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Soccer question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txscoop, Sep 6, 2008.

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  1. txscoop

    txscoop Member

    I hate soccer. I have to cover a game today. Is there a technique to keeping stats at these lame sporting events? Is there a stat sheet template? Any help is appreciated.

  2. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    I don't think there's much to keep running wise. I haven't done much soccer, but I can't imagine you'd need much beyond goals, assists and saves. Maybe shots on goal too.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    keep tabs of corner kicks, the number of times both teams were called offside, pay attention to passing i.e. is one team proficient at stringing passes into an attack while the other just boots and chases, etc.
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Oh, and it's there, not their.

    You're welcome.
  5. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    You can pretty much use your notebook, and create your own stat sheet template.

    Obviously, you want to record goals, but also make sure you keep track of assists too. And soccer gives second assists like hockey, so be sure to find out who made the pass that led to the pass that created each score. If it's a 0-0 game, you still have stats to keep, since stats are so important in sports journalism.

    In that case, make sure you have kept track of how many corner kicks each team has (and from which side of the goal, if you can). Also, shot numbers are a great indicator of which team was more dominant in the game. So if the goalie had to handle the ball at all, it's a shot on goal, while if it was simply kicked toward the goal and went over the endline, it's just a shot.

    Another statistic to keep track of is defensive fouls. It's impossible to track steals, but you can definitely figure out which team was called for more hacks. That way, you can determine whether or not you can call it a "physical game" and thus show knowledge that belies your lack of interest.

    Oh, and as far as writing about soccer with authority: the field is a "pitch, jerseys are "kits," a fast player shows a lot of "pace," and a team that plays well shows good "form."

    Lastly: make sure you have a handle on that whole "there/their/they're" thing before you start writing.

    Good luck. Have fun.
  6. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Ah, corner kicks. Forgot about those. Definitely do that.
  7. jps

    jps Active Member

    I don't like soccer either. at all. (covered a game the other night, too.) is it ok that I don't like the sport, either, or am I also a whiner not appreciative of my job?

    tex ... honestly, I only keep goals/assists, shots, shots on goal and saves. my soccer gamers and volleyball gamers, for that matter, tend to be a little more of a scene-setting story. you can talk about the momentum swings, the style of play, did one team dominate the game and was in the offensive zone in a shooting gallery all night? what was the defense doing that shut down the opposition? were they collapsing on the ball/ball carrier? maybe just doing a great job of anticipating and clogging passing lanes?
    you get the idea.
  8. As stated above, every important stat (goals, assists, saves, shots on goal and corner kicks) can be kept easily in your notebook ... unless, perhaps, you are shooting game photos as well. Even if photos are an issue, it can still be done rather easily in most cases. Just don't be afraid to ask if you feel you've missed something because you were jacking around with a camera.

    My advice: Make friends with the official/home scorekeeper, and don't be afraid to check your stats against what the coaches have at the end. Very few soccer coaches I've dealt with take offense to you asking about stats. If anything, it tells them that you want to get your information correct - and you might even win a little respect for yourself.
  9. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Active Member

    I played a lot of soccer and have covered a fair amount and I've never written about the number of corner kicks a team takes. I try to watch the game and get the stats from the coach afterwards. I'd try and find a featureish angle and go with that. But I don't get where corner kicks are a huge deal. Personally, I'd scrap the idea of using words like "pitch" and "kit." That may fly in Europe but people usually don't use those words here. Just my two cents.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Nope. Because you said you didn't like it, and covered a game.

    You didn't come on here, saying you hate it, calling it lame, then asking for help and misusing their.

    He acts like it's an imposition. It's. His. Job.
  11. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Jeez . . . . .

    You try to be sarcastic without the famous font. You try to let "Mr. Too Damn Cool Soccer Hater" know what a dunce he is to make such a request in such a way. And the point is lost.


    Trust me when I say: there is only one statistic that matters in soccer, both sport-wise and in writing it. Goals. If you want to throw in saves - even if a lot of prep coaches record every time the goalie touches the ball as a "save" - have at it. Yellow and red card stats make sense if the game has a lot of them and the ref clearly is card-happy.

    Shots/corners, etc. are just ways to shoehorn in attempts at making soccer make sense for the statheads who don't understand gamers that lack a lot of numbers.

    The best idea: watch the game. See the moments that change momentum. Be a big boy and write about them without using numbers as a crutch like you can in football, basketball and baseball.

    And for the love of whichever deity you seek to please: This is not England. All using "pitch" "pace," etc. does is let the reader know that you once saw a game on Fox Soccer Channel, and that you think the terms the English use for their sports - it's also a rugby "pitch," you know - are "SOCCER!!!!" terms.
  12. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Hope you got enough help, txscoop.

    What a joke this is becoming.
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