Sports writing allows you to go to town in describing plays, the atmosphere, fans and other colorful aspects of a sporting event.
The advantage of sports writing is that you are allowed a little it more leeway in your choice of words. In crime or business writing, you are restricted in your use of adjectives and adverbs and are encouraged to focus more on nouns and verbs.
Ideally, any sports story would have quotes from the winners and losers. Indeed, many sports articles are written around what athletes say rather than what they have achieved on the field of play.
STRUCTURES OF A SPORTS NEWS Sample News based on structure: NBA game between Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers on April 1 as our example article.
1.Intro – the most important news aspect of a sports game is the score. Who won? How did they win and what effect did the victory have? Also important is whether we are writing from a Boston perspective or Cleveland. In this case, we will go with Cleveland. Cleveland Cavaliers lost 98-96 to the Boston Celtics after Delonte Wests sank two free throws in the final seconds, dropping three and a half games behind the Pistons for the best record in the Eastern Conference."
2. More info – The above is enough for those who have a passing interest in the sport. However, NBA fans would want more information and you could give it to them in one or two paragraphs.
The Cavaliers were without star player LeBron James, suffering from a knee injury, while the Celtics were minus Paul Pierce. Gerald Green led the way for Celtics with 25 points while Kendrick Perkins had 12 points and nine rebounds. The Cavaliers, for whom Larry Hughes scored 24 with Sasha Pavlovic scoring 17, have already qualified for the play-offs while Boston are out of the running."
3. Quote – This is where you can provide a quote from the coach or a key player from both teams. You can precede each saying with a lead-in paragraph or go straight into the quote.
Celtic forward Al Jefferson, said: They were missing their best player and we were missing our best play. We just stuck in there. Cavs coach Mike Brown said James absence was a key factor in their loss.
4. The rest – Once you got the main information and key quotes out of the way, you can go on to describe the game. Even better would be to describe just one or two plays and include more quotes.
10 tips for improving scholastic newspaper sports writing: Steve Row, Journalism Education Coordinator, Richmond Newspapers Inc.
1. Write about players and teams, not about games. When school papers come out once every four to six weeks, stories about individual games a month earlier serve little purpose and in fact are a waste of space.
2.When writing about players, always identify them by class in school and position on team. Don't say "John Smith" when you can say "senior tackle John Smith," and don't say "Sue Jones" when you can say "sophomore goalkeeper Sue Jones." And don't use double-digit numbers to refer to either grade in school or year of graduating class.
3. Keep up with team statistics and use them frequently in stories. Find out who keeps the scorebooks for various sports, and review the stats often.
4. Keep up with individual statistics and use them frequently in stories. If a player sets or ties a school or local record, note it in a story. Maybe highlight it as its own story. Be sure your coaches and/or athletic director inform you when an athlete or team ties or breaks a record.
5. Know sports writing style : scores are numerals separated by hyphens (12-6, not 12 to 6); team records are numerals separated by hyphens (8-2, not 8 and 2); winning scores always come first, even if your school did not win the contest (your team lost 12-6, not 6-12). Spell your opponents' school name and nickname or mascot correctly.
6.Make sure your sports stories are the last stories turned in before deadline. This is so the stories can contain the most up-to- date records, standings.
7.If you are writing about a team, watch the team practice and watch the team play. You must be present to know what happened, and you must take notes on what you are watching. You cannot write a good sports story on the basis of what someone tells you from memory.
8. If you are doing a profile on an athlete, watch that person at practice and watch that person in competition.
9.Look for opportunities to do sports feature stories that are not tied directly to games. These might include stories about student trainers, the pre- season tryout process, different coaching philosophies, why benchwarmers persist in trying out for teams when they know they won't get much playing time.
10.Sports writing can be more flexible than news or feature writing, but remember that even in sports writing a clear distinction exists between reporting and commenting. If you are writing your own opinion about a team or a sport or a sports issue, that is commentary.
SPORTSWRITING RULES: NEVER be a cheerleader for your teams on the sports pages. Don't write about "our" team, write about "the" team. NEVER congratulate a team or an athlete in your sports stories. NEVER end a story like this: "The Fighting Gnus will undoubtedly be the class of conference and will achieve anything they set out to do.
What is a striking headline? -The headline of a sports coverage story should tell right away who or which team won over whom or whose team( and whenever appropriate or applicable, by what score). -Appropriate action words should be used to indicate who won depending on how the event unfolded Examples: Beermen dump Gins, 106-93Beermen dump Gins, 106-93 Fil-Am sprints for gold in 100m,Fil-Am sprints for gold in 100m, sets new record in SEA Games sets new record in SEA Games
VERBS USED IN SPORTS WRITING EnglishBagGrabHarvestSweepTriumphClinchTakeFilipinoNakamitDinurogNapasakamayNamayaniNamayagpagNangunaNasungkit
EnglishClaimCopSeize Reign supreme Rule Hack out FilipinoNaghariWinalisNasulotNaagawNagkampeonNanalo
EnglishBlankOverwhelmOutsmartOutclassDestroyDemolish Knock out ShockShameFilipinoHinagupitGinulantangNilupigHiniyaPinaluhodPinabagsakNagapiNaungusannilupig
Prevail over SnatchPocketCapture Romp away Bring home Chalk up NakopoHumakotBumanderaUmaniNakuhaNaibulsanaangkin