools use manual scoreboards, but LED scoreboards are getting more popular, as is the case at the high school level. Athletic departments in high schools have to take the fan experience and engagement into account because football games at this level can attract thousands of live spectators. High school athletic directors usually invest in LED scoreboards that also come with a display. The display may either be a separate screen or, if the athletic department has enough resources, they may choose a large LED video scoreboard that integrates the scoreboard and a display in one single screen.
- Collegiate and professional football stadium scoreboards
At the collegiate and professional levels, football programs and professional football clubs are well-funded and their events get a lot of exposure among the fans, in the media, and on TV. Fan experience is of high importance and installing a high-end LED video scoreboard with a large screen is one way to keep the fans engaged throughout the long season. These large video scoreboards are perfect for displaying all kinds of digital content (video, replays, ads, promos, etc.). Controlling these scoreboards come with a learning curve, but colleges can involve students to give them valuable work experience.
How do viewing angle and distance affect the choice of video scoreboard?
The next consideration to make is the viewing angle and distance for your crowd. Understanding the resolution and pixel pitch (proximity between pixels) is vital to creating a clear and visible image for your audience.
This is especially important when choosing a full video display, as the image will be magnified and you want to ensure spectators can see the videos clearly. For every 1mm of pixel pitch, the viewing distance must be at least 3.5ft. If your facility is small and athletes and spectators are close to the display, you may need a lower pixel density to maintain a clear image.
Part of the planning process should be asking your installation partner what size and resolution screen is ideal for your facility. An expert will know what you need and how much it will cost.
How to choose the best football scoreboard installation company
Perhaps the most important step in the installation of your LED football scoreboard is choosing the right company to do the work. Asking the right questions early in the process will set you up for success. Here are a few to get you started:
- Do they have references or examples of past work?
- What are their online reviews like?
- What kind of warranty do they offer?
- Do they offer after-sales services like maintenance and repairs?
- Make sure you compare quotes (we recommend getting at least 3) to weigh your options.