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High school basketball help

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JLawson, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. JLawson

    JLawson Member

    So basketball is starting in my parts already and being a noob at covering high school basketball I need some help. First question is stats, how do you do them? What kind of stat sheet do you use? If you have one can you post it on here?
    Second, play by play what is the best way to keep track without missing the action?
    Any other tips would be great too.
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I used to keep play by play in those skinny reporter's notebooks with as many rebounds, steals, assists, blocks, and other key moments as possible while taking photos throughout the game. Definitely an artform to it. It's where being ambi-dextrous comes in handy, because I could click with my right finger and hold the camera in my right hand, and quickly scribble the play/stat/moment with my left hand. But if you're just sitting at the scorer's table, just figure out a system that's best for you. Experiment. I wish I had one of my notebook pages to scan in to show you how I did it. I'll check my car and see if I can find you something.
  3. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    The simpler, the better. You will, or should, eventually devise your own method that works best for you.
    I also shoot my own photos, so I have to keep things simple.
    As such, I don't keep track of turnovers, rebounds, assists, etc.
    A typical page looks like this:

    E14 2 7:12
    M22 2 6:44
    M15 2 6:39
    E 35 3 6:00

    And on and on. The letter is the first letter of the high school; the number behind it is the player's number who scored. The second number is the basket; for free throws I use a circle, and if the FT is made, I put an X in it (much like a scoring book). The time is, well, the time left in the quarter. Sometimes I'll get rambunctious and put a running score out to the side, but since I work at a weekly I have plenty of time to figure this out. My biggest problem is I miss a lot of good photos because I'm simply watching the action instead of focusing on getting the shot.

    Good luck.
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I created a stat box on a Word document, which includes spots for: Nos., names, FGs, FGA, 3FGs, 3FGA, FTs, FTA, rebounts, assists, blocks, steals. Up top, I've got a spot for each team's line score.

    You need to pay very close attention to what's happening on every play to keep an accurate tally, but it helped me with reporting the game -- because, well, it helped me pay very close attention. But it's easy once you get the hang of it.

    If you want, I can e-mail you the template and you can run with it if you want.
  5. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    I've got a legal-sized stat sheet that a buddy devised before he departed.. unfortunately, I don't know if I can fax it. I use a series of dots to keep track of individual stuff, and a running score to the right of that.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Beside the stats, focus on trends in the game. If you're locked into the game, 3 or 4 trends might be going on at the same time. Listen to everything. Pay attention to coach-speak, or when assistant coaches suggest something (you can hear a lot if you sit at the scorer's table). Maybe it's the first person off the bench who hits 3 straight baskets to spark a run. Covering basketball is a lot of fun, especially when you lock in to the moment.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Stats, you almost always can get from the opposition.

    I say in hoops, it's far more important to keep a running tally than to worry about rebounds, assists, etc., since they often are available.
  8. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Mike --- can I get one of those sheets e-mailed, via PM? Sounds like a great tool to keep a good running tally of a game... thanks.
  9. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Sure can, sir.
  10. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Like others have said, try to keep a running tally of the game. It helps you with runs, etc. or to see if one team missed so many shots in a 20-0 run.

    I usually have a legal pad for pxp and a stat sheet when I cover a game.

    For play by play, I'll have visiting team on the left and its score, time in the middle and home team on right, with its score. I don't know how well it will translate on here, but its kinda like this.

    I don't keep track of individual shooting, way too hard for just one person to do that AND do rebounds, steals.

    -----> possession arrow
    lu layup
    x is a missed shot

    Tech Time Podunk
    800 ---->
    754 2 25 lu
    33 dunk 2 723
    x x x
    654 x
    54 three 5 500

    For stat sheets, I'll make a column for each quarter, a column for halftime totals and overall totals, column for fouls and the last column for rebounds.

    Another tip: add up your scoresheet after every quarter and during breaks. Nothing worse than having 56 as your final score and the individual points add up to 54.

    In the play by play, I'll also circle the time when one team or the other ties the score.
  11. tjbball54

    tjbball54 New Member

    I free hand everything. Before the games I always list the players names and numbers along the side of the sheet and put type of stat on top of the sheet and form columns. Then tally up stat in whatever column. Then play by play i have a separate sheet and note key plays and times...so on. I know there is a sweet program that adds everything up and is very easy to track stats, but I don't have it and I don't have the name of it- this would require you to have a laptop though obviously. As somebody stated, most teams will be able to give you an official copy of stats after the game. I just like doing it myself so I have it in front of me at all times. Helps me start the focus the article in my head before the game is even over sometimes.
  12. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    I second those who say watch for trends. If Suzy Z. rips down 4 straight rebounds near the end of the game, that's a great bit of info for readers who might not have seen the game (and parents who will be pissed off if you don't include it.)
    When I worked gamers I also had to take photos, which at first was damn near impossible. But as the season winded down I could take photos and still have time to write down what happened that play. At the end of the game the coaches were always willing to let me see their stats, too, which at times helped bundles.
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