What Does Bonus Mean on a Scoreboard?

Scoreboards are an integral part of competitive sports and allow spectators to keep track of the game’s progress. While the main function of a scoreboard is to keep track of the score, there are often extra features that can be found on many scoreboards. One of these features is bonus, and understanding what bonus means on a scoreboard can help both spectators and participants better understand the game.

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What is Bonus?

The term bonus is used to indicate the extra points that may be awarded to a team at the end of a period or game. These bonus points are awarded to a team in order to reward them for their performance, or to make up for any unfair advantage that their opponents might have. For example, if one team has a significantly higher number of players than the other, a bonus point might be awarded to the lesser team to make up for this difference.

How Does Bonus Work?

Bonus points can be awarded for a variety of reasons, depending on the sport and the rules of the game. Generally, bonus points are awarded at the end of a period or game, and are usually added to the score of the team that received them. However, some games may also have a “bonus round”, where additional points can be earned.
In basketball, for example, bonus points are awarded to teams when they score more than a certain number of points in a period. This is known as the “bonus”, and is indicated on the scoreboard as a “+” sign. The number of bonus points that can be earned varies from game to game, but typically ranges from two to four points.
In baseball, bonus points are often awarded when a team wins by a significant margin. This is known as a “mercy rule” and is indicated on the scoreboard as a “M”. When a mercy rule is in effect, the game is ended early and the team that is leading receives bonus points.
In football and other sports, bonus points may also be awarded for certain accomplishments or achievements. For example, in football, bonus points may be awarded for a team’s total number of first downs or for a player’s performance.

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Why is Bonus Important?

Bonus points are an important part of many sports, as they help keep the game fair and ensure that teams are rewarded for their performance. This is especially important in games where one team has an advantage over the other, such as basketball or baseball, where bonus points can help level the playing field.
Bonus points also make it easier for spectators to keep track of the game’s progress. By understanding what bonus means on a scoreboard, spectators can quickly determine how each team is performing and how many points they will need to win the game.


Bonus is an important feature of many scoreboards, and understanding what it means can help spectators and players alike better understand the game. By knowing how bonus points are awarded and how they can affect the game’s outcome, spectators can better follow the action and cheer on their favorite team.