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Summer sports coverage

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by toivo99, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. toivo99

    toivo99 Member

    OK, here I'm in a pickle. My 1st summer as SE at my shop and I don't know what to do.

    My boss is saying we should cover Little League and youth soccer, but no paper I've ever been at did that. I don't know how to do it. Not to mention the leagues in the area never send us information.

    We have a couple amateur baseball teams, which we cover, along with our (crappy) golf, running, cycling, etc.

    How do I keep local content in the paper and make the boss and readers happy?
  2. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    I've found that the summer season is far shorter than you might fear.
    Covering all-star games and wrapping up work from the high school and college season takes us through June, and we also do a year-end series on athletes of the year.
    Here, the high school fall season (golf and tennis) start in August, and if you have a fall sports tab, planning must start early.
    So there's really about a month that we have to fret about local coverage, and we fill that month with Legion ball, local golf and catching up with our star athletes going to camps &c. We run submitted team photos and cover big area tournaments (we had a state Little League tournament a couple years ago...it's like manna from heaven).
  3. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Walter is spot-on. By the time everything winds down from the spring sports season, it's early- or mid-June. You cover some amateur baseball, golf and tennis, a few 5Ks and triathlons, do some features on the people involved in all those events, and all of a sudden, it's time for youth baseball all-star tournaments. You can cover those to appease the youth sports masses, and by the time everyone on the sports staff clears out a few vacation days, it's time to start working on the preseason football tab.

    By the middle of August, you'll be wondering what happened to the slow summer you were worried about.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    "Cover" it by sending out a photog to snap 1-2 pictures of the kids playing every day. Run the art with all the results that are submitted by parents.

    I would suggest have the parents use a paper form or email. If they call you, your phone will never stop ringing. Do not get soft on this. Make them do it in paper form. That also covers you when Sally does not get her name in the paper and the coach blames you.

    Meet with the president or commissioner of the league to go over the ground rules.

    You could easily have 40-50 inches per day not including the pics.

    Use a hard news lead for each game, and get as many kids names in as you can.

    Have fun.
  5. EdReed

    EdReed Member

    We cover the Little League All-Stars and all the outdoor activities. One thing we try to put together is a series for Sundays that can run 4-6 weeks.
    We did one on high school athletes and their summer workouts. We had our reporter go out and actually train with the kids. Put on the parachute. One - a running back - ran through the woods and and swamps so our guy did that.

    Another was out local minor league baseball team had players from different countries so each week we profiled a country, the players that came from it and what baseball means there. At least it gives you copy through July that you can count on.
  6. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    We cover lots of camps, some junior golf tournaments, a few road races and generally begin getting ready for the fall season in July.

    My last paper, we had a page which ran once a week with little league and softball results. We had agate, and then some write-ups. We shot pics at some of the championship games, too.

    My paper now, we don't thank God.
  7. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    That's awesome. Those are the ideas that I've find people really enjoy - and something that our paper never does.
  8. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    If you don't want to do little-league games, you could always catch a grown-ups women's softball tournament, where you might get to see hooters flapping around everywhere...Or something like that. :D [cross thread]
  9. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    For the seven weeks we get between the end of softball / baseball and two-a-day football ... Summer sports coverage for us consists of taking vacations and becoming friends with AP wire. Nobody demands we cover a summer event, and we would not accept said demand if we got one.
  10. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    "Hooters flapping in all directions."
  11. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Good for you. :D That philosophy won't fly everywhere, but everyone should strive to come as close to following it as possible.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Start planning fall football coverage and tab stories... if you don't have it mapped out by July 1 (depending on how many teams you cover), you'll be scrambling come August.
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