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Prep stats ... when do you start running them?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Hey Diaz!, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Hey Diaz!

    Hey Diaz! Member

    Just looking for some feedback on what I should do here.

    In recent years, well before I took over the section, we ran weekly prep basketball leaders but made the mistake of not introducing the package until mid-January, which is around the year's halfway mark. But due to cutbacks and a writer on our three-person sports staff trying to balance work and college courses, I'm thinking of scrapping them altogether and running year-end stats.

    I think this is the right move. I've never understood the point of starting something mid-stream; if you want stats, I think you're better off making a concrete decision to start running them a 1-3 weeks into the season/whenever there's an accumulation of completed games.

    Assuming your section still runs stat leaders, how do you go about it?
  2. berniefocker

    berniefocker New Member

    We run them usually first week in January till end of regular season. Then one more time after state championships with our postseason awards
  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    We used to run them weekly. Due to layoffs and cutbacks in staff, hours, furlows, etc., we run them at the end of the season.

    If you're in a tough spot with workforce, this is the best way to do it. Running them sporadically gives the reader a sense that you are all over the map.

    If you can, start about 5-10 games into the season and run them weekly, preferrably on Mondays. Then everyone knows when and where to look. If you can't manage that, run them at the end of the season.

    Point is be consistent with your coverage and how you present it.
  4. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Yeah, usually start the 1st week of January, at least get 6-8 games under a team's belt before you start averaging things out.
    If you want to start a stat package earlier...best bet is to just run standings.
  5. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

    I'm stuck in the same boat. Used to be able to run stats during football and basketball season for several high schools in area. Due to cutbacks and a lack of time, I don't run them anymore. But I do like the idea of trying to do it once a week in each season; maybe just do it for the main high school we cover (Coverage area is roughly five schools in 35 mile radius, 10-12 in extended area)
  6. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

    Football every week.

    Basketball, softball and baseball -- when all pre-season tournaments end. There's too much going on and too many games to play, plus overlapping playoff schedules do it early. Otherwise you have one team with seven games, another with two and several with none because they haven't started yet.
  7. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    My shop handles stats as follows:

    For football, we usually start about 2 games into the season. I guess then you have a big enough sample size to work with.

    Basketball is an impossibility since we don't get regular stats from two of our four county schools.

    Baseball is fairly easy since all of our coaches are very cooperative with updating their stats. We usually start a week into the season, since they're playing two, sometimes three games a week with tournaments. Again, you'll have a large enough sample size and by the end of the first week, folks aren't all hitting .600.
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    People love local leader stat packages. I'd see about cutting something else before you cut those out.
  9. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Someone floating the idea of having to keep accurate prep stats was one of the prime "I've really got to get out of here" moments for me in newspapers.
  10. writingump

    writingump Member

    At the shop where I worked, I found that more and more coaches weren't calling games in, therefore making it impossible to keep accurate stats to run prep scoring leaders. But then readers would complain to the managing editor, who hated sports, and we'd get these ominous e-mails demanding we get "all the information." I tried to reason with him once, saying it had to be a two-way street, and it got nowhere. Anyway, it's something you should only do if the coaches are consistent with calling scores in and sending in stats as well. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. With minimal manpower and only 40 hours in a week, why kill yourself for something relatively insignificant?
  11. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    That's fine unless you've got about 50 to 60 schools to keep up with and not enough man power.
  12. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    People have enough competent coaches to run accurate baseball stats? That's amazing. I had a coach who kept his players' batting averages secret from them (and me). My last shop did relatively complete football stats, and even that was a pain in the ass a lot of the time. I can't imagine baseball/basketball with any sort of sizable coverage area.
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