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Jose Cristobal M. Ambayon, Ed. D.-ELT
Assistant Professor I
Sultan Kudarat State University
College of Teacher Education
ACCESS, EJC Montilla, Tacurong City
-is one of the most interesting aspects of the
noble profession- journalism.
-It covers news like a basketball or volleyball
story, sports editorial, and sports features.
-Sports section may also have an editorial
cartoon and letters to the editor.
Have great interest to readers, according to
study, 95% of male readers read the sports
In the Philippines, basketball games
generate so much interest that sports pages
cannot be without them.
Most often, the readers are interested to
read- human interest stories and write-ups
about their favorite sports personalities or
Sports writing is FUN, but it also hard
work. The writer must impart to the
reader the drama and excitement he sees
in the fields.
The manner of reporting athletic events
varies with the sport. One thing is certain:
sports writing is livelier because the writer
deals with physical motion and action.
Track and Field Events
Water Polo and other
types of games
VARIOUS TYPES OF SPORTS:
TYPES OF SPORTS REPORTING
1. PLAY-BY-PLAY ACCOUNT-
demands close observation and
ability to work at top speed.
Knowledge of the game is necessary.
Sportswriter should know the rules,
and all the details regarding the
players, past records, officials, and
2. LEAD STORIES- centering on the
highlights and more important
plays only such as scoring,
plays, the crucial games and
the star performers of both teams,
especially in newspapers where
there is not much space for play-
3. BRIEF SPORTS STORIES- center
on straight news reporting, but with
a sports flavor. Stressed the score,
winner, outstanding incidents, and
how the outcome of the game affects
the season’s standing of the teams or
4. SPORTS FEATURES- help brighten
up the sports page. Have broader
range of subject matter. Greater
freedom of presentation, and
the writers can use the creative
5. ADVANCE SPORTS STORIES- give
backgrounders, some unusual and
exciting games the teams have played
before games. May report the records
of the teams or individual players in the
current season, their physical and
mental condition. May touch also on
lineups, playing styles, crowd situations,
statements by coaches, odds, other
interests, and angles. Must talk with
the coaches and players of the team
before the start of the game. Should
see both sides in action, lot of
background information so could make
6. FOLLOW-UP STORIES- furnish
post- mortem analyses. They
may discuss the condition of
players injured or the psychological
aspects of the game; or they may
take up statistics and their
7. THE SPORTS COLUMN- written
from the angle of the reporter’s
opinion. However, the writer
should confine himself to fair and
constructive comments. He may call
attention to the performance of
certain athletes. If he wants to
make predictions, these must be
kept within the limits of probability.
WRITING THE SPORTS
The sportswriter must always be punctual in
covering sports events so as not to miss the
sidelights during the opening of the game.
The reporters need to gather the reaction of the
crowds and the cheers of the many competing
teams or groups and the members of the team as
well as the supporters.
The reporter must get the following facts for his in
depth sports story:
The score of outcome ( Who won? Should it end in a tie? A riot or be
called off on account of heavy rain, the outcome is always important for the readers.)
significance of the outcome ( Was the championship at
stake? Do team standings change? Who gets the cup?)
spectacular plays ( Tell about the last minute fumble, the three-bag
that won the game or the basket from mid-court.)
weather conditions (If outdoor, Mud, sunshine, heat, cold or wind
may be important)
size of spectators ( Don’t forget the spectators. Was it a record
crowd? How did the spectators behave?)
individual stars (Who were the stars and how did they star)
comparison of the team (How did the weights compare? Were
the visitors better trained? In what departments of the game did the winners excel?
Where were the losers weak?)
coincidences, if any
WRITING THE SPORTS NEWS
The sports writer must be guided by the 5 W’s and the
Inverted Pyramid Style in writing the sports story.
In writing sports news, the reporter uses short words,
short sentences, and short paragraphs. However, he
has more freedom in his writing style than the straight
news reporter. His writing has more pep, more
While the news reporter is not permitted to write his
own opinion about persons or events, the sports writer
can do this to a certain extent. He can even use slang
which is discouraged in the news page. He even use
figure of speech more freely than the news writer.
PARTS OF A NEWS STORY
Because a sports report is news, it must have the part of a
news story namely, the headline, the lead, and the body.
1. HEADLINE- Use the appropriate sports lingo. Don’t
forget the total score.
Undesirable: Mindanao State University softball
players defeat Holy Trinity College softball
Preferred: MSU sluggers rips HTC batters, 15-5
2. THE LEAD- Like any other news reports, a
sports story has a lead and a body or text.
The sports lead is the attention getter- the
news in a nutshell. It uses sports lingo and
contains the total score of the game.
The sports lead may be one of the following:
a. The Classic “5 W’s”
b. The Key Play Lead
c. The Outstanding Player Lead, and
d. The Analytical Approach Lead
a. The Classic 5 Ws Lead- It answers,
1) Who won?, 2) Against whom?, 3) By what
score?, 4) Where?, 5) When? And 6) How?
1. SKSU poured 10 baskets in the last three
minutes to edge out the SMIT, 65-63 at the
opponents homeground yesterday afternoon.
2. The Philippines fought with steel nerves and
refused to be crushed by a giant’s 55 points might
to rip favored North Korea, 97-96 in its biggest
triumph yesterday in the Asian basketball
b. The Key Play Lead- It starts with the most
exciting parts of the game where a certain team
scores more points.
