SNN Newsroom

Sports Writing

Anyone can print the final score of a hockey game (Vancouver 3, Colorado 1) but it takes detail and creative language to win sports readers.

The trick to writing sports is not just to report the scores but to try to tell what happened - readers want to meet the players that made it happen and have a front row seat to the game's action.

As a student reporter you must remember:

Focus on the important plays of the game or a key player, and build your story around it.

Michael Jordan scored 35 points to help the Chicago Bulls clobber the New York Knicks by a score of 105-73.

When reporting in sports you don't have to put in every play, just the important ones that made a difference.

Joe Carter's two-run homer in the seventh inning led the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Everyone would like to know exactly what happened in the game but they don't need to hear every play or every detail. An example of overusing information on an unimportant play would be like this:

Fred Smith came up to bat in the second inning, and swung strikes on the first two pitches. He fouled off on the next pitch, and then popped one up into left field. Gonzales, the left fielder, caught it in the air for the first out.

Lively quotes from the players or managers can give your story a boost.

"It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges," explained Muhammad Ali"and I believed in myself."

Sports don't always happen on the playing field, so if you describe the crowd's mood, size, or the effect they had on the game, it helps keep your readers interested.

A heavy helping of octopi was heaved onto the ice at game's end by the 12,400 angry hockey fans in attendance.

Your story doesn't even have to be about a game. It could be player profiles or about teams preparing for a new season or a tournament - whatever is happening that may be interesting.

Professional sports aren't the only things happening, either. Amateur teams in competition can be just as exciting as the ‘top of the line' athletes. Sports happening in schools or in communities are always around to report. These are the kinds of stories that people enjoy reading because they're about the local athletes that people may meet everyday. It makes readers proud of their achievements.

In either men's or women's events, sports news is what matters. Take some 1996 Olympic medalists from Canada as examples. Donovan Bailey won gold with a 9.84 second Olympic record run in the men's 100 metre sprint. Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle excelled in rowing gold for Canada in the Women's Double Sculls.

Make sure you know exactly what the players or athletes have accomplished, so your story has the correct details.

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