Field Guide to Covering Sports

Field Guide to Covering Sports

Second Edition

August 2017 | 424 pages | CQ Press

Transform yourself from sports fan to professional sports journalist


Field Guide to Covering Sports, Second Edition goes beyond general guidance about sports writing, offering readers practical advice on covering 20 specific sports. From auto racing to wrestling, author Joe Gisondi gives tips on the seemingly straightforward—like where to stand on the sideline and how to identify a key player—along with the more specialized—such as figuring out shot selection in lacrosse and understanding a coxswain’s call for a harder stroke in rowing.


In the new Second Edition, readers also explore sports reporting across multimedia platforms, developing a foundational understanding for social media, mobile media, visual storytelling, writing for television and radio, and applying sabermetrics. Fully revised with new examples and updated information to give readers confidence in covering just about any game, match, meet, race, regatta or tournament, Field Guide to Covering Sports, Second Edition is the ideal go-to resource to have on hand when mastering the beat. 


Get regularly updated sports journalism coverage, advice, and more by visiting the author’s blog.



Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class
Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effectiveLearn more

PART I. Getting Started
1. From Sports Fan to Sports Reporter
There’s No Cheering in the Press Box  
Where Do You Start?  
Clerking Is a Great Way to Learn  
Reporting Is Essential in New Media Landscape  
2. Writing Game Stories
Context and Analysis  
Key Plays  
3. Getting the Most out of an Interview
And Keep Asking  
Sack the Clichéd Responses  
4. Developing and Writing Features
Reporting Is Vital  
Learn Storytelling Techniques  
5. Developing Sports Columns
6. Blogging: Finding a Unique Perspective
Blogs Are Here to Stay  
Carving a Niche  
Tips for Blogging Sports  
7. Using Advanced Statistical Metrics
Advanced Metrics Glossary  
PART II. Multimedia
8. Social Media: Using Twitter as a Reporting Tool
Social Media Glossary  
9. Writing for Mobile Devices
Tips for Mobile  
10. Visual Storytelling
Quick Tips for Mobile to Improve Your Sports Photograph  
11. Writing for TV
12. Broadcasting Games on Radio
III. Covering a Beat
Auto Racing
Cross Country
Field Hockey
Ice Hockey
Track and Field
PART IV. Exploring Further
Primer A. Ethics for Sport Media
Primer B. Covering Fantasy Sports
Primer C. Covering a College Beat
Primer D. High School Sports
Primer E. Avoiding Cliches
Appendix: Assignment Desk
Key features


  • Increased coverage of social media throughout the text as well as a dedicated new chapter provides readers with insights from real-life journalists on how to successfully use social media to cover sports.
  • New chapters on mobile media, visual storytelling, writing for television, and writing for radio empower readers to report sports across various multimedia platforms.
  • A new chapter on sabermetrics shows readers how to evaluate and compare the performance of players. 
  • A more in-depth chapter on ethics encourages readers to think critically about the human aspect of players and finding the right balance when covering sports.
  • Updated sport-by-sport examples and writing samples ensure readers stay current in the ever-changing world of sports.  
  • A new forward from Will Leitch, the founding editor of the Gawker Media sports blog Deadspin, captivates readers with personal insights about sports journalism in the 21st century.    


  • The Prepare-Watch-Ask-Write approach in each sports chapter teach readers:

•               What to understand before play begins

•               What to look out for during competition

•               What to ask players and coaches

•               What essentials to include in your story


  • In addition to brief chapters on writing, interviewing, and blogging, readers also receive useful “primers” such as:

•               Knowing the APSE ethical guidelines

•               Avoiding clichés

•               Working with Sports Information Directors

•               Covering fantasy sports

•               Broadcasting on the radio


  • A series of annotated score cards shows readers how reporters can keep track of stats and details, and assignments at the end of the book get readers applying his/her new-found sports knowledge.
  • “Sports Insiders” include important tips based on author interviews with athletes, coaches and experienced sports reporters.
  • “Digital Assist” boxes showcase models to emulate when reporting with new media.


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ISBN: 9781506315683