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How late is too late to run all area teams?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by rpmmutant, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    I just took over a sports department. The staff is behind on running all area teams. They have been understaffed for a while. The paper has not run all area teams from the winter sports, basketball, soccer and wrestling. Is it too late to run them? Should we just skip them and work on spring sports all area teams?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yes. Too late for winter sports. Getting near too late for spring sports.

    Oh, and heaven knows how many scholarships you cost those kids!
    KYSportsWriter and Gator like this.
  3. SEeditor

    SEeditor Member

    I would go with the spring teams, but maybe put the winter lists up online. I'm taking over a section -- actually re-taking it as I had it once before -- and plan on getting in the remainder of the spring lists that haven't been published yet. But I wouldn't hold on to them too much longer.
  4. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    What SE said. I think it is worthwhile to still compile them and at least publish them online, but it does seem a little late to do winter teams.

    My only other thought would be to make it a summer series to help fill out the pages during a slow time. Every week, a new team announced. But it may already be too late for even that.
    HanSenSE likes this.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Bottom line is people will want to see the teams, even if they think they are late. (Thought they still will probably scratch their heads over the timing.) So do what you think is best.

    If you are determined to do it, maybe a feature on a player on the team going off to college, playing in a summer league, getting ready for senior year, with the list of the teams.

    But I would not want to put other things behind to scramble to get six-month-old all-area teams in the paper.
  6. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    We haven't run our spring teams yet, but the spring season only came to a close a week ago.
  7. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    It's WAY TOO LATE to run winter sports. Run the spring sports now and get them done quickly. These should really all be done by the end of June. I know you're behind and all that jazz, but dragging this shit into late July or August just makes you look incompetent.
  8. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    If you don't have the list to you by a week after the state contest in that sport, I'd say don't run it.
    State softball and baseball occurred the first Friday and Saturday in June here.
    Each sports season, the state AP sends out its all-state lists the week of state here, with the district teams usually turned in way before then.
    Those teams, from all-state all the way down to all-conference, are all supposed to be based on regular-season stats anyway, so there's no reason for any of them to be turned in late.
    The only reason we run one of our all-conference list several weeks after the regular season ends is because that conference won't officially release its lists until all of its member schools are out of the playoffs.
    That sometimes makes the list the worst-kept secret in the area, especially if the last school remaining isn't even one we cover, but that's the way that conference does it.
    However, those in charge of a district list ought to have them out as soon as they're compiled. These aren't national secrets.
    Just this past week, we had a softball mom/grandma call in wondering why one of the district teams (there are several "districts" in our area, some of which we never hear from and some with unknown organizers) was not published in our paper.
    We looked. We never received it, and we still haven't.
    Life goes on.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If you're a full season behind, and you want to maintain the tradition/ practice of naming all-area teams, I'd run a photo of the POY and then run the selections in an agate package.

    Don't call attention to the disorganization of the previous staff by running a big package on all-area teams several months out of date.

    Call the area ADs and explain to them, "the whole process was already months behind schedule when I came in, we do intend to continue to run them in the future, so we decided to run them in a very limited format."

    After that, dust your hands off and resolve that all-area teams in each season absolutely must run no later than the beginning of competition for the next sport season.

    That's a drop-dead deadline. Theoretically ideal deadlines may be very different.

    I'd generally aim to pick your honor teams within a week or two of district tourney play in each sport and aim to run them within a few days of the elimination of your last team: this allows you to make adjustments to the teams based on performances in the state semis or finals.

    Some people are adamant that state tourney performance should not be taken into account when picking A-A teams, but to me that's nuts; state tourney performance is pretty arguably the most important thing to base player assessments upon. So there's a decent argument to hold off running your teams until your last team is finished in tourney play.

    Although it's probably very rare that any player who delivers a real difference-making performance in a state final wasn't going to be somewhere on your honor teams anyway.

    To get all-area teams selected, written, and shot (photographically) on schedule, the SE has to really crack the whip to get those things out and not short shift daily coverage and previews for the next season (if you do them).

    Whether the stories are assigned to be written individually or as a group effort, preliminary work ought to begin no later than midseason.

    One result of the dramatic drop in news hole has been a major cutback of the over the top graphic packages and run-on-forever selection stories.

    In the olden days for instance, in basketball you might pick a dream team, all-area teams in 4 classes, and then second teams, HM, etc etc; you might be organizing head shots and group art for 60 players, then writing features on the Dream Teamers, POY, COY, and capsules for second teamers, agate lists for HM.

    That crap's out the window now. Most papers I've seen the past few years run a picture of the POY and that's it. A select few still do a group pic of the Dream Teamers, but not too many. Stories have been cut way way down too; now you have a feature on your POY and agate lists for everybody else.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Depending on the sport, I'd say six weeks after the season ends -- maybe two months -- it's pushing it. Any later than that and it has a WTF? feel to it.
    You have more leeway when school is in session. High school soccer season in our state, for example, ends the first week of February and our local teams are usually out of the playoffs in late January. Basketball ramps up its postseason at the same time, however, so we usually wait to do both all-county teams together in March. We've done them as late as April, but even that is really pushing it. Even the way we do it, it's almost two months after soccer season ends and we have to hunt people down for photos and stats.
    If spring sports for you end in May, I'd say the end of June is the latest you should run all-area teams. Maybe July 4 weekend to give you something to fill those papers. Beyond that, you're bleeding into next year. I'd just skip the winter sports entirely at this point and explain it to coaches and ADs if they ask.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It should probably go without saying your all-area teams should run before the major all-state teams, whether they be chosen by AP or coaches' associations.

    Unless you're at an outlet that can legitimately consider itself a "statewide flagship" type of operation, it'll be quite an anticlimax for kids to be named to the Daily Hornhonker All-Area team if two weeks ago they made AP All-State.

    In Michigan anyhow, the AP All-State teams in football and basketball run the week of the state final games. I'd say most local papers try to kick out their all-area teams a week or two before that.
  12. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's because tracking down our state coaches association's all-state team is like trying to unearth the Holy Grail, but we've never worried about the all-state teams scooping us. Our all-county schedule is based primarily on logistics.
    We spread football out over three days at Christmas to easily fill the slow holiday sections.
    Soccer and basketball are targeted for early March, because there's not a lot going on during spring break and that helps fill a Sunday section.
    The spring sports (baseball, softball and track) start on Memorial Day and follow through early June. You need to catch everyone before school lets out and the scatter, plus it gives us something during a pretty dead period. And I go on vacation then, so it effectively allows me to leave two completed sections for whoever is filling in.
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