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Sports writing

  1. 1. SPORTS WRITING Jose Cristobal M. Ambayon, Ed. D.-ELT Assistant Professor I Sultan Kudarat State University College of Teacher Education ACCESS, EJC Montilla, Tacurong City
  2. 2. -is one of the most interesting aspects of the noble profession- journalism. -It covers news like a basketball or volleyball story, sports editorial, and sports features. -Sports section may also have an editorial cartoon and letters to the editor. SPORTS WRITING
  3. 3.  Have great interest to readers, according to study, 95% of male readers read the sports page.  In the Philippines, basketball games generate so much interest that sports pages cannot be without them.  Most often, the readers are interested to read- human interest stories and write-ups about their favorite sports personalities or sports heroes. SPORTS STORIES
  4. 4.  Sports writing is FUN, but it also hard work. The writer must impart to the reader the drama and excitement he sees in the fields.  The manner of reporting athletic events varies with the sport. One thing is certain: sports writing is livelier because the writer deals with physical motion and action.
  5. 5.  Horse Racing  Basketball  Table tennis  Volleyball  Archery  Lawn Tennis  Baseball  Badminton  Wrestling  Car Racing  Chess  Boxing  Bowling  Track and Field Events  Cycling  Fencing  Football  Golf  Swimming  Water Polo and other types of games VARIOUS TYPES OF SPORTS:
  6. 6. TYPES OF SPORTS REPORTING 1. PLAY-BY-PLAY ACCOUNT- demands close observation and ability to work at top speed. Knowledge of the game is necessary. Sportswriter should know the rules, and all the details regarding the players, past records, officials, and plays.
  7. 7. 2. LEAD STORIES- centering on the highlights and more important plays only such as scoring, plays, the crucial games and the star performers of both teams, especially in newspapers where there is not much space for play- by-play reports.
  8. 8. 3. BRIEF SPORTS STORIES- center on straight news reporting, but with a sports flavor. Stressed the score, winner, outstanding incidents, and how the outcome of the game affects the season’s standing of the teams or individual players.
  9. 9. 4. SPORTS FEATURES- help brighten up the sports page. Have broader range of subject matter. Greater freedom of presentation, and the writers can use the creative approach.
  10. 10. 5. ADVANCE SPORTS STORIES- give backgrounders, some unusual and exciting games the teams have played before games. May report the records of the teams or individual players in the current season, their physical and mental condition. May touch also on lineups, playing styles, crowd situations, statements by coaches, odds, other interests, and angles. Must talk with the coaches and players of the team before the start of the game. Should see both sides in action, lot of background information so could make certain predictions.
  11. 11. 6. FOLLOW-UP STORIES- furnish post- mortem analyses. They may discuss the condition of players injured or the psychological aspects of the game; or they may take up statistics and their significance.
  12. 12. 7. THE SPORTS COLUMN- written from the angle of the reporter’s opinion. However, the writer should confine himself to fair and constructive comments. He may call attention to the performance of certain athletes. If he wants to make predictions, these must be kept within the limits of probability.
  13. 13. WRITING THE SPORTS COVERAGE  The sportswriter must always be punctual in covering sports events so as not to miss the sidelights during the opening of the game.  The reporters need to gather the reaction of the crowds and the cheers of the many competing teams or groups and the members of the team as well as the supporters.  The reporter must get the following facts for his in depth sports story:  The score of outcome ( Who won? Should it end in a tie? A riot or be called off on account of heavy rain, the outcome is always important for the readers.)
  14. 14.  significance of the outcome ( Was the championship at stake? Do team standings change? Who gets the cup?)  spectacular plays ( Tell about the last minute fumble, the three-bag that won the game or the basket from mid-court.)  weather conditions (If outdoor, Mud, sunshine, heat, cold or wind may be important)  size of spectators ( Don’t forget the spectators. Was it a record crowd? How did the spectators behave?)  individual stars (Who were the stars and how did they star)  comparison of the team (How did the weights compare? Were the visitors better trained? In what departments of the game did the winners excel? Where were the losers weak?)  coincidences, if any
  15. 15. WRITING THE SPORTS NEWS  The sports writer must be guided by the 5 W’s and the Inverted Pyramid Style in writing the sports story.  In writing sports news, the reporter uses short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. However, he has more freedom in his writing style than the straight news reporter. His writing has more pep, more enthusiasm.  While the news reporter is not permitted to write his own opinion about persons or events, the sports writer can do this to a certain extent. He can even use slang which is discouraged in the news page. He even use figure of speech more freely than the news writer.
  16. 16. PARTS OF A NEWS STORY  Because a sports report is news, it must have the part of a news story namely, the headline, the lead, and the body. 1. HEADLINE- Use the appropriate sports lingo. Don’t forget the total score. Undesirable: Mindanao State University softball players defeat Holy Trinity College softball players. Preferred: MSU sluggers rips HTC batters, 15-5
  17. 17. 2. THE LEAD- Like any other news reports, a sports story has a lead and a body or text. The sports lead is the attention getter- the news in a nutshell. It uses sports lingo and contains the total score of the game. The sports lead may be one of the following: a. The Classic “5 W’s” b. The Key Play Lead c. The Outstanding Player Lead, and d. The Analytical Approach Lead
  18. 18. a. The Classic 5 Ws Lead- It answers, 1) Who won?, 2) Against whom?, 3) By what score?, 4) Where?, 5) When? And 6) How? Examples: 1. SKSU poured 10 baskets in the last three minutes to edge out the SMIT, 65-63 at the opponents homeground yesterday afternoon. 2. The Philippines fought with steel nerves and refused to be crushed by a giant’s 55 points might to rip favored North Korea, 97-96 in its biggest triumph yesterday in the Asian basketball tournament.
