1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Keeping stats at basketball game

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by rico_the_redneck, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. I'll be out covering prep basketball Saturday for the first time in about seven years and I've forgotten how I kept play-by-play.

    The football stat sheet thread was really helpful. If you've got a word/PDF file on how you keep stats at basketball games or suggestions on how to set up your notebook - anything would be much appreciated.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I just take a steno pad, but one of the big yellow legal pads will work too...
    "T" the left side -- one team on the left, one on the right , preferably to whichever team is on your right for the second half.
    Keep baskets and fouls on each line with time.. I use something like "7:54 21 15fJ" or 3:57 42 3" or "2:21 5 St-L" Keep the running total on the left side, note the time of every basket, foul or free throw.
    It can be as detailed as you wish, include misses and rebounds... use each line... you CAN keep a quarter on each steno sheet... I T the upper right corner for misses and lower right for turnovers.
    But I also keep a scoresheet too -- so I can look at the makes in a quarter too...

    I know of a scorekeeper in this area who keeps makes and misses in the book...
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I may be in the minority, but I limit what stats I keep. Unlike baseball or football, the game moves too fast and there are too many categories to keep track of. I limit my stuff to things in the scorebook: points, three-pointers, free throws, fouls, etc. I do chart team turnovers (not individual) because I learned that one stat so often tells the tale of the outcome.

    Trying to do rebounds, steals, shots attempted, etc. just leaves no time to actually watch the game. How often have we gotten to the final buzzer and looked down at a sheet full of dots and dashes and asked ourselves "what the hell actually happened out there?" (the exception would be if I know going in that I am watching one particular player who is a stud rebounder, assist guy, shot blocker, etc.) It's easy to get so wrapped up in numbers that we lose sight of the big picture that will ultimately be the focus of our story.

    I don't do a full play-by -play but watch for trends (Smith scored 8 points as Podunk used a 12-2 run to seize command). If the game is close in the last 5 minutes, I'll start a play by play. If it's a blowout, it's useless anyway.
  4. Dawgpound17

    Dawgpound17 Member

    I haven't covered Preps basketball but for college I simply keep in my mind what are big plays (like something at the time you might think is a game changer or momentum swinger i.e. a fast break that gets a team going, a block, injury etc and I do the times as well like "_ with a quick 2-pass fast break at the 12:34 mark" or something like that. That and simple points, and foul shots. Just my .02
  5. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    If I'm keeping stats I make four columns (2 pt shots, 3 pt shots, free throws, rebounds) for each player. I keep starters, draw a line under the fifth starter, then list bench players in the order in which they enter the game. I'll track team turnovers (this is hs ball so no need to call out some 16 year old who had 10 turnovers). I won't track assists, but usually an assistant coach will and I can ask after the game if someone had a bunch. I make note of the score at each stoppage in play.

    My sheet will look something like this

    21 Smith xxoox ooox oooo IIII
    23 Jones oooox oo IIII

    Which means Smith was 2-3 from 2 pt range, 3-4 from 3 pt range, 4-4 from the line and pulled down 4 boards. Jones had 4-5 shooting, 2-2 from the line and 5 boards.

    My question this year is I'm now at a shop that does not run bull boxes. Freed as I am of the need of tracking which benchwarmer went 1-5 from the field in junk time, I'm considering not tracking full stats at all and just tracking runs, defenses and possession results, as I would at a college (or Indiana high school) game where I'm getting a full stats pkg from a dedicated stats crew. If I don't need to keep a full box, should I?
  6. writingump

    writingump Member

    I tend to keep my own stats at most high school games because I don't trust most teams' statisticians. They pad the stats and I don't. The only time I won't keep stats at a high school game is if it's at a tournament where I know someone is keeping stats and printing them off for the media (i.e.: Arby's Classic in Bristol, Tenn. or the LandAir Ladies' Classic in Greeneville). In that case, I keep play-by-play as I would at a college or pro game.
    In most cases, I rarely use play-by-play when writing a high school game. I prefer to take an analytical or feature-type angle because most readers don't want to read about every single possession. And up here in southern Illinois, I rarely get more than 400 words anyway, so why waste it with miscellany?
  7. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    other than shooting and scoring, the only team stats i used to keep were turnovers.

    fuck that. i was there to tell a story, not be a stat guy.
  8. Simon

    Simon Active Member

    I used to keep a running score tally so I could pick out key runs at the top of the steno pad. Player numbers down the side w/ starters first then the rest as they came in.

    Scottsvill 3333221111
    JoeBlowsU 2222 223233

    I'd note timeouts on there to note trends. Rebounds for only people I knew who would rebound. Made shots and FTA-FTM for everyone else. Turnovers as a team stat. I'd never call out a high school kid individually for turnovers.
  9. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    I used to keep a proper scorekeeper's book and brought along a reporter's notebook. Kept the scorebook with points and rebounds ... some key players got the steals and assists tracked.

    Use the notebook for scoring runs. While play-by-play is probably best, you'll get a better and better feel for scoring runs in due time. Score by quarters also helps organize potential scoring runs.
  10. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I have a stat sheet and keep a running tab. I love stats. Only reason.

    The only stat I don't try to keep up with is assists, because by the time I've figured it was an assist, two more baskets have scored. I've recently added trying them, with moderate success.

    The running tab, on an 8.5x11 notepad, is for runs. The stat sheet is an Excel sheet that looks similar to a stat book, but to the right has boxes for rebounds (I for defensive, O for offensive), assists (I often put the assist on the notepad and add them later), steals and blocks, along with FG, 3PT, FT and PTS.

    It's a challenge, but one I've almost perfected. I sit by the announcer, so if I miss a play, I can ask him.

    Fastest prep game I ever covered, league tourney finals, had a 25-24 score at the end of the first quarter. And I had everything but assists (had a friend with me who agreed to stat them).
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    My stat sheet has space for pxp, box score (although I always check against the official book), rebounds, fouls and linescore. I also keep track of turnovers, especially since one of our high school teams loves to press teams into submission.
  12. Anyone have a Word of PDF file of their stat sheet you can send me?

    Thanks for all the great discussion and ideas!
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page