Figure 3-4.Rugby is one of a wide array of Navy sports the
Navy journalist will cover.
Get the facts straight. (Use your notes, tape recorder
and a copy of the speech when possible.)
THE SPORTS STORY
principle of sports writing, the structure of a
sports story, the use of quotes, the various
sports writing rules and considerations and the
sources of sports information.
Sportswriting, whether it is for a great metropolitan
daily or for a four-page internal Navy publication, can be
the very lifeblood of a publication. No other editorial
phase of a newspaper has quite so much to offer the
imagination and creativity (fig. 3-4).writer or so
much to challenge the writer's
Sportswriting is a difficult side of journalism. It is
tricky for the sportswriter who regularly covers a
National Football League team. It is tricky for the JOSN
who wades through the task of writing an eight-inch
story about a touch football game played on the base
For some people, sportswriting is easier than for
others, probably because they are athletes or because
they are longtime fans. It is not true, however, that only
ex-jocks and channel-hopping sports addicts can write
sports. With a little training and practice, any writer can
become, at least, an adequate sportswriter.
SPORTS WRITING STRUCTURE
Writing about a game or a sporting event is
essentially the same as writing a straight news story.
Like straight news, sports stories are written in the
inverted pyramid style (discussed in the previous
chapter). The main difference between sports and news
writing is in the lead. A sports lead usually emphasizes
the who and how of an event, while a straight news lead
usually emphasizes the who and what.
Like a news story, the lead is normally a one-
sentence summary of the essential Ws and H, the bridge
links the lead to the body, and the body is written to
present facts in descending order of importance.
We will now examine the lead, bridge and body of
sports stories in more detail.
Sports leads normally use the who and how as the
lead emphasis. Leads should include the who, what,
when, where and how. The who may be the teams
involved or the names of key players. The what will
normally be the name of the sport, league or tournament.
The when should be the date or day of the event, and the
where should be the location of the event. The how is
usually a brief description of how the game or contest
was won and the score.
SUMMARY LEAD. In a summary lead, the
who and how will be the lead emphasis. The final score
should be in the lead and not repeated elsewhere in the
story. Many beginning writers, in an attempt to
summarize the game, repeat the score in the body. This
is wrong. If the reader forgets the score, he can easily
refer to the lead.
Consider the following example:
Alvin Geckos second-half scoring
binge led the Pensacola Goshawks to a
come-from-behind 94-93 victory over
Wednesday nights basketball opener at
Tallship Field House.