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Little League?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by IHateSpringSports2013, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. This is more of a question for SEs and sports writers at smaller papers, because I'm assuming metros don't do this:

    What type of coverage do you give your local little leagues? I've done some sporadic coverage in the past, just taking some extremely basic stats and putting in boxes/line scores. This year, the local league has invested in getting the proper equipment to score all of the games on GameChanger, so stats are much more available. So, I was thinking of putting together a weekly page with that information?

    Any one else do something like this? Or have any ideas?
  2. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Just remember...what ever you start covering, you can't stop without getting a huge blowback.
    A weekly page seems good (for the love of Jah, don't take nightly calls!!!, it's hell!).
    Set a deadline and stick to it. Get your guidelines created ahead of time and then you can point to the "policy" already laid out if someone whines about it.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    A slideshow of the moms on a warm Saturday afternoon will bring millions of clicks.
  4. Yeah, that's the only reason I haven't done much with this (and what's held me back in other areas too). It's amazing the type of coverage subscribers would get if people would just not bitch for ten seconds, lol. Not that I care, I just don't have time to field those bitchy phone calls...

    I think with this Game Changer thing though, that is run by the Little League office, any eff ups are basically pointed to them and their score keepers (I know them all, they are competent to keep baseball stats). Since I print at 7 p.m., what I'll probably do is run it weekly on Monday and have all of the line scores from the previous week. However, do it differently than I do for high school/college and run EVERYONE who records an official at bat, regardless if they got a hit/etc. That way everyone is mentioned. That's the only way I can see this working.

    I'm going to try and get a photo from each week just to have some art. The second it causes trouble I will pull though.

    I think I'm going to type up some guidelines and possibly include them in the page.

    I want to do something kind of neat — I guess I just do it and hope parents don't eff it up. haha
  5. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    is there only one league in your coverage area? Because if you do it for Podunk Little League, the next week another league is going to want the same thing. Proceed with caution.
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    You can't unpee in the pool. So anything you do for one, you have to do for all. And once you start, it's hard to stop.
  7. We're just a county wide, so only one little league.
  8. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    Exactly. And you'll be opening Pandora's box. You'll be getting calls like "Why didn't Little Johnny's two-RBI triple make it in the paper?"
    "Uh, because a three-base error isn't a triple, but a three-base error."
    "It was a triple. You just hate kids. They work so hard."
    "Of course they do."

    You don't want to have that conversation. And that'll just be the start.
  9. slc10

    slc10 Member

    I spent years doing youth baseball when the high school seasons ended. My preference in terms of a specific age group was 13-14 but I would allow for 11-12 and maybe 9-10.
    Unfortunately parents drink that Kool-Aid and voila we have cover my team or age group.
    For most of the time I covered youth baseball here we had AABC and Pony in town while LLB was in the smaller communities.
    I usually got whining from all three. You can't win. DO the best you can and hope. I would tell you not to make too many buddies but that would be impossible as I have a personality that makes friends.
  10. BujuBanton

    BujuBanton Member

    I replaced an SE that used the terms "passion" and "Little League Baseball" in a sentence. So, of course, readers and the company expect every All-Star score and call-in style gamers on all the local teams. Along with pictures, etc.

    He would say "no one else does this". Yeah because no one cares. I even spent several days in a hotel covering this garbage. On the last day he called and I was just waking up a good three hours before the championship game. He was shocked that I was in bed and said, direct quote, "It's the biggest game of the year and you're asleep?"

    I laughed off and on the rest of the day and several weeks after. The only positive is epic food spreads at the All-star tourneys, otherwise it's a living hell.
  11. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    No matter what the parents think, Little League is an international organization that only covers a certain group of youth baseball and softball teams.

    We used to take all the summer youth sports results via an online form which had spaces for things like the league, age group, site/round of tournament, winning and losing pitcher, and offensive stats. (The swimming parents didn't like us much!) All fields were required, including a name and contact phone number. The forms were automatically delivered to a general mailbox which was only used for that purpose (and year-round spam) and compiled twice-weekly.

    After a major web redesign a couple of years ago, we had to start taking free-form e-mails which are usually much less informative. But we do get more photos now, as well as other summer sports and recreational events like cycling races and triathlon.

    We will staff Little League 11/12s, the division which goes to the World Series in Williamsport and Portland, Ore. We'll also go to later-round tournaments of other divisions if they're being played locally and our local teams are still involved. The town-run tournaments? That's what the roundup's for.

    Just about every town around here has its own Little League baseball and softball, usually with multiple age divisions. Last summer, our local kids were really successful and that filled a lot of time and space -- which was great, since we're "required" to have one local story in the sports section every day whether high school sports are in session or not.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The moms, man. I said it before, and you guys ignored it, but ... the moms. Even better during All-Stars when it's always hot.
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