Sports Writer's Checklist

A well-written sports story will either make you wish you'd been there or be glad you were!


  • Is a championship at stake?
  • Effect of the result on the all-time records of the contestants
  • Effect of the results of the season's records on the contestants
  • Are the contestants old rivals?
  • Are they resuming relations after a long period?
  • Will the outcome suggest either contestant's probable strength against future opponents?

Probable Outcome

  • Relative weight and experience of contestants
  • Ability as demonstrated against other opponents, especially common ones.
  • Improvement during the season
  • New plays, tactics, etc.
  • New players, return of the injured players, strength of substitutes, etc.
  • Former contests between the two contestants
  • Weather conditions favorable to either contestant
  • Lack of practice, injuries and other handicaps
  • Tradition of not being able to win away from home
  • Recent record, slumps, etc.

How victory was won

  • The winning play, if score was close
  • The style of play of both winner and loser
  • Costly errors and mistakes of judgment
  • Spurts that overcame opponent's lead

Important Plays

  • How each score was made
  • Spectacular team or individual efforts, etc.
  • The results of "hunches."
  • Penalties, fouls, etc.
  • Disputed decisions of umpires or referees

Individual records, stars, etc.

  • Records broken
  • High scores
  • Players who delivered in pinches
  • Teamwork
  • Player not up to usual form


  • How seriously was the player injured?
  • Is this a common injury in this sport?
  • What's the long-term prognosis? Will this affect the player's future is college athletics?
  • Follow-up and related stories about sports rehabilitation and injury prevention for weekend athletes.


  • Size of crowd
  • a yearly event?
  • enthusiasm, riots, demonstrations, etc.


  • Condition of track or playing field
  • Effect of heat (ha!) or cold
  • Effect of sun on fielders
  • Which side was affected more? Why?
  • Delays because of rain?


Student Media
Plemmons Student Union
263 Locust St.
Boone, NC 28608
Adviser: Position Currently Vacant

The Appalachian
Suite 217, Plemmons Student Union
Boone, NC 28608
(828) 262-2157 (business office)

The Peel
Suite 218, Plemmons Student Union
Boone, NC 28608