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Player of the Year and All-area selections: How do you do it?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Logan, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Logan

    Logan New Member

    I'm new to picking POY and AAs. For the last year and half I've basically selected players who I believe are very coachable, possess above average to superior ability and a few other characteristics like sportsmanship, leadership and how they play under adversity - all parameters that in my mind separate players from playas.

    What system or criteria do you use to compile your listings for your publication? Do you base your decision on purely on stats and playing ability? Does academic standing, community service or other factors figure into your process. I'm hoping to learn something...anything that might enhance my decision making process.

    Thanks in advance.

    ~ L
  2. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    Whenever possible with teams, I try to pick a pure all-star team. So for soccer, for instance, it's not 15 mids and 5 strikers, I try to pick stoppers, sweepers. It's not based purely on stats because sometimes they don't tell the whole story. Sometimes we get complaints, so and so had 3 points more than Johnny who you had as an all-star. Well Johnny can win faceoffs and backchecks so...

    Depending on the size of the area and the sport, there will be good players who you don't pick. I've had to leave off scholarship baseball players in the past, whereas most of our girls hockey players don't go on to play in college. Also, I compare them to the other players in our coverage area, not the other players in the state at large or in thier own league.

    For more individual sports like swimming and track, I put more weight on the times at state meets. Those are the ones run under the same conditions, with the same timer and against top competition.

    For Player of the Year I do consider how well a team did as a tiebreaker. If the kids are of similar abilities and stats but its evident that one kid lifted his team beyond expectations in the playoffs, that counts. At the same time, if the stats/abilities aren't close, I try not to let the postseason hamstring him.

    Something I see a lot is colleagues tyring to hard to think outside the box with player of the year, trying to make a splash or discover some kid who's better than who everyone else sees as the de facto choice or the preseason favorite. Don't fall into this trap.

    We don't factor in community service or grades when breaking ties between kids of similar abilities. We have a seperate scholar athlete award for that.
  3. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    The big challenge we have is that our area is across four classifications. The only way for us to not make it the big school all-area team is that we judge an athlete by how they did against his/her competition. We get some complaints from the big schools, but I always just point out that the small school kids do with what they have — who knows how they would do if they had better offseason training opportunities and more (and often better) coaches.
    I don't pay any attention to year in school. Like JimmyHoward, I pay attention to someone's role and try to not just pick five scorers.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Never let off the field stuff play into it, unless the player is serving time in jail or indicted or something.
    We generally look at stats first to narrow the field. A kid hitting .400 in baseball gets in the conversation, while someone hitting .220 doesn't even if he's Ozzie Smith with the glove. After that, we'll look at any all-district or all-state awards. It's not a make or break thing, but it is a factor. If someone makes all-state you look pretty stupid if you leave them off your all-area team.
    How the team did and a player's role in its success also plays into it. If a pitcher goes 10-0 for a state championship team, he'd likely get the nod over a pitcher who went 8-2 for a team that lost in the first round of the playoffs.
    Lastly, talk to the coaches in your area. We always get their input and see if there's anybody we're clearly overlooking. If they've played each other, you can also ask them about other teams and see if anyone stood out.

    In sports with clear positions like football and baseball, we usually pick it by positions by make an extra spot or two for utility players, DHs, athletes and kick returners. In soccer and basketball, where players move around a lot more, you can just pick the top players.
  5. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    There is no fool-proof system to it. There will always be a parent or a coach that said you gave one of their kids the shaft ... and no not that shaft. That is a whole different problem.

    In general, what I do is collect nominations and stats from all the local coaches, talk it over with some of the writers I work with, take into account the postseason and the level of competition and try to pick the player that was the most integral in his/her team's success. It is not necessarily the best player. For instance, this year in basketball I covered a center at a large school that nearly averaged a triple-double, but his team finished in third in the region and was ousted in the first round of the playoffs. On the other hand, I covered a PG that didn't have as big of stats (but still impressive) and he led his team to a region title and a spot in the final four of the state tournament. The latter kid is POY.

    As for All-Area teams, I try and keep it specific yet general, if that makes any sense. Like I'll pick a true all-star team like JimmyHoward said, but I won't get too specific with the positions. I'll pick three guards and two forwards for the first team instead of trying to nail down a point guard, shooting guard, power forward, center, blah blah blah. That gives you a little flexibility. Then I do the same for the second team. And ANY kid that is nominated by a coach receives an honorable mention.

    But don't worry if you get complaints. You always will and it will usually be over the smallest stuff, like "why is my daughter on the second team but not the first?" Just try to build as solid a case for each selection as you can and live with it. Don't back down from them, like an ump defending a pitch that was clearly outside but was called a strike and cost my softball team the intramural title.

    But am I bitter? ... Yes.
  6. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    My paper only covers four schools. I cover all the games of the main school. However of the six other teams (three boys, three girls) only one sends me anything on a consistent basis. Two others are irregular at best. The other three send nothing.

    So for me, this would be pointless. Makes me lucky, I guess.
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    bribes from AAU coaches, principals, opposing coaches and tennis moms.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Biggest thing to remember, other than the tennis moms, is that you aren't picking team based on college potential. You're picking it on current value to the team and what they did on the season.
  9. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    For football, we pick a MVP, Off. Player of Year, Def. Player of Year, Coach of the Year and then 11 players each on offense and defense. For basketball, we pick MVP, OPOY, DPOY, COY and then five players (two guards, two forwards, center). We only cover seven high schools, so it's not too hard and the best players generally stand out. This year, though, we did have a Co-MVP (which I HATE to do).

    We account for stats, postseason play and significance to team's success as the factors. And, yes, you'll have plenty of people (i.e. unreasonable parents) disappointed, but that's par for the course.
  10. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Jesus, just how many JV players who try hard make your team? :)
  11. Logan

    Logan New Member

    They would have to be a D1 prospect as a freshman to have a shot ... LOL ... We have 19 schools in our area of coverage with enrollments from about 120 to 1,300.
  12. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    This is a big one....I've had to convince coaches it's OK if they have a sophomore hitting .440 and their best senior is a .292 guy.

    Exactly...we don't actually list positions, but we usually do a Dream Team depending on how many all-stars there are. But I always go over a potential dream team in my head as I'm looking at it to make sure I don't neglect any position. And I'm pretty liberal with honorable mentions.
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