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Youth Football

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Madhavok, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Tell me...How does an open can of worms look??? Is there a smell?
  2. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    It smells like shit. And like the fucking piece of podunk abuse of power that it is. So much for "don't write for your sources."
  3. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    We have a policy at our place that's pretty much standard for youth sports: If you get us the info, we'll run it. We may not run it in the way that you want it, but we'll run it.

    If they want photos and roundups? Tell them to send them in. If the gymnastics club complains? Tell them to send it in. We have a standard youth sports day where we run the info, but if there's too much we'll either save it for the next week or run it when we do have the space.

    Putting the power in the hands of the parents isn't always a bad thing.
  4. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    if it's important to the ME or publisher, ask them to open one page per week (hell, they can even sell a strip ad at the bottom) and designate it as the youth sports page. run the submitted roundups/photos on that page and be done with it.
    In my limited 20 years of experience, it's more about the photos anyway.
    You're probably screwed for this year, but most of the above suggestions should be pretty helpful -- talking with the league prez, scoresheets, etc.
  5. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    We run a youth sports page and we have a massive coverage area when it comes to kiddie sports. Between soccer and football going on right now, we've got hundreds of teams going. We don't cover anything in person. And we don't run submited photos because they're crap. It took time to get people in the habit of submitting their results, but now we've got it rolling pretty well. There are some clubs that just don't do it, but we get enough volume that we don't worry about it. And what we do seems to keep people happy because there's no other paper in the area doing it. That definitely helps.

    The only downside is that all that copy has to be rewritten en masse. It's pretty time consuming. This week I had some whack job send me 22 inches on a 5- and 6-year old flag football game. I got a nice laugh when I opened the file and did an inch count.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    That's the major downside. It is very time consuming, and sometimes people miss the important information like, say, the final score. This is fine for T-ball, but not for JV football.

    Got 1,000 words on a gymnastics meet. Opened that thing up and almost cried because I knew the hack job I'd have to do on it.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    You freshen the resume yet? You've had two days...
  8. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    Saw a few appealing things and getting material together. Still not sure if I want to put up with this business anymore or just work for my father-in-law.
  9. Canuck Pappy

    Canuck Pappy Member

    The good thing about youth football is that it's about half the speed of regular football so getting nice photos is like shooting fish in a barrel. A lot of newspaper awards have gone to youth football photos.
  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    In some ways, youth football has been the best youth sport with which to deal and in some ways it's been the worst.
    The best part is that unlike soccer, baseball, basketball and hockey, I get the whole organization's game write-ups from one person. In the other sports, it's usually up to each individual team and there always seems to be somebody (usually the same person) who complains about his story never making it into the paper. I've tried getting other youth sports to send everything to one person who in turn would send the copy to me, but it hasn't worked. It probably won't work when you're talking about several dozen baseball or soccer teams as opposed to five or six youth football teams.
    The worst part is the editing you have to do is a little more extensive. I try not to edit youth copy as much as high school copy because it would take forever and I don't want to discourage people.
    Also, many youth football pieces start with the captains going out for the opening coin toss, then go over every single drive no matter how inconsequential and work the cheerleaders' halftime performance into the story. They're usually about 2-3 times as long as my high school football gamers.
    Then there's the nicknames "Sweendog" Sweeney, "The Hammer" "The Terminator" etc. We always make it clear we don't go for that and we always cut them out, but I swear there are people who really want to test you on that.
  11. ronalong

    ronalong Guest

    2underpar is right, I'm limited to only 9 years experience, but I do it the same way. Run a Community Sports Photo page and stick the photos on there, if there is any info with the photos you get, put a short recap into the cutline of the photo. A page like this sells papers.
  12. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    Everybody had really good suggestions. I did this once with youth baseball in the summer (I was at a weekly and there wasn't dick else to do). I printed out easy forms to fax in. Passed them out on opening day to moms, coaches, league people, park people. That Monday I got one form in and never saw another one the entire summer. When people called to bitch, I explained that I tried.

    But here's another suggestion to consider. I know this pop warner bullshit may be over with, but try this. Go get an 8-ball of coke to keep you up, and hit the Sat. and Sun. games hard as hell. Devote an entire page to covering a few teams. Print photos of kids crying or getting shellacked and write stories heavy on each team's mistakes. Even do quick hitter boxes pointing out how many turnovers each team had, and list who committed the turnovers.

    Add a column about how certain good teams could be doing better, especially if they had the right personnel. Question the coaches' calls in the column, and most importantly, mention that the uniforms are ugly.

    That ought to get the bitches off your back.
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