Play-by-play and color commentary for sports broadcasting isn’t just a matter of flipping the cameras and audio on and talking sports for 3 hours. There’s a lot of work involved. If you’re going to be broadcasting games with announcers, here are some quick tips:
- Do your research – Read about last week’s game. Get some history on your opponent (it’s also not a bad idea to read up on your own school, too). What type of offense/defense do they run? What is their win/loss record? Any key injuries? What are the teams ranked (if applicable)? Talk to coaches. Talk to players. Talk to the opponent’s coaches and players. Get as much information on the next game is possible.
- Don’t do your research the night before – Coaches will have less and less time as the week progresses. Ask them most of your questions at the beginning of the week. If you hear of someone being injured or a late development has occurred, obviously touch base with them and get the latest information going into the game.
- Get the roster a few days before – If there’s one complaint we get from our broadcasts, it’s that we don’t pronounce the names of the players correctly. If/when you get the roster for your school, get the correct pronunciation from the player/coach during the week. For the opposing team, flag down a coach before the game and just double check on pronunciations.
- Get to the game early – Go up to coaches (if they’re not busy) and ask for a minute of their time. Double check on any late developments, news, etc. Also, allow yourself enough time to test broadcast equipment. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for problems.
- Mark the starters – When you go to your roster to announce names, it will be easier to spot the starters if they’re noticeable.
- Get supplies – Bottled water (plural), pens (also plural), notebooks, and binoculars. Those are really handy when spotting numbers on players.
- Have fun – This is the most important thing. Relax, breathe and have a great game. Learn from your mistakes and enjoy the game!