Baseball relies on cliches more than any other sport. They appear in quotes from coaches and in prose from sportswriters. This leads to stories that are both superficial and vague.
It’s always helpful when coaches speak to future sportswriters about their own profession. At EIU we are fortunate that many coaches are willing to share their expertise with our students. Ask coaches at your own schools if they can speak with your staffs or classes. I bet most will attempt to find the time, despite their [...]
I’ll be tweeting at @joegisondi from a college women’s basketball game tonight with students from my sportswriting class assigned to the game between Eastern Illinois University and Oakland College. I’ll offer tips on how to cover basketball games, include observations about the game, and share challenges faced by my students. I will tag most comments [...]
So how do you write a game story for those who have already watched a sports event – or who at least have viewed countless highlights? By focusing more on key moments and less on play by play.
Play by play should can be more heavily used for prep and youth games that few people have [...]
Like everything else, game stories are evolving. Used to be that sportswriters would file a short, inverted pyramid gamer 15-30 minutes after a game ended, offering the key play or trend in the lead. (Go far enough back, to 1910s and ’20s and you’ll find game stories that began in the first inning, the score [...]
Inexperienced sports journalists tend to start at the beginning when writing game stories, offering information about the early innings before the key late-inning rally or about a play in the first quarter instead of the game-changing play in the final minutes.
Or they might instead offer a very general overview or some personal commentary.
In class last [...]
It’s fun to talk like an insider, yelling that a play was Prime Time, baby. Or that Pujols just mashed a tater. Or even that a scrum half wiggled his way upfield like a baggy up a Border burn. The folks in Hawick were chuffed when rugby commentator Bill McLaren offered that analogy – even if [...]
As I judged two state collegiate journalism competitions the past week, noticed a few areas where students can improve their coverage.
Add insights from players and coaches. Many stories failed to include a single comment, which is almost inconceivable for today’s readers. Most others included brief comments from the local school team. Few offered comments from [...]
If you want to improve as a sportswriter, you need to constantly read others, like those who covered this past weekend’s NFL playoff games (or like those who regularly cover high school preps or college volleyball or who write about pretty much anything). Here’s some lessons from this past weekend’s playoffs coverage.
If you are thinking of producing a special section for a holiday bowl game, check out Iowa State Daily’s weekly football section, which is also produced online.
Odds are, your university’s readers won’t be on campus during this time. So a digital edition like ISD’s Gridiron section would work best.
Check out the Gridiron’s weekly features, graphics, [...]
Major League Baseball issued a dress code for reporters in press boxes and locker rooms that requires common sense, forbidding open-faced shoes like sandals and clothing with any MLB team logos. That’s akin to telling college sports journalists not to wear clothing that identifies them as a representative of their own school, nor to wear [...]
I just posted some suggestions about ways to write game stories on the National Sports Journalism Center’s website. Check it out here. You can also follow me on Twitter for other sports updates and tips.
Softball is not just baseball played with a bigger ball. There are more than a few differences.
Obviously, the ball is much larger. As a result, the field dimensions are also significantly different. The outfield fences are not as deep since a larger ball does not carry as far, and the bases are [...]