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Should JV results be included?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by valpo87, May 4, 2011.

  1. valpo87

    valpo87 Guest

    I've had a JV coach and parent say they want me to include JV results in the sports section, which already covers every sport for three high schools (from football to golf). I kind of argue that there is already so much to do with photography, layout and proofreading in addition to writing.

    Does telling them JV isn't important to the paper a jerk move?
  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Is your paper's circulation in five or more figures? Then no, telling him you don't care about JV is not a jerk move.

    If it's a tiny paper, there's some value there but it's your call.
  3. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I work at a chain of weeklies; we're well under 10K circ per paper (five of them that cover nine schools).
    No JV, unless it's a championship game. No results. People complain, we politely tell them we will cover them when they play varsity.
  4. valpo87

    valpo87 Guest

    It's a circulation barely under 10K and publishes once a week. I already average eight pages per week, 13 sports stories with photos.
  5. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    We're a 16K daily and I would never put in JV results. Opens a can of worms. Varsity only.
  6. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    No. Never. Tell them you'll cover them when they reach varsity. If they persist, this always works for me:
    • If it's spring, here we have baseball, softball, tennis, golf and track and field. Four schools, that's 32 teams.
    • Adding JV to that equation gives you 64 teams to cover. Someone gets shortchanged.
    That's not math that adds up for any sports staff.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member


    I worked as a one-man staff at a small-town 6K daily years ago. My rule was as follows:

    Varsity: I'll go to games, write stories, take pictures, take phone results. Get everything in paper next day.
    JV: I'd take either phone results, or results in writing. No in-person coverage. If I couldn't get it in the paper that day, it'd go in the next time if I had time and space to put it in. Sometimes, it'd be several days worth of games for one team. If they didn't send me results, I wasn't going to seek them.
    Modified: Results in writing only. No in-person coverage. They could give me several games worth at one time. Results put in as time and space allowed. If they didn't send me anything, I didn't seek them out.

    Someone on here, in another thread similiar to this, had a great response to the JV parents:

    SE: "Do you like to see your family sometimes?"
    JV parent: "Yes."
    SE: "Well so do I. And I can't if I'm at your kid's game."

    As for me, I used to just tell them that the paper wasn't going to pay me OT for the time, and I wasn't going to cover their kid's game for free. It pissed off a few people, but when they saw that I was actually willing to put the results in if they sent them, that usually cooled them off.
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify, I didn't mean actual coverage. I meant that at a tiny paper, I'd be willing to include a sentence at the end of the varsity story and maybe the JV box score if it's not too complicated.
  9. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

    This is the oldest argument/complaint in the book for any medium- to small-town paper. At the paper I worked at for five years (two-person dept., I was SE), we put scores when we got them. At the paper I work at currently, it's the same way. If we get the JV scores, we put them in.
    It can be taken further - I had a middle-school coach complain all the time we didn't put the middle school scores or write-ups he sent into the paper. He argued with me for five years about that. "They're the next generation." Wonderful, but when we rarely put the JV scores in, I am not putting middle school scores in.
  10. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Really depends on your circumstances. Small town dailies and weeklies should be more likely to consider coverage than major dailies of course, just because of the difference in space:schools covered ratio. Also, if you live in an area that really loves its JV sports for whatever reason, that should be considered (you don't, but theoretically).

    I'd be more of a mind to cover or acknowledge middle schools just because for that age group, that's the top level at which they can play. JVs are generally the freshmen and sophmores who can't hack on varsity (not always, but usually). And while I can already hear the groaning and gnashing of teeth about opening the can of middle school worms, you're probably going to get the same shitty crowds for their games as you will the varsity counterparts, or at least close.

    That's not to say they warrant equal coverage, especially if you're stretched to your limit (which you of course are). But having them call in scores and doing the occasional feature or championship game isn't going to sink the good ship journalism either.
  11. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    We're a five-figure circulation paper. Our policy is — the three local high schools, we'll run a sentence or two on JV, sophomores and freshmen, if the coaches call the results in. If not, we don't chase them down. From the outlying schools, we don't put in anything.

    And we will never go out and cover anything below the varsity level. Which means every spring we get someone yapping about why we weren't at the middle school track meet.

    That doesn't mean we won't do some sort of feature if it warrants. For example, one year our biggest local high school's football team won just two varsity games, but the sophomores and freshmen both went undefeated. So we did a story on whether that meant the future was looking brighter for the varsity program. Interviewed the varsity head coach, and the sophomore and freshmen head coaches who were also varsity assistants, on what they thought. Gave us a year-end wrapup story, plus put a little spotlight on the success those younger teams had. Actually got a couple of calls from parents of the younger kids who thought it was nice we did that.
  12. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Did the undefeated sophomore team actually go on to win anything? Because frequently that just means the other teams are using their good sophomores to whoop your varsity.
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