Write about players and teams, not about games. By the time the newspaper or yearbook comes out, the info about games is outdated. Write about an individual player or group (offense, defense, offensive line, the battery, etc.) Write about groups of games in one story, but look for trends…strong defense, injuries, stars, etc.
Identify players in the story. Don’t just say “Joe Smith” Say “senior tackle Joe Smith” Allows identify the person’s classification and position Don’t use numbers to identify grade or year of graduation.
Keep up with team statistics and use them in your story. Find out who keeps the team’s stats and get to know them. If a team breaks or ties a school or local record, you need to make that a big part of your story. Always know where the team ranks in the district, region and state. (Chron.com)
Keep up with individual statistics and use them in your stories. If a player sets or ties a school or local record that should be the lead in your story.
Know sports writing styles Scores are numerals separated by hyphens. (12-6 not 12 to 6) Records are numerals separated by hyphens (8-2 not 8 and 2) The winning score always comes first.
Watch the team (player) practice and play You have to be present to know what happened…and take notes while you are watching. You can’t write a good sports story from someone else’s memory. You must spend time after games/matches, to speak to the players.
Remember that even in sports writing,a clear distinction must exist between reporting and commenting. If you are writing an article about how the team is doing or a profile of an athlete, you must remain objective. If you are writing your own opinion, it’s a commentary.
NEVER be a cheerleader for your team! Don’t write “our” team, write about “the” team. Never congratulate a team on its win in your story.
ExampleTigers use inside game to beat RangersBy WES SWIFTThe Travis Tigers found the quickest way to a victory was straight to thehoop.The Tigers used a bruising inside game in the second half to pull away fromthe Clements Rangers for a 62-43 win Tuesday at Wheeler Fieldhouse.“Every win in district is a good win,” said Travis coach Craig Brownson said.“This gets us to 4-1 (in district play), which means we‟re in a good spot.“Every game is a battle because every team is well-coached, so we got tocome ready to play.”
ExampleJunior honored to lead Lady PanthersBy Michael SudhalterErica Dunson was honored, and then, she brought her „A‟ game.The Klein Oak High junior missed the first quarter of the game because shewas being sworn into the National Honor Society.But Dunson scored 14 points – all in the second half – to help lead the LadyPanthers past Spring, 59-38 Friday night during Parent Appreciation Nightat Klein Oak.“I went out there and had fun with it,” Dunson said.Klein Oak (12-17, 4-5) led the Lady Lions (5-22, 0-9), 22-19 at halftime, butDunson sparked a 7-0 run that put the team ahead 29-19.
Story ideas Athletes and health; conditioning during the season, during off season; prevention and care of injuries What it’s like to: warm the bench, lose eligibility, be injured the whole season, lose in the finals, be scouted Recreational and “extreme” sports How and why coaches become coaches Maintaining the athletic fields, courts, playing surfaces, scoreboards A look in the weight room Generations of athletes in the same family, sibling athletes. A look at the athletic booster club. How athletes make the transition from one sport to the next. How athletes prepare for the final game of their high school career. Coping with sports injuries. The college recruiting process.