How to write a Sports Article
Have a strong lead. Like any article, you want to start your sports article out with a strong lead, one that encapsulates the available information on "who, what, where, when, why and how." Look at sports articles in almost any paper to see how they introduce the game or event they are covering with their lead paragraph. They get the reader's attention with a strong but concise summary of the story to follow.
Also, note that a lead always places emphasis on an important or interesting aspect of the story. For instance, a specific Boston Celtics loss may, in itself, not be as significant or interesting as the fact it is the fifteenth loss the team experienced in a row. The article would tell the story of the game, but the lead would introduce the game with the most important or interesting fact about it, that it's continuing a horrible streak, and would expand on that fact in the article. 2.
Write clearly and concisely. If you've ever read Sports Illustrated, you know that some sports articles can be what you might call "literary non-fiction:" lengthy, poetic, filled with metaphor and digressions into back story. If your particular assignment requires that kind of writing, go for it. But if you read the daily sports section of your city paper, you will also notice that most sports articles reporting on the sporting events of the past day are concisely written. Yes, sports articles include context and metaphor and technical sports terms, but they're also to-the-point and generally stick to basic vocabulary. 3.
Know the context. Like any news article, a sports article will require you to have a basic working knowledge of the universe on which you're reporting. This may mean not only knowing all about the current players, coaches and standings but knowing some history, as well. This may be common knowledge to you, but if not, you may need to do some research.
You will also need to know about the sport itself including rules, history, league standings, current controversies and other information. You may already know much of this if you're a sports enthusiast--but be aware that a journalist may need more in-depth knowledge than a casual fan. Be sure to have a solid grasp on the sport you're covering before you start to cover it.
Also, keep in mind that many sports teams have press departments that will provide journalists with extensive information about their organizations including current players and team history.
Give the major play by play. Obviously, there are hundreds of plays in any match or game, and no article will include them all. Your job as a reporter is to report the basic chronology--beginning, middle, and end, of the sports event--with details about the major moments: turning points, big plays, big mistakes, momentum-builders. In other word, you're providing something of a verbal highlight reel. This will mean you need to pay careful attention to who does what, when during the event. You then must figure out which moments to include and which to leave out. You have the advantage of hindsight when putting these events together: "That shot turned out to be the fatal blow..." Your thorough understanding of the game and how it's played will also be important when you are evaluating what events are key. You will also need to connect the events smoothly as you help your audience to create a mental picture of what happened. 5.
Use quotes as possible. Most news articles, no matter the subject, include quotes from people involved. Most pro sports teams hold post-game news conferences or speak to reporters in the locker room after the game. Asking good questions and collecting answers from players and coaches is an important part of writing a sports article. Be prepared when approaching your interview subject. Know what you're going to ask and listen to the answer--it may not be what you expected to hear--and be conversant enough in the subject to have a...
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