Which Scoreboard is right for you?


Not all scoreboards are created equal. There is a vast range in quality, durability, information displayed and price. If you are looking to get a new scoreboard, which one is right for you? Well, like a lot of things, that depends.

What to consider before purchasing

When you are considering a scoreboard, your first thought is probably budget. How much is this going to cost? Something else to keep in mind is the lifetime maintenance cost. Things like – how long is the warranty? How long will we be able to get parts for this scoreboard? Is it repairable? Is it user repairable or do we need to call for service when it breaks? What is the service response time?  What is the average life expectancy of the scoreboard?

The second thing you will want to consider is where you will be placing the scoreboard in your pool and the size of the board. Is there a wall big enough to mount the board that gives a good viewing angle to both the spectators and the swimmers? If you have a low ceiling, you may want to consider a “modular” scoreboard that will allow you to set the lane lines in a horizontal configuration, rather than all stacking vertically. Do you have a lot of light in your pool? Is that light going to hit the wall that the scoreboard is on at certain points during the day? Will you need to angle it so that your fans can see it better? Would you be better off screen casting a “virtual” scoreboard to multiple small screens (like televisions) scattered throughout the viewing area?

Finally, how much and what kind of information do you want to have displayed? Are you happy with just lane, place and time? Do you want to see team codes and athlete names? Do you feel like you need video or graphics during the meet or when you aren’t using the scoreboard for a swim meet?

IST has you covered for all your scoreboard needs. Below is a breakdown of the various scoreboards that we offer.

Numeric only or Numeric with an Alphanumeric Scrolling line

This is your basic LED numeric scoreboard. One line per lane of the pool is typical. You can also start with a smaller scoreboard (3 lines for a 6-lane pool for example) and rotate through the lanes in groups. For a little more information, you can add an Alphanumeric scrolling line to the top of the scoreboard (pictured). This will allow you to display the event and heat information as well as the running clock during the race. When you are not using the board for timing you can post a 1,000-character message to scroll across the top line. IST Numeric scoreboards come with a 5-year warranty. If they do need repair, you can usually do it yourself, and you can get replacement parts if you need them. They are conformal coated to protect against the harsh pool environment and there are no moving parts. Our numeric scoreboards are made in the USA.

Alphanumeric Scoreboard

This is a top of the line LED Alphanumeric fixed line scoreboard. One line per lane of the pool is typical, but you can start smaller with this one too. The Alpha scoreboards all come with the additional scrolling line as part of the package. This board will display event/heat information and the running clock on the scrolling line, team code and swimmer name on each lane line. During the race the team code remains, and the swimmer name is replaced by the subtracted split and the cumulative time. The place, final split and final time are posted at the end of the race. The order of finish displays on the scrolling line from left to right, making it easy for the referee to confirm.

These scoreboards  are conformal coated and user repairable. They also come with a 5-year warranty. The original alphanumeric scoreboard is still in use and is 27 years old! We can still get parts, even for our oldest model, and they are made in the USA.

Projected Video Scoreboard

Our BOARDWARE software lets you have a video scoreboard for a fraction of the price! It displays all of the information of the Alphanumeric scoreboard, with the added bonus of being able to leave the names of the athletes displayed the entire race. You can use BOARDWARE on a projector, monitor or large TV. You can even use it on a video scoreboard that allows you to connect directly to your computer for output. BOARDWARE is best in pools that don’t have a lot of natural light, especially if you are using a projector. Since it is software, this scoreboard will last as long as the equipment you are projecting it with will. No need to call us in to repair it, just replace the projector or TV and you are good to go.

LiteStar LED Video Scoreboard

This is the Cadillac of scoreboards. The LiteStar video scoreboards are modular. 20” x 20” cabinets lock together to create a single wall of video. We offer pixel spacing options of 6.25mm, 4.8mm and 3.9mm. The smaller the pixel spacing, the more pixels per square inch and the more defined the picture. We also offer a choice of copper or gold wiring. Copper is more economical, but gold does not corrode as easily and will last longer. The LiteStar scoreboards have a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty and are conformally coated. They are designed to be outdoor scoreboards and will last a long time in a pool environment.

The video scoreboards display BOARDWARE during timing, and when not in use for a swim meet can display anything that can be shown on a computer screen. They are also surprisingly affordable. The LiteStar boards come with replacement parts that we will store at IST so they don’t get lost in your pool. We can repair them for many years.

Which scoreboard is right for you?

Contact us today to get a quote and see what will fit your needs.

[email protected]  |  800-835-2611

Whichever scoreboard you choose,  if it is an IST scoreboard it will likely be the last one you ever have to buy!

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International Sports Timing, Scoreboards, Grand Rapids, MI
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