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Spring sports

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by bmm, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. bmm

    bmm Member

    At the Podunk Presses around the country, how are all of you going to cover spring sports? I'm thinking a few photos, roundups and sprinkle in some features and the like. I have an Army of One and I do it all.

    In my area, this is how interest goes

    Football
    Basketball
    Volleyball
    Baseball
    Softball
    and on down the line.
     
  2. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    You do what you can, and enjoy the beer after work.
     
  3. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    ... suck.
     
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    What's the interest level among the spring sports? You only mention softball and baseball?

    If those are the biggest maybe feature them a little more, or do the focals on them. Sprinkle in the news about track and golf and lacrosse.
     
  5. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    The way I usually did it (at a 2-man shop w/four schools).

    Baseball & softball were big in my area -- lots of Div. I players, a couple of State Finals-caliber teams every year.
    *-Cover all games between two coverage-area schools w/story & photos.
    *-If staffing levels permit, cover key out-of-coverage area conference games w/story, photos if a shooter is available (or just have the reporter bring a camera).
    *-Attempt to cover all games between two ranked teams, no matter if they are conference games or not.
    *-Cover as many state tournament games as possible.

    Track: Cover the county, conference and state tournament meets with story & photos. Dual meets, maybe send a photog if two county schools are running against each other and then put together a story from a phoner.

    Golf/tennis: Cover county meet & sectional meet with story/photos. Dual matches between county schools, send a stringer or a photog if they're available. Don't sweat it if they're not.

    I tried to do at least 1-2 feature/profile/enterprise stories a week, usually one on the diamond sports and one on a non-diamond sport each week. Spring is very intense, so event coverage ends up dominating.
     
  6. Cubman71

    Cubman71 Guest

    we've got over 70 schools in our coverage area, so we don't necessarily enjoy spring sports.

    We do run a couple of features weekly as well as checklists for track.

    But we don't get out and cover any games until the county tourney, and then it's only the finals.

    We will cover playoffs for local teams once they start in all sports, however. And we always end up having several teams/schools advance far into state championships.

    But we put everything in agate on our scoreboard page. As you can imagine, our phones ring off the hook on a nightly basis.

    As much as we love it when basketball season ends around here, we also dread spring.

    Ugh
     
  7. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    It's a good time for sports-specific notebooks and finding a few key matchups between the best teams in your readership area. What you can't do is work yourself to death before playoffs start.
     
  8. bmm

    bmm Member

    Here at Podunk Press we cover six schools. I am responsible for stories, photos, layout and sending the stuff. In the past they've done all game stories or capsules and no real features, profiles, etc. That's my fear about maybe changing too much too quick.

    We don't have lacrosse. Baseball, softball, track and tennis are the sports by interest. Softball is close to baseball - my coverage area has had three teams play in the state tournament this decade and one of them being state runners-up.

    At most they get 100 people at a game. Obviously during a good tournament run the number can go to 300-400.

    Volleyball is actually very popular in my area. A good match can get 500-700 fans out, but that's a fall sport.
     
  9. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    this sounds a lot like my situation - I'm a one-man band covering five schools (photos, stories, layout, sending pages, providing content for the web, etc) ... one of my papers comes out three times a week (M-W-F) and the other -- the bane of my existence a lot of times -- is a weekly that comes out on Thursday, with a deadline the same as my other Wednesday publication...

    I have so many ideas for features, profiles, etc. but I can't get ever seem to get to them ... By the time I keep up with the basics I'm out of hours (boss -- "absolutely no overtime!") ... We don't have enough of a freelance budget to have outside folks write the day-to-day stuff, plus I'd still have to edit it all and lay it on the page ...

    I fear getting away from basic game coverage/capsule type stuff because at least all of my schools and lots of kids are getting regular mentions in the paper... i do try to "featurize" game stories whenever possible, writing miniature featurettes on maybe the star player of that game or someone who stood out ...

    if I do more in-depth features/profiles, that means a more narrow focus with lots of folks fussing at me about "why don't you cover us any more" but maybe better overall content ... what to do, what to do...? I'm game for ideas...
     
  10. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    we try to hit select games and our roundups can be massive (33 high schools, 1 juco, 1 d2 school.
    unless it is a really important game, we try to do some features and we try to hit every sport as much as possible with photogs.
    not the best plan, but we don't get a ton of complaints, either. when the playoffs start, that's a different story. we hit as many playoff games as possible.
     
  11. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    For me, it's more along the lines of

    Football
    Basketball












    Baseball
    Everything else ...
     
  12. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Um, for any of you who are living in an area where it is actually spring, I'd juslt like to say I hate you. ;D


    This actually brings to mind an interesting debate we had at our shop years ago. For each season, we started a special page each week on the major sport. Football in the fall, basketball in the winter but we couldn't decide on spring. Lacrosse has become much more popular and would seem the most obvious choice except that there are only six teams. For baseball/softball there are 18.

    Even though I love lacrosse, I had to pull for baseball/softball. More stats, more stories, more notebook items.
     
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