  19. 19. b. The Key Play Lead- It starts with the most exciting parts of the game where a certain team scores more points. Examples: 1. The Aquino NHS sluggers bombed the Marcos NHS batters with six runs in the third inning to subdue a nerve-fuzzling Marcos rally 14-12 as they clinched the invitation games here in connection with the celebration of Sports Week. 2. Foreign Philippine masters champion George Olayber birdied two of the last three holes for a four-under par 67 yesterday and a one stroke lead over Robert Pactolerin in the opening round of the P500,000 Philip Morris Long Golf Classic.
  20. 20. c. The Outstanding Player Lead- It features a favorite, outstanding player. It is sometimes called the hero of the game lead. Examples: 1. Warner Cruz of SKSU, after almost four hours of battle over the chessboard copped the most coveted YMCA trophy after outwitting SKEI chesser Christian Manuel in 27 moves of a Sicilian defense. 2. Ace Striker Rossel Filamer slotted home the priceless marker that lifted that multi-titled Kiwanis Team over hard-fighting Cebuana Lhuiller 1-0 to capture the Fourth Cong. Pax Mangudadatu Football Cup before a big enthusiastic crowd at the Sultan Kudarat Gymnnasium in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat
  21. 21. c. The Analytical Lead- The outcome of the game is the result of a particular key plan in action - Analyze the game. What made a certain team win? What advantages has it over the loser? What techniques did they use? Examples: 1. Riding high on sizzling spikes and tricky placings, the NDDU netters blasted RMMC killers in the crucial third set to win 15-10, 11-15, 15-7 in the Inter-Collegiate Meet, September 21 at the Acharon Sports Complex to celebrate the Education Month. 2. Pumped-up Purefoods played solid defense to frustrate Diet Sarsi, 115-105 last night and arrange a winner-take all, Sunday for the PBA All Filipino Conference crown at the Ultra.
  22. 22. 3. The Body- After the lead comes the body composed of the other elements arranged in descending order or decreasing importance. If it were a basketball story, report it quarter by quarter; if a volleyball story, set by set of frame by frame; if a softball/baseball story, inning by inning; if boxing, round by round, etc. in narrative form. Follow these with their respective scores.
  23. 23. QUALITIES OF THE SPORTS WRITER 1. A sports writer must be a natural descriptive writer who can paint a quick verbal picture without resorting to the dictionary for the right word. 2. It is important that the sports writer must have a feeling and genuine love for the sports. (You can’t convey the emotion of an event or happening if you don’t feel it. If you feel it, the right descriptive words will come out. You must feel also the emotion of the crowd and the atmosphere of the area) 3. Training is important in this form of editorial life.
  24. 24. 4. The sports writer must always be in the struggle in finding new words, new ways to describe punches, new ideas for stories because ideas are the currency of sporting journalism. (This is important in the business sports writing because the readers must be informed and entertained with accurate, clear and well-written sports write-ups. To gain eminence in this field, the sportswriter must always hold the reader’s attention from the first paragraph to the last). 5. The sports writer must be endowed with a keen memory. (This is essential if you are to recall important facts and figures) 6. The sports writer must have a good digestion of significant events.
  25. 25. The Sportswriter’s Duty  The main objective or goal of the sportswriter is to serve the readers by writing stories, either amateur or professional in nature. The sports stories might vary depending upon the significance of the athletic event or the amount of space available for the sports accounts.  Sports writing is a ticklish and difficult job to handle. A sportswriter is duty bound to write a complete play-by-play report of a major event, like basketball, football, volleyball or tennis.
  26. 26.  Because of the sustaining interest and appeal of the sports section of the newspapers, with all kinds of followers, the goal of the sportswriter as the purveyor and disseminator of factual, blow-by-blow accounts of any sports event, is to write a simple story for the average readers.  As the most consistent follower of sports events in the making, the sportswriter in under obligation to observe faithfully the rules of the “game of sports writing”. HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE BIASED AND PREJUDICED INN HIS REPORT, OR HE IS GOIN TO BE PARTIAL AND PARTISAN IN THE REPORTING OF THE GAME, WITH INACCURACY AND MISINTERPRETATION OF FACTS, EITHER INTENTIONALLY OR UNWITTINGLY.  THE ROLE OF THE SPORTSWRITER IS TO GIVE THE INFORMATION OBJECTIVELY FOR THE READERS OF THE SPORTS SECTION.
  27. 27. TIPS FOR SPORTS WRITERS 1. Be minor sports enthusiasts. (Know about basketball, baseball, and all the games your going to write about) 2. Write for the average reader. (Write simply with no unusual and technical terms) 3. Use the active voice. 4. Write with vigor. (Use strong verbs but not murderous) 5. Be fair. Don’t take sides. 6. Be constantly on the lookout for unusual incidents and angles. 7. Describe the players. 8. Get additional facts from the players, coaches, and spectators. Support your story with quotes. 9. Be careful with the statistics. (scores, league standing) 10. Never use ten words when seven will do. 11. Read the best sports writing in the dailies. ( Study and analyze the techniques of outstanding sports writers)
  28. 28. WORKSHOP  Write a story based on the following facts:  Last night, September 28, 2013  SKSU Gymnasium  The last games of the elimination round of the 23rd SKSU Inter-Campus Basketball championship.  Results:  ACCESS Campus vs. Tacurong Campus: 102-57 (This was an expected win.)  Isulan Campus vs. Lutayan Campus 96-89 (Lutayan was favored team before the game.)