The Seraph
  • Moderator: Mr. Hessel
Sports 1 - The Basics of Sports Writing
Sports = Action, Excitement
Focus on Action!

As a reference tool, compile a record book of sports history
Get to know the coaches, assistant coaches, scorekeepers, players, fans
Don’t ignore the minor sports
Cover both varsity and JV
Cover both boys and girls teams
Team, varsity, school are collective nouns: the team is, varsity is, school is.

In news stories, be sure to include information about the opponents, too

3 Types of Sports Stories:
1. Pre-game
2. Game
3. Post-game

The Pre-Game Story – Organize Early
Because of schedule, good to cover several games (next few games after distribution, big rivalries, etc.
1. Contact other teams’ coaches and/or other schools’ sports editors
    how many returning letterholders
    how many returning starters
    players’ class year, position, size for sports like football
    last year’s record
    assessment of team’s strengths and weaknesses (probably general info)
2. Info about SFP team
    score of last year’s game(s) between the schools
    team’s physical condition (any injuries?)
    starting lineups
    comparison between the two teams’ records so far this season (common opponents)
    comments on styles of play (emphasize offense or defense?)
    significance of game (playoff or championship at stake?)
    analysis of individual players
    historical background of the rivalry
3. Don’t overlook related spirit activities – pep rallies, cheerleaders, etc.

The Game Story
Because of schedule, few of these, except for big rivalries, tight games, playoffs, championships
Game’s past, old news; usually brief account; focus on 5W’s and H:
    who won?
    what are the game highlights?
    did anyone set or nearly net a record?
    why is the game important in standings or for one or more players?
    what other elements stand out?
    what consequences, if any, are likely?
Consider “featurizing,” combining past, game and pre
Take good notes
Don’t let cheering for own team interfere with observing, analyzing, taking notes
OK to analyze, just be sure you know what you’re talking about and you’re correct

The Post-Game Story
Sports feature, background story, sports interview
Analysis, interpretation, interview
Vivid and colorful (don’t overdo it)