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 track of football stats

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FPH, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. FPH

    FPH New Member

    Gearing up for my first football season at a non-college paper and am going to have to keep track of my own stats for the first time. I have to admit, the idea of this has me pretty intimidated. I was hoping to get some pointers from you guys about what systems work best for you. Anything to pay particularly close attention to so as to not miss anything? Maybe something that seems obvious in retrospect but took awhile to figure out?

    Thanks in advance, guys. Always appreciated.
  2. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    There are several threads dedicated to some of your answers (look below for one) but otherwise, keep your head up and keep trucking.

    No. 1 - http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/57813/
  3. OrangeGrad

    OrangeGrad Member

    It sounds silly, but go to a freshman game or junior high game early in the season and practice. The pace generally is slower and you don't have to worry about making mistakes. It really gets easier with experience.
  4. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Not a dig at FPH, but college paper writers should have at least some experience taking down play by play.

    Just because colleges have SIDs, you should be taking at least some of your own notes, instead of grabbing the food and the quote sheets and going back and writing. Not only would it help for later in your career, but also keep you in the game and make the college stories better.

    But to answer the question, read the linked thread. That has a lot of good info. Take small chunks (all the basic info) and add in other stuff as you feel comfortable.
  5. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Amen ... I've had kids from the college near me freelancing for a few years and this is the one thing I always dread when I recruit new ones -- that they've never kept their own stats. OK, wait, that's one of the many things I dread when I recruit new freelancers. But that's for another thread.

    So to all the college students who might read this, please, for your own good (and in the interests of keeping your editor's blood pressure at a healthy level) learn how to do this. And you're gonna screw it up the first few times. Comes with the territory. Definitely look at that other thread and work out a system that works for you.
  6. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Is it August already?
  7. lollygagger

    lollygagger Member

    It's not that silly. That's a great way to get some practice in until you feel comfortable with your system. If the high schools in your state play preseason scrimmages, that's another chance to practice.
    Here's something else I tried in my long-ago early days: Record one or two NFL exhibition, er, preseason games and practice charting them. Almost nothing can make me watch the NFL preseason, but it's about the only football you can find before high school season starts, so I did this for the first couple of years. Many NFL stat rules are different from high school, but that's immaterial. And by recording the game, you can work on your charts as many times as you think you need to.
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Everyone develops their own system and I developed mine many moons ago working as a spotter for TV and radio. I needed to have cumulative stats available on a moment's notice, so I kept updating as the game went along. That way, at any given moment, I could tell you hwo many yards Joe Blow had rushed for, etc. Then I would do team stats at the end of each quarter.

    The best thing I would say is at the beginning keep it simple. Yards, attempts, catches, touchdowns, etc. Don't worry too much about third-down conversions or time of possession (although I have worked those in over the years of fine-tuning) if you are a one-man crew.

    Yes, as lollygagger says, it can help to do a couple of dummy games off TV. Then you can compare what you have to stuff on, say, NFL.com, where they even have an actual play-by-play available.
  9. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Practice is the best way to learn.
    If you went to a big, the most intimidating thing may have been the fact that their are several people with the SID involved in the stat/scorekeeping process, so not having done it yourself and seeing all that can make the job seem ridiculously overwhelming. It's not. It can be tough sometimes, but don't be overwhelemed.

    Do one thing that I always emphasize with young reporters: Learn the rules, and learn the stats. You don't want to be midway through a game when have to ask "Okay who gets credit for the yardage on a hook-and-lateral?" "How do I mark penalty yardage stepped off at the spot of the foul? as well as the play yardage?" "What do I mark for a fumble recovery?" And "How do I mark the punt yardage on a touchback?"

    Every year, a new thread pops up here with someone asking one of those types of questions.
  10. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    One thing I've found is when I'm keeping play-by-play notes and stats is that I'm more into the game and its easier to remember than (if available) going through a bunch of xeroxed PBP sheets.

    On Friday nights, as its been said many times, many ways, use the KISS system: rushing yards, passing yards, receiving yards. If you can keep tackles, more power to you. Don't bother with RAC, hurries and other speciality stats.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I just make them up. Then I can tell who actually knows what they're talking about if they question me on the numbers.
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Don't kill yourself over a yard here or there on non-scoring plays. I never had anyone bitch that I was one or two yards off from the team scorkeeper.

    Be sure to get the attempts right and never, ever fuck up who scored. That you need to double check with the home book. And even if you think the home book is wrong. It is never wrong.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page