Writing a Beat

As I’ve covered floor hockey throughout my tenure at Western Illinois University there are some things that I’d like to put out to readers. Some will be tips, and some are basics.

Let’s start with basics. First, know what sport you’re covering. In this instance, it’s floor hockey. Know the rosters, especially the opposing team’s, stats, and general rules that may come in handy, especially if one position is really hard to pick who’s better. Take goalie for example. Two teams could have sensational goalies, so both would need critical analysis, especially if one is used to playing defense nonstop versus the other.

Here are some tips that bloggers and writers should know, especially with floor hockey.

There’s no skating, but the competition revolves around who is coordinated to play the ball well just like a professional would play the puck on ice. Balls rolling make this kind of sport much faster with less of a room or error.

Game clocks may be different. When covering a game this year, the clock never stopped ticking. Memorize times if that’s the case and do it right when a whistle is blown. If the clock stops, there’s no reason to panic over time.

Jargon is different for every sport. Floor hockey usually has the same jargon as ice hockey, except there is no ice. the names of the players are the same, as is most of the rink, but the ice is one of few exceptions.

Some players or teams don’t really want to interview right after the game. Some want to blow off steam, so throwing a third party right there who isn’t equipped with sticks can leave one in a bad situation.

Finally, relax and don’t worry about no one talking to you, especially players. They don’t bite.

Floor Hockey Fun

Going to floor hockey games in this semester has been different for me. First off because i’m going to them with other people critiquing. The other reason would be I’m now talking to the players, officials and Captains both before and after their games.

Talking with players both new to and very familiar with the game has also given me new insight into how college players think and play. Obviously a goalie has the mentality of positivity first, forget the goal just scored second. For Centers and defensive men, it’s a mix of both experience (or lack thereof at times) and how fun it is just to get the opportunity to play a sport that really isn’t put out to the public on campus.

While floor hockey should be promoted a little more on campus life, it fits the the profile of those who attend: Interested enough and in need of either relief or refreshment. It’s common for the big sports on campus to get a lot of attention because they’re competitive both regionally and nationally across the country. Some people aren’t into that, and it’s ok. Some people like a strategic game that not too many people will show up at that also features fun and a sigh of relief. It’s a sport that while it has a small following, could have a lot of interest depending on who finds out and spreads the word.