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Sports Writing

Sports Writing

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Sports Writing

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  1. Sports Writing

  2. Trivia Time! • Match the mascot (MLB) & National League • Angels • Athletics • Blue jays • Devil rays • Indians • Mariners • Orioles • Rangers • Red sox • Royals • Tigers • Twins • White Sox • Yankees • Astros • Braves • Brewers • Cardinals • Cubs • Diamondbacks • Dodgers • Giants • Marlins • Mets • Nationals • Padres • Match the mascot to the team (NFL) • Ravens • Bills • Bengals • Browns • Broncos • Texans • Colts • Jaguars • Chiefs • Dolphins • Patriots • Jets • Raiders • Steelers • Chargers • Titans • Cardinals • Falcons • Panthers • Bears

  3. Trivia Time! • (NW Div.) • Nuggets • Timberwolves • Blazers • Sonics • Jazz • (SE Div.) • Hawks • Bobcats • Heat • Magic • Wizards • Matching: NBA • (Central Div.) • Bulls • Cavaliers • Pistons • Pacers • Bucks • (East Teams) • Celtics • Nets • Knicks • 76ers • Raptors

  4. Trivia Time • How did you do?

  5. Challenges • Logistics • Statistics • Deadlines • Ethics • lingo/jargon

  6. Ethics • Conflict of Interest • Boosterism • Freebies

  7. News • Coaching changes • Letters of intent • Awards • “unsavory” stuff • Difficult stories require courage, a sense of fairness- and for HS journalists since Hazelwood- a supportive administration

  8. Types • Sports features • Trend • Advance • Advance trend • News stories • Game stories

  9. Sports feature • These are the stories behind or beyond the game • Based on human interest and/or oddity • Athlete profiles • Seasonal activities • Girls playing on boys teams • Athletes paying for personal trainers • Students who coach teams with younger kids • Informative features on unusual sports and the students who play them

  10. Trend • Does not rehash plays from each game • Highlights trends in the course of a team’s play since the last issue • Answers the question: What’s gone on over the last month and WHY? • More analysis and focus on individual players

  11. Advance • Gives insight into the upcoming game, providing as many specifics as possible • May focus on a specific aspect of the upcoming game: how will the team replace an injured star? • Built on strong quotes, description and anecdotes • Requires coaches and reporter to think ahead

  12. Advance trend • Adds information on the upcoming game to the trend story, including how last month’s games influence it • Include information on the upcoming event as the first part of the story • Devote more space to the upcoming event • Condense into the available space as many of the highlights of the past events as possible

  13. Sports news stories • Sports have also become big business, especially at the college/professional level • Look for stories about college recruiting, sports funding, fan behavior, use of performance enhancing drugs

  14. Game stories • Seldom used in monthly student newspapers unless a late deadline on a significant game • Excellent option for posting on line • Not a rehash of play-by-play action • Focus on interesting and game-changing moments first • Weave in postgame quotes from players and coaches

  15. Sports vs news stories • Similarities • Both use similar types of leads: feature angle or news lead • Both look for interest-compelling facts • Both use an inverted pyramid structure (unless it’s a feature) • Differences • Sports writing is more colorful, less formal than news writing • Sports writing is more faster paced and lively • Sports stories can be more flexible than news or feature writing

  16. Writing sports stories: structure • News in descending order • Game events aren't told chronologically; key moments or developments are played high • Second graph supports the lead • Some basics are played high but no “bunched” together • Transitions • While stories may be written in an “unnatural” (not chrono) order,they should still flow. This can be accomplished by simply using appropriate transition words

  17. Writing sports stories: style • Scores are numerals separated by hyphens (12-6, not 12 to 6) • Team records are numerals separated by hyphens (8-2, not 8 to 2) • Winning scores always come first (your team lost 12-6, not 6-12) • Spell your opponents’ team/school name mascot correctly • Use sports terms that apply to the specific sports occasionally, however, you do not have to define them unless they are obscure

  18. Writing sports stories: how to • 1. have a strong lead • 2. write clearly and concisely • 3. know the content • 4. give the major play by play • 5. use quotes as possible • 6. check you facts **See your handout for these notes**

  19. Writing sports stories: tips • Write about players and teams, not games • When writing about players, always identify them by class in school and position on team • Keep up with team stats and use them frequently in stories • Keep up with individual stats and use them frequently in stories • Know sports writing style • Watch the team practice and play (especially for personality profiles) • Look for opportunities to do sports feature stories that are not tied directly to the games • There is a difference between reporting and commentating on… • Never be a cheerleader for your team

  20. Basics- when reporting you need… • Score • Records • Site • Classification • What’s next (tournament or playoff…)

  21. Pitfalls • Commentary • Expertise • Player criticism • Clichés • Redundancy • quotes

  22. Lingo/jargon • http://www.sportscliche.com/

  23. Captioning sports photos • Give the outcome of the play if possible • Name players on BOTH teams • Give the outcome of the game/match within the caption • It’s preferable to have stats about the player in the caption • Use player’s number (in caption) after their name, if they number is visible in the photo

  24. Captioning sports photos • Example: • While avoiding an East Paulding defender, senior Drew Coffee, #45, prepares to go up for the shot. “I played pretty well this game. I was very relaxed. Having a good game feels great and builds your confidence,” said Coffee. Coffee scored 14 points aiding the team in their 64-56 defeat of the Raiders. • 1st sentence in PRESENT and describes what’s going on in the picture • 2nd sentence is a QUOTE related to the picture/game • 3rd sentence is PAST tense and gives background on stats/game outcome

  25. Caption practice  • Write a caption for the Photo to the right-

  26. Group analysis • See handout