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Covering the Christmas basketball tournament

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by aztarheel, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. aztarheel

    aztarheel New Member

    Just looking for a different/creative/more appealing way to cover the local Christmas basketball round robin next week. I'm not with a newspaper anymore. I run a local web site (partnered with a sports magazine that publishes 6x a year). I can do live blogging, Facebook updates, photo galleries etc. a little more easily since there is no print product/deadline to worry about.

    All eight of the schools participating in this particular two-day event are in our coverage area. It's basically eight games per day for two days (play will be in two different gyms). It's not a tournament format. The schedule is already set. Some of the games will be dogs. Some should be really good featuring the top teams in our region. I have no interest in writing 16 gamers or hiring freelancers to write 16 gamers. I'm sure very few people want to read 16 gamers.

    Any ideas from the pros out there? I also have other schools playing in other tournaments at the same time but this one features the most local schools. The other tourneys are an hour away, etc. Thanks again for any ideas folks may have...
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Any decent players in the tournament? A coach who has been around for a while? Or a team to watch in the state?

    You could also see what the future holds for the tournament. Where I used to work, holiday tournaments struggled except for the ones in the "big" cities in the state.
  3. aztarheel

    aztarheel New Member

    yes, yes and yes ... as for the future, some coaches love this format (four teams from one conference play four from the other conference on back to back nights -- nice Conference A vs. Conference B challenge) ... others don't like it because they want to play an actual tournament, with a championship game, etc. That might be an angle for something... thanks for the feedback...
  4. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    What Stitch said. We just had a holiday tourney here, three local schools involved, plus a kid from town who plays at a private school a town over. First night was essentially the opener for the locals, and since we rarely have the chance to do hoop previews with the football overlap, it was meet the teams night. There was also a traveling team from Australia in it, so that became a feature one night.
  5. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    You are correct, no one wants to read 16 gamers. Make a feature per day, a sidebar and run a roundup of gamers, 2-3 graphs AP style each. You have plenty of chances to get art with the games, or find ways to make art while some teams mill around.
  6. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    If you can, record your interviews on video and post them immediately after the game. Live updates and blogging during the game might make people who can't attend check back on your site often, driving up your page views.

    Save the features for the print product, but tease them on your site and facebook, maybe with a short clip of your interviews.

    Sounds like you have a chance to really have a lot of freedom and fun with this.
  7. At my last gig, I went through the microfilm looking for some background on a Christmas tourney that had been going on locally since the 1960s. There was some contention over when a team last won it, and I was trying to figure it out after the fact. I came across some really wild history, including a lot of debate over whether the girls teams should be invited to play (some local girls coaches were quoted, in the late 1960s, as saying their girls wanted a winter break and didn't practice as hard so their teams should bother playing) and I came across some other interesting things, like a coach who took his team to the finals something like 12 years in a row in the 1970-80s.

    I don't know how old this tourney you're covering is, but I thought those topics I came across would have fascinated our readers, and I was really looking forward to writing those stories before I got a new job. Might be worth looking into if you can find the old editions in some format at the library. Even if you can find some tournament old timer hanging around, a look-back story on his or her opinion on how it's evolved might be interesting.
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