WRITING THESPORTS STORY Structure of the Sports Story
Sports Reporting is news writing. It has the structure of anaction story but with greater freedom of style inwriting. It is considered a specialized field;therefore, the sports writer is expected to possesscertain qualities not so common among beatreporters. Aside from having a “nose for news,” heshould also: 1) Have interest in all sports events 2) Know the rules and regulations of the event or game he is writing about, and 3) Have a working knowledge of the language and jargon of sports writing usually referred to as sports lingo.
In this connection, he should avoidclichés (tired, old phrases) that have seenbetter days. Examples of clichés are“swishing the cord,” “hitting the willowroot,” and “canning the birdie.” Even when writing for a school paper,the budding sports writer is expected topossess the three characteristics of asports writer just mentioned although hedoes not need to be a star player of thegame himself before he can writeinterestingly about it.
Three (3) types of sports stories can bewritten. These are the ff: 1) The advance story – sometimes called dope orprognostication, builds up enthusiasm for comingevents. It may be one of the three types: a) straight news story, b) background story, and c) prediction story 2) The coverage story – is an on-the-spotcoverage of an actual game or event. 3) The advance coverage story – includes theinformation of a coming event as the first part ofthe story and the information on the past event asthe last part of the story.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD SPORTS WRITER The sports writer should also have the ff.know-how:1. Must know sports: rules, strategy, team, and players’ records.2. Must attend the games or meet as areporter, not as a spectator or cheerer.3. Must know coaches and players as intimatelyas possible.4. Must observe accuracy.
5. Must be able to take notes quicklywithout losing the sequence of the play.6. Must be fair and unbiased inreporting, even though he has a favoriteteam.7. Must not make comments withoutsupporting them with facts on whichthey are based, although sports writershave more freedom than any other newswriters.
8. Must use the specialized language ofthe particular sports that he isreporting.9. Must avoid sports slang and triteexpressions which hack writers usetoday. He should tell the story inplain, factual terms that describe theaction.10. Must bear in mind that he writesfor his readers and not for himself.
WRITING THE SPORTS STORYThe LeadSports Lead – is the attention-getter, the news ina nut-shell. The Classic “Five W’s” appear in the sports lead as: 1. Who won? 2. Against whom? 3. By what score? 4. Where? 5. When?
EXAMPLE: (1) The Torres High School Quintet (2) poured 10 baskets in the lastthree minutes to edge out theOsmenians (3) 65-63 (4) at the opponents’ home ground (5) yesterday afternoon
The Philippines fought with steelnerves and refused to be crushed bya giant’s 55-points might to nipfavored North Korea 87-86, in itsbiggest triumph yesterday in theAsian Men’s Basketball Championship. This kind of summary lead mayvary.
Reporters:Cory Madelo andHeidi Cabiguin ENGL 115 MARCH 13, 2013