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.

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