1. The Aquino NHS sluggers bombed the Marcos
NHS batters with six runs in the third inning to
subdue a nerve-fuzzling Marcos rally 14-12 as they
clinched the invitation games here in connection
with the celebration of Sports Week.
2. Foreign Philippine masters champion George
Olayber birdied two of the last three holes for a
four-under par 67 yesterday and a one stroke lead
over Robert Pactolerin in the opening round of the
P500,000 Philip Morris Long Golf Classic.
c. The Outstanding Player Lead- It features a
favorite, outstanding player. It is sometimes called
the hero of the game lead.
1. Warner Cruz of SKSU, after almost four hours of
battle over the chessboard copped the most
coveted YMCA trophy after outwitting SKEI chesser
Christian Manuel in 27 moves of a Sicilian defense.
2. Ace Striker Rossel Filamer slotted home the
priceless marker that lifted that multi-titled Kiwanis
Team over hard-fighting Cebuana Lhuiller 1-0 to
capture the Fourth Cong. Pax Mangudadatu
Football Cup before a big enthusiastic crowd at the
Sultan Kudarat Gymnnasium in Isulan, Sultan
c. The Analytical Lead- The outcome of the game
is the result of a particular key plan in action -
Analyze the game. What made a certain team win?
What advantages has it over the loser? What
techniques did they use?
1. Riding high on sizzling spikes and tricky placings,
the NDDU netters blasted RMMC killers in the
crucial third set to win 15-10, 11-15, 15-7 in the
Inter-Collegiate Meet, September 21 at the Acharon
Sports Complex to celebrate the Education Month.
2. Pumped-up Purefoods played solid defense to
frustrate Diet Sarsi, 115-105 last night and arrange
a winner-take all, Sunday for the PBA All Filipino
Conference crown at the Ultra.
3. The Body- After the lead comes the body
composed of the other elements arranged in
descending order or decreasing importance.
If it were a basketball story, report it quarter
by quarter; if a volleyball story, set by set of
frame by frame; if a softball/baseball story,
inning by inning; if boxing, round by round,
etc. in narrative form. Follow these with
their respective scores.
QUALITIES OF THE SPORTS
1. A sports writer must be a natural descriptive
writer who can paint a quick verbal picture
without resorting to the dictionary for the right
2. It is important that the sports writer must have a
feeling and genuine love for the sports. (You can’t
convey the emotion of an event or happening if you don’t feel it. If
you feel it, the right descriptive words will come out. You must feel
also the emotion of the crowd and the atmosphere of the area)
3. Training is important in this form of editorial life.
4. The sports writer must always be in the struggle in
finding new words, new ways to describe
punches, new ideas for stories because ideas are
the currency of sporting journalism. (This is important in
the business sports writing because the readers must be informed and
entertained with accurate, clear and well-written sports write-ups. To
gain eminence in this field, the sportswriter must always hold the
reader’s attention from the first paragraph to the last).
5. The sports writer must be endowed with a keen
memory. (This is essential if you are to recall important facts and
6. The sports writer must have a good digestion of
The Sportswriter’s Duty
The main objective or goal of the sportswriter is to
serve the readers by writing stories, either amateur
or professional in nature. The sports stories might
vary depending upon the significance of the athletic
event or the amount of space available for the
Sports writing is a ticklish and difficult job to
handle. A sportswriter is duty bound to write a
complete play-by-play report of a major event, like
basketball, football, volleyball or tennis.
Because of the sustaining interest and appeal of
the sports section of the newspapers, with all kinds
of followers, the goal of the sportswriter as the
purveyor and disseminator of factual, blow-by-blow
accounts of any sports event, is to write a simple
story for the average readers.
As the most consistent follower of sports events in
the making, the sportswriter in under obligation to
observe faithfully the rules of the “game of sports
writing”. HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE BIASED
AND PREJUDICED INN HIS REPORT, OR HE IS
GOIN TO BE PARTIAL AND PARTISAN IN THE
REPORTING OF THE GAME, WITH INACCURACY
AND MISINTERPRETATION OF FACTS, EITHER
INTENTIONALLY OR UNWITTINGLY.
THE ROLE OF THE SPORTSWRITER IS TO GIVE
THE INFORMATION OBJECTIVELY FOR THE
READERS OF THE SPORTS SECTION.
TIPS FOR SPORTS WRITERS
1. Be minor sports enthusiasts. (Know about basketball,
baseball, and all the games your going to write about)
2. Write for the average reader. (Write simply with no unusual
and technical terms)
3. Use the active voice.
4. Write with vigor. (Use strong verbs but not murderous)
5. Be fair. Don’t take sides.
6. Be constantly on the lookout for unusual incidents and
7. Describe the players.
8. Get additional facts from the players, coaches, and
spectators. Support your story with quotes.
9. Be careful with the statistics. (scores, league standing)
10. Never use ten words when seven will do.
11. Read the best sports writing in the dailies. ( Study and
analyze the techniques of outstanding sports writers)
Write a story based on the following facts:
Last night, September 28, 2013
The last games of the elimination round of the 23rd
SKSU Inter-Campus Basketball championship.
ACCESS Campus vs. Tacurong Campus: 102-57
(This was an expected win.)
Isulan Campus vs. Lutayan Campus 96-89
(Lutayan was favored team before the game.)